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Liberty . Responsibility . Patriotism . Courage
Celebrating the God-given privilege of
personal freedom throughout the world
Friday, November 24, 2017

To the Moon and Back: We Can Do Hard Things

Space Travel
Author: admin
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
10:20 am

On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced his goal of putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

Kennedy moon speech 1961

A brief excerpt of the speech:

I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish.

… in a very real sense, it will not be one man going to the moon–if we make this judgment affirmatively, it will be an entire nation. For all of us must work to put him there.

What a thrill it was of living through those years of incredible innovation, splendid courage and diligent work by so many people. As President Kennedy said, it was not just one man going to the moon, it was a nation united in effort to get that astronauts there and bring them back.

P.S.  I think the look on Lyndon Johnson’s face is priceless.  It is as if he were thinking, “What in the world has that guy been smoking? We’ll never do that!”

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Big Day for Lindbergh and Earhart!

Freedom History
Author: admin
Thursday, May 21, 2015
4:37 pm

Today is the anniversary of two great events in aviation history.  On May 21, 1927, Charles Lindbergh landed in Paris, successfully completing the first solo, nonstop flight across the Atlantic ocean.  Five years later, on May 21, 1932, Amelia Earhart became the first pilot to repeat the feat, landing her plane in Ireland after flying across the North Atlantic.

Congratulations to these brave pioneers of the air!

LindbergEarhart

Both Lindberg’s Spirit of St. Louis and Earhart’s Lockheed Vega airplanes are now housed in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Spirit St Louis 590

Lockheed Vega 5b Smithsonian

 

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Happy Birthday, Levi’s Blue Jeans!

Freedom History
Author: admin
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
2:18 pm

Are you wearing Levi’s today?  I am.  142 years ago, on May 20, 1873, businessmen Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis were granted a patent for creating work pants reinforced with metal rivets, marking the birth of the time-honored Levi Strauss & Co brand that became synonymous with All-American blue jeans!

Levis

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State of Israel Proclaimed

Freedom History
Author: admin
Thursday, May 14, 2015
4:14 pm

Israel

On May 14, 1948, in Tel Aviv, David Ben-Gurion, shown standing beneath a portrait of Theodor Herzi, one of the fathers of modern political Zionism, proclaims the State of Israel, establishing the first modern Jewish state.  

Now, 67 years later, Israel remains the only nation in the middle east with a democratically elected government.

I have been privileged to visit Israel twice, in 1991 and 2000.  I consider those visits significant highlights of my life.

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Lewis and Clark Expedition

Freedom History
Author: admin
Thursday, May 14, 2015
3:50 pm

On May 14, 1804, 211 years ago today, the Lewis and Clark expedition, departed St. Louis in route to the west coast of what is now the United States.

Lewisclard

From Wikipedia:

The Lewis and Clark Expedition, also known as the Corps of Discovery Expedition, was the first American expedition to cross what is now the western portion of the United States, departing in May 1804, from near St. Louis on the Mississippi River, making their way westward through the continental divide to the Pacific coast.

The expedition was commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson shortly after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, consisting of a select group of U.S. Army volunteers under the command of Captain Meriwether Lewis and his close friend Second Lieutenant William Clark. Their perilous journey lasted from May 1804 to September 1806.

The expedition returned to St. Louis on September 23, 1806, bringing much information about the newly purchased territory, as well as establishing claims to the Oregon Territory.

It is interesting to note that Sacagawea, who served as an interpreter and guide for the Expedition, was of the Lemhi Shoshone tribe, which was one tribes that played a key part in the history of Southern Idaho, where I grew up.  The town of Shoshone, Idaho, was located about 15 miles away from my boyhood home.

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Freedom to Choose Our Destiny

Freedom Article
Author: admin
Monday, May 11, 2015
6:52 am

Forkroad

President Thomas S. Monson has often taught, “Decisions determine destiny.” Because of the atonement of Christ, each of us possesses the freedom to choose where our lives will lead.

Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself. (2 Nephi 2:27)

 

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Nelson Mandela Inaugurated

Champion of Freedom
Author: admin
Sunday, May 10, 2015
9:43 am

Mandela

Twenty one years ago today, on May 10, 1994, Nelson Mandela was sworn in as the first black president of South Africa, following the first fully representative democratic election in South Africa.

Stephen Covey once spoke of Nelson Mandela while explaining the concept of “moral authority”:

I recently had a visit from Nelson Mandela. You can see his moral authority. Former US secretary of state Colin Powell said that Mandela’s inauguration was one of the most electrifying moments of his whole life. On Mandela’s left side were his family and loved ones, and on his right side were his gaolers who had tortured and demeaned him. Yet he bowed to them and said: ‘Good morning, gentleman.’

I asked him, ‘How long did it take to get over the bitterness and the demeaning treatment and torture you experienced?’ Mandela said, ‘About four years – I noticed how they talked to each other and how they talked about each other’s families. I came to realise that they were good people who were also victims of the apartheid system’.

Some of my favorite Mandel quotes:

I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.

For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.

Thank you, Mr. Mandela, for your undying quest for freedom in the world!

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Transcontinental Railroad Completed

Freedom History
Author: admin
Sunday, May 10, 2015
9:18 am

On May 10, 1869, the presidents of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads meet in Promontory, Utah  and drive a ceremonial “Golden Spike” into a rail line that connected their railroads, providing a link between the eastern and western United States.

Railroad

From History.com:

One year into the Civil War, a Republican-controlled Congress passed the Pacific Railroad Act (1862), guaranteeing public land grants and loans to the two railroads it chose to build the transcontinental line, the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific. With these in hand, the railroads began work in 1866 from Omaha and Sacramento, forging a northern route across the country. …

For all the adversity they suffered, the Union Pacific and Central Pacific workers were able to finish the railroad–laying nearly 2,000 miles of track–by 1869, ahead of schedule and under budget. Journeys that had taken months by wagon train or weeks by boat now took only days. Their work had an immediate impact: The years following the construction of the railway were years of rapid growth and expansion for the United States, due in large part to the speed and ease of travel that the railroad provided.

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VE Day – 70 Years Ago Today

Freedom History
Author: admin
Friday, May 8, 2015
9:04 am

Seventy years ago today, Victory in Europe Day  generally known as VE day, was proclaimed when the Allies accepted Nazi Germany’s surrender, marking the end of World War II and Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich.

Ve day

Thank you to all the brave men and women who gave their lives to preserve freedom in the world!

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First American in Space – May 5, 1961

Space Travel
Author: admin
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
1:27 pm

Fifty four years ago today, on May 5, 1961, a long time before I knew anything about Cinco de MayoMercury Astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. blasted off in his Freedom 7 capsule atop a Mercury-Redstone rocket. His 15-minute sub-orbital flight made him the first American in space

His flight further fueled my love for space travel that had been building since the Sputnik and Vanguard satellites were launched a few years previously.

 

Alan Shepard, Mercury-Redstone Rocket

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