Browsing: Science & Technology

 A Brief History On April 3, 1885, German engineer Gottlieb Daimler had his internal combustion engine that was fueled by gasoline patented, paving the way for the development of what would become the main type of automobile engine.  Digging Deeper Only 5 years later, fellow German Rudolf Diesel patented the rugged engine that bears his name, and the second most prevalent automobile engine was born.  Even before Daimler and Diesel, other Germans had done pioneering work in regard to engines. Siegfried Marcus patented his version of the internal combustion engine in 1864 and later patented a type of magneto used in all…

A Brief History On March 31, 1992, the U.S. Navy decommissioned the USS Missouri, the last of the Iowa-class battleships.  The Mighty Mo, also known as BB-63, gained immortality by being the host for the signing of the Japanese surrender in World War II on September 2, 1945.  The fact that President Truman was from Missouri probably had some influence on the choice of the ship for the signing!   The Missouri now resides at Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii as a museum/memorial ship.  Digging Deeper First fielded during World War II, the Iowa class was an improvement over the South Dakota and…

A Brief History On March 29, 1911, the Colt M1911, a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol, was adopted as the first semi-automatic service pistol for regular use by the U.S. military. Digging Deeper  Last year we first told you the tale of this great pistol, but today we will compare the relative merits of the semi-automatic pistol vs. the merits of the revolver that preceded it. (Semi-automatics are usually called “pistols” to differentiate them from revolvers.) Originally, revolvers were built with a “single-action” mechanism, which means that prior to firing the handgun, it had to be cocked by pulling back the hammer.  Those were later made obsolete…

A Brief History On March 21, 1871, New York Herald journalist Henry Morton Stanley set off on his famous African expedition to find missionary and explorer David Livingstone who had not been heard from in years.  When the pair finally met, Stanley uttered his famous quote, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” Digging Deeper Livingstone was a Scotsman of humble origins.  His thirst for knowledge led him to study medicine and religion as well as the natural sciences.  He became a missionary and explorer, going to places largely unknown to Europeans such as Africa and “discovering” and “naming” the Victoria Falls there.  Although lauded for his…

A Brief History On March 19, 1941, the U.S. Army Air Corps activated the famed African-American aviation unit known as the Tuskegee Airmen.  Digging Deeper Consisting of the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Medium Bombardment Group, the connection with Tuskegee University’s involvement with the Civilian Pilot Training Program is how the units got their colloquial name. Also known as “Red Tails” or “Red Tail Angels” due to the markings on their planes, the Tuskegee Airmen were pioneers in aviation, as prior to their formation the U.S. military had not allowed pilots of African descent to fly military planes.  In…

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