Category Archives: History

Classic Coke-Cola Commercials


I am not a drinker of Coke-Cola, although I know that millions around the world are daily partakers. The company has also made stunning commercials over the year, memorable in so many ways. The recent finale of “Mad Men” hearkened … Continue reading

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Stimulating Aerospace Capabilities in America


Historians five hundred years hence may well characterize successful human flight, and all that followed in both air and space, as the most significant single technology of the twentieth century. Has it fundamentally reshaped our world, at once awesome and … Continue reading

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Do We Need to Renew the Promise of American Life?


I was struck while rereading Herbert Croly’s 1909 political manifesto, The Promise of American Life, about its continually important message. Croly was a leading figure in the Progressive Movement of the first two decades of the twentieth century, a political philosopher, … Continue reading

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Governing Antarctica: A Continent Dedicated to Science or a Place of Geopolitical Rivalry?


In many respects, the history of cooperation and collaboration in Antarctic science mirrors the larger story of how the various great powers have interrelated since the conclusion of World War II. If one were to characterize it accurately throughout the … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Reinterpreting Exploration”


Reinterpreting Exploration: The West in the World. Edited by Dane Kennedy. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. Acknowledgments, figures, contributors, index. Vii – 236. ISBN: 978-0-19-975534-9. Hardcover. USD $89.10. Dane Kennedy has assembled a fine collection of historiographical essays on … Continue reading

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Reconsidering the Place of Cooperative Programs in Relation to the International Space Station


The national space programs of the worlds have long been dominated by national concerns over international affairs. This is most assuredly the case with the United States. Manifested in the context of both competition and cooperation, international concerns have been a … Continue reading

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Good Charlie/Bad Charlie: What Made Charlie Finley Tick?


Charles O. Finley, the owner of the Kansas City/Oakland A’s between 1960 and 1980, had a public persona as one of the dark princes of Major League Baseball. He engaged in manipulation, connivance, and cajolery for what he wanted, and … Continue reading

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Embracing the All-American Automobile


No doubt, the railroads of the nineteenth century enabled Americans to move about with a speed and ease never possible before. Even so, they did not provide the freedom to which Americans have long believed they have a special right. … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Homesteading Space”


Homesteading Space: The Skylab Story. By David Hitt, Owen Garriott, Joseph P. Kerwin, with the diary of Alan L. Bean. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 2008. ISBN-13: 978-080-3224-34-6. 548 pages. $29.95. Accounts by astronauts are sometimes entertaining, sometimes insightful and … Continue reading

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JFK and the Limits of Presidential Leadership in Space


This is a perennial topic so I thought it appropriate to raise in once again. In reviewing the Kennedy decision to go to the Moon, announced on May 25, 1961, in a speech to a joint session of Congress, it soon … Continue reading

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