There are so many things going on in the world right now and I know everything has some quite of a story. So I gathered a few interesting things I found over the Internet these past few days. Two of these are quite well-known but every time I read about them, I still get goosebumps. Here are my top picks for this weekly roundup.
1. USS Indianapolis
There’s a new Nicolas Cage movie titled, “USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage,” which tells the true story of an American warship that was torpedoed and sunken by a Japanese submarine at the Philippine waters during the World War II. On 30 July 1945, the crew of 1,196 were headed for Leyte as it has just carried out their special mission to bring components of the atomic missile that later bombarded Hiroshima to Tinian. The ship was then attacked by 2 torpedoes; only took 12 minutes to sink; about 300 soldiers went down with the vessel; 563 died of exhaustion, dehydration, and shark attacks; and only 317 survived including Commander McVay. It is dubbed as the worst naval disaster in the history of America.
Controversies emerged as the world has learned of this tragedy. Some of these include: the denial on Comm. McVay’s request of a destroyer escort for USS Indianapolis that lacks an antisubmarine detection equipment; the non reporting of arrival/non-arrival of combatant ships; 5 days delayed rescue; ignored distress signal received from the ship as it sank; and blaming the commander for the sinking – making him responsible for “failure to zigzag (a defense maneuver).”
70 years have passed but still, the grief caused by this event in history remains in the identity of the US navy. A lot has already changed – the commander of the I-58 Japanese submarine testified that zigzagging would have made no difference; Commander McVay has committed suicide at age 70; Bill Clinton has already exonerated him for the loss of the ship; and commemorations around the globe were made including this film, “USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage,” to remember and pay homage to the people in service for their country. The movie is now being shown in theaters worldwide.
2. Agnes Keleti
By this time, the Rio Olympics has already ended and there’s a story in the ’50s that really made an impact to the games’ history.
Agnes Keleti, a now retired Hungarian gymnast, won 10 medals during the 1952 & 1956 Olympics. She holds the moniker, the oldest female olympian (aged 35) to ever won a gold medal in the competition. What makes this an incredible story is that she was one of the jews who escaped the holocaust in World War II. At that time, married women have greater chance to abscond imminent arrest; and so she wedded Istvan Sarkany (later divorced). Her mother and sister fled and survived, while all other family members and relatives were killed in Auschwitz.
After the horrendous warfare, the Olympics recommenced in 1948 where Keleti qualified as ‘Agnes Sarkany’ but was not able to participate due to injury. Fortunately, came the ’52 & ’56 summer Olympics, she won 10 medals for Hungary in team and individual gymnastics events. This feat made her be one of the most renowned gymnasts of all time.
This inspiring story is simply likened to today’s initiative of International Olympic Committee to make the Refugee Olympic Team who competed in the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.
3. Amelia Earhart
One of the famous mysteries of the world is the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, an aviation pioneer, piloting Lockheed Electra in 1937 for her arduous challenge to be the first woman to fly around the world.
Amelia Mary Earhart has already made a name for herself in aeronautics when she was the first woman to fly across both the Atlantic and the Pacific (singly). She gained recognition and honors from presidents and organizations worldwide. She is also known for her campaign (Ninety-Nines) to empower women and support aviation with 99 other women pilots at the time. Being ambitious and determined, she set for her final venture to circumnavigate the globe at the age of 39.
Her first attempt in March 1937 was unsuccessful. After rebuilding her Lockheed Electra, she once more started her 29,000-mile journey following a west-to-east direction in June 1, 1937 with her navigator, Fred Noonan. After 28 days and completing the 22,000th mark, they landed in Lae, New Guinea. Their next stop would’ve been the Howland Island, a tiny piece of land mid-Pacific (too small that “every aid in locating it must be available” according to Earhart), located 2,556 miles away from Lae. On July 2, the pair took off but, with the circumstances they were in – rain showers, difficulty in navigation, irregular and weak radio transmissions, and low-fuel run – they vanished into thin air. Her last words (radio-transmitted) were, “We are running north and south.”
Extensive air and sea search was made by the navy as well as her husband. In January 1939, Earhart was declared legally dead. Few theories surfaced following this tragic fate of the aviation pioneer including: (1) suspicion of being spies of Franklin D. Roosevelt to Japanese-colonized islands in the east where they were locked out; (2) the aircraft ran out of fuel and sank; (3) that she safely returned to US and changed her name, and; (4) the Tighar Earhart project that tests the hypothesis that they landed in the uninhabited Gardner Island following the discovery of artifacts such as improvised tools, pocketknives, shoe remnants, and aircraft wreckage (similar to Earhart’s Electra).
With all these assumptions and ideas, it is still undeniable that Amelia Earhart influenced the world when it comes to commercial aviation and feminism. She is an epitome of a woman with fearlessness, conviction, and groundbreaking achievements making “sky’s the limit” proved to be false.
Tighar Earhart Project: https://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/AEdescr.html & columns about her: http://www.ameliaearhart.com/about/bio.html ; http://www.history.com/topics/amelia-earhart ; http://www.history.com/topics/what-happened-to-amelia-earhart ; http://www.biography.com/people/amelia-earhart-9283280#synopsis
And so that’s it! I really had fun writing this blog post as it had made me learn so much more than what Facebook groups’ infographics and videos say (yes, I have to do research as well meh haha). But, I think I admire Amelia Earhart now more than ever!
All smiles and exciting over next week’s weekly roundup,
*Images: Weekly Roundup made from Canva; Movie poster (USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage) from imdb; Agnes Keleti from nol.hu; Amelia Earhart from google