March 23rd in history:
Two pioneers of speed were born on March 23rd: Roger Bannister (1925), the first man to run a four-minute mile, and driver Craig Breedlove (1937), who was the first man to break a number of land-speed records.
Thanks to inventor Elisha Otis, buildings could rise higher than before – once his safety elevator came into common usage. Otis installed his first passenger elevator in a New York City building on March 23rd, 1857.
Explorers Lewis and Clark went as far as they could go in the western U.S. when they reached the Pacific Ocean. On this date in 1806, they began their journey home from the west coast.
The U.S. had never put two men in space at the same time until March 23rd, 1965, when astronauts Gus Grissom and John Young orbited the Earth three times aboard Gemini 3. Young got into trouble with NASA when he sneaked a corned beef sandwich into the space capsule, and tried to eat it in zero gravity.
March 14th in history:
Warren G. Harding made history on March 14th, 1923, as the first president to file an income tax report. This was 10 years after the 16th Amendment was ratified, legalizing income taxes in the U.S.
Harding died of an illness later that year, the third year of his presidency. John F. Kennedy also died in his third year as president. Just after his assassination, Kennedy was buried in a simple grave at Arlington Cemetery. On this day in 1967, Kennedy’s body was moved to a more elaborate gravesite. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and two Kennedy children also are buried at the site, with the graves of Senators Robert and Edward Kennedy nearby.
President Kennedy set a national goal of landing a man on the moon by the end of the 1960’s. Astronauts Frank Borman and Eugene Cernan both orbited the moon on different Apollo flights, and Cernan actually walked on the moon during the last manned lunar mission, Apollo 17. Both men were born on March 14th…Borman in 1928, and Cernan six years later.
September 12 in history:
“How do I love thee…?” Elizabeth Barrett showed her love for fellow poet Robert Browning by eloping with him in England on September 12th, 1846. Barrett’s father did not approve of Browning.
Astronauts Mark Lee and Jan Davis became the first married couple to travel together in space on September 12th, 1992. They were among the seven crew members aboard the shuttle Endeavour. The eight-day mission was the first space flight for Davis, and the second for Lee.
“To the moon, Alice!” On September 12th, 1970, “The Jackie Gleason Show” ended an eight-year run on CBS. The hour-long variety show often featured musical episodes of “The Honeymooners” with Gleason as Ralph Kramden and Art Carney as Ed Norton.
The Gemini 11 mission was launched on this date in 1966. Astronauts Pete Conrad and Richard Gordon conducted tests to link two space capsules in orbit, a skill that would be needed on flights to the moon.
Pete Conrad was portrayed by actor Peter Scolari in an episode of the TV miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon.” Scolari, best known for his roles on “Newhart” and “Bosom Buddies,” was born September 12th of 1955.