Tag Archives: Neglected 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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PRESIDENTIAL LOSERS – PROS AND CONS

mascot new look donkey and elephant headsOver the years Balladeer’s Blog’s irreverent, tongue-in-cheek looks at the pros and cons of U.S. Presidents have been among my most visited items.

Here’s an encore request for my look at the pros and cons of the LOSERS who were left in a defeated heap enroute to the Oval Office. In reverse order back to just before Tilden:

hillary-clinton-haitiHILLARY CLINTON (Lost to President Donald Trump)

Motto: “When the money keeps rolling in (to your fake charity), what’s a girl to do? Skim a little (well, quite a lot, actually) off the top for expenses wouldn’t you?”

Nickname: The Rapist’s Wife/ Crooked Hillary 

Hillary clinton dough nationPro: Her childish refusal to address her own supporters the night Donald Trump utterly humiliated her provided a look at how truly petty, shallow and classless she is. 

Con: She and her fascist followers tried to threaten the members of the Electoral College into casting their votes for her instead of Trump, thereby reaching the absolute lowest and most disgusting level that any American politician has ever sunk to. 

MITT ROMNEY (Lost to Obama)

Motto: “Pushing women back to the Fifties … the EIGHTEEN fifties!”

Nickname: The Mormon Mondale/ Ol’ Sploog Face (tie)

Pro: His even more pathetic running mate Paul Ryan actually made him look good by comparison. 

Con: Was so thoroughly inept he managed to lose to Barack Obama even after voters saw what a disaster he was. 

John Mccain cheatingJOHN “Let’s fight wars all over the world” MCCAIN (Lost to Obama)

Motto: “I didn’t spend years in the pockets of the McCain Foundation’s billionaire donors just to watch a candidate even MORE deeply in their pockets beat me … but once Barack did I was happy to kiss his butt!”

Nickname: The Crooked Politician Most Deserving of Contracting Brain Cancer. (Don’t blame me! I’m just the messenger. I can’t help what people call him.) Besides, his nauseating way of behaving like a prick then basically saying “You wouldn’t insult a man who has brain cancer, would ya” is so typical of this bought and paid for Republican worm.

Mccain and sorosPro: Soon he will no longer be able to betray his constituents in exchange for bribes.  (NOTE: This post was originally put up back in February)

Con: Is often linked to stories about how he collaborated with his North Vietnamese captors to the detriment of his fellow prisoners, some of whom were beaten to death. And refuses to okay the unsealing of his POW files despite frequent calls to do so. Hmmmm.

Plus this racist did more than anyone else to prevent America from having its first African-American president. And he’ll probably use his impending death to take petty shots at his political enemies since he lacks all integrity.

John McCain hypocrisyNEW NOTE: Hey, I was right! John “Songbird” McCain and his equally worthless daughter DID use his passing and his funeral for cheap shots at people, relying on people’s courtesy over the passing of an alleged human being to prevent them from striking back. The kind of courtesy that a subhuman like McCain would never show anyone else.  

John McCain sleazyJohn McCain was filth and the world is a much better place for him no longer being in it. He was a well-known whore and given how he pathetically exploited his disease and his impending death there is no need for anyone to regret pointing out what an utterly useless man he was. Good riddance, Songbird! EVERYONE KNOWS PEOPLE ONLY PRAISED YOU BECAUSE YOU HATED PRESIDENT TRUMP. YOUR CORPSE MADE A CONVENIENT POLITICAL CLUB TO BE USED BY PEOPLE AS LOW AS YOU ALWAYS WERE. Even the worms will gag on your worthless carcass … but I kid vermin like Songbird McCain. Now back to the list of other presidential losers like McCain:

JOHN KERRY (Lost to George W Bush) Continue reading

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FLASHMAN: THE LOST ADVENTURES

Alan Bates -better Flashman than MalcolmBalladeer’s Blog’s reviews of my picks for The Top Five Harry Flashman Novels are still getting more than their share of attention. (Click HERE )

Before I move on to review the other Flashman novels I decided to instead speculate – in total fanboy mode – on what we readers missed out on with those Harry Flashman adventures referred to but not completed before author George MacDonald Fraser passed away in 2008.

Australian gold fieldsProjected Title: FLASHMAN DOWN UNDER

Time Period: The early period of the Australian Gold Rush (1851-1852)

The Set-Up: The “Forty-Niner” section of Flashman and the Redskins ended in the Spring of 1850 with Harry and Kit Carson riding off into the sunset. Our antihero planned on at last completing his journey toward the California gold fields after all his misadventures along the way.

The Potential Story: Some members of the Australian outlaw gangs who would achieve large-scale fame during the Aussie Gold Rush got their start as failed prospectors turned criminals during the California Gold Rush. Once word got around about the Victoria finds many of the Australians abandoned California and sailed home hoping to strike it rich there.

After the thrilling Jornada del Muerto Desert finale to Flashman and the Redskins Harry was already in New Mexico so presumably he would have made it to California with at least half of 1850 still to go. Our protagonist’s usual boozing, gambling and whoring could easily have gotten him entangled in some way with a few of the shadier Aussies in the Golden State at the time.

Australian gold fields 2Once word reached California about Australia’s very own Gold Rush, Harry could have boarded a ship for Down Under either along with some of the Cali Aussies OR trying to slip away from them for his usual reasons – having slept with some of their women, conning them out of money, etc.    

Arriving in Australia, it’s safe to assume Flashman would still disdain the thought of actually working to strike it rich and would have settled in at first trying to con money from successful prospectors or winning it from them at the card-table. Continue reading

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HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY 2018

American flagBalladeer’s Blog wishes a happy birthday to the USA! What happened in early July of 1776 certainly needs no rehashing so in keeping with my blog’s theme of addressing more out of the way subjects this post will examine various events that took place on other July 4ths throughout American history.

JULY 4TH, 1778 – George Rogers Clark led his rebel forces in taking the British stronghold of Kaskaskia, near the confluence of the Mississippi and Kaskaskia Rivers. Clark and his Rangers were on a mission for then-Virginia Governor Patrick Henry.

JULY 4TH, 1783 – The Massachusetts Supreme Court is finalizing its written decision holding that slavery has been illegal in the state since adoption of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights in 1780. 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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CAPTAIN SILAS TALBOT: REVOLUTIONARY WAR PRIVATEER

Balladeer’s Blog’s 2017 post about Revolutionary War Privateer Captain Jonathan Haraden has proven to be a very popular item. Here’s another neglected American Privateer cut from the same cloth. And for the Haraden post click HERE

Silas TalbotCAPTAIN SILAS TALBOT – Even if he had never gone on to a career in Privateering, Talbot would still have been a fascinating figure from Revolutionary War history. On June 28th, 1775 Silas was commissioned as a Captain in a Rhode Island regiment and served in the military operations which ended with the British surrender of Boston in March of 1776.

During the New York campaign Talbot and a picked crew sailed a Fire Ship into the 64-gun British ship Asia. Under heavy fire from the Asia and with his own craft already burning, Silas was the last man overboard, suffering severe burns which left him temporarily blinded. Talbot was promoted to Major upon recovering and rejoining his unit. Continue reading

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NEW YORK: DECLARATION SIGNERS

With the 4th of July holiday fast approaching here’s a seasonal post: a look at New York’s 4 representatives at the Continental Congress who signed the Declaration of Independence. FOR ALL THE SIGNERS CLICK HERE 

New YorkNEW YORK – 1. William Floyd – Prior to being sent to the 2nd Continental Congress in 1776 Floyd was a Militia General who, earlier in the year, had led New York troops in successfully driving off British forces in the Battle of Gardiner’s Bay on Long Island.  

2. Francis Lewis – During the war his home was destroyed by the British who also dragged off his wife Elizabeth and imprisoned her. George Washington managed her release by having the wives of two wealthy Philadelphia Tories arrested, then exchanging them for Mrs Lewis.   Continue reading

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