Category Archives: History

Wednesday’s Book Review: “Historians of the American Frontier”


Historians of the American Frontier: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook. Edited by John R. Wunder. (Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 1988. Pp. viii, 827. Bibliography, index. ISBN 0-313-24899-0, $75.00.) I have been asked recently by several people what they should know about the … Continue reading

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The NACA and the Documenting of Progress in Aerodynamics


The aeronautical research that the NACA between 1915 and 1958 undertook found dissemination in a complex set of technical publications that the agency made available to all on an equal basis. Most NACA research was accomplished “in-house” by scientists or … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “The Astronauts Wives Club”


The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story. By Lily Koppel. New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2013. Illustrations (some color), author’s note, acknowledgments, 272 pages, hardcover with dustjacket. $28 USD. On one level Lily Koppel’s new book is a breezy, entertaining … Continue reading

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Model Research in the NACA’s Wind Tunnels (And Some Full-Sized Efforts)


Nearly thirty years ago historian Alex Roland published a very fine history of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) with the main title, Model Research. It was an ironic title, cleverly emphasizing the aeronautical investigations that the NACA undertook … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “The Spanish Borderlands Frontier”


The Spanish Borderlands Frontier, 1513-1821. By John Francis Bannon. Tucson: University of New Mexico Press, 1984. (Histories of the American Frontier). ISBN: 0-826-303-09-9. Originally published by New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1970. Originally published by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Dog Whistle Politics”


Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class. By Ian Haney López. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. There is no doubt, and it is confirmed in this book, that racism is the … Continue reading

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Edward P. Warner and the Transformation of Aeronautics in America


I have been researching the history of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and compiling biographical information on several of the early leaders of the organization. Edward Pearson Warner (1894-1958) is one of those key people. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, … Continue reading

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Apollo 11 and the World’s Reaction


When the Apollo 11 spacecraft lifted off on July 16, 1969, for the Moon, it signaled a climactic instance in human history. Reaching the Moon on July 20, it’s Lunar Module—with astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin aboard—landed on … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “The Science of Shakespeare”


The Science of Shakespeare: A New Look at the Playwright’s Universe. By Dan Falk. New York: Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’ Press, 2014. I had never before considered the scientific worldview of William Shakespeare. Like almost every other American I had … Continue reading

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The Cold War Origins of Space Access


It is almost a truism that the primary U.S. space launch capabilities were created only because of the challenge of an exceptionally desperate Cold War rivalry with the Soviet Union. Accordingly, the development and deployment of ballistic missiles, space-based intelligence-gathering … Continue reading

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