READ: Here’s The Resolution Condemning Trump’s Racist Comments About Congresswomen

From left, Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York respond to attacks by President Trump in a press conference on Monday. The House is set to vote on a resolution condemning his comments.

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J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The House will vote Tuesday evening on a resolution condemning President Trump’s racist tweets. The non-binding resolution states that Trump’s “racist comments have legitimized fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.”

It goes on to declare that “immigrants and their descendants have made America stronger”; that the House is committed to keeping America open to those lawfully seeking refuge and asylum from violence and oppression;” and that it “strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.”

The resolution is sponsored by Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-N.J., who is Polish-born, and will be co-sponsored by other lawmakers born abroad.

The resolution comes in response to Trump’s tweets, starting Sunday, in which he said that a group of Democratic lawmakers, all women of color, should “go back” to countries of their ancestry, and that they “hate America.”

Trump continued his broadsides against the four Tuesday, tweeting, “Why isn’t the House voting to rebuke the filthy and hate laced things they have said? Because they are the Radical Left, and the Democrats are afraid to take them on. Sad!”

The four Democrats are Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of N.Y., Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. All but Omar were born in the United States. Omar is a naturalized citizen from Somalia.

Trump’s comments have been widely condemned by Democrats, and a handful of Republican lawmakers. The vote on the resolution presents GOP lawmakers with the choice of going on the record against the president, who is popular within the GOP, or going along with his latest incendiary remarks.

Can’t see the document? Click here.

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Terry Crews Lip Syncs Brittany Howard’s ‘Stay High’

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When you have a voice like Brittany Howard, just about anybody looks good singing along. But when that person singing along is former NFL player, current Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor and generally beloved human being Terry Crews, it’s all the more sweeter.

If the first single “History Repeats” from the Alabama Shakes frontwoman’s debut solo album, Jaime, laid down some earthy funk, “Stay High” floats in the air, celebrating hard work with the love of home.

“Cuz where I come from everybody frowns and walks around with that ugly thing on their face / And where I come from we work hard and grind and hustle all day,” she sings, hitting a high-flying Yes we do! in response.

“This video is shot in my home town of Athens, Alabama. The actors are my family and friends,” Howard writes in a press release. “Terry Crews plays a man who isn’t out to change the world, he plays a man who just wants to come home to those who understand and love him best. We see his inner beauty, grace and humanity in a place that is so often misunderstood.”

How did Terry Crews come to appear in the video? Simple. Brittany Howard asked (she also makes a cameo).

“I got an email from the Brittany Howard, asking me to be a part of a song she wrote that was all about her dad and how special he was to the family. And she poured her heart out in this letter. I couldn’t believe it,” Terry Crews recalls. “Brittany was like, ‘We can shoot it in L.A.,’ and I said, ‘No, I’m coming to you, we’re going to Alabama. We’re going to where you grew up, to where your family is.”


Jaime is due out Sep. 20 on ATO Records.

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With Latest Nativist Rhetoric, Trump Takes America Back To Where It Came From

“Help Wanted/No Irish Need Apply” sign photographed in 1998 at O’Riley Hibernian Pub in Lawrence, Mass.

Jonathan Wiggs/Boston Globe via Getty Images


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Jonathan Wiggs/Boston Globe via Getty Images

With his latest round of attacks on four first-year members of Congress who are women of color, President Trump has once again touched the raw nerve of racism in American life.

He has also tapped into one of the oldest strains in our politics — the fear and vilification of immigrants and their descendants.

Although three of the four women were born in the United States, the president said they should all “go back” where they came from. That phrase has echoed down generations of nativist discourse as successive waves of newcomers have been targeted by individuals, groups and even whole political parties.

At times, the motivations have been economic, focusing on competition for jobs and such social goods as housing or welfare programs. But there has also been a recurrent theme of cultural difference – an emphasis on characteristics of religion or language that identify new arrivals as “the other.”

Anti-immigration sentiments emerged in force in the 1830s, when U.S. citizens descended primarily from English and Scottish settlers bridled at the influx of Irish. Most of the arriving Irish were Catholic, prompting a hostile reaction among some Protestants that led to deadly riots in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. The persistence of such prejudice made “No Irish Need Apply” one of the most iconic signs in the national memory.

After the Irish, the hostile reaction extended to a surge of new arrivals in the 1840s from Germany, again largely Catholic. In ethnic terms, the Irish and Germans were akin to other colonial Americans (and to immigrants arriving from Scandinavia). But they were viewed as different, clannish and hard to assimilate – not just competing for jobs but threatening the social, cultural and political order.

They were pilloried as susceptible to criminality, drunkenness and also as loyal to the foreign power of the pope in Rome.

In this anti-Catholic cartoon circa 1855, Pope Pius IX steps ashore the United States. Read the full captions on the Library of Congress website.

Nathaniel Currier via Library of Congress


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Nathaniel Currier via Library of Congress

In the 1840s and 1850s, political parties formed in the U.S. to oppose the permissive immigration policies of the time. Some of these parties embraced the term “Native American,” spawning the label “nativist” that has stuck to succeeding generations of immigration opponents ever since.

Perhaps the best known of these was the American Party, which began as a semi-secret society (“The Order of the Star Spangled Banner”), the members of which were told to deny any knowledge of it.

When they claimed to “know nothing” of the group, they were pilloried as the “Know Nothing” party – a name that would long survive the entity itself. The party railed against the new arrivals as an economic, social and cultural threat – bringing crime, disease, social unrest and the prospect of political takeover at the local level.

A cartoon published in Judge magazine in 1903 is titled “The High Tide of Immigration — A National Menace,” with the caption: “Immigration statistics for the past year show that the influx of foreigners was the greatest in our history, and also that the hard-working peasants are now being supplanted by the criminals and outlaws of all Europe.”



The Ohio State University, Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum


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The Ohio State University, Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum

The Know Nothings had attracted scores of members of the U.S. Congress at the height of their influence in the mid-1850s, stepping into the vacuum left by the collapse of the Whigs.

In 1856, they nominated Millard Fillmore, a former president and former Whig, as their national candidate. Fillmore got 21 percent of the popular vote but only a handful of Electoral College votes, as many of the Know Nothings crossed over to vote for John Fremont, the first nominee of the fledgling Republican Party.

The 1860s brought the Civil War and a desperate need for soldiers, leading to greater acceptance of new arrivals who were willing to join the Union Army. In the years that followed, some immigrants found acceptance as veterans, others made their way west to farm the interior or work in its burgeoning cities.

The Know Nothings were not an organized force again after the Civil War, but resistance to immigration never left the national conversation. The importation of Asians to work on the Western railroads and harvests introduced another enduring chapter of American nativism. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was the first legislation to set limits on immigrants by nation of origin. Some of the jobs denied to Chinese workers were soon filled by Mexicans.

Toward the end of the 1800s, the flow of immigrants from Europe swelled again and changed in its origin. The new arrivals now hailed from Eastern and Southern Europe, as well as from countries that had been sending opportunity seekers across the Atlantic for generations.

The proportion of U.S. residents who were foreign born hit 13.5% in the census report of 1911, the highest it had ever been and a level not reached again until the present decade.

When the First World War ended, anti-immigration sentiment reached a new level of intensity as it swept much of the country, helping to fuel a resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan among other extremist groups.

An old association of immigration and urbanization was renewed when the census of 1920 showed immigrants had helped shift the center of U.S. population from rural areas to cities and big towns. Congress, dominated by members from rural, traditional parts of the country, simply refused to re-apportion its seats and redraw election districts to reflect the new numbers.

That refusal lasted through four biennial election cycles, during which time Congress also passed an emergency ceiling on annual immigration levels and then lowered that by half again in the Immigration Act of 1924. That law set quotas by country of origin and explicitly preferred Northern Europeans over all others.

The official attitude in the 1920s and 1930s included an ambivalence toward refugees from conflicts around the world. In 1939, a German ship called the St. Louis tried to make port in Florida with more than 900 passengers, most of them Jewish refugees seeking asylum from Nazi persecution in Germany.

U.S. officials in the administration of President Franklin Roosevelt refused to let them land. They tried to persuade Cuba to take them, but without success. The ship returned to Europe, where many of the passengers were later arrested. Researchers believe more than 250 perished in the Holocaust.

A generation later, Congress passed a more liberal immigration law in 1965 eliminating quotas based on nation of origin. The law sought to reunite families and level the playing field for prospective immigrants around the world – and its impact went far beyond what its sponsors might have imagined.

The proportion of foreign-born in the U.S. population rose again from just 5% in 1965 to 14% over the next half century. And these new waves of arrivals would be far more diverse than all their predecessors. They came not only from different parts of Europe but from Asia, Africa and South America as well.

By the 1970s, the political focal point was the effect the law was having on the Southwest and the influx of Mexicans and other Spanish-speaking populations. Pressure for changing the law grew as latter-day nativists again saw the new arrivals as a social, cultural and political challenge.

Many of the same arguments made against previous generations of newcomers were lodged again against Hispanics, including that they would cling to their national culture and language and refuse to assimilate.

Labor groups also sought to control the competition from workers willing to take lower wages. But there were powerful business interests, particularly from the agricultural sector, determined to preserve access to migrant workers.

In 1986, the Simpson-Mazzoli Act sought to control future immigration, but also granted amnesty to millions of the undocumented who were already resident. President Ronald Reagan signed it into law. It was a compromise meant to appease all sides, but it satisfied few.

President George W. Bush, who had long enjoyed high levels of Hispanic support as a candidate in Texas, threw his support behind a comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws in the mid-2000s. He was joined by Republican rival Sen. John McCain of Arizona and by the Democratic leadership. But conservatives more generally opposed the bill as another extension of amnesty, despite all the sponsors’ denials.

Since then, the Republican Party has moved far from the Reagan-Bush-McCain attitudes on immigration and embraced the nativist tradition that has also been an element in the mix of its history back to 1856.

Declaring his presidential candidacy in June of 2015, Trump issued his much-quoted summary of immigrants:

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. [sic] They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

“It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all South and Latin America, and it’s coming, probably, probably, from the Middle East. But we don’t know, because we have no protection, and we have no competence and we don’t know what’s happening.”

By repeating that these immigrants are “not you,” the president defined these immigrants as “the other” in stark terms.

In the past two days, we have seen the president return to that blunt language in describing four women who were elected to Congress in November 2018, largely on the passion of their opposition to the nativism that he, and much of his party, have embraced.

The battle lines could not be clearer. And it is a battle that is nearly as old as America itself.

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New Mix: Bon Iver, Brian Eno, Wilco, Khruangbin And More

Clockwise from upper left: Wilco, Pearla, Erin Durant, Bon Iver, Khruangbin, Brian Eno

Courtesy of the artists


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Courtesy of the artists

I’m all alone in the studio.

I had so many new songs to share; I didn’t want to split the show with a co-host.

I have some thrilling discoveries, but I begin the show with an artist we’ve been covering all these 20-plus years of All Songs Considered: Wilco. The band has a new album coming called Ode to Joy, and I play the first single from that record, a song that Jeff Tweedy says is a reminder “to act with more love and courage and less outrage and anesthetized fear.”

There are some discoveries I’m thrilled to play, including an artist known as Pearla who makes music worth getting lost in. You’ll also hear Erin Durant, whose music mixes mountain dulcimer and the electronics of TV On The Radio’s Kyp Malone with Erin’s lulling voice.

Then there’s these surprises: Khruangbin reimagines their 2018 album Con Todo El Mundo as a dub album! And Brian Eno, along with Roger Eno and Daniel Lanois, expand on their decades-old project Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks with 11 new tracks.

And for lovers of Sylvan Esso’s Nick Sanborn, I play something from his new project Rosenau & Sanborn which mixes modular synths and guitar loops into a new world of sound. It’s a project that was birthed at Justin Vernon’s Eaux Claire Festival, and in that spirit we play a new song from Bon Iver from the upcoming album i,i.

Songs Featured On This Episode

Cover for Ode to Joy

Wilco

  • Song: Love is Everywhere (Beware)
  • from Ode to Joy

Wilco is back with the band’s just-announced album Ode to Joy and this new song, “Love is Everywhere (Beware).” Regarding the song, Jeff Tweedy says “Love conquers all but not when it’s used as a sedative… this song is a reminder to myself to act with more love and courage and less outrage and anesthetized fear.” Ode to Joy is out Oct. 4 on dBpm Records.

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Cover for Quilting & Other Activities

Daydream

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Pearla

  • Song: Daydream
  • from Quilting & Other Activities

Pearla is the name of Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Nicole Rodriguez’s solo project. “Daydream,” a cut from her debut EP Quilting & Other Activities, is an ethereal dip into Rodriguez’s reveries.


Cover for Hasta el Cielo

Khruangbin

  • Song: Mary Always
  • from Hasta el Cielo

For Hasta El Cielo, Austin-based psych trio Khruangbin has reimagined last year’s Con Todo El Mundo as a dub record. Produced by Jamaican producer Scientist, “Mary Always” is a bass-heavy, echo-laden take on Con Todo El Mundo‘s “Maria También” that never sacrifices the original’s psychedelic spaceyness. Hasta El Cielo is out now on Dead Oceans.

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Cover for Islands

Rising Sun

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Erin Durant

  • Song: Rising Sun
  • from Islands

To call “Rising Sun,” eclectic would be an understatement. Erin Durant plays mountain dulcimer and gives a lovely vocal performance; modular synths from TV On The Radio’s Kyp Malone, drones and a jazz band weave their way in and out of the mix. The iconic line, “There is a house in New Orleans” pops up at the beginning of each chorus. Despite its disparate elements, though, it gels beautifully. Islands is out now on Keeled Scales.


Cover for Bluebird

Saturday

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Rosenau & Sanborn

  • Song: Saturday
  • from Bluebird

Chris Rosenau (Collections of Colonies of Bees) and Nick Sanborn (Sylvan Esso) are longtime collaborators, but their new record Bluebird is the first to be released jointly under their names. In the instrumental track “Saturday,” the duo’s synths buzz and bounce around like the cogs in a whirring machine. Bluebird is out July 23 on Psychic Hotline.


Cover for i,i

Bon Iver

  • Song: Jelmore
  • from i,i

After teasing us with two new singles last month (and releasing a very self-aware, Pure Michigan-esque movie trailer), Bon Iver finally announced an upcoming album. “Jelmore” fuses twitchy, hesitant electronics with impassioned vocals from frontman Justin Vernon, making for a curiously soothing – yet unsettling – two-and-a-half-minutes. i,i is out Aug. 30 on Jagjaguwar.

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Cover for Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks – Extended Edition

The End Of A Thin Cord

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Brian Eno

  • Song: The End of a Thin Cord
  • from Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks – Extended Edition

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, Brian Eno decided to revisit his collaborative soundtrack with Roger Eno and Daniel Lanois for the 1983 documentary about the moon landing, For All Mankind. There are 11 new tracks on this remastered release. One of those new tracks, “The End Of A Thin Cord,” is a swirling, hypnotic constellation of harmonies grounded by static white noise. The extended edition of Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks is out July 19 on UMC.


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Wilco Announces New Album, Shares ‘Love Is Everywhere (Beware)’

Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy says Ode to Joy is defiantly joyful in the face of global political and cultural upheaval.

Annabel Mehran/Courtesy of the artist


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Annabel Mehran/Courtesy of the artist

Wilco has announced it’ll release the band’s 11th studio album later this year. Drawing its title from the poetry of Friedrich Schiller — and Beethoven‘s Ninth symphony — Wilco’s Ode to Joy will feature what frontman Jeff Tweedy calls “really big, big folk songs,” including the album’s first single, “Love is Everywhere (Beware).”

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“Right now I’m frightened how love is here,” sings Tweedy over wistfully arpeggiated guitars. “Beware / Our love is everywhere.” It’s both an affirmation of love’s enduring power and a warning that it could be undermined at any moment.

Tweedy says the album overall is defiantly joyful in the face of global political and cultural upheaval. “The record is, in a weird way, an ode,” he says in a statement announcing the album. “This terrible stuff is happening, this deepening sense of creeping authoritarianism that weighs on everybody’s psyche on a daily basis, and you’re allowed to feel a lot of things at once. And one thing that is worth feeling, that is worth fighting for, is your freedom to still have joy even though things are going to s***.”

Ode To Joy arrives during a particularly prolific creative period for Tweedy. In the last five years he’s released three solo albums (Together at Last, Warm and Warmer), two more Wilco records (Star Wars and Schmilco) an album with his son under the name Tweedy (Sukierae) and wrote and produced the album If All I Was Was Black with Mavis Staples. Last year he also published his memoir, Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back).


Ode To Joy is due out Oct. 4 on dBpm Records. Artwork and full track list below:

Wilco, Ode to Joy

1. Bright Leaves
2. Before Us
3. One and Half Stars
4. Quiet Amplifier
5. Everyone Hides
6. White Wooden Cross
7. Citizens
8. We Were Lucky
9. Love is Everywhere (Beware)
10. Hold Me Anyway
11. An Empty Corner

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The Making Of Apollo’s Command Module: 2 Engineers Recall Tragedy And Triumph

The Apollo 11 Saturn V lifts off with astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., on July 16, 1969, from Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39A.

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NASA

Look at a picture of the Apollo 11 launch and you’ll probably notice the rocket’s pointed tip and the fire coming from the five giant engines in the first-stage of the 36-story tall Saturn V rocket.

What you might miss is arguably the most important part of the entire thing: the command module.

It’s the tiny, gumdrop shaped vehicle sitting just below the tip. It holds the astronauts, their clothing, sleeping bags, food and — along with a companion service module — all of the systems needed for a round-trip journey to the moon. It’s also the only piece of the spacecraft to complete the entire trip and splash down back on Earth.

(Left) The Apollo 11 Command and Service Module are mated to the Saturn V Lunar Module Adapter. (Right) The Apollo 11 spacecraft Command Module is loaded aboard a Super Guppy Aircraft at Ellington Air Force Base for shipment to the North American Rockwell Corporation.

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NASA

“It was the boat that basically got people there,” said Bill Barry, NASA’s Chief Historian. “A mission to the moon wouldn’t have happened without a command module.”

“A lot of chaos”

The command module was born at North American Aviation in Downey, California, after the company was awarded the contract in November 1961.

What used to be farmland just south of Los Angeles was transformed over the 1950s and 60s, into one of the premier places for aerospace testing and design, with a major period of expansion owed to the Apollo program.

President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 challenge to put an American on the moon by the end of the decade meant North American was under a severe time crunch. So, they began hiring engineers and technicians. Lots of them. From all over the country.

Apollo spacecraft assembly at the North American Aviation facility in Downey, California, mid 1960’s.

Columbia Space Center/Aerospace Legacy Foundation


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Columbia Space Center/Aerospace Legacy Foundation

“When I first arrived in California and reported for work, there was a lot of chaos,” said Chuck Lowry, an expert in parachutes, which were vital for slowing the command module’s descent as it returned to Earth.

He moved his pregnant wife and two young kids away from a good home with family and friends in Ohio, straight into a motel in Downey, where they lived for the first three weeks so that he could get started working right away.

Chuck Lowry in his home, Santa Ana, California, June 28, 2019

Michael Hernandez for NPR


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Michael Hernandez for NPR

“Many people came in and there was just no room for them,” Lowry said. The hiring ramped up so quickly that the contractor ran out of drafting tables. “I know people that took doors off of the offices and put them on sawhorses and that became their drafting table,” he said.

After a while, things began to settle and a system established itself, which meant that the folks on the ground in Downey were working out the details and beginning tests of the conical module.

Chuck Lowry (left), reviewing designs on a drafting board with Carlos Moore and Kel Shaw (right).

Courtesy of Chuck Lowry


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Courtesy of Chuck Lowry

That included crawling in and out of the roughly Volkswagen Beetle-sized capsule, sometimes with five other people doing their jobs in there at the same time. Gerald Blackburn remembers how tight it was. He was only 19 when he started on the project as a lab technician, testing and inspecting hardware.

If a bolt needed to be moved half an inch, Blackburn said, there’d be endless meetings about it and production could be delayed.

“You got to the point where you began to realize that this thing was so complex. It was so big that there was no way you could fathom the whole program,” he said. “So you had to rely on everybody who was doing their job and taking care of what they needed to take care of.”

Drop testing of an Apollo Command Module prototype at the North American Aviation facility in Downey, Calif., November 1964. A large water tank and 150-foot drop tower were used to test the capsules.

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Columbia Space Center/Aerospace Legacy Foundation

“You learn very quickly that there was a lot we didn’t know about building spacecraft,” he added.

For Lowry and Blackburn, Apollo was their lives. Working non-stop, 10-15 hours a day at times and rarely seeing their families.

Still, both men speak of the time fondly. Reminiscing about what it was like to be driven by the purpose of one common goal. And how, in the beginning, those feelings were amplified by a sort of naive optimism.

Gerald Blackburn at the Columbia Memorial Space Center, Downey, Calif., July 2, 2019.

Michael Hernandez for NPR


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Michael Hernandez for NPR

The day everything changed

It’s not that people didn’t think something could wrong, it’s just that before January 27, 1967, nothing major had. Certainly, nothing on such a catastrophic scale.

During a routine launch rehearsal test of what was scheduled to be the first manned Apollo mission, a spark set off an all-consuming fire in the pure oxygen environment of the module. The hatch couldn’t be opened quickly enough and the cockpit, full of flammable materials, was quickly engulfed. The three astronauts inside were killed.

From the left, astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White II and Roger Chaffee near Cape Kennedy’s Launch Complex 34 during training for Apollo 1, in January 1967.

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NASA

Back in Downey, production came to a halt while the incident was investigated, which took months.

“Everybody that was working here, without knowing what the results of the investigation are, are asking themselves the same question, ‘Did I do something wrong?,'” said Blackburn. “The whole tone had changed.”

“Our feeling about the lunar mission took on a whole new dimension of increased safety,” said Lowry. “I think in the beginning, before the fire, before 1967, we were very pressed by schedule. We did everything to meet schedules. And when you do that, you’re apt to miss details that could be very important. You don’t know it at the time.”

Lowry said safety boards were set up, inviting additional scrutiny of Apollo designs from outside experts. They made sure that they could trace every little piece of the module, who manufactured it and what it was made of, down to the nuts and bolts.

Chuck Lowry keeps Apollo memorabilia, both old and new, in his home. At right, he adjusts a cap commemorating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11. At right, Lowry holds a model of a prototype command module.

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Michael Hernandez for NPR

The module design was overhauled, including the addition of a quick-open door to allow the astronauts to exit the capsule in case of emergency.

North American’s Space and Information Systems Division President, Harrison Storms, was removed.

Though, it wasn’t long until the ruthless pace of the program picked back up.

“As John F. Kennedy said, ‘we’re going to land and return men safely in the 1960s.’ In that decade. And we held that goal very sacred. And it was important, because you’ve got Congress, you’ve got people, the world watching. We just have to meet our goal on that,” said Blackburn.

A turning point

In 1968, there was another turning point. Two, in fact.

And they were both good.

Apollo 7, the first crewed mission, made its way to space. The command module performed so well that NASA felt confident in making a bold move — sending Apollo 8 all the way around the moon in December.

Apollo 9 was an Earth-orbit test of the lunar module. Apollo 10 was a “dress rehearsal” for the first landing, with astronauts descending to less than 50,000 feet above the lunar surface before returning home.

CM long

Source: NASA

And then, the historic mission.

While Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong visited the moon’s surface, Michael Collins flew the command and service module around the moon before meeting back up with them and heading home.

Lowry listened in from Downey to the radio chatter between mission control and the Apollo 11 crew in space.

“[You would] always listen like, ‘is there anything in the conversation going on that might indicate something is wrong?'” he said. “[It’s] kind of intense. … you’re just wanting them to get back home safely.”

On their way back, the astronauts sent one final transmission from space.

Collins had this to say: “This operation is somewhat like the periscope of a submarine. All you see is the three of us, but beneath the surface are thousands and thousands of others. And to all of them, I’d like to say thank you very much.”

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Our cosmic Camelot

Upon reentry, Lowry’s parachutes deployed and inflated, and all of Blackburn’s quality testing paid off. The capsule splashed down in the North Pacific and the astronauts made it back safely.

More than 400,000 people worked on the Apollo program.

“John F. Kennedy had said, ‘We’re going to the moon not because it’s easy, but because it’s hard.’ And he was right on that,” said Lowry. “It took a lot of years. We worked a lot of weekends, a lot of holidays…Our families suffered. There were a lot of heart attacks and broken homes and strokes. Apollo took a toll.”

The Apollo 11 command module splashed down on July 24, 1969. (Left) a helicopter hovers over the inverted Command Module shortly after splashdown. (Right) Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin, Jr., await a pickup from their life raft.

NASA


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NASA

Lowry basically didn’t see his family for a decade. Blackburn, who rose to the ranks of management at North American, lost an eye in an accident when a pressure gauge exploded during a test of command module components.

Still, he said, “I’ve referred to what I call this place and that time as our cosmic Camelot…When people and a country came together with commitment. A commitment to do something and achieve a goal that was incredible.”

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King Of The Hill: Guinness World Records Crowns Wales Street World’s Steepest

The town of Harlech in Wales is officially home to the world’s steepest street, according to Guinness World Records.

Dea / S. Vannini/De Agostini via Getty Images


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Dea / S. Vannini/De Agostini via Getty Images

There’s a new king of the hill.

The small town of Harlech in Wales has ousted Dunedin, New Zealand, for bragging rights to the world’s steepest street. Guinness World Records announced the new title in a news release on Tuesday.

Ffordd Pen Llech, the name of the Wales street, winds up at a slope of 37.45 % stretch over fall, Guinness World Records said. That’s in comparison to a slope of 34.97% at Dunedin’s Baldwin Street.

Harlech resident Gwyn Headley led the charge to obtain the title.

“I first realised this street was a contender for the steepest street in the world when my car slid straight down with all four tires locked,” he told Guinness World Records.

Congratulations to the residents of Harlech in Wales whose street Ffordd Pen Llech has been awarded the title of the world’s steepest https://t.co/uOyonVlwVD

— GuinnessWorldRecords (@GWR) July 16, 2019

He started rallying the local community to apply for the title, which was quite a lengthy verification process. “I cannot say how pleased we are that Ffordd Pen Llech has now been recognised as the steepest street, not just in Wales, not just in the UK, not just in Europe, but in the entire world,” Gwyn said.

The steep slope separates most residents from some key institutions, the BBC reports: “While most live at the bottom of the hill, the chemist and post office are at the top.”

As for the losing street? “I’m thrilled for us but in every game there has to be a losing team,” Gwyn said. “I feel sorry for them, but a record is a record, figures are figures – it’s inarguable.”

The news came as a shock to Dave Kernahan, known as the king of Baldwin street and often seen running up and down the hill dozens of times per day.

“You are bloody joking,” Kernahan said when New Zealand new site Stuff informed him. “What a bloody surprise that is.”

The previous record holder for world’s steepest street was Baldwin Street in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press


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Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press

Baldwin Street, which is residential, often hosts large crowds of tourists eager for a picture of themselves on the extreme slope. Some of the street’s residents are celebrating the fact that this may mean fewer disruptions from tourists, according to the NZ Herald.

Ffordd Pen Llech is expecting to see more tourists now that it has claimed the coveted title.

One resident of Baldwin Street, Colleen Williamson, told Stuff that she had some reservations about whether the two streets are particularly comparable. “They are two completely different streets; the one in Wales is not two-way all the way through, and not heavily populated like Baldwin St,” said Williamson.

Guinness World Records says “the record is measured based on the steepest (highest gradient) section over a 10 m[eter] distance.” It says this is more accurate than taking a street’s average steepness, because “you could take a road where one section is extremely steep and the rest is flat, which is not a fair assessment.”

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