Monday, August 20, 2012

66 Years

I've mentioned before that I enjoy different newsletters and "this day in history" type factoids.  Every morning I look forward to my History Channel "This Day in History" email. Today's lead article informed me that on August 20, 1911, the first around-the-world telegram was sent. Started by the New York Times to see how long it would take to travel the 28,000 plus miles around the globe, the message left New York at 7:00 pm and was passed by 16 different operators to arrive back to the sender sixteen and a half minutes later. The article also points out that 66 years later, to the day, on August 20, 1977, NASA launched the Voyager II spacecraft. Voyager II was the one that carried the copper phonograph record called "Sounds of Earth" with greetings in 60 languages, etc.

In only 66 years we went from sending Morse code by cable around the world to sending a record across the solar system. Amazing. That number, 66, stuck in my head.  Later, I recalled that it was 66 years from the Wright Brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk (December 17, 1903) to Neil Armstrong's walk on the moon (July 20, 1969). More amazing.  Okay, I know it's just coincidence. But already this morning I talked on a cell phone, sent a text message, and I'm about to publish my observation on the Internet for anyone in the world to read. It sure makes me wonder what we'll be doing 66 years from now.

No comments: