Author Archives: anthjtru

Eagle ’69

‘Apollo 11’ was the first lunar-landing mission. Launched on July 16 (1969), the crew of ‘Neil A. Armstrong’, ‘Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr.’, and ‘Michael Allen Collins’ flew the spacecraft ‘Columbia’ (CSM) and ‘Eagle’ (LM). On July 20 (1969), ‘Armstrong’ and ‘Aldrin’ landed the ‘Eagle’ at the relatively flat and unobstructed Tranquillity site on the ‘Moon’, while ‘Collins’ remained in the ‘CSM’.

The ‘LM’ spent 21 hours 36 minutes on the lunar surface, and the crew spent 2 hours 31 minutes outside the ‘LM’ in a local area excursion on foot to a distance of approximately 50 m (160 ft) from Tranquillity Base. ‘Armstrong’ and ‘Aldrin’ evaluated the capability of working on the lunar surface, established a small scientific station, and collected 22 kg (49 lb) of lunar rocks and soil.

Using the descent stage of the ‘LM’ as a launching platform, the ascent stage of the ‘LM’ took off from the ‘Moon’ surface to rendezvous and dock with the ‘CSM’. The spacecraft departed lunar orbit over two days after arrival. This eight-day mission landed and was recovered safely in the ‘Pacific Ocean’. As a precautionary measure, the astronauts were quarantined for 14 days.


Mac 1984

In (1977) ‘Apple’ introduced the ‘Apple II’, a personal computer able to generate color graphics, with its own keyboard, power supply, and eight slots for peripheral devices, which gave users wide possibilities for add-on devices and software programs.

‘Apple’ established its corporate headquarters in ‘Cupertino’ in (1978). The ‘Apple III’ computer, introduced in (1980), sold poorly because of hardware problems and a high price. With ‘Apple II’ sales soaring, in (1982) ‘Apple’ became the first personal-computer company to record annual sales of $1 billion.

In (1983) ‘Apple’ introduced the ‘Lisa’, a personal computer designed for business use that incorporated a handheld mouse to select commands and control an on-screen cursor. The ‘Lisa’ was followed in (1984) by the ‘Macintosh’ personal computer, based on the 68000 microprocessor manufactured by ‘Motorola’. Like the ‘Lisa’, the ‘Macintosh’, also known as the ‘Mac’, incorporated a graphical user interface, which made the computer easy to operate for the novice user.

‘Apple’ entered the office market with the introduction of its ‘LaserWriter’ printer in (1985) and ‘Macintosh Plus’ computer in (1986), a combination that launched the desktop publishing revolution.

Although the company prospered in the early (1980), ‘Wozniak’ left ‘Apple’ in (1985) to start a company of his own. That same year disappointing sales and internal wrangling led to restructuring, the company’s first layoffs, and ‘Jobs’ departure from the company. ‘John Sculley’, whom ‘Jobs’ had hired in (1983) as ‘Apple’ president and chief executive officer, replaced ‘Jobs’ as chairman of the company’s board of directors.


Underground

The ‘September 11 Museum’ was dedicated on May 15 (2014). and opened to the public on May 21. Its exhibits include 23,000 images, 10,300 artifacts, nearly 2,000 oral histories of those killed – mostly provided by friends and families – and over 500 hours of video.

The underground museum has artifacts from ‘September 11’ (2001), including steel from the ‘Twin Towers’ (such as the final steel, the last piece of steel to leave Ground Zero in May 2002). It is built at the former location of Fritz Koenig ‘The Sphere’, a large metallic sculpture placed in the middle of a large pool between the ‘Twin Towers’. Battered but intact after the attacks, ‘The Sphere’ was moved to be displayed at ‘Battery Park’. In December (2011), museum construction halted temporarily due, according to the ‘Associated Press’, to disputes between the ‘Port Authority’ of ‘New York’ and ‘New Jersey’ and the ‘National September 11 Memorial and Museum Foundation’ over responsibility for infrastructure costs.

On March 13 (2012), talks on the issue began and construction resumed. After a number of false opening reports, it was announced that the museum would open to the public on May 21 (2014). The museum was dedicated on May 15 (2014). In attendance were a range of dignitaries, from ‘President Barack Obama’, former ‘President Bill Clinton’, former ‘Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’ and ‘New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’ to former mayors ‘David Dinkins’, ‘Rudy Giuliani’ and ‘Michael Bloomberg’ and current mayor ‘Bill de Blasio’. During the hour-long ceremony LaChanze sang “Amazing Grace”, which she dedicated to her husband (who was killed in the World Trade Center that day).

During the five days between its dedication and the public opening, over 42,000 first responders and family members of ‘9/11’ victims visited the museum. An opening ceremony for the museum was held on May 21, during which twenty-four police officers and firefighters unfurled the restored 30-foot (9.1 m) national ‘9/11’ flag before it was brought into the museum for permanent display. The gates surrounding the museum were then taken down, marking their first removal since the attacks. Opening-day tickets quickly sold out. Despite the museum’s design (to evoke memories without additional distress), counselors were available during its opening due to the large number of visitors.


“The Donald”

On June 16, 2015, ‘Trump’ announced his candidacy for President of the ‘United States’ at ‘Trump Tower’ in ‘New York City’. ‘Trump’ drew attention to domestic issues such as illegal immigration, offshoring of American jobs, the ‘U.S.’ national debt, and Islamic terrorism, and announced his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again”.

‘Trump’ runs as a self-described conservative, particularly in fiscal and religious matters. His campaign emphasises ‘American patriotism’, with a disdain for political correctness. ‘Trump’ is the second major-party presidential nominee in ‘American’ history whose experience comes principally from running a business (Wendell Willkie was the first). If elected, ‘Trump’ would become the first ‘U.S.’ President without prior government or military experience. In part due to ‘Trump’ lack of political experience, ‘Republican’ leaders such as ‘House Speaker’ ‘Paul Ryan’ were hesitant to support him early on, doubting his chances of winning the general election and fearing he could harm to the image of the ‘Republican Party’.

However, ‘Trump’ candidacy succeeded with ‘Republican’ primary voters, partly because of widespread media coverage, his status as a political outsider, his defiance of political correctness, and his experience in business. ‘Trump’ extensive platform has frequently changed throughout his campaign trail.

In his ‘RNC’ acceptance speech, ‘Trump’ promised to combat illegal immigration by building a wall along the U.S.–Mexico border, reform healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare, rebuild the U.S. military while improving veterans’ care, veto trade agreements that are unfavorable to ‘American’ workers, and tackle ‘Islamic’ terrorism by defeating ‘ISIS’ and suspending immigration from countries that have been compromised by terrorism until the government has perfected its ability to screen out potential terrorists.


High-Flyer

‘Kobe Bryant’ played his entire 20-year career with the ‘Los Angeles Lakers’ of the ‘National Basketball Association’ (NBA). He entered the ‘NBA’ directly from high school and won five ‘NBA’ championships with the ‘Lakers’.

‘Bryant’ is an 18-time ‘All-Star’, 15-time member of the ‘All-NBA Team’, and 12-time member of the ‘All-Defensive’ team. He led the ‘NBA’ in scoring during two seasons, and ranks third on both the league’s all-time regular season scoring and all-time postseason scoring lists. He holds the ‘NBA’ record for the most seasons playing with one franchise for an entire career.

The son of former ‘NBA’ player ‘Joe Bryant’, ‘Kobe Bryant’ enjoyed a successful high school basketball career at ‘Lower Merion High School’ in ‘Pennsylvania’, where he was recognized as the top high school basketball player in the country. He declared for the ‘NBA’ draft upon graduation, and was selected with the 13th overall pick in the 1996 ‘NBA’ draft by the ‘Charlotte Hornets’, who traded him to the ‘Los Angeles Lakers’.

As a rookie, ‘Bryant’ earned himself a reputation as a high-flyer and a fan favorite by winning the (1997) ‘Slam Dunk Contest’, and he was named an ‘All-Star’ by his second season. Despite a feud between them, ‘Bryant’ and ‘Shaquille ONeal’ led the ‘Lakers’ to three consecutive championships from (2000-2002).


Hallowe’en 1745

Today ‘Halloween’ customs are thought to have been influenced by folk customs and beliefs from the ‘Celtic’ speaking countries, some of which have pagan roots, and others which may be rooted in ‘Celtic Christianity’. Indeed, ‘Jack Santino’, a folklorist, writes that “the sacred and the religious are a fundamental context for understanding Halloween in Northern Ireland, but there was throughout Ireland an uneasy truce existing between customs and beliefs associated with Christianity and those associated with religions that were Irish before Christianity arrived”.

Historian ‘Nicholas Rogers’, exploring the origins of ‘Halloween’, notes that while “some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain”, which comes from the ‘Old Irish’ for “summer’s end”. ‘Samhain’ was the first and most important of the four quarter days in the medieval ‘Gaelic’ calendar and was celebrated in ‘Ireland’, ‘Scotland’ and the ‘Isle of Man’.

It was held on or about 31 October – 1 November and kindred festivals were held at the same time of year by the ‘Brittonic Celts’; for example ‘Calan Gaeaf’ (in Wales), ‘Kalan Gwav’ (in Cornwall) and ‘Kalan Goañv’ (in Brittany). ‘Samhain’ and ‘Calan Gaeaf’ are mentioned in some of the earliest Irish and ‘Welsh’ literature. The names have been used by historians to refer to ‘Celtic Halloween’ customs up until the 19th century, and are still the ‘Gaelic’ and ‘Welsh’ names for ‘Halloween’.


’68 Comeback

Recorded in late June in ‘Burbank’, ‘California’, the special, called simply ‘Elvis’, aired on December 3, 1968. Later known as the ’68 Comeback Special’, the show featured lavishly staged studio productions as well as songs performed with a band in front of a small audience — ‘Presley’ first live performances since (1961).

The live segments saw ‘Presley’ clad in tight black leather, singing and playing guitar in an uninhibited style reminiscent of his early rock-and-roll days. ‘Bill Belew’, who designed this outfit, gave it a ‘Napoleonic’ standing collar (Presley customarily wore high collars because he believed his neck looked too long), a design feature that he would later make a major trademark of the outfits ‘Presley’ wore on stage in his later years. Director and coproducer ‘Steve Binder’ had worked hard to reassure the nervous singer and to produce a show that was far from the hour of ‘Christmas’ songs ‘Parker’ had originally planned.

The show, ‘NBC’ highest rated that season, captured 42 percent of the total viewing audience. ‘Jon Landau’ of ‘Eye magazine’ remarked, “There is something magical about watching a man who has lost himself find his way back home. He sang with the kind of power people no longer expect of rock ‘n’ roll singers. He moved his body with a lack of pretension and effort that must have made Jim Morrison green with envy.” Dave Marsh calls the performance one of “emotional grandeur and historical resonance.”