When Alan Bean retired from NASA and decided to become a full-time professional fine-art artist, he had to shed his aeronautical engineering and astronaut self to allow his inner artistic vision come through to the canvas. Not an easy task for the former Apollo 12 astronaut, one of only 12 men to have walked on the surface of the moon, a person who spent his entire adult life in the very un-artistic no-BS world of naval aviation and astronaut training, where attention to detail and doing things "by the book" was essential.
The armistice1 that ended the fighting in World War I was signed by representatives from Germany, France, and the United Kingdom, at 5AM on 11/11/1918, in a railroad carriage in Compiègne, France, but the agreement didn't go into effect for another six hours. WWI would end at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, which was fine for those who like things wrapped up in neat little packages for posterity, but bad for those who were still in the trenches living like rats and getting shot at.
The National Archives today are due to release somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,000 never-before-seen documents along with the full versions of at least 30,000 other redacted documents that had previously been released all pertaining to the November 22, 1963, assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. As new findings emerge from these documents, I thought it would be a good time to present a few facts about the "second gunman".
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was first released in the U.K. on May 26, 1967, and in the U.S. on June 2 of that year, exactly 50 years before this Second Thoughts entry. Widely regarded as the greatest album of all time, it is also one of the most widely recognized album covers.
Madison Square Garden is New York's premier indoor arena and venue. It is the home of the the New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Liberty (WNBA), and the New York Rangers (NHL) sports franchises. It is the main venue for the Men's Big East Basketball Conference Tournament, the National Invitational Tournament Final and many other sporting and boxing events. Even the first Wrestlemania was held there. As a concert hall, many famous bands and musicians have performed there, including Aerosmith, Marc Anthony, Beyoncé, Black Sabbath, Cher, Eric Clapton, Depeche Mode, Bob Dylan, Missy Elliot, Enrique Iglesias, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Elton John, Alicia Keys, Kiss, Lenny Kravitz, Lady Gaga, John Lennon, Madonna, Metallica, Katy Perry, Phish, Elvis Presley, Prince, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Barbara Streisand, Taylor Swift, U2, Kanye West, Whitney Houston, the Who, Neil Young, and many others.
You'd think that if finding out the first person to do something was relatively easy, then finding the second person to do something would be just as easy, right? SilverMedals finds that this is not the case in many cases, and annoyingly so. For instance who was the second person to circumnavigate the globe? Most of us American kids learned in school that the first person to lead a round-the-world expedition, or circumnavigation, was the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, or rather Fernão de Magalhães1 as it should be written in the proper Portuguese.
This is one of those "only-people-interested-in-SilverMedals-type-stuff" entries. While researching two upcoming pieces for SilverMedals ("Thomas Jefferson's Second Dome" and "The Second Madison Square Garden"), the famous architect Stanford White came to figure prominently in both, which was not something that I had anticipated.