What Happened on August 6th – Hiroshima

72 Years-Ago today. The first atomic bomb is dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.

IF I ONLY HAD A TIME MACHINE

On August 6, 1945, at 8:16 a.m. Japanese time, an American B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay, dropped the world’s first atom bomb, over the city of Hiroshima.  Approximately 80,000 people were killed as a direct result of the blast, and another 35,000 were injured. At least another 60,000 would be dead by the end of the year from the effects of the fallout.

B-29 Enola Gay with crew B-29 Enola Gay with crew

U.S. President Harry S. Truman, discouraged by the Japanese response to the Potsdam Conference’s demand for unconditional surrender, made the decision to use the atom bomb to end the war in order to prevent what he predicted would be a much greater loss of life were the United States to invade the Japanese mainland.

On August 5, while a “conventional” bombing of Japan was underway, “Little Boy,” (the nickname for one of two atom bombs available for use against Japan), was loaded…

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USS Hornet (CV-12) – A Father’s Untold War Story – The Summer of 1945 and V-J Day

My post from my other site, USS Hornet (CV-12) – A Father’s Untold War Story

USS Hornet (CV-12)-A Father's Untold War Story

John T. Ryan US Navy John T. Ryan US Navy

If you read my previous post, the USS Hornet (CV-12) along with other vessels of the United States Navy ran into some rough weather in early June, 1945.  That was Typhoon Connie (sometimes called Typhoon Viper) and Hornet suffered some damage which included 24 feet of her flight deck smashed.  During the month of June, US Naval Command decided that Hornet needed to go in for repairs so off she went by the end of the month.

On the 7 July 1945, USS Hornet (CV-12) and her crew, including my father, Seaman First Class, John Thomas Ryan steamed through the Golden Gate. That must have been some site for Californians on the homefront.  This video, although from after the surrender of Japan, has a portion showing Naval ships coming through the Golden Gate.

Hornets planes and ammunition were off loaded and she entered dry dock…

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USS Hornet (CV-12) – A Father’s Untold War Story – Battle of Okinawa (April – June 1945) Typhoon Connie/Viper

Originally posted on USS Hornet (CV-12)-A Father's Untold War Story:
John T. Ryan US Navy It is June 1945, the world is still at war in the Pacific and my father, Seaman First Class, John Thomas Ryan is still serving on the USS Hornet (CV-12).  In my last posts, I continued the Battle…

USS Hornet (CV-12) – A Father’s Untold War Story – Battle of Okinawa (April – June 1945)(Part 2)

Originally posted on USS Hornet (CV-12)-A Father's Untold War Story:
John T. Ryan US Navy It is May 1945, the world is still at war and my father, Seaman First Class, John Thomas Ryan is still serving on the USS Hornet (CV-12).  In my last posts, I began the Battle of Okinawa and…

Iron Bottom Bay – A Poem for #MemorialDay2017

Regardless the reason for Memorial Day, many gave and some gave all. Remember those that made the ultimate sacrifice and thank those who came back safe and those that serve today.

“Iron Bottom Bay” by Walter A. Mahler, chaplain, USS Astoria (World War 2)

Memorial to USS ASTORIA_CA-34_Crew_BJ_4x3_1200x

Crew of the USS Astoria

 

I stood on a wide and desolate shore

And the night was dismal and cold.

I watched the weary rise, –

And the moon was a riband of gold.

~

Far off I heard the trumpet sound,

Calling the quick and the dead,

The long and rumbling roll of drums,

And the moon was a riband of red.

~

Dead sailors rose from out of the deep,

Nor looked not left or right,

But shoreward marched upon the sea,

And the moon was a riband of white.

 ~

A hundred ghosts stood on the shore

At the turn of the midnight flood,

They beckoned me with spectral hands,

And the moon was a riband of blood.

 ~

Slowly I walked to the waters edge,

And never once looked back

Till the waters swirled about my feet,

And the moon was a riband of black.

 ~

I woke alone on a desolate shore

From a dream not sound or sweet,

For there in the sands in the moonlight

Were the marks of phantom feet.

What Happened on May 9th – Annie Jump Cannon’s Stellar Classification System

Annie Jump Cannon in 1922

On May 9, 1922, the International Astronomical Union formally adopted the stellar classification system developed by Annie Jump Cannon.  With only minor changes, her system is still used today.  Annie Jump Cannon (December 11, 1863 – April 13, 1941) was an American astronomer whose cataloging work was instrumental in the development of the contemporary stellar classification. With Edward C. Pickering, she is credited with the creation of the Harvard Classification Scheme, which was the first serious attempt to organize and classify stars based on their temperatures and spectral types. She was nearly deaf throughout her career. She was a suffragist and a member of the National Women’s Party.  She was also the first woman to receive an honorary doctorate from Oxford University (1925).

Annie Jump Cannon at her desk at the Harvard College Observatory

What Happened on May 6th – Works Progress Administration (WPA)

In 1933, the United States, as well as much of the world, was experiencing a severe economic downturn.  A time that history refers to as the Great Depression. On May 6, 1933, United States President, Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) created the W.P.A., the Works Progress Administration.  This and other federally funded programs put unemployed men to work with temporary financial assistance.  Out of the 10 million jobless men in the United States in 1935, 3 million were helped by WPA jobs alone.   FDR knew that there were able-bodied men throughout the country who were unable to provide for their families but a handout was not the answer.  Putting men who were capable of working out to work on useful projects was the answer.  By 1940, the economy was rapidly improving due to defense industry production, the W.P.A. was no longer needed.  It was disbanded by congress in 1943.

WPA road development project

There are so many facilities still used today that owe their existence to programs such as the W.P.A. under the New Deal.  Here are a few but you can see them all by scrolling to the bottom after clicking  HERE

What Happened on May 5th – First American Astronaut in Space

On May 5, 1961, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, Navy Commander Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. was launched into space aboard the Freedom 7 space capsule, becoming the first American astronaut to travel into space. The suborbital flight, which lasted 15 minutes, 28 seconds and reached a height of 116 miles into the atmosphere, was a major triumph for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

 

In June 1961, Laurie Records issued a 45 rpm single featuring William Allen and Orchestra entitled “Space Flight Freedom 7.” It consisted of recreations of the tower to astronaut communications spoken over an instrumental backing.

May 4, 1970 12:24 PM – Remembering Kent State

“Ohio”

Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,
We’re finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drumming,
Four dead in Ohio.Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are cutting us down
Should have been done long ago.
What if you knew her
And found her dead on the ground
How can you run when you know?Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are cutting us down
Should have been done long ago.
What if you knew her
And found her dead on the ground
How can you run when you know?Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,
We’re finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drumming,
Four dead in Ohio.

written and composed by Neil Young in reaction to the Kent State shootings of May 4, 1970, and performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

#1LinerWeds – Knowledge of History or Doom

I am passionately interested in understanding how my country works and if you want to know about this thing called the United States of America you have to know about the Civil War.  — Ken Burns

Michael Crichton

My post this week is full of quotes that are generally about the same point.  This week the world was treated to another inaccurate fact in United States history and the world was dumbfounded.  This brings to mind a famous saying from George Santayana that has been used or paraphrase many times. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Visit here for the One Liner Wednesday posts from others.