Say the name “Roswell” and people immediately think of UFOs. The obscure town in New Mexico made a name for itself just over 70 years ago when the local newspaper reported on scraps of a UFO being found in the area. The Huffington Post covered the story of how a small town newspaper ended up printing one of the most iconic headlines in American history.
A local rancher in the Roswell area is the one who got this story kicked off. He stated that he had discovered debris of an unidentified flying object on his property and reported it to the Roswell Army Air Field. A major from the Army come onto the rancher’s property and recovered a “saucer-like object” which was taken back to headquarters. That object was never returned. The official story from the military was that it was nothing more than a downed weather balloon, but that story does not satisfy the curiosity of many.
The rancher’s son later told the press that his father showed him the materials before they were taken away. His statement is that the pieces did not appear to be a weather balloon to him. He reported strange markings and writing on the materials.
These statements and the strange circumstances around the whole case fuel the fire for those who want to believe that this is a case of an unidentified flying object being covered up by the U.S. Government. It is also possible that the official story is accurate or that the object was some kind of military experiment (either U.S. military or that of a foreign power). In any case, the government has kept a tight lid on this story since it very first happened. They do not appear to be any more willing these days to talk about it than they were back when it all took place.
Actor, director, writer, narrator and producer Tom Hanks ranks as a superstar in the U.S. film industry. With an impressive body of creative works to his credit, he has developed immediate name recognition in the United States and internationally. For instance, the left-wing Buzzfeed website recently listed his name as one of the answers in a movie trivia quiz. (Spoiler alert for Question #8: Yes, Tom Hanks starred in these four films: Toy Story 3(2010), The Polar Express (2004), Bridge of Spies(2015) and Apollo 13(1995).)
Works Offering Insight Into U.S. History
Many of Tom Hanks’ films relate to significant historical topics. For example, he has contributed to films and documentaries about the sacrifices made by American military personnel during the Second World War (Saving Private Ryan(1998), Band of Brothers(2001), The Pacific(2010)). He has also been involved in cinematic productions relating to the space program (Apollo 13(1995)) and the tense Cold War Era (Bridge of Spies(2015)).
This July, the National Archives Foundation decided to recognize his contributions to films addressing U.S. history by honoring Tom Hanks with its annual Records of Achievement Award. He will appear at the nonprofit organization’s award ceremony on October 21st at the National Archives Museum in Washington, D.C.
A Great Honor
The 61-year old actor has won numerous honors during his career. He has accepted Oscar Awards from film industry peers twice. He also received the 2016 Presidential Medal of Freedom Award.
Tom Hanks issued a statement expressing his appreciation for the Records of Achievement Award. He described himself as “dazzled” to participate in the awards ceremony this autumn. Previous recipients include producer Steven Spielberg and historian Ron Chernow.
The Civil War is still a topic of conversation. People want to know about relatives who fought in that devastating time in American History. Once people find out about their relatives, and how they had to live, history becomes a sad place to be, especially in 1861 through 1865. Both sides went through extraordinary circumstances. One man continues to be a topic of conversations. His name is, Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. Hollywood even put Shaw’s story on the big screen in the movie, Glory.
Colonel Shaw’s memory is alive once more, thanks to a recent discovery in an attic in Boston. Shaw’s Union sword was sitting in a distant relative’s attic. The Massachusetts Historical Society has the sword now. And the society will put it on display to commemorate the anniversary of Shaw’s death. He died during a battle outside of Charlestown, South Carolina in 1863.
Shaw was a 25-year-old white officer when he got the news he would be the commanding officer of an all-black unit. White officers usually were in charge of black troops during the war. Shaw’s sword became a Confederate soldier’s trophy after the battle. But two years later the sword found its way back to Boston and Shaw’s parents. But the sword went to Robert’s sister, Susanna Minturn because Shaw didn’t have kids. No one knew where the sword went when Susanna died. The Massachusetts Historical Society knew the sword could still be in Boston, but the society had no clue where it was until one Minturn’s relative’s found it in their mother’s attic in 2017.
The Union’s attack on the Confederate fort outside of Charleston was a miserable defeat, but the memory of Shaw and the 600 black Union soldiers that lost their lives in that battle are an important part of American History. The Civil War gave black men the opportunity to show they had the fortitude to do what white soldiers could do, and in many cases, they did it better, according to historical accounts given by men who were still around when the shooting stopped.
Given the recent KKK rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, during which questionable police action was involved and two articles relative to nooses being found in our nation’s capital, many people including educators are suggesting that emphasizing African-American culture and historic figures during Black History Month celebrated in February each year is not enough. Not only do students appear not to receive enough information, but many white adults seem to be lacking as well. Both blacks and whites pledge allegiance to the same flag, but are we truly one nation?
During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump’s theme revolved around the need to “Make America Great Again;” however, in a recent interview the only Black American history figure he appeared to be somewhat knowledgeable about was Fredrick Douglass. Perusing a brief article entitled “White Children Need To Know More Black History” penned by Huffington Post contributor Justin Cohen is worth the time as well as perhaps reading at least one of the literary references suggested in the College Student/Adult reading category.
The discovery of two nooses being found in and around the area of the Smithsonian devoted to African-American history was cited in the Huffington Post and other new media sources around the country, After a few days, this news was quickly relegated to the back-burner in the minds of most people despite reassurance by Smithsonian associate David Skorton relative to the importance of maintaining and fostering American values including diversity.
Reading the acticle entitled “Learning Black History Is Learning American History” is a good test tool to assess your personal knowledge regardless of whether you are a black or white American.
Tourism and maritime activities along the U.S. Gulf Coast underwent a significant jolt on April 10, 2010. Barely more than seven years ago, an explosion and fire caused an offshore British Petroleum pipeline to spew an estimated 4.9 million barrels of crude oil into U.S. coastal waters for 87 days.
The horrific disaster killed 11 people. It damaged numerous businesses in the region, too. Estimates of environmental losses included the deaths of thousands of marine mammals. Over 1,000,000 birds died as a result of the catastrophe.
Now a study conducted by Jeffrey Short, an environmental consultant from Juneau, Alaska, has provided evidence of ongoing negative impacts on fish in the area. The report could hold significant implications for the recovery of damaged U.S. coastal fishing industries.
Creating Ecological Imbalances
The new study suggests the oil spill created severe imbalances in maritime ecosystems. The loss of so many predators caused some fish populations to explode soon afterwards and exceed population carrying capacity in the severely damaged local environment. Some fish species actually began starving. Without natural controls on population expansion, some maritime species experienced stress. Jeffrey Short has concluded the herring population across a wide swathe of water from Alabama to Texas may never fully recover from the tragedy. He believes the spill in the Gulf Coast may have cause irreversible ecological damage to sensitive marine environments in the region.
Another study mentioned in the article published on the Huffington Post website reportedly appeared in the Social Science Society of America Journal. It detailed findings by crop researchers sponsored by the American Society of Agronomy. That study also concludes the oil spill possibly produced long term harm.
On Tuesday, The Massachusetts Historical Society put on display what has been called the “holy grail of civil war swords.” It is a sword that belonged to famed Union Army colonel, Robert Gould Shaw, and a sword that had been missing since 1865.
Colonel Shaw, leader of the Union Army’s first all-black regiment, died with the sword in hand during the Second Battle of Fort Wagner. A Confederate soldier then took the sword until Union soldiers reclaimed it in 1865. But from there, the sword disappeared. Many believed it would never be found. Until, in March of this year, the sword finally turned up in Massachusetts, in the attic of Mary Minturn Haskins, wife of the grandson of Colonel Shaw’s sister. The Haskins family has graciously decided to donate the sword to the Massachusetts Historical Society, where it will be on display through September.
Colonel Shaw, who was immortalized in the 1989 film “Glory,” was the son of abolitionist parents, and it was his father who gave him command of the army’s first all-black regiment. Shaw was a white man, but nonetheless he developed a very close relationship with his troops in a time of sharp racial divide, going so far as to join them in their refusal to accept army wages until they were paid as much as their white counterparts.
After Shaw’s heroic death in the Second Battle of Fort Wagner, Confederate soldiers buried him in a mass grave along with his black soldiers. The Confederates meant it as an insult, but the Union saw it as a tribute to Shaw’s legacy as a man committed to equality. Colonel Shaw was a great man, and, thanks to the serendipitous discovery of his sword, we now have a monument to honor him.
Beth O’Leary – a former professor of anthropology at New Mexico State – has suggested that the federal government should grant the Apollo 11 landing site national historic landmark status. She and her co-authors have recently published a book entitled the Final Mission: Preserving NASA’s Apollo Sites, in which they argue that a number of the lunar landing sites need to be preserved as part of the nation’s heritage.
O’Leary retired from her university job three years ago and is a recognized expert in historical preservation and the still infant field of space archaeology. Back in 2012, O’Leary was presented with an award by NASA related to work she published for them entitled NASA’s Recommendations to Space Fairing Entities: How to Protect and Preserve the Scientific and Historic Value of U.S. Government Lunar Artifacts.
This was a guide for how NASA should handle future historical moon landings. Obviously, if the moon and other bodies in the solar system are ultimately colonized by NASA – or perhaps by Elon Musk and SpaceX – the landing sites and the colonies themselves could become as famous and historically important as Plymouth Rock and Jamestown.
O’Leary will be speaking at the Smithsonian and the National Geographic Society this week as they commemorate the 48th anniversary of Apollo 11’s landing at Tranquility Base. In her book, O’Leary considers space exploration – and in particular the American space program – from a historical and archaeological perspective.
In addition to Earth-based space program sites, O’Leary thinks that off world sites need to be considered by the government for inclusion on the list of national landmarks. She has also suggested that tranquility base should be a world heritage site as well, given its tremendous historical significance and “outstanding universal value.”
The Cottagers on Martha’s Vineyard is sponsoring an important African American Cultural Festival. This particular festival will be given in honor of black people and all of their accomplishments. Normally, Black History month celebrations take place every year in February.
While many people (black and otherwise) enjoy these celebrations; a lot of other people could care less about them. Since this is the case, the Cottagers on Martha’s Vineyard puts on an annual African American festival during the summer to remedy this problem. The MV Times typically features a story about this great event.
The African American Cultural Festival will take place on Thursday July 26 and it will be the Cottagers 13th celebration of this type. This festival helps black people and other Americans from different backgrounds to be able to learn about African culture and American black people.
The Cottagers really enjoy this particular festival because it delves deeply into the lives of black people and their contribution to America. The festival also includes good food, good music and lots of lectures. The lectures will be about women’s contribution to American history and situations impacting them.
The festival is a really big event on Martha’s Vineyard. Many summer tourists travel into the area to experience it and local residents enjoy the festival as well. While many lectures take place at this festival, there is music, games, concert and fun events as well. Many entrepreneurs attend the festival to sell their goods. The hosts of the festival want everyone to know that black history is not just about black people – it’s about everyone in America.
America has a rich heritage. A number of events have captured the imagination of the entire nation besides influencing the evolution and history of the American society. The following are some events in the nation’s history, which every American should be aware of.
The Purchase of Louisiana Territory
Present-day Louisiana and the surrounding states weren’t initially part of the United States. It was only under Thomas Jefferson that this conglomerate of states joined the union, thus doubling its area. Jefferson’s government paid sixty million francs to France, an equivalent to $15million. According to the Huffington Post, the deal added 828,800 square miles to American territory, thus shaping the country’s history.
The Vietnam War
It goes without saying that the Vietnam War arose from years of retrogressive politics in America, and the spread of Communism around the globe. America’s entry into the Vietnam War was largely caused by the fact that it felt threatened by the spread of Communist ideas in South Vietnam, which was democratic. More than 58,000 Americans ended up losing their lives during the war.
John F. Kennedy’s Assassination
A lot of conspiracy theories have been proposed as to why Kennedy died. Most of these theories pint towards the infamous Chicago mafia. Nonetheless, the motivation behind his killing remains a mystery. What is evident is that Kennedy’s assassination devastated American morale besides stroking fear throughout the nation.
Osama bin Laden’s Death
Before his death, Osama bin Laden was regarded by the western world as the epitome of villainy. He was despised universally for being the face of global terrorism. His death in May 2011 was well received especially in the United Stated where he was hated for his role in the Twin Tower attacks, which led to the devastating loss of lives and property. Osama was widely seen as the public number one enemy of civilization. His death redefined America’s history, more so its involvement in the fight against global terrorism.
America is waiting for the results of OJ’s parole hearing. OJ is now 70 years of age and considered to be just a washed up has-been who killed his wife and a friend of hers, he perhaps thought was a boyfriend. It didn’t always use to be this way for OJ. There was a time when he was a shining star and adored by the American public.
OJ began his career in football, receiving a variety of accolades, including the Heisman Trophy in 1968. After being the first pick of the pro draft in 1969, he served nine seasons with the Buffalo Bills. He would then go on to break records, and finally, found himself inducted into 1985’s Pro Football Hall of Fame. Other accomplishments can be found in The New York Time’s article, “Key Events in OJ Simpson’s Fall From Sports Hero, Movie Star.” OJ was more than just a football hero. OJ came across as a likable guy, many Americans could relate to. He would go on to fill a cameo role in Hollywood’s classic comedy movie, “The Naked Gun.”
In 1995, after what can only be described as the trial of the century, OJ was shockingly found not guilty in the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman. He would live free until 2007 when he and five others would be charged with robbery. They claimed the memorabilia they were trying to take was originally stolen from OJ.
Whatever happens to OJ, his legacy will never be that once great football player and all around, fun American guy. Instead, he will be remembered as a heartless killer and selfish criminal.