Browsing: July 8

A Brief History On July 8, 1879, the USS Jeannette sailed from San Francisco on an ill-fated voyage to the North Pole. Not realizing the North Pole is on completely frozen sea water, the voyage could not have been successful, but little did the sailors know just how unsuccessful the voyage would be! Digging Deeper The ill-starred ship started its career in 1861 as the HMS Pandora, a Royal Navy gunboat that patrolled the coast of West Africa for 14 years before being decommissioned and sold.  A private party, Allen Young, bought the Pandora as a substantial yacht, and made…

A Brief History In the past few days the United States has been rocked by two incidents of police shooting black men portrayed by the media as unnecessary shootings, and by the families and friends of those two men as cold blooded murders of innocent and hard working citizens that did nothing wrong.  This outrage was culminated (for now?) in a horrific attack on Dallas, Texas police who were maintaining order at a Black Lives Matter protest march last night, resulting in 11 police officers shot, 5 of which have already died, as well as a civilian wounded and at…

A Brief History On July 8, 1994, Kim Jong-Il assumed control of North Korea upon the death of his father, Kim Il-Sung.  For the people of North Korea, it was like going from the frying pan into the fire, from one goof to an even jerkier goof.  Despite what Americans may think of their presidents, other countries have given history a parade of crackpots that have led countries as dictators, whether through color of office, military coup, or royal lineage.  Here we list 10 of the biggest crackpot dictators in modern history.  Who would you add to the list?  (Hint: If…

A Brief History On July 8, 1947,  the local Roswell newspaper reported the crash of a UFO outside of town, calling it a “flying saucer.”  The public belief that an extraterrestrial vehicle had crashed and been taken by the Air Force was reinforced by a press release issued by Roswell Army Air Field spokesman Walter Haut saying the Army had recovered a “flying disk.” Digging Deeper Later government and military assertions that the object recovered had been a top secret observation balloon or weather balloon did not sway the opinion of much of the public.  The display of the alleged…

A Brief History On July 8, 1898, gangster and con artist Jefferson R. “Soapy” Smith was killed in a shootout with a vigilance committee on the Juneau, Alaska wharves.  Soapy got his name from a soap related scam he used to run, but nothing was funny about him running organized crime in Denver and other locales in Colorado and in the gold rush town of Skagway, Alaska. Digging Deeper Sometimes gangsters and criminals have sort of cool sounding nicknames, such as “Iron Mike” Tyson (a shot at the miscreant boxer, a convicted rapist), Sammy “The Bull” Gravano (a Gambino Family…