June 21, 1999 — British astronaut Michael Foale rehearses a spacewalk with a mockup of the Hubble Space Telescope in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. (NASA)
Things that tickle my fancy, pique my interest, float my boat, etc.
Twenty years ago today, O.J. Simpson drove his way into American history.
During friendlier times, the Iranian Air Force was supplied with a number of F-4 Phantom IIs. Following the Revolution, they remained in service with the Islamic state, and while a general lack of spare parts has whittled down their forces, the Iranians still maintain a few dozen airworthy planes.
(Collection of Farzad Bishop)
Fredericksburg National Cemetery was created in the immediate aftermath of the American Civil War as a final resting place for the Union dead from the four majors battles that had happened in the vicinity - Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, The Wilderness, and Spotsylvania Courthouse - as well as numerous minor clashes. While over 15,000 soldiers lay buried there, less than 3,000 were ever identified. Many individual graves, and numerous monuments to the various units who fought over these grounds, pepper the various battlefields of the region in central Virginia.
For Memorial Day, local volunteers line the paths of the cemetery with paper lanterns, and provide a lantern and flag to each grave, commemorating the ultimate sacrifice given by these men who now lie here in anonymity.
"The Return of the Crusader" by Karl Friedrich Lessing
A romantic, 19th century portrayal, this nevertheless captures the general image of the Teutonic Order - white mantle with black cross on it, and the full beard that many in the order wore. Founded during the Third Crusade as the Brethren of the German Hospital of St. Mary in 1190, they were recognized by the Pope a few years later as an independent military order, and swiftly established a presence Levant, centered mostly in the Kingdom of Cilia. The eventual fall of Acre would kick them out of the Holy Land with the rest of the Crusaders, and the order moved to Europe, establishing themselves in Venice around 1291, before finally embracing their Germanic roots and and moving to Prussia in 1309, with their headquarters in Marienburg.
Wally Schirra on space travel: “Mostly its lousy out there,” he told The Associated Press in 1981. “It’s a hostile environment, and it’s trying to kill you. The outside temperature goes from a minus 450 degrees to a plus 300 degrees. You sit in a flying Thermos bottle.”
April 21, 1972 — Astronauts John Young and Charlie Duke go on the first spacewalk of the Apollo 16 mission.