Author Archives: launiusr

The Mythology of the Lone Genius and American Aeronautics Policy


Since December 17, 1903, the dates of the first flight at Kitty Hawk, the Wright brothers have been celebrated as lone geniuses who succeeded when all others had failed. They have been interpreted to represent the very best American civilization has … Continue reading

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Ordway Award for Sustained Excellence in Spaceflight History


For anyone who might have an interest: NOMINATIONS Requested for the Ordway Award for Sustained Excellence in Spaceflight History This award is named in memory of Frederick I. Ordway III (1927-2014), human spaceflight advocate and chronicler of the history of rocketry and … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Josh Gibson”


Josh Gibson: A Life in the Negro Leagues. By William Brashler. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1978, reprint edition 2000. There are maybe a dozen well-known names from the first half of the twentieth century when African Americans played professional baseball … Continue reading

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What Is the Legacy of the NACA?


March 3, 2015, was the centenary of the birth of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). This has sparked a measure of investigation and analysis about the place of the NACA in the history of flight in the twentieth … Continue reading

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Zion in Mormon History: An American Promised Land


Mormonism’s self-identification as a modern replacement for ancient Israel mandated the quest for Zion as a literal place. The establishment of what the Saints called Zion had been the most persistent goal of the early Mormon movement. The early Latter-day … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Mormonism”


Mormonism: The Story of a New Religious Tradition. By Jan Shipps. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1984. This is a book that has been available for more than three decades, yet it is still a useful discussion. Jan Shipps has … Continue reading

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Joseph Smith, Mormonism, and the Idea of Apostasy and Restoration


Virtually since the beginning of the Latter-day Saint church in 1830 its founder, Joseph Smith Jr., had made strong linkages between ancient Israel and the modern Mormon era. Gathering a small group of stalwart followers in upstate New York, Smith sent … Continue reading

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Ed Daly and the World Airways Experience


Edward J. Daly, the entrepreneur who built World Airways, was one of the most unusual air transport entrepreneurs of the Cold War era. Forty years ago Daly made a name for himself during the evacuation of South Vietnam in March-April 1975. Although … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “The Birth of Modern Politics”


The Birth of Modern Politics: Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, and the Election of 1828. By Lynn Hudson Parsons. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. This is an enjoyable and enlightening new book on the election of Andrew Jackson in … Continue reading

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Jerome C. Hunsaker and the Development of Aviation in America


I gained a new appreciation for Jerome Clarke Hunsaker (1886-1984) at the recent NACA Centenary Symposium held in Washington on March 3 and 4, 2015. His fingerprints are all over the history of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics and … Continue reading

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