Glenn Curtiss Flying High

Glenn CurtissPoet Alexander Pope was born in 1688. He is best known for not being Pope Alexander. In fact, since Pope burst onto the English literary scene in the earth 18th century, the Vatican has stopped naming popes Alexander. The last such pope was Alexander VIII, who was born in 1610. I have no evidence that this is a direct result of policy. But really, if you became pope, would you want people screwing up your name? Perhaps if you were an evil pope. (Antipope?!) But even then, school children already have enough difficulties with Alexander Pope and all eight of the Pope Alexanders.

Prison reformer Elizabeth Fry was born in 1780. French primitive post-impressionist Henri Rousseau was born in 1844. Great stride pianist Fats Waller was born in 1904. Here he is doing his cowritten song “Ain’t Misbehavin'”:

The first female President of Ireland, Mary Robinson is 69 today. I am constantly amazed at these seriously Catholic countries. Ireland elected its first female president in 1990, where America is still waiting. Maybe “amazed” is not the word; “disappointed.” The man who always makes me feel like dancing, Leo Sayer is 65 today, so we won’t be hearing anymore from him. Comedian and pretty damned good Senator, Al Franken is 62. Judge Reinhold is 56. His name is “Judge”:

The day belongs to aviation pioneer, Glenn Curtiss who was born on this day back in 1878. He was at first a competitor and then a partner with the Wright Brothers, eventually creating the still extant Curtiss-Wright Corporation. He died suddenly at the age of 52 of appendicitis. Here is the summary from Wikipedia:

Curtiss made the first officially witnessed flight in North America, won a race at the world’s first international air meet in France, and made the first long-distance flight in the United States. His contributions in designing and building aircraft led to the formation of the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company, now part of Curtiss-Wright Corporation. His company built aircraft for the U.S. Army and Navy, and, during the years leading up to World War I, his experiments with seaplanes led to advances in naval aviation. Curtiss civil and military aircraft were predominant in the inter-war and World War II eras.

Happy birthday Glenn Curtiss!

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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