July 16th, 1945:
(AP Archive Video / AP Photos)
The world's first test of a nuclear weapon --- as the United States explodes an atomic bomb in the desert near Alamogordo, New Mexico.
Weeks later, the U.S. drops atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki --- bringing World War Two to an end.
(NAT of Nixon tape)
On Capitol Hill, former White House aide Alexander Butterfield reveals President Richard Nixon's secret taping system.
The disclosure during Senate hearings probing the Watergate scandal plays a pivotal role in Nixon's resignation the following year.
(SOT of JFK, Junior)
John F. Kennedy, Junior --- son of America's 35th President --- dies when the plane he is piloting plunges into the Atlantic Ocean.
Kennedy's wife Carolyn and her sister Lauren Bessette are also on board and killed in the crash off Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.
(AP Archive Video)
(NAT of Apollo 11 liftoff)
Apollo 11 lifts off from Kennedy Space Center, Florida --- on the first manned mission to the surface of the Moon.
Today in History, July 16th --- ___ ___, The Associated Press.
b0320 --- Today in History for July 16th --- 07/09/2007
John Glenn: http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761563272/Glenn_John_Herschell_Jr_.html
^Today in History<
^By The Associated Press=
Today is Monday, July 16, the 197th day of 2007. There are 168 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On July 16, 1945, the United States exploded its first experimental atomic bomb, in the desert of Alamogordo, N.M.
On this date:
In 1790, the District of Columbia was established as the seat of the U.S. government.
In 1862, David G. Farragut became the first rear admiral in the U.S. Navy.
In 1907, 100 years ago, actress Barbara Stanwyck was born in New York.
In 1907, "Popcorn King" Orville Redenbacher was born in Brazil, Ind.
In 1957, Marine Maj. John Glenn set a transcontinental speed record by flying a jet from California to New York in three hours, 23 minutes and eight seconds.
In 1964, in accepting the Republican presidential nomination in San Francisco, Barry M. Goldwater said "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice" and that "moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."
In 1969, Apollo 11 blasted off from Cape Kennedy, Fla., on the first manned mission to the surface of the moon.
In 1973, during the Senate Watergate hearings, former White House aide Alexander P. Butterfield publicly revealed the existence of President Richard Nixon's secret taping system.
In 1979, Saddam Hussein became president of Iraq.
In 1999, John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife, Carolyn, and her sister, Lauren Bessette, died when their single-engine plane, piloted by Kennedy, plunged into the Atlantic Ocean near Martha's Vineyard, Mass.
Ten years ago: Hundreds of FBI agents, some handing out photos in gay bars and hotels, blanketed South Florida in the continuing hunt for alleged prostitute-turned-serial killer Andrew Phillip Cunanan, suspected of gunning down designer Gianni Versace.
Five years ago: The Irish Republican Army issued an unprecedented apology for hundreds of civilian deaths over 30 years. The body of Samantha Runnion, the 5-year-old who had been kidnapped from her home in Stanton, Calif., was found in a heavily forested area about 50 miles away.
One year ago: President Bush and other Group of Eight world leaders meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, urged Israel to show "utmost restraint" and blamed Hezbollah and Hamas for escalating violence in the Middle East. Claiming election fraud had robbed him of the presidency, leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador led hundreds of thousands of marchers through Mexico's capital. Robert Brooks, chairman of Hooters of America, died in Myrtle Beach, S.C., at age 69.
Today's Birthdays: Former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh is 75. Soul singer William Bell is 68. Actor Corin Redgrave is 68. Former tennis player Margaret Court is 65. Violinist Pinchas Zukerman is 59. Actor-singer Ruben Blades is 59. Rock composer-musician Stewart Copeland is 55. Dancer Michael Flatley is 49. Actress Phoebe Cates is 44. Country singer Craig Morgan is 43. Actor-comedian Will Ferrell is 40. Actress Rain Pryor is 38. Actor Corey Feldman is 36. Rock musician Ed Kowalczyk (Live) is 36. Actor Mark Indelicato ("Ugly Betty") is 13.
Thought for Today: "In some sort of crude sense which no vulgarity, no humor, no overstatement can quite extinguish, the physicists have known sin; and this is a knowledge which they cannot lose." _ J. Robert Oppenheimer, American physicist (1904-1967).
John Glenn, born in 1921, United States senator and astronaut. Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth, aboard the third piloted flight of the Mercury program. He also became the oldest person ever to go into space when he rode aboard the space shuttle Discovery in late 1998.
Glenn was born in Cambridge, Ohio. In 1939 he entered Muskingum College, in Ohio, but he left in his junior year to take preflight training in the Naval Aviation Cadet Program. As a pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps, he flew 149 combat missions in World War II (1939-1945) and the Korean War (1950-1953). In 1957 Glenn became the first person to make a nonstop supersonic (greater than the speed of sound) flight across the United States, setting a speed record of 3 hours 23 minutes 8.4 seconds on a trip from Los Angeles, California, to New York City.
In 1958 Glenn joined the group of U.S. military men competing for selection to become the first U.S. astronauts. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) chose the first group of astronauts, including Glenn, in 1959. He was selected to fly aboard the third U.S. piloted spaceflight, which was the first piloted U.S. mission to orbit the earth. He and the other six Mercury astronauts trained intensively before their flights. On February 20, 1962, Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth in space, in the Mercury capsule Friendship 7. The three-orbit flight covered about 130,000 km (about 81,000 mi) in 4 hours 55 minutes.
At the end of the first orbit, the automatic control system of the Friendship 7 capsule began to malfunction. NASA engineers had planned to let Glenn take over control of the capsule during short test periods, but the malfunction forced Glenn to pilot the capsule manually during the second and third orbits and during reentry. The manual control system functioned flawlessly, so Glenn was able to continue with the flight. He took photographs from the capsule's window, performed simple exercises and movements to test his body's reaction to weightlessness, and made some astronomical observations.
During Glenn's second orbit, controllers on the ground discovered that the capsule's heat shield, vital for reentry, had somehow come loose. The straps that held the rocket to the capsule were the only things holding the heat shield to the capsule. Engineers developed a plan to have Glenn keep the rocket attached to the capsule during reentry (normally the rocket would be jettisoned) and steer the capsule so that the pressure of the atmosphere against the capsule would hold the heat shield in place during the descent. Glenn's reentry was the most difficult and stressful part of the mission, but the engineers' plan worked, and Friendship 7 landed safely with a parachute in the Atlantic Ocean.
Glenn returned to the earth a national hero. His character and charm made him one of the most popular Mercury astronauts and made NASA reluctant to risk his life by sending him back into space. Frustrated by the government's refusal to allow him to fly in space again, Glenn retired from NASA and the Marine Corps in 1965. His many military and space program awards and honors include the Distinguished Flying Cross, which he was awarded five times, and the Air Medal with 18 clusters.
When Glenn retired, he became a business executive and a consultant to NASA. In 1974 Glenn was elected to the U.S. Senate as a Democrat from Ohio. He served four terms before deciding not to seek reelection in 1998. Glenn unsuccessfully contended for the 1984 Democratic presidential nomination. While in Congress, he served on the Special Intelligence Committee. He was ranking member of the Governmental Affairs Committee. Glenn, a military veteran, also served on the Armed Services Committee from 1985 to 1998.
Throughout his political career, Glenn lobbied NASA to allow him to go back into space. In October 1998 at the age of 77, Glenn finally returned to space aboard the space shuttle Discovery. This space shuttle mission included a study of the effects of space travel on aging humans.