In December 1935, the US Army Air Corps carried out the most unusual bombing mission of its entire history. This was no training flight–the pilots were carrying and delivering live bombs. But the target was not an enemy army, airfield, or fleet. The target was a volcano.
Monthly Archives: March 2016
England’s Bloodiest Day: The Battle of the Somme
In the entire 15 years of the Afghan War and the Second Iraq War, the United States suffered 58,000 casualties, including 6,600 deaths. On July 1, 1916, the British Army lost more than that during the first day of the Battle of the Somme, making it the single bloodiest day in British history.
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Icons of Aviation History: The Martin MB-2 Bomber
The Martin MB-2 was the first American-built bomber to be mass-produced. It is most famous as the airplane that was used in General Billy Mitchell’s bombing tests against battleships.
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Aurora Seven: The Forgotten Mercury Mission
In 1962, during the second manned orbital Mercury flight, a series of problems developed, and the United States came close to losing an astronaut in space. And, many in NASA felt, it was the astronaut’s own fault.
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Icons of Aviation History: The Sacred Cow
Nowadays, air travel around the globe by a US President is routine, and “Air Force One” is as familiar a part of the office as is the White House. But the history of Presidential aircraft goes back only to the 1940’s.
ALH84001: Proof of Life on Mars?
In 1996, a team of scientists announced that they had discovered signs of single-celled bacteria in a piece of Mars rock, indicating that the Red Planet had its own extraterrestrial life a few billion years ago. At the time, the announcement caused a sensation. But today, further research has led most scientists to dismiss the claim.
The House of Hanover: How a Minor German Noble Became the King of England
Nothing symbolizes “England” more than the Royal family, the House of Windsor. But in reality, the Windsor family is not English at all–it is German. How a German aristocrat came to be King of England and form a dynasty that would rule for 300 years (most recently under an assumed name), is a story of religious conflict and near-civil war.
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Snooty the Manatee
The Parker Aquarium, part of the South Florida Museum in Bradenton FL, is home to “Snooty”, the oldest known manatee.
The Pennsylvania Long Rifle and the Henry Gun Factory
The Pennsylvania Long Rifle (sometimes incorrectly called the Kentucky Rifle) was one of the most significant firearms in American history. It was used by frontiersmen and also served in the French and Indian War, the Revolutionary War, and the War of 1812. Nearly all of these guns were made in a small portion of eastern Pennsylvania, particularly in the tiny little town of Nazareth.
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The Story of the One-Day President
In 1849, due to an odd set of circumstances, there was a 24-hour gap between the time the outgoing President’s term expired and the time the new President was sworn in. During that one day, some scholars have argued, the US had no President. Or did we…?