The Daily Dose/July 18, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy
We are in the middle of commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. They launched two days ago and on July 20th, 1969 and landed on the moon on the 20th, with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin becoming the first humans to walk on someplace other than Earth.
It’s an accomplishment deserving of celebrating. Regular readers of my crap know that we believe the Apollo 11 moon landing is mankind’s finest hour. And it’s not particularly close, either, Apollo 11 providing a line of demarcation from everything that came before to everything that followed like few other events. The birth of Christ, the invention of gun powder, the Beatles, provide similar lines of demarcation, but none close to Apollo 11.
Today, 50 years later, it would not be unreasonable to expect us humans to be looking back on America having sent men to Mars and back. In fact, we’ve long thought America could have put people on Mars in the 1980s had we really want to. We didn’t really want to, though. As far as the public was concerned, the remaining five moon missions were anticlimactic and there wasn’t a dynamic president to champion a Mars trip like there was President Kennedy to champion a manned lunar landing. Fresh off Vietnam and still knee-deep in Watergate, there wasn’t even a national will to go the moon anymore, as three following Apollo missions were canceled, officially for lack of funding, but really because of lack of national interest.
All of this is our loss. For better or worse, it’s in our DNA to explore. It’s why early man crossed rivers and mountains and, later, oceans. It’s why the Wright brothers took to the air and why we went to the moon and it’s why we should have gone to Mars. Today, America cannot even send anyone into space anymore, a national tragedy that should have all of standing in the corner in shame.
Our complete and utter lack of advancement in manned space flight is our loss. Who knows what technical advancements we’ve missed out on? The biggest advancement we’ve missed out on, though, is having someone standing on Mars and telling us what it’s like to be there.
We are the lesser for it.
Today At The Site
The Diary of a Nobody: Sparrow refuses to haggle with a guest at the hotel, plus it’s a pretty slow day at the VSO. Today’s Diary.
Then an office manager with a local doctor called, wondering how her office could get on the VA’s approved vendor list…I really don’t know and I can’t do it myself, of course, so I gave her the number to the main switchboard at the hospital south of here…I hated to do that, to introduce a civilian to the living hell that can be the VA phone system, but it was really the best option because it will be good training for when she is obliged to deal with the VA bureaucracy…
It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.
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On This Date
In 1984 – James Huberty opens fire at a McDonalds restaurant in San Ysidro, California, on the Mexican border, south of San Diego, killing 20 and injuring 19. The incident began a little before 4pm and ended at 5:17pm when Huberty was shot by a police sniper. Huberty had been fired from his job as a security officer the week before and the day before the shooting Huberty had called a mental health clinic requesting an appointment, but he sounded so calm they regarded his call not particularly urgent. Earlier on the day of the shooting Huberty had told his wife he was “going hunting…hunting for humans”. Though the deadliest mass shooting in American history at the time, it only ranks as the seventh biggest now. Though quickly renovated, the McDonalds was ultimately torn down.
In 1976 – At the Montreal Summer Olympics, Nadia Comaneci of Romania becomes the first gymnast in history to score a perfect 10, doing so on the uneven bars in the team compulsory portion of the competition. Comaneci would earn six other perfect scores at the Montreal Games, and would win three gold medals. The feat was believed to be so unattainable the scoreboard was not able to display a score of 10.0, instead showing a mark of 1.00 The gymnastics international governing body changed their scoring methods in 2006, and there is no longer a consistent perfect score.
In 1960- Brenda Lee is at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the first of three consecutive weeks with I’m Sorry, the first of two #1s for Lee. The song also peaked at #4 on Billboard’s soul chart and was a country radio staple even though it was never released as a country single. At 15, Lee was the youngest artist to hit #1, a record that was later broken by Little Peggy March and Stevie Wonder and is now held by Michael Jackson. Lee remains the only woman inducted into both the Country Music and Rock and Roll halls of fame.
Man never really knows his own truth.
Answer To The Last Trivia Question
Joe DiMaggio had 34 one-hot games during his 56-game hitting streak.
What events did Nadia Comaneci win gold medals in at the Montreal Olympics? – Answer next time!