There Is Hope…

Flowers.  Have you ever thought about how much we use flowers?  We use them for wedding bouquets, the lapels of the groom and groomsmen, bridesmaid wrist decorations, table decorations.  We use them at funerals.  We crush their leaves and make perfumes from them.  We strew them along a walk way at weddings, or as a romantic gesture we may place the petals on our beloved’s pillow.  We get food from some of them (think sunflowers) and spices from others (think mustard).  We like to look at them and smell them.  A little child will pick a dandelion to give to mom as a precious gift.

Flowers.  They’re pretty neat after all!

I have two favorite types of flowers.  I love tulips and I love the flower known as the bird-of-paradise.  For a long time I’ve thought tulips were my favorite (and they may be), but I have a growing love for the bird-of-paradise.  To me it evokes sensations and emotions of freedom, of life springing forth ready to take wing and fly.  It is hope that can’t be held down but which will take to the sky.  I love these flowers!  I shoot them every chance I get.

Every time you see a flower, let it whisper to you: “There is hope!”

_MG_5658autoON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1957, the final report from a special committee called by President Eisenhower to review the nation’s defense readiness indicate the United States was falling far behind the Soviets in missile capabilities, and urges a vigorous campaign to build fallout shelters to protect American citizens.

The special committee had been called together shortly after the stunning news of the success of the Soviet Sputnik I in October 1957. Headed by Ford Foundation Chairman H. Rowan Gaither, the committee concluded that the United States was in danger of losing a war against the Soviets. Only massive increases in the military budget, particularly an accelerated program of missile construction, could hope to deter Soviet aggression. It also suggested that American citizens were completely unprotected from nuclear attack and proposed a $30 billion program to construct nationwide fallout shelters.

Although the committee’s report was supposed to be secret, many of its conclusions soon leaked out to the press, causing a minor panic among the American people. President Eisenhower was less impressed. Intelligence provided by U-2 spy plane flights over Russia indicated that the Soviets were not the mortal threat suggested by the Gaither Report. Eisenhower, a fiscal conservative, was also reluctant to commit to the tremendously increased military budget called for by the committee. He did increase funding for the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles and for civil defense programs, but ignored most of the other recommendations made in the report. Democrats instantly went on the attack, charging that Eisenhower was leaving the United States open to Soviet attack. By 1960, Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy was still hammering away at the supposed “missile gap” between the United States and much stronger Soviet stockpiles.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Eastman Kodak’s Brownie camera cost $1.00 when it was introduced in 1900.

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