New York Celebration of the Centenary of Easter Rising 1916

Today, Sunday April 24th, is the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising. The rebellion began precisely at 12:04pm GMT in Dublin. Padraig Pearse stood at the GPO and read the Proclamation of the Irish Republic.

On Pier A in The Battery in New York, giant banners hung to display the backstory to the Easter Rising and the key players behind it.

By August 3rd, 1916, 16 men would be executed for their part in the Easter Rising. The names of each man executed will be posted on my Facebook Page on the anniversary of their execution/s.

It is a sad thing to remember, the Easter Rising and its aftermath, especially when you read about how each man died, his last words and how brave they were facing their deaths. Each rebel deserves to be remembered. They were all brave.

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The first four men would be executed by firing squad in Kilmainham Jail on May 3rd 1916.

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Is that the Northern Star or a Martian Spaceship?

We are a smart lot, we humans, but sometimes we do and say stupid things. And it is the measurement of how far we have progressed from stupid that shows advancement.

I mean, let’s look at the really amazing things we have done; man walking on the moon, invention of airplanes, submarines, ships, cars, you name it.

From transport to medicine we’ve done amazing things here on planet earth. For example, on this day, December 17th in 1900, the brand new Ellis Island Immigration Station was completed costing $1.5 million. Pretty amazing, when you consider the number of people who have passed through its halls.

But….

…we’ve also done some pretty stupid things too.

(Image Source: Collectorscomics.net)

(Image Source: Collectorscomics.net)

On this day, December 17th in 1900, a 1st prize of 100,00 francs was offered for anyone who could prove they had communicated with extraterrestrials. Martians were excluded because they were considered too easy, according to Historyorb.com.

No, I didn’t make it up. Martians were excluded because they were considered too easy. It seems many an astronomer believed that there was life on Mars.

Add to that the discovery of the “Mars Face” and now it is absolutely scientifically proven that indeed life does exist on the red planet. By the way, the size of that head from ear to ear, so to speak, is approximately 2 miles. Should be easy enough to communicate with him, I think. Space, the final front ear?

I wonder if the competition is still running? Nanu Nanu.

(Image Source: Science News Nasa)

(Image Source: Science News Nasa)

September 9th 1753 1st Steam Train arrives in the US Colonies

Image from tripatini.com

What is most striking about the arrival of the 1st steam engine in the US on this day in 1753 is that it was not imported from the United Kingdom to be used as a mode of transport in the United States.

In 1760 a young John Adams wrote in his diary that he was “struggling to understand the English fire engines,” as trains were then called.

These “fire engines” were not used for transport but to evacuate water from coal and metal mines in England. In America mining was in it’s infancy at this time. Surface deposits of coal and iron meant that mining  wasn’t deep or prone to flooding like the metal and coal mines of England.

Colonel John Schuyler’s copper mine in Passaic New Jersey was the reason the first steam engine was brought to the colonies. The copper mine due to it’s depth was prone to flooding. Schuyler ordered the first engine from England at a cost of 1,ooo pounds in 1748.

Col. John Schuyler

Jonathan Hornblower, Engineer

British engine-maker Jonathan Hornblower completed the job and both the train and Josiah, Hornblower’s son, along with some mechanics arrived in America on September 9th 1753.

Josiah Hornblower, son of Jonathan.

It was not until 1755 that Josiah and his crew of mechanics managed to get the steam train into operation. Schuyler hired Josiah to manage the mine for him. The engine remained working for five years and then due to damage by fire was unusable.

 When returned to working order the steam engine operated again until 1768. It broke down again and  remained dormant until after the Revolutionary War. Further repairs were needed again  in 1793.

By the time America was enduring the Revolutionary War, the art of building steam engines had surpassed Schuyler’s copper mine engine both in England and the Colonies.

In 1825 John Stevens built the first US locomotive and tested it on a circular railroad at his home in Hoboken, New Jersey. According to the American Stories Archives Center,

“He established the world’s first steam ferry, between New York City and Hoboken, New Jersey and later built the first operating steam locomotive in the United States. Stevens secured a charter from the Legislature of Pennsylvania for the Pennsylvania Railroad, from Philadelphia to Lancaster County.”