On This Day
1972 – The United States launches Landsat 1, the first Earth-resources satellite.
Landsat 1 (LS-1), originally named “Earth Resources Technology Satellite” with label “1” or “A” sometimes attached (abbreviated “ERTS”, “ERTS-1” or “ERTS-A”), was the first satellite of the United States’ Landsat program. It was a modified version of the Nimbus 4 meteorological satellite and was launched on July 23, 1972 by a Delta 900 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The near-polar orbiting spacecraft served as a stabilized, Earth-oriented platform for obtaining information on agricultural and forestry resources, geology and mineral resources, hydrology and water resources, geography, cartography, environmental pollution, oceanography and marine resources, and meteorological phenomena.
Born On This Day
1900 – Julia Davis Adams, American author and journalist (d. 1993)
Julia Davis Adams (July 23, 1900 – January 30, 1993) was an American writer best known for her young adult books, historical and biographical novels and dramas.
Adams was born in Clarksburg, West Virginia to lawyer and statesman John W. Davis and Julia Leavell McDonald Davis. She attended Wellesley College, and graduated from Barnard College in 1922. She was also an active social worker and a journalist.
Davis wrote two Murray Hill mystery novels published as by F. Draco:
Devil’s Church (Rinehart, 1951), LCCN 51-10854
Cruise with Death (Rinehart, 1952), LCCN 52-7157
Christopher Columbus Kraft Jr. (February 28, 1924 – July 22, 2019) was an American aerospace engineer and NASA engineer and manager who was instrumental in establishing the agency’s Mission Control operation. Following his graduation from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1944, Kraft was hired by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the predecessor organization to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He worked for over a decade in aeronautical research before being asked in 1958 to join the Space Task Group, a small team entrusted with the responsibility of putting America’s first man in space. Assigned to the flight operations division, Kraft became NASA’s first flight director. He was on duty during such historic missions as America’s first crewed spaceflight, first crewed orbital flight, and first spacewalk.
At the beginning of the Apollo program, Kraft retired as a flight director to concentrate on management and mission planning. In 1972, he became director of the Manned Spacecraft Center (later Johnson Space Center), following in the footsteps of his mentor Robert R. Gilruth. He held the position until his 1982 retirement from NASA. During his retirement, Kraft consulted for numerous companies including IBM and Rockwell International, and he published an autobiography entitled Flight: My Life in Mission Control.
More than any other person, Kraft was responsible for shaping the organization and culture of NASA’s Mission Control. As his protégé Glynn Lunney commented, “the Control Center today … is a reflection of Chris Kraft.” In 2011, the Mission Control Center building was named after him. When Kraft received the National Space Trophy from the Rotary Club in 1999, the organization described him as “a driving force in the U.S. human space flight program from its beginnings to the Space Shuttle era, a man whose accomplishments have become legendary.”
Robert Morris Morgenthau (/ˈmɔːrɡənθɔː/ MORG-ən-thaw; July 31, 1919 – July 21, 2019) was an American lawyer. From 1975 until his retirement in 2009, he was the District Attorney for New York County (the borough of Manhattan), having previously served as United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York throughout much of the 1960s on the appointment of John F. Kennedy. At retirement, Morgenthau was the longest-serving district attorney in the history of the State of New York, although William V. Grady of Dutchess County surpassed this record at the midway point of his ninth term on January 1, 2018.
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