06-18 DATES, ANNIVERSARIES, and
Event 06-18-1983, Dr. Sally Ride, 32-year-old
with a Ph.D. in physics and pilot's license becomes the first U.S. woman
astronaut in space as a mission specialist aboard space shuttle Challenger,
20 years and two days after the first Russian woman went into space. It
would be another 15 years before an American woman became a co-pilot of
a U.S. space vessel.
It took until 1995 - 32 years later - for American
Lt. Col. Eileen Collins to touch the controls of an American
spacecraft as co-pilot on a space mission. In 1998, she was named a space
mission pilot and is scheduled to lift off her spacecraft in late 1999.
In 1963,Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova (B.
03-06-1937), a highly trained Soviet Cosmonaut, was the first woman in
space orbiting the earth 45 times June 16-19 (although misinformation in
the American press tried to play it down by saying she was merely a token
woman, a factory worker, and thereby denying her training by the sin of
Valentina manually controlled Vostok-6 during part
of the 70.8-hour flight through 48 orbits of earth. She was a parachutist
and later a member of the Russian parliament, but she was not a trained
pilot - although and we must emphasis this, she was highly trained
for the space mission - as trained as John Glenn, et al. were trained for
It wasn't until 1997 - 36 years later - that Collins
went into space. The delay was and is simply sexual bigotry. NASA tests
in the 1960s (that were somehow never released until a Congressional investigation)
showed that women were better suited to space than men. The women scored
higher than John Glenn. And, oh yes, EVERY American women astronaut has
been required to hold a Ph.D.
B. June 18, 1900, Laura Z. Hobson - U.S. author
wrote revolutionary novels about social injustices. Gentleman's Agreement
dealt with anti-Semitism, Tenth Month, on unwed motherhood, Consenting
Adult, on homosexuality.
B. 06-18-1901, Anastasia, Grand Duchess of
Russia and the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, last emperor
of Russia, and Aleksandra Fyodorovna.
The death of Anastasia is still hotly contested.
A famous claimant was proved false according to DNA
evidence from a hospital specimen used long after her death. Many believe
that the tissue sample from an operation that proved the claimant was not
Antastasia and thus heir to a fabulous amount of money was falsified. So
the debate continues.
Anastasia's body or remains were not found with others
in a mass grave in Russia considered (and DNA proved) the Czar's family.
B. June 18, 1901, Jeanette Macdonald, very
popular U.S. singer-actor best known today for her singing over the
ruins of San Francisco (1936) and duets with Canadian Mounties although
she was an accomplished Broadway actor and a fine comedic player. She was
one of the top money grossers of her era. The Hollywood machine type cast
her in the fluffy roles and the studio moguls didn't allow her to break
out of the mold.
B. June 18, 1913, Sylvia Porter, financial
writer who first wrote under her initials because men would not pay
attention to a woman financial writer. She was long been recognized as
one of the finest authorities in the field.
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