Tag Archives: American History

APOLLO MISSIONS TWELVE THROUGH SEVENTEEN

America’s Apollo 11 moon landing gets all the attention, so in keeping with Balladeer’s Blog’s overall theme here’s a look at the six missions that followed that very first manned moon landing. 

Apollo 12 patchAPOLLO 12 – Overall Commander: Charles “Pete” Conrad (not to be confused with Peter “Chuck” Conrad)

Command Module Yankee Clipper Pilot: Richard F Gordon, Jr

Lunar Module Intrepid Pilot: Alan L Bean 

Less than four full months after Apollo 11’s successful mission the Apollo 12 crew provided a SECOND fulfillment of President John F Kennedy’s goal of landing men on the moon and returning them safely to the Earth. 

The Lunar Module Intrepid touched down on the moon’s surface on November 19th, 1969 at 1:54am EST and lifted off to rendezvous with the orbiting Command Module Yankee Clipper on November 20th at 9:25am. Splashdown in the Pacific Ocean was on November 24th at 3:58pm.

The Mission: The Yankee Clipper was struck by lightning during its ascent from the Earth, knocking out all power but the back-up systems successfully restored all operations to normal. Apollo 12 made a perfect touchdown at its predesignated landing area, already improving on the previous mission, which had been very slightly off-course.

After landing at the Ocean of Storms Astronauts Conrad and Bean had to contend with a much more powdery surface than the Apollo 11 crew had encountered. The lunar dust and powder clung to the Astonauts’ suits and nearly clogged vital portions of the high-tech outfits. The crew deployed a battery of scientific equipment, gathered 75 pounds of moon rocks – many green and tan – and retrieved portions of the nearby Surveyor craft, an umanned module that had landed on the moon in 1967. Continue reading

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1776: FOURTH OF JULY MUSICAL

1776-musical-movieIt may be my fondness for mythology that makes me love to watch particular movies around particular holidays.  I say that because many of the well- known myths were recited on ancient holidays when their subject matter was relevant to those holidays. The stories helped accentuate the meaning of the special events and that’s the way I use various movies.

At Christmas I watch countless variations of A Christmas Carol, around Labor Day I watch Eight Men Out, at Halloween The Evil Dead and the original Nightmare On Elm Street, Thanksgiving Eve I do Oliver! and for Frontierado (which is just a month away now) I do Silverado.

Since the actual 4th of July is loaded with activity I always show 1776 on the night before. It’s a great way to get in the mood for Independence Day. It’s a musical but with brilliant dialogue portions and the story involves the political maneuvering  surrounding the Original Thirteen Colonies at last announcing their independence from Great Britain, more than a year after  the shots fired at Lexington and Concord started the war.

The story is excellently conveyed and is moving, comical, invigorating and poignant all at once. As long as you know which parts of the tale are depicted accurately and which are complete b.s. it’s a terrific way to spend each 3rd of July. Continue reading

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FORT GRISWOLD: THE ALAMO OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR

With the 4th of July fast approaching here’s another seasonal post from Balladeer’s Blog. This action was also called the Battle of Groton Heights.  

William LedyardFORT GRISWOLD – Fort Griswold was an American fortess on Groton Heights in Connecticut overlooking the Thames River. On September 6th, 1781 the American traitor General Benedict Arnold and his British troops raided Groton and burned New London while battling the massively outnumbered Rebel troops in the fort. 

Lieutenant General Sir Henry Clinton had sent General Arnold to raid and seize ships in Connecticut and to determine if the former colony was ripe for occupation by British forces. The spirited defense of Fort Griswold permitted multiple American ships to escape the attacking Red Coats and nipped in the bud Clinton’s plans for occupying Connecticut. 

Benedict Arnold led at least 1,700 British regulars in the battle. Fort Griswold was defended by a mere 150 American Militiamen under the command of Lieutenant Colonel William Ledyard.  Continue reading

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DEMOCRAT ATROCITY ROUNDUP: FEBRUARY 28th

Because it is ALWAYS fun to puncture the pomposity of Democrat asses who think that only Republican asses are disgusting:   

Obama Derp*** ANOTHER OBAMA CROOK PLEADS GUILTY – In what seems like the 999,897,789th scandal from what Obama and the Democrat media try to pretend was his “scandal-free” (LMAO) administration, YET ANOTHER Obama Gang Soldier goes down.

Raphael A Sanchez, Obama’s top attorney for I.C.E. in Seattle, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Sanchez proved that Democrats – especially from the Obama Administration – never run out of ways of exploiting the illegal immigration problem. Sanchez admitted forging documents with info obtained through his access to I.C.E. resources and used those documents for stealing identities to open credit card and bank accounts.

I guess Obama’s motto was really “Yes we CAN exploit illegal immigrants for more than just vote fraud!” You can find more on the Sanchez story wherever you like. But seriously, though, “The Sanchez Method” may be the wave of the future in Democrat Fund Raising Efforts!

Democrat slogan*** AND SPEAKING OF VOTE FRAUD, the Best Friend of Democrat Politicians everywhere, around ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND MORE non-citizens have been found on the voter rolls, this time in Pennsylvania. Talk about “election interference!”

Funny how it’s only Democrats who keep saying this is not an issue that should be pursued.     Continue reading

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SIXTEEN OVERLOOKED SECRETARIES OF STATE

With Presidents Day coming up on the 19th Balladeer’s Blog has been presenting some seasonal posts. A fair amount of our past presidents had served as Secretary of State in earlier administrations so that is the tie-in to the upcoming holiday. 

Timothy Pickering1. TIMOTHY PICKERING (1795-1800)

Served under: Presidents George Washington and John Adams

Noted for: Conspiring with Alexander Hamilton to undermine some of the policies of the Washington and Adams administrations. When Adams discovered this he ordered Pickering to resign, but Pickering refused, forcing Adams to fire him. Pickering remains the only Secretary of State to officially be fired by the President.

2. HENRY CLAY (1825-1829)

Served under: President John Quincy Adams

Noted for: Fighting a duel with Senator John Randolph, one of Clay’s critics who felt he had struck a “corrupt bargain” with Adams to get this prized cabinet position. Also for completing the first commerce treaties between the young United States and the various nations in Scandinavia and Latin America.

3. JOHN FORSYTH (1834-1841)

Served under: Presidents Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren

Noted for: Obtaining long-disputed reparations from France for U.S. commercial losses suffered during the Napoleonic Wars. Also for threatening to resign early in Van Buren’s administration before his relationship with the new president improved.

Daniel Webster4. DANIEL WEBSTER (1841-1843 and 1850-1852)

Served under: Presidents William Henry Harrison, John Tyler and Millard Filmore

Noted for: Negotiating a treaty which set the boundaries between Maine and New Brunswick, encouraging a popular uprising in Hungary and for dying in office in 1852. But mostly for his distinguished Senate career and for his fictional role in the story The Devil and Daniel Webster.

5. WILLIAM MARCY (1853-1857) Continue reading

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THE TEXAS NAVY: NEGLECTED MILITARY UNIT

Texas NavyThe Memorial Day Holiday is marked here at Balladeer’s Blog with items about neglected conflicts and neglected military units from American history. The latest unit to be examined is the Navy of the Republic of Texas. I’ll examine the period from the Texas Revolution against the tyrannical Mexican government up through the Texas Republic joining the U.S. as the State of Texas.

During the Fall Season of 1835 Texas rebelled against Mexico’s despotism and in March of 1836 officially declared their independence. On September 1st, 1835 two Texas ships – the San Felipe and Laura – clashed with the Mexican vessel Correo de Mejico. Maritime fallout from the incident severely limited Mexico’s efforts to prevent the rebellious Texans from importing arms and supplies for the conflict.

By November of 1835 the Texas government established an official navy to serve at sea and along the Rio Grande. Commodore Charles E Hawkins was in command. During the Texas Revolution their navy prevented the Mexican Navy from establishing a blockade of the new Republic’s coast and its port cities. Those naval forces simultaneously raided Mexican merchant ships, plundering supplies for the Texan land forces.  Continue reading

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MEDAL OF HONOR WINNERS FOR THE 1871 KOREAN EXPEDITION

Medal of HonorTHE THREE-DAY MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND IS HERE! As always Balladeer’s Blog marks the event with a few looks at neglected conflicts from America’s past. The servicemen who fought in those actions are just as deserving of being memorialized as those who fought in more familiar wars.  

KOREAN EXPEDITION OF 1871 – A Diplomatic Mission was sent to Korea that year, with the time period’s usual military escort of war ships on such ventures. The U.S. expedition was snubbed on the diplomatic side and then Korean shore batteries opened fire upon the military escort. The Americans launched reprisal raids for a few days then departed, leaving U.S. – Korean relations somewhat cold for years afterward. Medal of Honor Winners:

William F LukesWILLIAM F LUKES

Navy Rank: Landsman 

Citation: June 9th – 10th, 1871 – During the assault on the Han River Forts on Ganghwa Island, Lukes came to the assistance of injured Lieutenant Hugh McKee. The Landsman fought his way through heavy resistance to the fallen McKee’s location and refused to abandon his comrade.

Through swordplay, bayonet charges and hand-to-hand combat William received a severe sword cut to the head, a wound which would cause him to suffer convulsions for the rest of his life from the brain damage. When American reinforcements arrived they found the unconscious Lukes had suffered 18 bayonet wounds in the fighting.    Continue reading

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