Tag Archives: 1960s

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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Space Navigation: Looking to the Stars


For centuries mariners have looked to the stars to cross the oceans. Mariners at sea carried instruments such as cross staffs and sextants to determine the position of celestial objects in the sky. When combined with an accurate time reference, … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Rocket Ranch”


Rocket Ranch. The Nuts and Bolts of the Apollo Moon Program at Kennedy Space Center. By Jonathan H. Ward. Chichester, UK: Springer Praxis, 2015. Jonathan B Ward’s Rocket Ranch is an enjoyable overview of the Kennedy Space Center during the … Continue reading

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Is there such a Thing as American Exceptionalism?


I was struck by the discussion of American exceptionalism that became a running sub-theme of the recent American Historical Association annual meeting in Atlanta. It seems there is no way to square the perspections of exceptionalism presented everywhere with the … Continue reading

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Remembering a Great Adventure: The First Circumlunar Mission


After a piloted orbital mission to test the Apollo equipment in October 1968, on December 21, 1968, Apollo 8 took off atop a Saturn V booster from the Kennedy Space Center with three astronauts aboard—Frank Borman, James A. Lovell Jr., … Continue reading

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Recalling the First Rendezvous in Space


It seems hard to believe but 50 years ago the first rendezvous in space took place in December 1965 when Gemini VI and Gemini VII met in orbit. Those were heady times; the U.S. was on the way to the Moon and … Continue reading

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What Do You Do for an Encore after You’ve Been to the Moon?


As early as January 1964 NASA administrator, James E. Webb, had been asked by President Lyndon B. Johnson for a well-developed proposal of future space objectives after the Apollo Moon landings. Webb did not want to respond; instead he tried … Continue reading

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The Athlete as Activist: Reconsidering Baseball and Society in 1968


Is there a place for the study of the relationship of social causes and baseball? Especially, what is the role of the athlete as activist? For reasons that pass understanding this subject has largely been ignored, and what does exist … Continue reading

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Parallels Between the Sputnik and 9/11 Crises


Is there a relationship between the so-called “Sputnik moment” in October 1957 and the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks? Yes, at several levels there are intriguing parallels between the Sputnik crisis of 1957-1958 that Eisenhower faced and the aftermath of the … Continue reading

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Remembering the Quintessential Yankee


No question about it, Yogi Berra (1925-2015) was an American original. With his passing earlier this week at age 90 it is now more obvious than ever before. As one of the Hall of Fame players from the Yankee dynasty of … Continue reading

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