On this day:
1953 – Operation Moolah offers $50,000 to any pilot who defected with a fully mission-capable Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 to South Korea. The first pilot was to receive $100,000.
Operation Moolah was a United States Air Force (USAF) effort during the Korean War to obtain through defection a fully capable Soviet MiG-15 jet fighter. Communist forces introduced the MiG-15 to Korea on November 1, 1950. USAF pilots reported that the performance of the MiG-15 was superior to all United Nations (U.N.) aircraft, including the USAF’s newest plane, the F-86 Sabre. The operation focused on influencing Communist pilots to defect to South Korea with a MiG for a financial reward. The success of the operation is disputable since no Communist pilot defected before the armistice was signed on July 27, 1953. However, on September 21, 1953, North Korean pilot Lieutenant No Kum-Sok flew his MiG-15 to the Kimpo Air Base, South Korea, unaware of Operation Moolah.
The appearance of the MiG-15 Soviet fighter over the Korean peninsula in November 1950 was initially thought to have placed United Nations aircraft, especially the USAF F-86, at a disadvantage. In a dogfight, the MiG-15 outperformed the F-86 Sabre at higher initial acceleration and could outdistance it in a dive, even though the Sabre had higher terminal velocity. The MiG was also more maneuverable above 10,000 m (30,000 ft), although the F-86 was more maneuverable below that altitude. The MiG-15 was also armed with a heavy 37mm cannon that could down USAF bombers. United States military planners at the Strategic Air Command (SAC) were aware of the cannon but knew little more about the technical aspects of the aircraft, including flight performance. By the end of the war, U.N. air forces had gained ascendancy over the MiGs due to superior tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs), better-trained pilots, upgraded Sabres, and especially due to the withdrawal of Soviet pilots from the conflict.
The appearance of the MiG-15 over North Korea led to speculation over the Soviet Union’s involvement in the Korean War. USAF pilots reported hearing Russian spoken on the intercom system of the MiG-15s. Prior to the November 1950 sighting of the MiG-15s by USAF pilots, Soviet MiG-15 regiments were stationed at the Moscow Air Defence District to protect the capital against a possible NATO bombing.
Some UN prisoners of war reported talking to Soviet pilots while in captivity in North Korea. According to General Mark Clark, the commanding general of the U.N. Command had enough intelligence to claim that the Soviets were covertly lending their pilots in support of North Korean forces. According to LT No Kum-Sok, by February 1951, some half dozen Russian air force pilots visited North Korean pilots at their northeast China air base at Jilin. These plain clothes officers were there to investigate the ability of the North Korean pilots and determine if they were capable enough to fly the new MiG-15. By March, the Soviet 324th Fighter Air Division, led by Colonel Ivan Kozhedub, deployed to Jilin and began training the first class of North Korean air force pilots on the MiG-15. One month later, these same Russian pilots entered combat on behalf of North Korea, though internationally their involvement was never announced. The Soviets had gone to great lengths to hide their involvement in the war, including painting Chinese and North Korean insignia on their planes. By the end of the war, the Russians had provided half the aircraft and 5,000 pilots in support of the Communist effort against the U.N.
1981 – Xerox PARC introduces the computer mouse.
A computer mouse is a pointing device (hand control) that detects two-dimensional motion relative to a surface. This motion is typically translated into the motion of a pointer on a display, which allows a smooth control of the graphical user interface.
Physically, a mouse consists of an object held in one’s hand, with one or more buttons. Mice often also feature other elements, such as touch surfaces and “wheels”, which enable additional control and dimensional input.
The earliest known publication of the term mouse as referring to a computer pointing device is in Bill English’s July 1965 publication, “Computer-Aided Display Control”.
The plural for the small rodent is always “mice” in modern usage. The plural of a computer mouse is “mouses” and “mice” according to most dictionaries, but “mice” being more common. The first recorded plural usage is “mice”; the online Oxford Dictionaries cites a 1984 use, and earlier uses include J. C. R. Licklider’s “The Computer as a Communication Device” of 1968.
The trackball, a related pointing device, was invented in 1946 by Ralph Benjamin as part of a World War II-era fire-control radar plotting system called Comprehensive Display System (CDS). Benjamin was then working for the British Royal Navy Scientific Service. Benjamin’s project used analog computers to calculate the future position of target aircraft based on several initial input points provided by a user with a joystick. Benjamin felt that a more elegant input device was needed and invented what they called a “roller ball” for this purpose.
The device was patented in 1947, but only a prototype using a metal ball rolling on two rubber-coated wheels was ever built, and the device was kept as a military secret.
Another early trackball was built by British electrical engineer Kenyon Taylor in collaboration with Tom Cranston and Fred Longstaff. Taylor was part of the original Ferranti Canada, working on the Royal Canadian Navy’s DATAR (Digital Automated Tracking and Resolving) system in 1952.
DATAR was similar in concept to Benjamin’s display. The trackball used four disks to pick up motion, two each for the X and Y directions. Several rollers provided mechanical support. When the ball was rolled, the pickup discs spun and contacts on their outer rim made periodic contact with wires, producing pulses of output with each movement of the ball. By counting the pulses, the physical movement of the ball could be determined. A digital computer calculated the tracks and sent the resulting data to other ships in a task force using pulse-code modulation radio signals. This trackball used a standard Canadian five-pin bowling ball. It was not patented, since it was a secret military project.
Douglas Engelbart of the Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International) has been credited in published books by Thierry Bardini, Paul Ceruzzi, Howard Rheingold, and several others as the inventor of the mouse. Engelbart was also recognized as such in various obituary titles after his death in July 2013.
By 1963, Engelbart had already established a research lab at SRI, the Augmentation Research Center (ARC), to pursue his objective of developing both hardware and software computer technology to “augment” human intelligence. That November, while attending a conference on computer graphics in Reno, Nevada, Engelbart began to ponder how to adapt the underlying principles of the planimeter to X-Y coordinate input. On November 14, 1963, he first recorded his thoughts in his personal notebook about something he initially called a “bug,” which in a “3-point” form could have a “drop point and 2 orthogonal wheels.” He wrote that the “bug” would be “easier” and “more natural” to use, and unlike a stylus, it would stay still when let go, which meant it would be “much better for coordination with the keyboard.”
In 1964, Bill English joined ARC, where he helped Engelbart build the first mouse prototype. They christened the device the mouse as early models had a cord attached to the rear part of the device which looked like a tail, and in turn resembled the common mouse. As noted above, this “mouse” was first mentioned in print in a July 1965 report, on which English was the lead author. On December 9, 1968, Engelbart publicly demonstrated the mouse at what would come to be known as The Mother of All Demos. Engelbart never received any royalties for it, as his employer SRI held the patent, which expired before the mouse became widely used in personal computers. In any event, the invention of the mouse was just a small part of Engelbart’s much larger project of augmenting human intellect.
Several other experimental pointing-devices developed for Engelbart’s oN-Line System (NLS) exploited different body movements – for example, head-mounted devices attached to the chin or nose – but ultimately the mouse won out because of its speed and convenience. The first mouse, a bulky device (pictured) used two potentiometers perpendicular to each other and connected to wheels: the rotation of each wheel translated into motion along one axis. At the time of the “Mother of All Demos”, Engelbart’s group had been using their second generation, 3-button mouse for about a year.
On October 2, 1968, a mouse device named Rollkugel (German for “rolling ball”) was described as an optional device for its SIG-100 terminal was developed by the German company Telefunken. As the name suggests and unlike Engelbart’s mouse, the Telefunken model already had a ball. It was based on an earlier trackball-like device (also named Rollkugel) that was embedded into radar flight control desks. This trackball had been developed by a team led by Rainer Mallebrein at Telefunken Konstanz for the German Bundesanstalt für Flugsicherung as part of their TR 86 process computer system with its SIG 100-86 vector graphics terminal.
When the development for the Telefunken main frame TR 440 (de) began in 1965, Mallebrein and his team came up with the idea of “reversing” the existing Rollkugel into a moveable mouse-like device, so that customers did not have to be bothered with mounting holes for the earlier trackball device. Together with light pens and trackballs, it was offered as an optional input device for their system since 1968. Some Rollkugel mouses installed at the Leibniz-Rechenzentrum in Munich in 1972 are well preserved in a museum. Telefunken considered the invention too unimportant to apply for a patent on it.
The Xerox Alto was one of the first computers designed for individual use in 1973 and is regarded as the first modern computer to utilize a mouse. Inspired by PARC’s Alto, the Lilith, a computer which had been developed by a team around Niklaus Wirth at ETH Zürich between 1978 and 1980, provided a mouse as well. The third marketed version of an integrated mouse shipped as a part of a computer and intended for personal computer navigation came with the Xerox 8010 Star in 1981.
By 1982 the Xerox 8010 was probably the best-known computer with a mouse. The Sun-1 also came with a mouse, and the forthcoming Apple Lisa was rumored to use one, but the peripheral remained obscure; Jack Hawley of The Mouse House reported that one buyer for a large organization believed at first that his company sold lab mice. Hawley, who manufactured mice for Xerox, stated that “Practically, I have the market all to myself right now”; a Hawley mouse cost $415. That year Microsoft made the decision to make the MS-DOS program Microsoft Word mouse-compatible, and developed the first PC-compatible mouse. Microsoft’s mouse shipped in 1983, thus beginning the Microsoft Hardware division of the company. However, the mouse remained relatively obscure until the appearance of the Macintosh 128K (which included an updated version of the Lisa Mouse) in 1984, and of the Amiga 1000 and the Atari ST in 1985.
Douglas Carl Engelbart (January 30, 1925 – July 2, 2013) was an American engineer and inventor, and an early computer and Internet pioneer. He is best known for his work on founding the field of human–computer interaction, particularly while at his Augmentation Research Center Lab in SRI International, which resulted in creation of the computer mouse, and the development of hypertext, networked computers, and precursors to graphical user interfaces. These were demonstrated at The Mother of All Demos in 1968. Engelbart’s Law, the observation that the intrinsic rate of human performance is exponential, is named after him.
In the early 1950s, he decided that instead of “having a steady job” – such as his position at NASA’s Ames Research Center – he would focus on making the world a better place. He reasoned that because the complexity of the world’s problems were increasing, and that any effort to improve the world would require the coordination of groups of people, the most effective way to solve problems was to augment human intelligence and develop ways of building collective intelligence. He believed that the computer, which was at the time thought of only as a tool for automation, would be an essential tool for future knowledge workers to solve such problems. He was a committed, vocal proponent of the development and use of computers and computer networks to help cope with the world’s increasingly urgent and complex problems. Engelbart embedded a set of organizing principles in his lab, which he termed “bootstrapping”. His belief was that when human systems and tool systems were aligned, such that workers spent time “improving their tools for improving their tools” it would lead to an accelerating rate of progress.
Under Engelbart’s guidance, the Augmentation Research Center developed, with funding primarily from DARPA, the NLS to demonstrate numerous technologies, most of which are now in widespread use; this included the computer mouse, bitmapped screens, hypertext; all of which were displayed at The Mother of All Demos in 1968. The lab was transferred from SRI to Tymshare in the late 1970s, which was acquired by McDonnell Douglas in 1984, and NLS was renamed Augment. At both Tymshare and McDonnell Douglas, Engelbart was limited by a lack of interest in his ideas and funding to pursue them, and retired in 1986.
In 1988, Engelbart and his daughter Christina launched the Bootstrap Institute – later known as The Doug Engelbart Institute – to promote his vision, especially at Stanford University; this effort did result in some DARPA funding to modernize the user interface of Augment. In December 2000, United States President Bill Clinton awarded Engelbart the National Medal of Technology, the United States’ highest technology award. In December 2008, Engelbart was honored by SRI at the 40th Anniversary celebration of the 1968 “Mother of All Demos”.
Born on this day:
1922 – Sheila Scott, English nurse and pilot (d. 1988)
Sheila Scott OBE (27 April 1922 – 20 October 1988), was an English aviator.
Born Sheila Christine Hopkins in Worcester, Worcestershire, England in 1922, educated at the Alice Ottley School, she broke over 100 aviation records through her long distance flight endeavours, which included a 34,000-mile (55,000 km) “world and a half” flight in 1971. On this flight, she became the first person to fly over the North Pole in a small aircraft.
Born Sheila Christine Hopkins, she had a turbulent childhood in Worcester and did not do well at school, nearly being expelled several times. During World War II, she joined the services as a nurse in a naval hospital.
In 1943, she started a career as an actress as Sheila Scott, a name she maintained long after she stopped acting. She had a short marriage from 1945 to 1950 to Rupert Bellamy.
In 1958 she learned to fly going solo at Thruxton Aerodome after nine months of training. Her first aircraft was a Thruxton Jackaroo (converted Tiger Moth) G-APAM which she owned from 1959 to 1964. In April 1966 she bought her Piper Comanche 260B G-ATOY named Myth Too in which she set ninety world records. Her first solo round the world flight commenced at London Heathrow on 18 May 1966 and returned on 20 June 1966, having covered approximately 31,000 miles (49,890 kilometers) on 189 flying hours in 34 days. In 1969-70 she flew solo around the world in the same aircraft a second time. This aircraft was severely damaged in 1979 (after she sold it in 1971) and the remains are on display in the collection of the National Museum of Flight, East Fortune, East Lothian, Scotland. She later used a borrowed Piper Comanche 400 N8515P to set more records.
On 20 November 1966, she appeared as a contestant on the American panel show What’s My Line.
In 1971 she bought a twin-engined Piper Aztec 250 G-AYTO named Mythre  in which she completed her third solo round the world flight in the same year. This aircraft was destroyed in a flood at the Piper factory in Lock Haven in 1974.
She was the founder, and the first governor, of the British branch of the Ninety Nines, an association for licensed women pilots, which had been created by Amelia Earhart. She was a member of the International Association of Licensed Women Pilots, and of the Whirly Girls, an association of women helicopter pilots.
She was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1968. One of the teaching buildings at the University of Worcester is named after her.
She received the Brabazon of Tara Award in 1965, 1967, 1968. She received the Britannia Trophy of the Royal Aero Club of Britain in 1968. She received the Royal Aero Club’s Gold Medal (1972).
Before her death, Scott lived in a bedsit in Pimlico in poverty. She was diagnosed with cancer and died at age 66 at the Royal Marsden Hospital, London, in 1988.
1923 – Betty Mae Tiger Jumper, Seminole chief (d. 2011)
Betty Mae Tiger Jumper, also known as Potackee (April 27, 1923 – January 14, 2011) (Seminole) was the first and so far the only female chief of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. A nurse, she co-founded the tribe’s first newspaper in 1956, the Seminole News, later replaced by The Seminole Tribune, for which she served as editor, winning a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native American Journalists Association. In 2001 she published her memoir, entitled A Seminole Legend.
Tiger was the first Florida Seminole to learn to read and write English, and the first to graduate from high school and a nursing program. In addition to serving as editor of the newspaper, she was Communications Director for the tribe.
Early life and education
Born Betty Mae Tiger on April 27, 1923 in a Seminole camp near Indiantown, Florida, she was the daughter of Ada Tiger, a Seminole woman of the Snake clan, and a French trapper. Her grandmother Mary Tiger picked her Seminole name of Potackee. Under the Seminole matrilineal kinship system, Betty Mae was given her mother’s surname.
The tribe so discouraged intermarriage with whites that sometimes they left half-breed children in the Everglades to die. When Betty Mae was five, some Seminole medicine men threatened to put her and her younger brother to death, because their father was white. Her great-uncle resisted the men and moved the family to the Dania reservation in Broward County, where the government protected the children. At the time, her mother had to leave nearly 500 head of cattle; she sold some and offered others to the tribe for people who needed food.
Betty Mae’s first languages were Mikasuki and Creek, as relatives spoke both. At night she often listened as older members of the tribe told stories passed down from their ancestors. “The stories taught you how to live,” she said. She would later record the stories for future generations.
Tiger decided she had to learn how to read and write. In the segregated school system of Florida, neither the white nor the black schools would accept Seminole children. Tiger decided to go to a federal Indian boarding school, and enrolled at one in Cherokee, North Carolina, along with her cousin Mary and younger brother.
She started learning English at age 14. She became the first formally educated Seminole of her tribe, as well as the first to read and write English; she graduated from high school in 1945. Betty Tiger enrolled in a nursing program at the Kiowa Indian Hospital in Oklahoma, which she completed the following year. The Seminole then were still very traditional, and many would only accept care from Medicine Men. Her family had roles as medicine people: her mother, uncles and great-uncle Jimmy. Unlike the Medicine Men, her mother was willing also to accept white doctors and hospitals, whatever would help sick people.
Marriage and family
After finishing the nursing program, Tiger returned to Florida, where she did field training. She married Moses Jumper, and they had a son Moses and two daughters, who died young. After that, they adopted two Seminole girls, Betner Roger and Scarlet.
Betty Tiger Jumper worked as a nurse for 40 years to improve health care in the Seminole community, initially traveling a large circuit to the various small communities of the areas that became Big Cypress, Brighton and Hollywood reservations. “As the people came out of the swamps”, as she said, she and another nurse inoculated many children with vaccinations for the first time. She and her mother, who was a midwife, would work to persuade women to go to the hospital when needed, as they began to adapt to the new world.
In 1956, Tiger Jumper was co-founder of a tribal newsletter, called the Seminole News. It closed a short time after others took it over.
In 1967 Betty Mae Tiger Jumper was elected as the first female chairwoman, or chief, of the Seminole tribe, a decade after it gained federal recognition. She founded the United South and Eastern Tribes (USET), a group to run health and education programs for its members; it also became a powerful lobby with the states and Congress. In 1970, she was one of two women appointed by President Richard M. Nixon to the National Congress on Indian Opportunity. She served on the Council for a total of 16 years.
Thanks to her leadership, the Seminole Tribe went from near bankruptcy in 1967 to having $500,000 when she left office in 1971. “I had three goals in my life,” Mrs. Jumper said in 1999. “To finish school, to take nurse’s training and come back and work among my people, and to write three books.” She met those goals and many more.
In the 1970s, the Alligator News was founded as the tribal newspaper. After it was renamed as The Seminole Tribune, Tiger-Jumper served as editor for several years and also became Communication Director for the Tribe. She wrote many articles about tribal traditions and culture. By 1999, the paper had four Seminoles working on it and five or six whites, and was being distributed across the country and internationally. Tiger-Jumper was awarded the first Lifetime Achievement Award by the Native American Journalists Association.
And With the Wagon – Came God’s Word
Legends of the Seminoles, illustrated by Guy La Bree (children’s book, 1994)
with Patsy West, A Seminole Legend (2001)
She narrated a video, The Corn Lady, telling a Seminole traditional story.
By the time she published her memoir in 2001, A Seminole Legend, Tiger-Jumper also had created her own website. The last surviving matriarch of the Snake clan, she died peacefully in her sleep on January 14, 2011.
Legacy and honors
In 1989, the monthly Seminole Tribune was the first Native American newspaper to win a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. That year, it was also nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
1994, she was inducted into the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame.
Received Florida Department of State Folklife Heritage Award
Received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Florida State University.
1997 she received the first Lifetime Achievement Award ever presented by the Native American Journalists Association.
1997, the Seminole Tribune earned five awards from the Native American Journalists Association.
1997, she was named “Woman of the Year” by the Florida Commission on the Status of Women.