Nadia Comaneci breaks Russia’s monopoly on medals

As London’s turn at hosting the 2012 Summer Olympics is set to begin, we remember one of the greatest of sport’s inspirational stories-a time when “1” meant “10”.

Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci in a practice session for an appearance at the Hartford Civic Center. Photo credit: Dave Gilbert/image originally posted to Flickr by eye2eye.

It all happened on July 18, 1976, in Montreal, Canada.

A shy 14-year old girl from Romania had just completed her uneven bar exercise. Her flawless performance revealed the limits of the day’s electronic scoreboards when the judges awarded her “the first perfect 10.00” in the history of gymnastics. [Read more…]


“Bird of Paradise” Pilots Make Aviation History


Five weeks after the much celebrated Charles Lindbergh flight from New York to Paris, two plucky American pilots took a two ton Atlantic-Fokker C-2 trimotor airplane on a 2500 mile transpacific flight from California to Hawaii.

On June 29, 1927, they landed in the Pacific archipelago. The achievement was impressive and they received the Mackay Trophy. [Read more…]


Finding Forever on the Panama Canal

The Panama Canal Purchase Act enacted on June 28, 1902, authorized United States Government to purchase the rights, privileges, franchises, concessions, grants of land, right of way, unfinished work, plants, and other property, real, personal, and mixed, of every name and nature in a Panama project.

All this “from the French New Panama Canal Company at a cost not exceeding $40 million.”

[Read more…]


Lives and Deaths of Conquistadors

Not even Shakespeare could concoct such a story.

Francisco Pizarro Gonzalez died on June 26 1541. The daring conqueror of Incas reaped what he sowed.

The illiterate bastard son of a Spanish soldier, Pizarro looked across the Atlantic for opportunity. Inspired by the success of Hernando Cortes, in Mexico, he set his focus on the Incan Empire. [Read more…]


Hot Interests in Antarctica’s Deep Freeze

Research and future rights skate Antarctica


On June 23, 1961, the Antarctic Treaty came into effect. At that time, the Cold War was in full swing and nobody wanted to have additional headaches working through the overlapping and competing claims to Earth’s last true frontier. [Read more…]


Pancho Villa and The German Connection

Pancho Villa

On June 21, 1916, the Mexican military attacked elements of the U.S. 10th Cavalry at Carrizal, a city in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. The clash occurred during the punitive expedition carried out by General Pershing in pursuit of the guerilla leader “Pancho Villa.” [Read more…]


The 49th Parallel As Military “Medicine Line”


James Douglas 1st Governor of Vancouver Island which straddled the 49th parallel

On this day in 1846, the United States and the British Empire agreed to extend the 49th parallel border from the Rockies all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

As a result, the southern tip of Vancouver Island remained as the only British (now Canadian) territory, west of Minnesota that lay south of 49th parallel. [Read more…]


June 13: Miranda Makes It OK to Stay Mum

Ernesto Miranda

On June 13, 1966, the Supreme Court of United States decided that all criminal suspects must be advised of their rights before an interrogation.

The decision was a legal procedural landmark that marked the transition from the “tell me all you know” method to the “you have the right to remain silent…” scenario. [Read more…]


June 11: Cadre rotation, Soviet style

Marshall Semyon Budyonny and his job saving mustache

On June 11 1937, the NKVD (old style KGB) executed eight Soviet high ranking officers (one Red Army Marshal included). A military court found them guilty of anti-Soviet conspiracy.

In order to keep the purge productive and secret, most members of the court later died of pneumonia caused by cold bullets. [Read more…]


June 9: Friends, Georgians, lend this an ear

James Edward Oglethorpe (1696-1785)

On June 9 1732 a British philanthropist received a royal charter to establish the colony of Georgia. James Edward Oglethorpe intended to settle the new land with English debtors from the overcrowded London prisons.

In the end it was the Scots who made up the bulk of the settlers. Oglethorpe, however, made the land available to many persecuted groups. [Read more…]