Happy Thanksgiving from my Family to Yours.

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Enjoy your Turkey

 

Anniversary of the Edmund Fitzgerald (November 10, 1975)

Edmund Fitzgerald

I am from Upper Michigan and I remember this day. I have a replica of this ship.

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Edmund Fitzgerald, St. Mary’s River, 1975. Photo by Bob Campbell

The legend of the Edmund Fitzgerald remains the most mysterious and controversial of all shipwreck tales heard around the Great Lakes. Her story is surpassed in books, film and media only by that of the Titanic. Canadian folksinger Gordon Lightfoot inspired popular interest in this vessel with his 1976 ballad, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”

The Edmund Fitzgerald was lost with her entire crew of 29 men on Lake Superior November 10, 1975, 17 miles north-northwest of Whitefish Point, Michigan. Whitefish Point is the site of the Whitefish Point Light Station and Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society (GLSHS) has conducted three underwater expeditions to the wreck, 1989, 1994, and 1995.

At the request of family members surviving her crew, Fitzgerald’s 200 lb. bronze bell was recovered by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society on July 4, 1995. This expedition was conducted jointly with the National Geographic Society, Canadian Navy, Sony Corporation, and Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. The bell is now on display in the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum as a memorial to her lost crew.

The Fateful Journey

The final voyage of the Edmund Fitzgerald began November 9, 1975 at the Burlington Northern Railroad Dock No.1, Superior, Wisconsin. Captain Ernest M. McSorley had loaded her with 26,116 long tons of taconite pellets, made of processed iron ore, heated and rolled into marble-size balls. Departing Superior about 2:30 pm, she was soon joined by the Arthur M. Anderson, which had departed Two Harbors, Minnesota under Captain Bernie Cooper. The two ships were in radio contact. The Fitzgerald being the faster took the lead, with the distance between the vessels ranging from 10 to 15 miles.

Aware of a building November storm entering the Great Lakes from the great plains, Captain McSorley and Captain Cooper agreed to take the northerly course across Lake Superior, where they would be protected by highlands on the Canadian shore. This took them between Isle Royale and the Keweenaw Peninsula. They would later make a turn to the southeast to eventually reach the shelter of Whitefish Point.

Weather conditions continued to deteriorate. Gale warnings had been issued at 7 pm on November 9, upgraded to storm warnings early in the morning of November 10. While conditions were bad, with winds gusting to 50 knots and seas 12 to 16 feet, both Captains had often piloted their vessels in similar conditions. In the early afternoon of November 10, the Fitzgerald had passed Michipicoten Island and was approaching Caribou Island. The Anderson was just approaching Michipicoten, about three miles off the West End Light.

Captain Cooper maintained that he watched the Edmund Fitzgerald pass far too close to Six Fathom Shoal to the north of Caribou Island. He could clearly see the ship and the beacon on Caribou on his radar set and could measure the distance between them. He and his officers watched the Fitzgerald pass right over the dangerous area of shallow water. By this time, snow and rising spray had obscured the Fitzgerald from sight, visible 17 miles ahead on radar.

At 3:30 pm that afternoon, Captain McSorley radioed Captain Cooper and said: “Anderson, this is the Fitzgerald. I have a fence rail down, two vents lost or damaged, and a list. I’m checking down. Will you stay by me till I get to Whitefish?” McSorley was checking down his speed to allow the Anderson to close the distance for safety. Captain Cooper asked McSorley if he had his pumps going, and McSorley said, “Yes, both of them.”

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“The Wreck Site II” by David Conklin Available online in the Shipwreck Coast Museum Store.

As the afternoon wore on, radio communications with the Fitzgerald concerned navigational information but no extraordinarily alarming reports were offered by Captain McSorley. At about 5:20 pm the crest of a wave smashed the Anderson’s starboard lifeboat, making it unusable. Captain Cooper reported winds from the NW x W (305 ) at a steady 58 knots with gusts to 70 knots, and seas of 18 to 25 feet.

According to Captain Cooper, about 6:55 pm, he and the men in the Anderson’s pilothouse felt a “bump”, felt the ship lurch, and then turned to see a monstrous wave engulfing their entire vessel from astern. The wave worked its way along the deck, crashing on the back of the pilothouse, driving the bow of the Anderson down into the sea.

“Then the Anderson just raised up and shook herself off of all that water – barrooff – just like a big dog. Another wave just like the first one or bigger hit us again. I watched those two waves head down the lake towards the Fitzgerald, and I think those were the two that sent him under.”

Uncle Sam Day

Uncle Sam Day - September 13

Uncle Sam Day – September 13

The man behind the iconic image and fascinating nickname for the United States government is recognized on Uncle Sam Day, born on September 13, 1766.

Sam Wilson, a meatpacker from New York, supplied barrels of meat to soldiers during the war of 1812.  To identify the meat for shipment, Wilson prominently stamped “U.S.” on the barrels.  It wasn’t long before the soldiers dubbed the grub a delivery from Uncle Sam.  As such nicknames tend to do, its popularity spread.

The first illustration of Uncle Sam is unlike the one we know today.  Published by Harper’s Weekly in 1861, the young government representative (a starred bandana on his head and wearing a striped vest)  is depicted dividing up Virginia like a butcher. The image of Uncle Sam would take many forms over the years.

Credit is given to German-born illustrator and cartoonist Thomas Nast for developing the long-legged Uncle Sam with the starred top hat and striped pants who is more like the one we know today.  The Harper’s Weekly political cartoonist took on many issues with his Uncle Sam character including Boss Tweed, Union recruitment, and Reconstruction.

During the modern era, Uncle Sam obtained some color.  The United States Army awarded Montgomery Flagg with the artwork for the familiar portrait used in the “I Want You For The U.S. Army” campaign during World War I.  It first appeared on the cover of Leslie’s Weekly, an illustrated literary and news magazine.

HOW TO OBSERVE

Use #UncleSamDay to post on social media.

HISTORY

President George W. Bush proclaimed Uncle Sam Day to be September 13, 1989, in honor of the anniversary of the birth of Samuel Wilson.  It coincided with the bicentennial celebration of the City of Troy, New York where Wilson lived and worked.  The City of Try requested the designation of the President.

On September 7, 1961, through concurrent resolutions Congress officially named Uncle Sam a permanent symbol of American strength and idealism.

9/11

On September 11, 2001, 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four airplanes and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. Two of the planes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a third plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. Almost 3,000 people were killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which triggered major U.S. initiatives to combat terrorism and defined the presidency of George W. Bush.

CONTENTS

World Trade Center

Osama bin Laden

Pentagon Attack

Twin Towers Collapse

Flight 93

How Many People Died in 9/11 Attacks?

America Responds

Sources

WORLD TRADE CENTER

On September 11, 2001, at 8:45 a.m. on a clear Tuesday morning, an American Airlines Boeing 767 loaded with 20,000 gallons of jet fuel crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City.

The impact left a gaping, burning hole near the 80th floor of the 110-story skyscraper, instantly killing hundreds of people and trapping hundreds more in higher floors.

As the evacuation of the tower and its twin got underway, television cameras broadcasted live images of what initially appeared to be a freak accident. Then, 18 minutes after the first plane hit, a second Boeing 767—United Airlines Flight 175—appeared out of the sky, turned sharply toward the World Trade Center and sliced into the south tower near the 60th floor.

The collision caused a massive explosion that showered burning debris over surrounding buildings and onto the streets below. It immediately became clear that America was under attack.

DID YOU KNOW?

September 11, 2001, was the deadliest day in history for New York City firefighters: 343 were killed.

OSAMA BIN LADEN

The attackers were Islamic terrorists from Saudi Arabia and several other Arab nations. Reportedly financed by the al-Qaeda terrorist organization of Saudi fugitive Osama bin Laden, they were allegedly acting in retaliation for America’s support of Israel, its involvement in the Persian Gulf War and its continued military presence in the Middle East.

Some of the terrorists had lived in the United States for more than a year and had taken flying lessons at American commercial flight schools. Others had slipped into the country in the months before September 11 and acted as the “muscle” in the operation.

The 19 terrorists easily smuggled box-cutters and knives through security at three East Coast airports and boarded four early-morning flights bound for California, chosen because the planes were loaded with fuel for the long transcontinental journey. Soon after takeoff, the terrorists commandeered the four planes and took the controls, transforming ordinary passenger jets into guided missiles.

PENTAGON ATTACK

As millions watched the events unfolding in New York, American Airlines Flight 77 circled over downtown Washington, D.C., before crashing into the west side of the Pentagon military headquarters at 9:45 a.m.

Jet fuel from the Boeing 757 caused a devastating inferno that led to the structural collapse of a portion of the giant concrete building, which is the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense.

All told, 125 military personnel and civilians were killed in the Pentagon, along with all 64 people aboard the airliner.

TWIN TOWERS COLLAPSE

Less than 15 minutes after the terrorists struck the nerve center of the U.S. military, the horror in New York took a catastrophic turn when the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed in a massive cloud of dust and smoke.

The structural steel of the skyscraper, built to withstand winds in excess of 200 miles per hour and a large conventional fire, could not withstand the tremendous heat generated by the burning jet fuel.

At 10:30 a.m., the north building of the twin towers collapsed. Only six people in the World Trade Center towers at the time of their collapse survived. Almost 10,000 others were treated for injuries, many severe.

FLIGHT 93

Meanwhile, a fourth California-bound plane—United Flight 93—was hijacked about 40 minutes after leaving Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. Because the plane had been delayed in taking off, passengers on board learned of events in New York and Washington via cell phone and Airfone calls to the ground.

Knowing that the aircraft was not returning to an airport as the hijackers claimed, a group of passengers and flight attendants planned an insurrection.

One of the passengers, Thomas Burnett, Jr., told his wife over the phone that “I know we’re all going to die. There’s three of us who are going to do something about it. I love you, honey.” Another passenger—Todd Beamer—was heard saying “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll” over an open line.

Sandy Bradshaw, a flight attendant, called her husband and explained that she had slipped into a galley and was filling pitchers with boiling water. Her last words to him were “Everyone’s running to first class. I’ve got to go. Bye.”

The passengers fought the four hijackers and are suspected to have attacked the cockpit with a fire extinguisher. The plane then flipped over and sped toward the ground at upwards of 500 miles per hour, crashing in a rural field near Shanksville in western Pennsylvania at 10:10 a.m.

All 44 people aboard were killed. Its intended target is not known, but theories include the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland or one of several nuclear power plants along the eastern seaboard.

HOW MANY PEOPLE DIED IN 9/11 ATTACKS?

A total of 2,996 people were killed in the 9/11 attacks, including the 19 terrorist hijackers aboard the four airplanes.

At the World Trade Center, 2,763 died after the two planes slammed into the twin towers. That figure includes 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York City police officers and 37 Port Authority police officers who were struggling to complete an evacuation of the buildings and save the office workers trapped on higher floors.

At the Pentagon, 189 people were killed, including 64 on American Airlines Flight 77, the airliner that struck the building. On Flight 93, 44 people died when the plane crash-landed in Pennsylvania.

AMERICA RESPONDS

At 7 p.m., President George W. Bush, who was in Florida at the time of the attacks and had spent the day being shuttled around the country because of security concerns, returned to the White House.

At 9 p.m., he delivered a televised address from the Oval Office, declaring, “Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.”

In a reference to the eventual U.S. military response he declared, “We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.”

Operation Enduring Freedom, the American-led international effort to oust the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and destroy Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network based there, began on October 7. Within two months, U.S. forces had effectively removed the Taliban from operational power, but the war continued, as U.S. and coalition forces attempted to defeat a Taliban insurgency campaign based in neighboring Pakistan.

Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the September 11th attacks, remained at large until May 2, 2011, when he was finally tracked down and killed by U.S. forces at a hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan. In June 2011, President Barack Obama announced the beginning of large-scale troop withdrawals from Afghanistan.

SOURCES

The Encyclopedia of 9/11. New York Magazine.

FAQ About 9/11. 9/11 Memorial.

September 11th Terror Attacks Fast Facts. CNN.

9/11 Death Statistics. StatisticBrain.com.

Pluto Demoted Day

Pluto Demoted Day on August 24 commemorates the day in 2006 when Pluto's status was downgraded from a full sized planet to a dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

Happy Birthday to our favorite brown-eyed beagle, Snoopy! 🎂🎉 This strip was published on August 10, 1968

National Crayon Collection Month

Preparing for the return to school, National Crayon Collection Month in August makes a point of ensuring every child has this essential school supply.

Those gently used, but discarded restaurant crayons are the focus of Crayon Collection, a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to redirecting mountains of much-needed crayons from landfills to schools. National Crayon Collection Month draws awareness to the environmental and social impact of throwing crayons away while students across the country go without crucial classroom supplies.

Throughout the month, families and teachers are encouraged to ask managers of kid-friendly restaurants to save their discarded crayons.  At the end of the campaign, they can return to the restaurant, collect the restaurant’s saved crayons and donate them to their local schools. Bringing all those simple but brightly colored art tools to classrooms will free up teacher resources and place them into the hands of children who might have gone without.

Our goal is for every child in America to have the crayons they need in time for the start of school. With the help of kid-friendly restaurants we can reallocate resources so that instead of trashing this like-new art supply, we can collect them for children to learn and expand their imaginations with. ~Sheila Michail Morovati – Founder Crayon Collection

Crayons don’t decompose, but in the hands of young, supple minds, they foster visual learning, creativity, and academic achievement. Annually, over 150 million restaurant crayons given to young diners eventually end up in landfills. End to end, those crayons could span the contiguous United States 3 times or scale the Empire State Building 30,175 times. Wouldn’t those barely used crayons better serve the nearly 16 million children who live in poverty and are unable to afford even this simple tool of expression?  By collecting and redistributing crayons, our teachers can put some of the almost $900 of their own money they spend preparing their classrooms each fall, back into their pockets. Districts across the country continue to cut art funding despite the research supporting the positive impacts it has on scholastic performance. Putting art back in the classroom and giving students an environment for creativity cultivates curiosity and promotes learning.

HOW TO OBSERVE

Ask the question of your local restaurants. “Will you save crayons?” Be sure to make a commitment, too.  Collect the crayons from the restaurant at the end of the month and donate them to your schools. Teachers can participate in the Crayon Collection Curriculum to bring more art into your classroom. Share photos of your collections and art by using #GotCrayons on social media to encourage others to participate and to show how simply you can gain access to thousands of crayons. Want to learn more? Visit Crayon Collection and find out more about how to participate in National Crayon Collection Month.
Follow Crayon Collection on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, too!

Kid Friendly Restaurants
IHOP                                          Denny’s
Applebees                                  BJ’s
Cracker Barrel                           Olive Garden
California Pizza Kitchen          Outback
Island’s Restaurants                Buffalo Wild Wings
Bubba Gump

Welcome August

August Facts
The 8th month the year brings us National Aviation Day, and the last full month of the Summer.
Below are some fun facts about August:
1 The birthstones for August are the peridot and the sardonyx.
2 The zodiac signs for August are Leo (July 23 – August 22) and Virgo (August 23 – September 22)
3 The birth flowers for August are the gladiolus and the poppy.
4 On August 1, 1876, Colorado, also known as the Centennial State, became the 38th state of the United States.
5 On August 2, 1909, the Lincoln penny was issued.
6 On August 3, 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail on his first voyage across the Atlantic.
7 During the Civil War on August 5, 1864, the Battle of Mobile Bay was won by the Union forces.
8 On August 6, 1926, Gertrude Ederle successfully swam the English Channel.
9 On August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb was used in warfare on Hiroshima, Japan.
10 On August 7, 1942, the U.S. troops landed on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands during World War II.
11 On August 9, 1974, Richard M. Nixon resigned from office, making him the first United States president to ever resign from office.
12 On August 12, 1877, the phonograph was invented by Thomas Edison.
13 On August 12, 1898, Hawaii was annexed by the United States.
14 National Family Fun Month
15 National Peach Month
16 National Golf Month
17 National Picnic Month
18 Romance Awareness Month
19 Friendship Day – first Sunday of August
20 August 26 – Women's Equality Day

National Girlfriends Day. My BFF Day


National Girlfriends Day is recognized annually on August 1, as girlfriends get together around the United States and celebrate their special bond of Girlfriends can often be our sisters or mothers, classmates or co-workers. These dearest friends who are here for us.

Girlfriends can often be our sisters or mothers, classmates or co-workers. These dearest friends who are here for us.  They enjoy spending time together, laughing and sharing secrets.  They seek us out in times of need, and we seek each other out in times of celebration. When it’s time for a glass of wine or a long walk, girlfriends are there. They enjoy spending time together, laughing and sharing secrets.  


Friendship is one of the most special connections in life. 

Whether we have one or many, girlfriends make life better, fuller and complete.  National Girlfriends Day celebrates the unlimited ways life is better with our girlfriends in it. 

HOW TO OBSERVE
Today, let your gal pals know just how much they mean to you and how special they are in your life. Go out for lunch or a drink with a friend. Post on social media using #NationalGirlfriendsDay.

HISTORY
National Girlfriends Day was created by the social networking site, www.sisterwoman.com.

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