Category Archives: Patriotic

Alejandro Villanueva is a KICK ASS Steeler!

Alejandro Villanueva was the only Steelers player to appear outside the tunnel during the national anthem at Soldier Field on Sunday (9/24/17).

Here, here Alejandro!  I tip my figurative hat to you.  You are AWESOME!  Thanks for having a pair and doing the right thing!

The national anthem is not a time for a protest, of ANYTHING!  You are making a mockery of one of the things that allows you knuckleheads to make stupid money for playing a game… a GAME.

Somebody b!tch-slap the idiot that started this (no names mentioned)!

 

September 11

Tribute in LightClick for larger image

September 11, 2001

Please observe a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. (1246 GMT) to mark the moment when American Airlines Flight 11 crashes into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, at 9:03 a.m. (1303 GMT) when United Airlines Flight 175 crashes into the South Tower of the World Trade Center, 9:37 (1337 GMT) when American Airlines Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon,  at  9:59 a.m. (1359 GMT)  when the South Tower Collapses, at 10:03 (1403 GMT) when United Airlines Flight 93 crashes near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and finally at 10:29 a.m. (1429 GMT) when the North Tower Collapses.

United States nicknamed ‘Uncle Sam’

On September 7, 1813, the United States gets its nickname, Uncle Sam. The name is linked to Samuel Wilson, a meat packer from Troy, New York, who supplied barrels of beef to the United States Army during the War of 1812. Wilson (1766-1854) stamped the barrels with “U.S.” for United States, but soldiers began referring to the grub as “Uncle Sam’s.” The local newspaper picked up on the story and Uncle Sam eventually gained widespread acceptance as the nickname for the U.S. federal government.

In the late 1860s and 1870s, political cartoonist Thomas Nast (1840-1902) began popularizing the image of Uncle Sam. Nast continued to evolve the image, eventually giving Sam the white beard and stars-and-stripes suit that are associated with the character today. The German-born Nast was also credited with creating the modern image of Santa Claus as well as coming up with the donkey as a symbol for the Democratic Party and the elephant as a symbol for the Republicans. Nast also famously lampooned the corruption of New York City’s Tammany Hall in his editorial cartoons and was, in part, responsible for the downfall of Tammany leader William Tweed.

Perhaps the most famous image of Uncle Sam was created by artist James Montgomery Flagg (1877-1960). In Flagg’s version, Uncle Sam wears a tall top hat and blue jacket and is pointing straight ahead at the viewer. During World War I, this portrait of Sam with the words “I Want You For The U.S. Army” was used as a recruiting poster. The image, which became immensely popular, was first used on the cover of Leslie’s Weekly in July 1916 with the title “What Are You Doing for Preparedness?” The poster was widely distributed and has subsequently been re-used numerous times with different captions.

In September 1961, the U.S. Congress recognized Samuel Wilson as “the progenitor of America’s national symbol of Uncle Sam.” Wilson died at age 88 in 1854, and was buried next to his wife Betsey Mann in the Oakwood Cemetery in Troy, New York, the town that calls itself “The Home of Uncle Sam.”

Once in a lifetime footage…

Here’s footage you’ll see only once in a lifetime. Just imagine being there to witness it! Tough times, tough people!

The sailor was 23 year old Loyce Edward Deen, an Aviation Machinist Mate (Gunner) 2nd Class enlistee from Altus, Oklahoma who served in VT-15 squadron assigned to the carrier USS Essex. Loyce was a remarkable young man. Click HERE for his story.
 
 
Here’s a sea burial you may not have read about: Loyce Edward Deen, an Aviation Machinist Mate 2nd Class, USNR, was a gunner on a TBM Avenger. On November 5, 1944, Deen’s squadron participated in a raid on Manila where his plane was hit multiple times by anti-aircraft fire while attacking a Japanese cruiser. Deen was killed.

 
 
The Avenger’s pilot, Lt. Robert Cosgrove, managed to return to his carrier, the USS Essex. Both Deen and the plane had been shot up so badly that it was decided to leave him in the plane.
 
It is the only time in U.S. Navy history (and probably U.S. military history) that an aviator was buried in his aircraft after being killed in action.
 
 For the video of the funeral  click  http://loyceedeen.webstarts.com/uploads/GoingHome.mp4

Anniversary of STS-135 landing

Space shuttle Atlantis lands for the STS-135 mission marking the final mission of the Space Shuttle Program at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Time of landing was 5:57 a.m. (EDT) on July 21, 2011.

The “just at dawn” landing was one of the most memorable landings ever, as shown in this picture:

STS-135 Landing

 

Armstrong walks on the moon

At 10:56 p.m. EDT July 20, 1969, American astronaut Neil Armstrong, 240,000 miles from Earth, speaks these words to more than a billion people listening at home: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Stepping off the lunar landing module Eagle, Armstrong became the first human to walk on the surface of the moon.

The American effort to send astronauts to the moon has its origins in a famous appeal President John F. Kennedy made to a special joint session of Congress on May 25, 1961: “I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth.” At the time, the United States was still trailing the Soviet Union in space developments, and Cold War-era America welcomed Kennedy’s bold proposal.

In 1966, after five years of work by an international team of scientists and engineers, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) conducted the first unmanned Apollo mission, testing the structural integrity of the proposed launch vehicle and spacecraft combination. Then, on January 27, 1967, tragedy struck at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, when a fire broke out during a manned launch-pad test of the Apollo spacecraft and Saturn rocket. Three astronauts were killed in the fire.

Despite the setback, NASA and its thousands of employees forged ahead, and in October 1968, Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission, orbited Earth and successfully tested many of the sophisticated systems needed to conduct a moon journey and landing. In December of the same year, Apollo 8 took three astronauts to the dark side of the moon and back, and in March 1969 Apollo 9 tested the lunar module for the first time while in Earth orbit. Then in May, the three astronauts of Apollo 10 took the first complete Apollo spacecraft around the moon in a dry run for the scheduled July landing mission.

At 9:32 a.m. on July 16, with the world watching, Apollo 11 took off from Kennedy Space Center with astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin Jr., and Michael Collins aboard. Armstrong, a 38-year-old civilian research pilot, was the commander of the mission. After traveling 240,000 miles in 76 hours, Apollo 11 entered into a lunar orbit on July 19. The next day, at 1:46 p.m., the lunar module Eagle, manned by Armstrong and Aldrin, separated from the command module, where Collins remained. Two hours later, the Eagle began its descent to the lunar surface, and at 4:18 p.m. the craft touched down on the southwestern edge of the Sea of Tranquility. Armstrong immediately radioed to Mission Control in Houston, Texas, a famous message: “The Eagle has landed.”

At 10:39 p.m., five hours ahead of the original schedule, Armstrong opened the hatch of the lunar module. As he made his way down the lunar module’s ladder, a television camera attached to the craft recorded his progress and beamed the signal back to Earth, where hundreds of millions watched in great anticipation. At 10:56 p.m., Armstrong spoke his famous quote, which he later contended was slightly garbled by his microphone and meant to be “that’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” He then planted his left foot on the gray, powdery surface, took a cautious step forward, and humanity had walked on the moon.

“Buzz” Aldrin joined him on the moon’s surface at 11:11 p.m., and together they took photographs of the terrain, planted a U.S. flag, ran a few simple scientific tests, and spoke with President Richard M. Nixon via Houston. By 1:11 a.m. on July 21, both astronauts were back in the lunar module and the hatch was closed. The two men slept that night on the surface of the moon, and at 1:54 p.m. the Eagle began its ascent back to the command module. Among the items left on the surface of the moon was a plaque that read: “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot on the moon–July 1969 A.D–We came in peace for all mankind.”

At 5:35 p.m., Armstrong and Aldrin successfully docked and rejoined Collins, and at 12:56 a.m. on July 22 Apollo 11 began its journey home, safely splashing down in the Pacific Ocean at 12:51 p.m. on July 24.

There would be five more successful lunar landing missions, and one unplanned lunar swing-by, Apollo 13. The last men to walk on the moon, astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt of the Apollo 17 mission, left the lunar surface on December 14, 1972. The Apollo program was a costly and labor intensive endeavor, involving an estimated 400,000 engineers, technicians, and scientists, and costing $24 billion (close to $100 billion in today’s dollars). The expense was justified by Kennedy’s 1961 mandate to beat the Soviets to the moon, and after the feat was accomplished ongoing missions lost their viability.

“The Eagle has landed.” Remembering Apollo 11: July 20, 1969

 

Apollo 11

Left to right: Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin, the crew of Apollo 11. Photo: NASA.

Apollo 11 Insignia

On this day in 1969, humans walked on the moon for the first time. The Apollo 11 spaceflight brought Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the lunar surface on July 20, 1969, at 20:18 UTC.

Michael Collins, the mission’s third member, remained in lunar orbit. All three men returned safely to Earth after an 8-day mission that began with a Saturn V rocket launch from Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, Florida on July 16.

This was the fifth manned mission of NASA’s Apollo program, which ran from 1963 to 1972 and included 6 missions that landed on the moon. These were the first and last times human beings set foot on another world.

NASA has a collection of restored HD videos well worth watching on this historic day.

Anniversary of STS-135 launch

Space shuttle Atlantis launches for the STS-135 mission to the International Space Station in the final mission of the Space Shuttle Program at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Liftoff was at 11:29 a.m. (EDT) on July 8, 2011. Astronauts Chris Ferguson, STS-135 commander; Doug Hurley, pilot; Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim, both mission specialists, were on board.

STS-135 launch

 

Happy 4th of July!

4th of July

Congress adopts the Stars and Stripes

During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress adopts a resolution stating that “the flag of the United States be thirteen alternate stripes red and white” and that “the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.” The national flag, which became known as the “Stars and Stripes,” was based on the “Grand Union” flag, a banner carried by the Continental Army in 1776 that also consisted of 13 red and white stripes. According to legend, Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross designed the new canton for the Stars and Stripes, which consisted of a circle of 13 stars and a blue background, at the request of General George Washington. Historians have been unable to conclusively prove or disprove this legend.

With the entrance of new states into the United States after independence, new stripes and stars were added to represent new additions to the Union. In 1818, however, Congress enacted a law stipulating that the 13 original stripes be restored and that only stars be added to represent new states.

On June 14, 1877, the first Flag Day observance was held on the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the Stars and Stripes. As instructed by Congress, the U.S. flag was flown from all public buildings across the country. In the years after the first Flag Day, several states continued to observe the anniversary, and in 1949 Congress officially designated June 14 as Flag Day, a national day of observance.

D-Day

D DayJune 6, 1944
Flag at Half Mast

Happy Memorial Day!

Flag at Half Mast

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in the military service. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War (it is celebrated near the day of reunification after the civil war), it was expanded after World War I to include American casualties of any war or military action.

It Has Always Been The Soldier

First Allied Jet Flies

FIRST ALLIED JET FLIES:
May 15, 1941

On May 15, 1941, the jet-propelled Gloster-Whittle E 28/39 aircraft flies successfully over Cranwell, England, in the first test of an Allied aircraft using jet propulsion. The aircraft’s turbojet engine, which produced a powerful thrust of hot air, was devised by Frank Whittle, an English aviation engineer and pilot generally regarded as the father of the jet engine.

Whittle, born in Coventry in 1907, was the son of a mechanic. At the age of 16, he joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) as an aircraft apprentice at Cranwell and in 1926 passed a medical exam to become a pilot and joined the RAF College. He won a reputation as a daredevil flier and in 1928 wrote a senior thesis entitled Future Developments in Aircraft Design, which discussed the possibilities of rocket propulsion.

From the first Wright brothers flight in 1903 to the first jet flight in 1939, most airplanes were propeller driven. In 1910, the French inventor Henri Coanda built a jet-propelled bi-plane, but it crashed on its maiden flight and never flew again. Coanda’s aircraft attracted little notice, and engineers stuck with propeller technology; even though they realized early on that propellers would never overcome certain inherent limitations, especially in regard to speed.

After graduating from the RAF college, Whittle was posted to a fighter squadron, and in his spare time he worked out the essentials of the modern turbojet engine. A flying instructor, impressed with his propulsion ideas, introduced him to the Air Ministry and a private turbine engineering firm, but both ridiculed Whittle’s ideas as impractical. In 1930, he patented his jet engine concept and in 1936 formed the company Power Jets Ltd. to build and test his invention. In 1937, he tested his first jet engine on the ground. He still received only limited funding and support, and on August 27, 1939, the German Heinkel He 178, designed by Hans Joachim Pabst von Ohain, made the first jet flight in history. The German prototype jet was developed independently of Whittle’s efforts.

One week after the flight of the He 178, World War II broke out in Europe, and Whittle’s project got a further lease of life. The Air Ministry commissioned a new jet engine from Power Jets and asked the Gloster Aircraft Company to build an experimental aircraft to accommodate it, specified as E 28/39. On May 15, 1941, the jet-propelled Gloster-Whittle E 28/39 flew, beating out a jet prototype being developed by the same British turbine company that earlier balked at his ideas. In its initial tests, Whittle’s aircraft–flown by the test pilot Gerry Sayer–achieved a top speed of 370 mph at 25,000 feet, faster than the Spitfire or any other conventional propeller-driven machine.

As the Gloster Aircraft Company worked on an operational turbojet aircraft for combat, Whittle aided the Americans in their successful development of a jet prototype. With Whittle’s blessing, the British government took over Power Jets Ltd. in 1944. By this time, Britain’s Gloster Meteor jet aircraft were in service with the RAF, going up against Germany’s jet-powered Messerschmitt Me 262s in the skies over Europe.

Whittle retired from the RAF in 1948 with the rank of air commodore. That year, he was awarded 100,000 pounds by the Royal Commission on Awards to Inventors and was knighted. His book Jet: The Story of a Pioneer was published in 1953. In 1977, he became a research professor at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He died in Columbia, Maryland, in 1996.

Peace Officers Memorial Day

Flag at Half Mast

Flags at half-staff today to honor fallen officers

Flags are to fly at half-staff today for Peace Officers Memorial Day. Gov. Rendell has ordered Pennsylvania flags at state facilities to be flown at half-staff, and President Obama directed the same for U.S. flags.
“On this day, we pay tribute to the local, state, and federal law enforcement officers who provide a vital public service and, too often, pay the ultimate sacrifice to safeguard the rights and freedoms of our citizens,” Rendell said in a statement. “We honor them for their character, leadership, and courage.”

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy and Congress designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day. The calendar week in which May 15 falls is National Police Week.

1961 : The first American in space

From Cape Canaveral, Florida, Navy Commander Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. is launched into space aboard the Freedom 7 space capsule, becoming the first American astronaut to travel into space. The suborbital flight, which lasted 15 minutes and reached a height of 116 miles into the atmosphere, was a major triumph for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Founding of the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress was established on April 24, 1800, when President John Adams signed an Act of Congress providing for the transfer of the seat of government from Philadelphia to the new capital city of Washington. Part of the legislation appropriated $5,000 “for the purchase of such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress …, and for fitting up a suitable apartment for containing them….” Books were ordered from London and the collection, consisting of 740 books and 30 maps, was housed in the new Capitol. Although the collection covered a variety of topics, the bulk of the materials were legal in nature, reflecting Congress’ role as a maker of laws.

Thomas Jefferson played an important role in the Library’s early formation, signing into law on January 26, 1802 the first law establishing the structure of the Library of Congress. The law established the presidentially appointed post of Librarian of Congress and a Joint Committee on the Library to regulate and oversee the Library, as well as giving the president and vice president the ability to borrow books. The Library of Congress was destroyed in August 1814, when invading British troops set fire to the Capitol building and the small library of 3,000 volumes within.

Within a month, former President Jefferson offered his personal library as a replacement. Jefferson had spent 50 years accumulating a wide variety of books, including ones in foreign languages and volumes of philosophy, science, literature, and other topics not normally viewed as part of a legislative library, such as cookbooks, writing that, “I do not know that it contains any branch of science which Congress would wish to exclude from their collection; there is, in fact, no subject to which a Member of Congress may not have occasion to refer.” In January 1815, Congress accepted Jefferson’s offer, appropriating $23,950 to purchase his 6,487 books.

Wikipedia Article

Houston, We’ve Had A Problem…

April 17th, 1970 the capsule from the Apollo 13 mission splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, and the whole world breathed a sigh of relief.

Quote


Apollo 13 launched from Cape Canaveral on April 11, intended to be the third manned lunar landing. The crew — James A. Lovell Jr., John L. Swigert Jr. and Fred W. Haise Jr. — experienced a slight vibration shortly after launch, but things were going normally until 55 hours, 55 minutes into the flight.

Oxygen tank No. 2 exploded, causing No. 1 to fail and start leaking rapidly. Warning lights started blinking. The astronaut’s supplies of air, water, light and electricity were imperiled … 200,000 miles from Earth.


 

Abraham Lincoln Assassinated

On this day in 1865, John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer, fatally shoots President Abraham Lincoln at a play at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. The attack came only five days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his massive army at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, effectively ending the American Civil War.

Booth, a Maryland native born in 1838, who remained in the North during the war despite his Confederate sympathies, initially plotted to capture President Lincoln and take him to Richmond, the Confederate capital. However, on March 20, 1865, the day of the planned kidnapping, the president failed to appear at the spot where Booth and his six fellow conspirators lay in wait. Two weeks later, Richmond fell to Union forces. In April, with Confederate armies near collapse across the South, Booth hatched a desperate plan to save the Confederacy.

Learning that Lincoln was to attend a performance of “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theater on April 14, Booth masterminded the simultaneous assassination of Lincoln, Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William H. Seward. By murdering the president and two of his possible successors, Booth and his conspirators hoped to throw the U.S. government into disarray.

On the evening of April 14, 1865, conspirator Lewis T. Powell burst into Secretary of State Seward’s home, seriously wounding him and three others, while George A. Atzerodt, assigned to Vice President Johnson, lost his nerve and fled. Meanwhile, just after 10 p.m., Booth entered Lincoln’s private theater box unnoticed and shot the president with a single bullet in the back of his head. Slashing an army officer who rushed at him, Booth leapt to the stage and shouted “Sic semper tyrannis! [Thus always to tyrants]–the South is avenged!” Although Booth broke his leg jumping from Lincoln’s box, he managed to escape Washington on horseback.

The president, mortally wounded, was carried to a lodging house opposite Ford’s Theater. About 7:22 a.m. the next morning, Lincoln, age 56, died–the first U.S. president to be assassinated. Booth, pursued by the army and other secret forces, was finally cornered in a barn near Bowling Green, Virginia, and died from a possibly self-inflicted bullet wound as the barn was burned to the ground. Of the eight other people eventually charged with the conspiracy, four were hanged and four were jailed.

Anniversary of Apollo 13

Apollo 13 was the seventh manned mission in the American Apollo space program and the third intended to land on the Moon. The craft was launched on April 11, 1970, at 13:13 CST from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, but the lunar landing was aborted after an oxygen tank exploded two days later, crippling the Service Module (SM) upon which the Command Module (CM) depended. Despite great hardship caused by limited power, loss of cabin heat, shortage of potable water, and the critical need to jury-rig the carbon dioxide removal system, the crew returned safely to Earth on April 17.

The flight was commanded by James A. Lovell with John L. “Jack” Swigert as Command Module Pilot and Fred W. Haise as Lunar Module Pilot. Swigert was a late replacement for the original CM pilot Ken Mattingly, who was grounded by the flight surgeon after exposure to German measles.

Apollo 13: Lovell, Swigert, Haise

Apollo 13: Lovell, Swigert, Haise

Original crew photo. Left to right: Lovell, Mattingly, Haise

Original crew photo. Left to right: Lovell, Mattingly, Haise

This is the insignia of the Apollo 13 lunar landing mission.

This is the insignia of the Apollo 13 lunar landing mission.

Mercury 7

Mercury 7

On this day in 1959, NASA announced The Mercury Seven: the seven men to make up their first astronaut class.

The Mercury Seven were chosen in Washington, DC from a body of 69 candidates. The name comes from Mercury, a Roman mythological god who is seen as a symbol of speed. Because of the small space inside the Mercury capsule, candidates could be no taller than 5 feet 11 inches and weigh no more than 180 pounds. The initial flights took off throughout the early 1960s, though some astronauts were active in later decades. Here are the guys:

Malcolm Scott Carpenter (1925 – 2013) was a US Navy piolot aviation cadet who flew missions during the Korean War. He was on board the MA-7 (Aurora 7) and was the first American astronaut to eat solid food in space. He successfully overcame an overexpenditure of fuel due to hardware problems on his one and only mission. Carpenter was forced to retire from spaceflight after sustaining a motorbike accident. After retiring from the Navy, he founded Sea Sciences Inc., a corporation for developing programs for utilizing ocean resources and improving environmental health.

Leroy Gordon (Gordo) Cooper Jr. (1927 – 2004) was very active in the Boy Scouts of America and achieved the second highest rank of Life Scout. Prior to joining NASA, Cooper also served in the US Air Force and Marine Corps. He was on board the MA-9 (Faith 7) and Gemini 5, and developed a personal survival knife for astronauts to carry. Cooper was the first American to sleep in orbit. Interestingly, he took photos of and reported UFO sightings to the Pentagon, but they swept the incident under the rug.

John Herschel Glenn Jr. (1921 – 2016) began his career as a US Marine Corps fighter pilot. He was on board the MA-6 (Friendship 7) and STS-95. Noticed for his heroics in space, Glenn became friendly with the Kennedys and a prominent public figure. After retiring from NASA, he ran as a Democrat and represented the state of Ohio in the United States Senate from 1974 to 1999.  Glenn returned to space on the Space Shuttle on October 29, 1998, as a Payload Specialist on Discovery‘s STS-95 mission, becoming, at age 77, the oldest person to go into space. According to The New York Times, Glenn “won his seat on the Shuttle flight by lobbying NASA for two years to fly as a human guinea pig for geriatric studies”, which were named as the main reasons for his participation in the mission.

Virgil Ivan (Gus) Grissom (1926 – 1967) was a US Air Force pilot before joining NASA. He was on board the MR-4 (Liberty Bell 7), Gemini 3, and Apollo 1. Grissom was tragically killed along with fellow astronauts Ed White and Roger Chaffee during a pre-launch test for the Apollo 1 mission. After death, his family was involved in a spacesuit controversy: NASA insisted Grissom got authorization to use his spacesuit for a show and tell at his son’s school and never returned it, but his family claimed the he had rescued the spacesuit from a scrap heap and that it rightfully belonged to them.

Walter Marty (Wally) Schirra Jr. (1923 – 2007)’s father was a pilot, and his mother performed wing walking stunts when he was on duty. Schirra served as an officer in the US Navy, and was later dispatched to South Korea as a pilot on loan to the US Air Force. On board the MA-8 (Sigma 7), Gemini 6A, and Apollo 7, he was the only person to fly in all of America’s first three space programs. Schirra gained notoriety for playing “Jingle Bells” on a harmonica he smuggled on board Gemini.

Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. (1923 – 1998) began as a US Navy as test pilot. He was the first American in space, and flew on board the MR-3 (Freedom 7) and Apollo 14. It’s said that shortly before one launch, Shepard blurted out “Please, dear God, don’t let me fuck up.” This has since become known among aviators as “Shepard’s Prayer.” A successful businessman, Shepard was the first astronaut to become a millionaire while still in the program. His hometown of Derry, NH almost changed its name to “Spacetown” in honor of Schirra’s career.

Donald Kent (Deke) Slayton (1924 – 1993) was also a US Air Force pilot before joining NASA. He was grounded from space flight by a heart condition, but served as NASA’s Director of Flight Crew Operations. Slayton served as head of Astronaut selection. In 1972 he was granted medical clearance to fly as docking module pilot of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. At the time of the flight, he became the oldest person to fly into space.