Headlines in History

Posted September 3, 2014 at 2:08 pm

World’s first submarine attack

September 7, 1776

On this day in 1776, during the Revolutionary War, the American submersible craft Turtle attempts to attach a time bomb to the hull of British Admiral Richard Howe’s flagship Eagle in New York Harbor. It was the first use of a submarine in warfare.

Submarines were first built by Dutch inventor Cornelius van Drebel in the early 17th century, but it was not until 150 years later that they were first used in naval combat. David Bushnell, an American inventor, began building underwater mines while a student at Yale University. Deciding that a submarine would be the best means of delivering his mines in warfare, he built an eight-foot-long wooden submersible that was christened the Turtle for its shape. Large enough to accommodate one operator, the submarine was entirely hand-powered. Lead ballast kept the craft balanced.

Donated to the Patriot cause after the outbreak of war with Britain in 1775, Ezra Lee piloted the craft unnoticed out to the 64-gun HMS Eagle in New York Harbor on September 7, 1776. As Lee worked to anchor a time bomb to the hull, he could see British seamen on the deck above, but they failed to notice the strange craft below the surface. Lee had almost secured the bomb when his boring tools failed to penetrate a layer of iron sheathing. He retreated, and the bomb exploded nearby, causing no harm to either the Eagle or the Turtle.

During the next week, the Turtle made several more attempts to sink British ships on the Hudson River, but each time it failed, owing to the operator’s lack of skill. Only Bushnell was really able to competently execute the submarine’s complicated functions, but because of his physical frailty he was unable to pilot the Turtle in any of its combat missions. During the Battle of Fort Lee, the Turtle was lost when the American sloop transporting it was sunk by the British.

Despite the failures of the Turtle, General George Washington gave Bushnell a commission as an Army engineer, and the drifting mines he constructed destroyed the British frigate Cereberus and wreaked havoc against other British ships. After the war, he became commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stationed at West Point.

Deadly huricane destroys Galveston

September 8, 1900

On this day in 1900, a Category 4 hurricane ripped through Galveston, Texas, killing an estimated 6,000 to 8,000 people. A 15-foot storm surge flooded the city, then situated at less than nine feet above sea level, and numerous homes and buildings were destroyed. The hurricane remains the worst weather-related disaster in U.S. history in terms of loss of life.

Galveston, first visited by French and Spanish explorers in the 16th and 17th centuries, is located on Galveston Island, a 29-mile strip of land about two miles off the Texas coast and about 50 miles southeast of Houston. The city, which was named in the late 18th century for the Spanish governor of Louisiana, Bernardo de Galvez, was incorporated in 1839 and is linked to the mainland by bridges and causeways. Galveston is a commercial shipping port and, with its warm weather and miles of beaches, has also long been a popular resort. At the time of the 1900 hurricane, Galveston, nicknamed the Oleander City, was filled with vacationers. Sophisticated weather forecasting technology didn’t exist in 1900, but the U.S. Weather Bureau issued warnings telling people to move to higher ground. However, these advisories were ignored by many vacationers and residents alike.

After the hurricane, a large seawall was eventually built to protect Galveston from flooding. The city was pummeled again by major hurricanes in 1961 and 1983, but they caused less damage than the one that struck in 1900.

The word “hurricane” comes from Hurican, the Carib god of evil. Hurricanes typically form in the tropical zones north and south of the equator. They can be hundreds of miles wide and last for several weeks as they move across the ocean. The Atlantic Ocean hurricane season runs from June through November.

In 1953, the U.S. National Weather Service, which tracks hurricanes and issues advisories, started giving storms female names in order to help scientists and the public follow them. Beginning in 1979, men’s names were also used. The World Meteorological Organization assigns one name for each letter of the alphabet, with the exception of Q, U and Z. The lists of names are reused every six years; however, when a hurricane is especially deadly or costly its name is retired and a new name is added to the list. In 2006, “Katrina,” along with four other names from the 2005 hurricane season, was taken out of service. Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast states in August 2005, was the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history.

Clinton County News Headlines

July 1, 1954…Volume 5…Number 32

Long distance line added to telephone line

Mr. Hubert Bush, District Manager of the Southern Continental Telephone company has advised Clinton County News that on August 26th, the telephone company placed into service one additional long distance line. Mr. Bush stated that with the addition of this new long distance line, Albany now has a total of three long distance circuits to Somerset, Kentucky. Providing this new long distance line is to further improve and expand long distance service to meet the requirements of this growing community.

Mrs. Eisenhower to attend meeting at Cumberland Falls

Plans for the state convention of the Kentucky Federation of Women’s Republican Clubs at Cumberland Falls October 22 and 23, at which Mamie Eisenhower, wife of the president, will deliver the principal address, were formulated at the executive meeting of the board of the organization which was held at the Brown Hotel, Louisville, August 21.

Following the meeting of the executive board, a luncheon was served to the state officers, district governors, and club presidents of the organization. George Berry, organization chairman for the third district, spoke to the group, “the potential power and strength of the nation lies in the women of the nation, therefore the strength of the Republican Party lies within the women’s Republican organizations,” he declared. He urged the Republicans of Kentucky to “take inventory of selves’ because the party is no stronger than its individual members.

Berry pointed out that only 65 percent of the registered voters participated in the last general election and stressed the importance of contacting the politically disinterested persons in each precinct.

Mrs. Howell Smith, President of the state organization, gave a resume of her activities for the club during the past year. She reported that eight new clubs had been federated since January 1 the last one having been Georgetown. The organization’s total paid membership is now 3,300., Mrs. Smith said.

Rodeo to be here next week

The world famed Cherokee Ranch Rodeo of Goree, Texas will be presented by the local V.F.W. Post for two thrill-packed performances at the V.F.W. ballpark on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 7-8. Performances will be given each night at 8 p.m.

The Cherokee ranch rodeo is the largest traveling rodeo on tour and will bring to Albany the greatest, smashing, crashing stampede of real western thrills and entertainment ever seen east of the Mississippi.

Cowboys and cowgirls from all parts of the united states and Canada will take part in the rodeo. Herd of outlaw bucking horses, Brahma bulls, texas steers, trick mules, will be used.

Clowns and their trick burros and high jumping horses, etc., and funny bucking model T Ford car add a riot of hilarity as these bounding buffoons of mirth and their capering comedy antics will be sandwiched between the rodeo events.

Among the added circus and television acts will be the Shooting Mansfields, world champion sharp shooters who have amazed millions throughout the world with their amazing ability in handling firearms…Jimmy Foster, world champion roper and movie wonder horse Teddy, and many others.

Admission is scaled at 50 cents for children and $1.00 for adults., tax included.

Albany Womans Club

The Albany Womans Club will hold its first meeting of the year at the home of the president, Mrs. Leah Dyer, Thursday, September 9, 7:30 p.m. Assistant hostesses will be Mrs. Bruce Sloan, Mrs. Elsie Higginbotham, Mrs. Roxie Perkins, and Mrs. Sallie Smith. Program: Our neighbors from other lands.