Shoot Me….(into space)


I have always wanted to go to the moon. The Apollo missions and that era in NASA’s history (and the history of mankind for that matter) was by far the most exciting period of man’s exploration of space. I truly feel sorry for all those who have not been able to experience the thrill of watching someone, live via video feed, walking on the moon!

We recently watched a rather interesting movie called, The Space Between Us, about an unexpected birth of a boy on Mars as a result of the mission commander of the first Mars manned colony, arriving on the planet in a family way. The boy spends the first 16 years of his life there, but the fact that he exists at all is kept secret from all but those who travel to the Mars site (called East Texas in the movie). But, he’s a rather precocious kid and has a strong technical bent, so he figures out a way to login to the communications systems (think internet-like connection) and he becomes “pen pals” with a girl called Tulsa, who lives on earth. She doesn’t know he’s living on Mars, but eventually, the people responsible for the Mars missions decide to bring him to earth.

The rest of the story revolves around him meeting the girl, running from authorities, and the health issues he faces as a result of growing up in Martian gravity. I won’t say more about it, except to say that it made me want to go into space again. (If you are interested, the movie is worth a watch!)

Today’s photo is one I took at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC in November. This is the spacesuit of an Apollo 15 astronaut, David Scott, who walked on the moon. You can see the moon dust is still on the suit.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1933, a deranged, unemployed brick layer named Giuseppe Zangara shouted :Too many people are starving!” and fired a gun at America’s president-elect, Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Roosevelt had just delivered a speech in Miami’s Bayfront Park from the back seat of his open touring car when Zangara opened fire with six rounds. Five people were hit. The president escaped injury but the mayor of Chicago, Anton Cermak, who was also in attendance, received a mortal stomach wound in the attack.

Several men tackled the assailant and might have beaten him to death if Roosevelt had not intervened, telling the crowd to leave justice to the authorities. Zangara later claimed “I don’t hate Mr. Roosevelt personally – I hate all officials and anyone who is rich.” He also told the FBI that chronic stomach pain led to his action: “Since my stomach hurt I want to make even with the capitalists by kill the president. My stomach hurt long time [sic].”

Zangara’s extreme action reflected the anger and frustration felt among many working Americans during the Great Depression. At the time of the shooting, Roosevelt was still only the president-elect and had yet to be sworn in. His policies remained untested, but reports of Roosevelt’s composure during the assassination attempt filled the following day’s newspapers and did much to enforce Roosevelt’s public image as a strong leader.

Unsubstantiated reports later claimed that Zangara’s real target had been Cermak and hinted at Zangara’s connection to organized crime in Chicago. Zangara was initially tried for attempted murder and sentenced to 80 years in prison, but when Mayor Cermak later died of his wounds, Zangara was retried and sentenced to death. Zangara died in the electric chair on March 5, 1933.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: When a person sees the Milky Way at night, they are seeing only about 0.0000025% of the galaxy’s hundreds of billions of stars. In Greek mythology, the Milky Way was created when Hera spilled her milk while suckling Heracles. It was also described as the road to Mount Olympus, or the path of ruin made by the Helios’ (the sun god’s) chariot.[



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