Friday, July 20, 2012

1969 - Last Best Year for Living In America

Not for everyone of course, but for most of us this was the end of the era where America's Greatest Generation got back from kicking the world's ass in WWII, were living well, growing families, and raising us kids as patriotic Americans, well informed as to why America was the greatest country in the world.

Just briefly, here is part of why I say 1969 was that last year of the America I knew.

1970 started the government take-over of the Auto Industry by way of safety and environmental regulations and lays claim to the following notable events I ripped from Wikipedia

January 14Diana Ross & The Supremes perform their farewell live concert together
April 1 - American Motors Corporation introduces the Gremlin.
April 10Paul McCartney announces that the Beatles have disbanded
April 17 - Apollo 13 (Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, Jack Swigert) is launched toward the Moon. The spacecraft is damaged by an explosion of an oxygen tank and has to return without stopping at the moon.
April 22 – The first Earth Day is celebrated in the U.S.
May 1 - President Richard NixonVietnam War, sparking nationwide riots and leading to the Kent State Shootings on May 4.
September 10 - Chevrolet Vega is introduced.
September 11 - The Ford Pinto is introduced.
September 18 - Jimi Hendrix dies in London of drug related complications.
October 4 - Rock and blues singer Janis Joplin dies in her hotel room in Los Angeles, from an overdose of heroin.
November 3 - Democrats sweep the U.S. Congressional midterm elections;Jimmy Carter is elected governor of Georgia.
- No one of particular interest was born in 1970.
The one event that lead to the destruction of America?  Jimmy Carter's ascension into politics.   Ole Jimmy created the Dept of Education which turned public schools into non-patriotic, non-capitalist supporting communist indoctrination centers. Also gifted to us was the Dept of Energy which, in concert with the EPA, has seen to it that America remains heavily dependent on foreign sources of energy, mainly oil.  That this is diametrically opposed to its mandate is a given for any federally created or funded  department.

Enough of that.  Let's start celebrating 1969.

For as long as mankind could see the moon he wanted to walk on it.  Take this Chinese Gentleman, Wan Hu, circa 1500 and change...

This dude must have dreamed of walking on the moon most of his life.  He made a plan and executed it.  Unfortunately, science wasn't far enough along to allow him to come up with a good plan. Things didn't go well.  From Wikipedia -

"Early in the sixteenth century, Wan decided to take advantage of China's advanced rocket and fireworks technology to launch himself into outer space. He supposedly had a chair built with forty-seven rockets attached. On the day of lift-off, Wan, splendidly attired, climbed into his rocket chair and forty seven servants lit the fuses and then hastily ran for cover. There was a huge explosion. When the smoke cleared, Wan and the chair were gone, and was said never to have been seen again."

Bye Wan. At least you tried and as a result you contributed something to the effort.

Later in the process was a gentleman who contributed Greatly to the process.  Can you guess?

It was Jules Verne.   Jules Verne, giving consideration to where to best attempt a moon shot given the Earth's rotation and with respect to the inhabitants of Earth, decided on almost the exact spot where the Apollo missions would launch.  His vehicle of choice was in fact a large hollow bullet that Astronauts would inhabit and would be shot from a barrel, with consideration given and mechanical effects applied so as to not kill the persons aboard.

After deciding the place for the launch (Stone's Hill in "Tampa Town", Florida; predating Kennedy Space Center'splacement in Florida by almost 100 years; Verne gives the exact position as 27°7' northern latitude and 5°7' western longitude.
Verne's analysis resulted in the following correct predictions:
  • The United States would launch the first manned vehicle to circumnavigate the moon.
  • The cost of the program would be $5,446,675 US dollars in 1865 (equivalent to $ 12.112 billion US dollars in 1969; Apollo cost $ 14.405 billion dollars up to the Apollo 8 circumnavigation mission).
  • The circumlunar spacecraft would have a crew of three. The names of the crew were Ardan, Barbicane, and Nicholl (Anders, Borman and Lovell on Apollo 8; Aldrin, Armstrong, Collins on Apollo 11).
  • The circumlunar spacecraft would be built predominately of aluminum and have a mass of 19,250 pounds (empty mass of the predominately aluminum Apollo 8 circumlunar spacecraft was 26,275 pounds).
  • The cannon used to launch the spacecraft was called a Columbiad. The Apollo 11 command module was named Columbia.
  • After considering 12 sites in Texas and Florida, Stone Hill, south of Tampa, Florida is selected in Verne's novel. One hundred years later NASA considered 7 launch sites and selecting Merritt Island, Florida. In both cases Brownsville, Texas was rejected as a site; politics played a major role in the site selection; and site criteria included a latitude below 28 degrees north and good access to the sea.
  • Verne's spacecraft was launched in December, from latitude 27 deg 7 min North, 82 deg 9 min West Longitude. After a journey of 242 hours 31 minutes, including 48 hours in lunar orbit, the spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 20 deg 7 min North, 118 deg 39 min West, and was recovered by the US Navy vessel Susquehanna.
    The crew of Apollo 8 was launched in December 100 years later, from latitude 28 deg 27 min North, longitude 80 deg 36 min W (132 miles / 213 km from Verne's site). After a journey of 147 hours 1 minute, including 20 hours 10 minutes in lunar orbit. The spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean (8 deg 10 min North, 165 deg 00 min West) and was recovered by the US Navy vessel Hornet.
The crew of Apollo 11 had this to say whilst returning to Earth.
During their return journey from the moon, the crew of Apollo 11 made reference to Jules Verne's book during a TV broadcast on July 23.[4] The mission's commander, astronaut Neil Armstrong, said, "A hundred years ago, Jules Verne wrote a book about a voyage to the Moon. His spaceship, Columbia [sic], took off from Florida and landed in the Pacific Ocean after completing a trip to the Moon. It seems appropriate to us to share with you some of the reflections of the crew as the modern-day Columbia completes its rendezvous with the planet Earth and the same Pacific Ocean tomorrow."
Neil Armstrong narrates the Apollo Mission Here

Note Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.  Great stuff that I guarantee you haven't seen before in terms of this personal interview

Hope you enjoyed it. Did I mention it happened on July 20?


  1. Remember the murders perpetrated by Charles Manson and his "family"? Those murders occurred in 1969.

    The trial was held in 1970. I was in college then, and nutjobs (students) shilling for Manson -- Surreal! -- came around taking up a collection to "support Charlie." I kid you not!

    It was at that point that I started thinking, "The world really is upside down!"

    Contrast the shilling for Manson with what happened with Clutter Family murders in 1959.

    1. AOW, Yea I think the 50's were probably the best. I wasn't there though.

      I hadn't heard that about manson. Geeeez. Well, things were turning, but still all things considered.

  2. A chair of rockets.
    Today we have seen goofballs try and raise a lazyboy with balloons.
    As remembering the late `60's, ah - the muscle cars!
    The music, there was a new song on the radio every week different from the rest---all new styles.
    The older songs playing that triggered a memory of what you were doing when that song made a data entry.
    example--I had a older car (early `60's)completely repainted (new paint color style not on any other car with a series of primers, different colors of primer to bring out different shades of the paint as you walked around the car even in the parking lot lights at nite), new chrome wheels and carpet, even on the turtle-hull(the painter wanted to enter it in a car show), driving and listening to the Band, Life Is A Carnival, BAMM. I was broad sided at a traffic lite as someone ran a red lite, and totaled the car.
    There was a air of freedom that cannot be matched today.

    1. They Say, I was pretty nuts, but no thanks to altitude in a lazyboy or lawn chair.

      Air of Freedom. You go one there that I was looking for but couldn't quite pin it down...

    2. In 1969, were were doing the kind of stuff seen in American Graffiti. It was a blast.

  3. Times were better back then, I'm sure. All I know is for the last 15 or 20 years, it's been getting exponentially worse every year.
    And, ever since obasturd usurped the WH, it's gone downhill faster than poop through a billion geese!

    I loved that cute kitteh pic who thinks he's a bunny! I'm happy we have our fun animal friends to take our mind off the horrors of USA today.

    1. Hey Binnukins, Yea, maybe even a trillion geese! Well, we don't control much of anything, so I say Enjoy.

      I'm also a bunneh if anyone asks.

  4. Ya, but the Sixties started off some REAL CRAP in our culture so I'd say 1959, so what do I know?

    I do know that "Bye Wan" sounds really good to me again in THIS century, only I'd spell it JUAN instead of the Chinese spelling of WAN! (smile)
    Okay, ON the other hand, some of the sweetest people I know in this country today are named Juan..
    okay okay. I"m not being PC, maybe a little, but it's true!

    1. The 50's were the best. I was too young to experience them, but looking back on them....

      But I was talking about the Last Best year.

      I wouldn't mind putting juan on a rocket powered chair either ! Bye Juan !

      Thanks Z :)

  5. )-:
    The decline of our Republic- slowly and covertly---

    1. Carol-CS, 3, just 3 democrat presidents will end up bringing this country down if we don't take a hard right.

    2. PS - lBJ, Carter, oblabber.