A Brief History On August 10, 1628, the brand new Swedish warship, the Vasa, set sail for the first and last time, sinking all by herself with no help from any enemy after traveling less than a mile!  She was not the largest ship in the world at the time, nor did she carry the most guns, but because she had the most shot, she was the most powerful. Digging Deeper History and Headlines has featured stories about military disasters and “Naval Oops Moments,” and the sinking of the Vasa ranks right up near the top of those blunders.  Built at a time when naval…

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A Brief History On August 9, 1930, the voluptuous Betty Boop made her big screen debut in the animated cartoon, Dizzy Dishes.  Featuring a gorilla patron at a restaurant and singing cats, Betty was portrayed as a sort of dog-woman (Poodle) in this cartoon, prior to her “evolution” to purely human form.  She went on to become an All-American icon, a character certainly associated with the United States by Americans and others alike.  Here we list 10 such characters that are identified as uniquely American.  (Apologies to Rocky and Bullwinkle, Woody Woodpecker, Yogi Bear and to Tom and Jerry, et…

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A Brief History On August 6, 1945, US Army Air Force B-29 Superfortress bomber, Enola Gay, dropped the first atomic bomb ever to be used against a real target. Digging Deeper The major Japanese city of Hiroshima had been left largely undamaged by bombing for the specific reason of preserving the city for just such an attack, to better demonstrate the terrible power of the atomic bomb (or nuclear bomb as it is called today), and also to better analyze what damage such a bomb does to a real life city. The bomb was dropped with pinpoint accuracy and killed…

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A Brief History On July 26, 1861, Major General George McClellan was appointed the commander of the Army of the Potomac, a move President Lincoln hoped would instill professionalism and competence to that Army.  McClellan was outranked only by Winfield Scott, the 75 year old relic who was increasingly under fire from a public that demanded a quick and thorough victory. Digging Deeper Scott advocated a plan of siege and blockade called “The Anaconda Plan” by which the Confederate States would be squeezed and starved into submission.  As the Union Army and Navy at that time did not have the…

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A Brief History On July 25, 1915, the somewhat appropriately named Lanoe Hawker became the first British aviator to shoot down 3 enemy planes in 1 day, earning himself the Victoria Cross.  Hawker went on to become the first “Ace” in British history, as a pilot that shoots down at least 5 enemy aircraft.  His total of 7 victories seems modest, but his career was shortened by being himself shot down and killed by the dreaded Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen in 1916. Digging Deeper Not just an “ace” fighter pilot, Hawker was also an innovator that experimented with various…

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