I am sharing this from "The Writer's Almanac" by Garrison Keillor:
Today is the birthday of rocket scientist Robert Goddard, born in Worcester, Massachusetts (1882). Goddard had been interested in outer space since he read H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds when he was 16. He started thinking seriously about rockets the following year, in 1899. As he recounted in his autobiography, he was up in a cherry tree, preparing to prune its dead branches, when he began to daydream: "It was one of the quiet, colorful afternoons of sheer beauty which we have in October in New England, and as I looked toward the fields at the east, I imagined how wonderful it would be to make some device which had even the possibility of ascending to Mars, and how it would look on a small scale, if sent up from the meadow at my feet."
He received a patent for his design for a liquid-fueled rocket in 1914, and another for one that ran on solid fuel. At this point, the government wasn't really interested in the idea of space travel, so he had a hard time getting grants for his research, and he usually ended up paying out of his own pocket. Finally, a grant from the Smithsonian Institution enabled him to do research and publish a paper on "A Method for Reaching Extreme Altitudes" in 1920. In the paper, he speculated that rockets could be used to reach the moon.
The New York Times heard about his paper, and published an editorial ridiculing him. He went from "nobody" to "national laughingstock" literally overnight, but he said, "Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it; once realized, it becomes commonplace." He didn't give up, and on this date in 1926, he completed the first successful launch of his liquid-fueled rocket in Auburn, Massachusetts. The rocket reached a height of 41 feet and an average speed of 60 miles per hour.
Unfortunately, Goddard didn't live to see space flight become a reality; he died of cancer in 1945. In July 1969, the day after Apollo 11 departed for the Moon, The New York Times printed a correction to its scathing editorial of nearly 50 years before. The paper wrote, "It is now definitely established that a rocket can function in a vacuum as well as in an atmosphere. The Times regrets the error."
It is intriguing that while the world was travelling in Model Ts, and some still on horses, that space travel was considered and being pursued.
The first quarter of the 20th century was a golden age of technology and art. So what happen?
Another note of interest, when the German WW-2 rocket scientists were questioned and interviewed after the war, they said most of their important information came from Robert Goddard and he should have been taken serious.
I will miss my weekly dose of " A Prairie Home Companion .....
Dusty & Lefty will ride no more.
Guy Noire - Private Eye will do no more sleuthing.
The show continues but will not be the same.
Charles Kurault - Walter Cronkite - Johnny Carson
and my youth have fallen victim to time passing.
I'm "out in the boonies" did something happen to Garrison Keeler?
Woe is us if Lake Woebegone is no more!
I think the back story of the New York Times missing the truth is typical even today.
Nice story Bill. Good to know visionaries are still striving for the Heavens in our time too. We'd still be living in caves otherwise.
Garrison Keillor has retired and handed the show over to Chris Thile. Starting sometime this month. I believe Garrison is still involved for the transition.
I am at a total loss for how Keillor arrived at Chris Thile as a replacement. I see the
show tanking within a year without the homespun "folksiness" that Garrison brought.
However, PHC has been suffering from a serious case of Garrison pissing all over
the show with liberal political BS for the last few years and taken a big bite out of the
fun that made the show so enjoyable for so long. Kinda like what Comedy Central
did in booting Craig Kilborn and bringing in that puke John Stewart to turn The Daily
Show from a news-comedy gig that was really funny (and non-partisan) to a hard
leaning liberal ranting platform.
Why does everything fun have to be made into yet another nauseating political
spew hydrant ? Why can't we just stick with funny ?
And as long as we're looking at U.S. "technology" being exported to Germany in the
Model T era, take a moment to Google Charles Davenport and the Eugenics Research
Office. The German "Holocaust" was the ERO's "greatest" achievement. They tried like
hell to make the same thing happen in the U.S., but were only able to get sterilization
laws passed in 27 of the 48 states. But they hit fertile ground for their Master Race
ideology in Germany. The BS propaganda we've been fed that the Nazis dreamed up
this "superior race" stuff is exactly that.
For a real good read on the subject, dial up a copy of Edwin Black's War Against the Weak.
You'll be amazed at who supplied the MILLIONS of 1920's dollars to push the ERO agenda
and how our society has covered up our own history.
Anyone else build Estes model rockets as a kid before there were engines that needed electrical ignition - when they had fuses ?
When you had to trace out the balsa wood fins & cut it with a razor knife - then glue them to the cardboard tube ?
Anyone ever put the B & W Camera in the payload compartment to take pictures at the apogee of flight ?
Ah - the good old days ....
Model rockets & Tester gas cox 049 engine airplanes on the two string hand control ....
I DID!! Living in Northern California though, the state licensed engine purchasers and had to inspect your launch site, so I would buy my engines in Nevada and launch them in my Cousins' backyard. The electrical ignitors just came in about when I gave it up. I think I still have the camera and the two-stage launch vehicle. Had to hand load film disks in mine--a little later they used Instamatic film canisters--and I still have my "scout" rocket-the beginner's rocket, no parachute, tumble recovery only.
Had the planes, but always just in parts, never got to fly one!
Burger, my thoughts on PHC coincide exactly with yours. I miss the old days of that show. I have been fortunate to see it live a couple of times. I will miss the Keillor of old and don't expect the show to last with Thile. He is good with his mandolin, but that won't keep the show afloat. Without Garrison, it's not the same. Dad and I have for twenty years or more looked forward to listening together every saturday night. Not so much now.
I agree, most entertainment seems to be leaning one way; used to be the Tonight Show under Johnny Carson and even Jay Leno would poke fun at both political parties--and anything/anyone handy! The new guy on the tonight show is very one-sided in his humor.
What happened to folks like Red Green who just had fun??
Saturdays used to be my special day. Run around and chase errands in the morning, so that
by 1300, I could be in the shop and dialed in for Fascinatin' Rhythm, Wait, Wait, ... Don't Tell Me
at 1400, PHC would carry me through till 1700, when I would catch some chow and meander
back to catch Car Talk until 1900, when a local 70's program came on that featured a lot of obscure
stuff that I often had totally forgotten that run until midnight. Meanwhile I had a dandy time getting
stuff done in the shop.
Mr. Thile would serve the show well to hire in some writers that could carry the pre-2005 PHC
character forward .... that "folksiness" without the political bias bullsh!t that Garrison seemed
to be putting in his Kool-Aid in later years.
Funny thing about the Tappet Brothers too ..... I decided once to give them a call about my
DeSoto to test their mettle. I had a weird problem with burning out mufflers after changing the
heads. By the time I made the call, I had figured out that the original pushrods I was told to use
were 1/4" too long and were leaving the valves open enough to run fire right down the pipes.
The car still performed very well over a 3500 mile road trip, but I had to replace the muffers 3
times along the way !
The way the show worked, a person called in with their issue and they would call you back to
rehearse the call and arrange the actual call back time for broadcasting. I never got the call back.
Apparently, it if did not involve a late model Volvo or Subaru, they weren't interested in having it
as part of their show.
We played with those rockets in the excess and behind a cemetary. No electrical lighting for us. Buy some cannon fuse and a box of matches. Those were fun. Never got my son interested and I still have some fuel up in the closet. Better burn it soon.
So that's why I stopped listening to the Prairie...:-)... People from out of state listen/listened to that really cool radio program too?
Remember, the Lake Wobegon Trail is (like) 40 miles away from here! Pretty cool, actually. :-)
Oh! Heard this on the radio today!
Garrison K. will be available tomorrow near Murdock, MN around 5 if you'd like to catch his latest notions at a democrats meet and feed. Pun NOT intended. Yes. HIM.
Seriously, he'll be near Murdock on the morrow around 5 for a dem meet.
My mind is lost today. Again... I do not lie tho. Also boringly true.
Robert Goddard was a very smart man.