Saturday, July 20, 2013

Saturday Serendipity (July 20, 2013)

Saturdays often allow a more leisurely approach to life than work days. I can more easily post links to some blog posts or other materials I have discovered during the week, or even to those discovered during a Saturday morning coffee and extended surfing of the blogosphere/internet.

Here are a few serendipitous discoveries from this week that I commend for inclusion on your reading list.

1.  It bears repeating that anyone with a genealogy that involves Rhode Island -- or who has just a general interest in the history of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations -- must add Diane Boumenot's One Rhode Island Family to their blog follow list!  On July 14th Diane posted an indexed map of Providence from 1881 that she scanned and has made available with zoom and navigation functions here.  Thank you Diane!!       

2.  Judy Russell at The Legal Genealogist has performed a great service for all of us that have an interest in genetic genealogy, but are challenged by the pace of the developing science of DNA testing.  Judy has assembled a list of what she calls "the must-read blogs of genetic genealogy."  She provides brief summaries and links to six bloggers and their blogs.  I am working my way through each of them and suggest you check them out too.  Thank you Judy! 

3.  Most of the recommendations in Saturday Serendipity are for interesting or instructive reads. This recommendation is a YouTube video of 11minutes 57 seconds called "BOATLIFT."  If you have not yet seen BOATLIFT, narrated by actor Tom Hanks, you need to take 12 minutes to watch it here.  You will learn about the largest, fastest evacuation by sea in history -- and even though Dunkirk evacuated some 339,000 people over nine days, it pales in comparison to the evacuation you will see and learn about!  This one took about nine hours and evacuated about 500,000 people!  [Thanks to Ron, the Director of the office where I work, for the link to this amazing video!]   

4.  Yesterday there was a convergence of historical events that should not go by without notice and comment, so here are two links that are worth reading.  TEASER:  It took 72 years from the first event for the call to be accomplished . . . and then it took another 64 years for the second event  -- a related major milestone in American history to be accomplished.  [Perhaps 32 years after the second event and 168 years after the first event another historic accomplishment could take place in 2016.  It's possible!]         

5.   Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings had a summary of viewpoints from his readers on several topics including online family trees, what is direct and indirect evidence, and is citing to indexes a sign of a bad researcher.  The comments are instructive and you can read them here. AND, you definitely have to check out the link to the National Atlas website showcased by Randy yesterday.  See his "Rivers of America" post here!

6.  And finally, today is one of those singular dates in human history that should never be forgotten -- though I worry that those who were not at least of school age at the time have no real connection to the event and thus it is merely a passing historical marker (like the ones on the side of the road pointing to some long-ago battlefield) because they did not share in the global watch that took place on July 20, 1969.  I am speaking of course about the 44th anniversary of the day mankind first landed on an extraterrestrial body -- the day Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the surface of the Moon at a location known as the "Sea of Tranquility." They were the first of twenty-four American astronauts who have traveled to the Moon.  I suggest you spend a few minutes today or tomorrow reading about this monumental event and achievement.  You can read about it here  -- especially if you do not personally recall the event.

Tomorrow, July 21st at 02:56 UTC [Coordinated Universal Time which is the same as Greenwich Mean Time except that GMT is not precisely defined by the scientific community any longer] marks the moment six hours after the landing when a human being first stepped foot on a body in the cosmos other than Earth.  It was not quite ten years from the moment the first man-made object reached the surface of the Moon on September 13, 1959 until the first humans walked on its surface on July 21, 1969.  Read about the history of Moon explorations and landings here  

I have very vivid memories of the Moon landing because I was one of the 35,000 participants at the Boy Scout 1969 National Jamboree at Farragut State Park outside Coeur d'Alene, Idaho when the landing took place.  Neil Armstrong was an Eagle Scout and so when the famous words came, "Houston, Tranquility Base here.  The Eagle has landed," it had additional meaning at the Jamboree.  [The lunar module that Armstrong and Aldrin rode to the Moon's surface was named the Eagle.  If you read the first Moon landing link above, you will find an interesting factoid about how this name came to be.] The Moon landing was a highlight of the Jamboree for me and 34,999 others in many ways, but I also had the opportunity to personally meet both Jesse Owens and Lady Olave Baden-Powell (wife of Scouting founder Lord Baden-Powell).

My 1969 National Jamboree participant's patch
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

A scan of my original 1969 National Jamboree patch, which I hand sewed into clear plastic with snaps on the back so it could be snapped onto my uniform, but would remain in pristine condition.  The "Building To Serve" rocker displayed the theme of the Jamboree and had to be earned by performing 15 different tasks (one for each letter in the theme) that got signed off/stamped on a card with the 15 letters of the theme.   
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Copyright 2013, John D. Tew
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

1 comment:

  1. John, many thanks for the mention. That Providence map was a great find and I hope others enjoy it.