The military career of John McCain included attack aircraft missions as
a naval aviator in the Vietnam War followed by internment for more than
five years as a prisoner of war. His father and grandfather were
admirals in the United States Navy. Born in 1936 in the Panama Canal
Zone, McCain graduated in 1958 from the U.S. Naval Academy, where his
rebellious attitude resulted in a low standing. Off the coast of
Vietnam, he narrowly escaped death in the 1967 Forrestal fire. On a
bombing mission in October 1967, he was shot down over Hanoi and badly
injured in the crash before enduring periods of torture as a prisoner of
war. In 1968, he refused a North Vietnamese offer of early release,
because it would have meant leaving before other prisoners who had been
held longer. He was released in 1973 after the Paris Peace Accords. Upon
his return, McCain studied at the National War College and commanded a
large training squadron in Florida. In 1979 he was promoted to captain
and became the director of the navy's Senate Liaison Office. McCain has
been a U.S. Senator from Arizona since 1987, and was the Republican
nominee in the 2008 presidential election.
Today's selected anniversaries:
Sino-French War: France gained an important victory in the
Battle of Đồng Đăng in the Tonkin region of what is now Vietnam.
German theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg wrote a letter
to fellow physicist Wolfgang Pauli in which he described his uncertainty
principle for the first time.
Plutonium was first chemically identified by chemist Glenn T.
Seaborg and his team at the University of California, Berkeley.
Light from the supernova SN 1987A (remnant pictured) in the
Large Magellanic Cloud reached the Earth.
A Virgin Trains Pendolino express train from London Euston to
Glasgow Central derailed near Grayrigg, Cumbria, UK, killing one person
and injuring 22.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
Quickly, rapidly, with speed.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Herein lies the tragedy of the age: not that men are poor,— all
men know something of poverty; not that men are wicked — who is good?
not that men are ignorant, — what is Truth? Nay, but that men know so
little of men.
--W. E. B. Du Bois
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