7 Things You May Not Know About John Glenn

1. John Glenn was a star before joining the Mercury program.

Glenn had fallen in love with flying at an early age, building model airplanes while growing up in Ohio. In 1941, Glenn discovered a U.S. Department of Commerce program looking for students to train as pilots. Just six months after he received his license, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Glenn initially enlisted in both the U.S. Army Air Corps and U.S. Navy aviation cadet program, but was eventually assigned to the U.S. Marine Corps. Glenn flew 59 missions in the South Pacific, where one of his wingmen was baseball legend Ted Williams. After serving in the Korean War, Glenn was appointed to a naval test pilot program, where he completed one of the world’s first supersonic transcontinental flights in 1957. Glenn received an enormous amount of publicity following this feat, which brought him to the attention of the NACA, the predecessor to NASA, who selected him to become one of the Mercury 7 astronauts.

2. John Glenn gave his space capsule its famous nickname.

The official name for Glenn’s mission was Mercury-Atlas 6. “Mercury” for the mission program itself (named after the Roman god of speed), and “Atlas 6” to indicate that this was the 6th mission to use the newer, faster Atlas rocket as a launch vehicle. As was common practice among most pilots, the astronauts selected for the Mercury program often gave their capsules personal nicknames—Glenn asked his children for suggestions on what he should name the vessel before finally deciding on the word “Friendship” and adding the number “7” to honor his fellow Mercury members.

3. Glenn’s mission was delayed numerous times, leading to concern and anxiety.

Originally scheduled for December 1961 and then pushed to January 13, problems with the new Atlas rocket that would serve as the space capsule’s launching pad caused a two-week delay. On January 27, with television crews already set up to broadcast from both the launch site and Glenn’s home, where his wife, Annie, and his children were anxiously watching, poor weather conditions forced another postponement. When the mission was scrapped, the reporters, accompanied by none other than Vice President Lyndon Johnson, tried to gain access to Glenn’s home in hopes of interviewing his wife. Annie refused to speak to them, and when John heard about the pressure put on his wife, he backed her up, leading to a clash with government officials. The launch was delayed yet again on January 30 after a fuel leak was discovered, followed by yet another weather delay. Finally, with all mechanical issues solved and fair weather forecasted, Glenn was once again strapped into Friendship 7 early on the morning of February 20, 1962.

4. Glenn didn’t actually hear the legendary words “Godspeed, John Glenn.”

As mission control performed its final system checks, test conductor Tom O’Malley initiated the launch sequence, adding a personal prayer, “May the good Lord ride all the way,” to which Carpenter, the backup astronaut for the mission, added, “Godspeed, John Glenn.” Carpenter later explained that he had come up with the phrase on the spot, but its did hold significance for most test pilots and astronauts: “In those days, speed was magic…and nobody had gone that fast. If you can get that speed, you’re home-free.” The phrase soon became part of the public consciousness, but Glenn himself didn’t hear Carpenter’s comment until he had returned to Earth. Due to a glitch in Glenn’s radio, Carpenter’s microphone wasn’t on his frequency.

5. There were several scary moments aboard Friendship 7.

The launch of Friendship 7 went flawlessly, and Glenn encountered few issues in the early stages of the flight. During his second orbit, mission control noticed a sensor was issuing a warning that Friendship 7’s heat shield and landing bag were not secure, putting the mission, and Glenn in danger. Officials did not immediately inform Glenn of the potential problem, instead asking him to run a series of small tests on the system to see if that resolved the issue, which eventually clued Glenn in to their concerns. After a series of discussions, it was decided that rather than following standard procedures to discard the retrorocket (an engine designed to slow down the capsule upon reentry), Glenn would keep the rocket in place to help secure the heat shield. He successfully reentered the Earth’s atmosphere and splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean after a flight of 4 hours and 55 minutes. When officials inspected the recovered capsule, they determined that the heat shield had never been in danger and a faulty sensor had caused the problem.

6. Glenn—and NASA—were mystified by an unusual sighting during the mission.

During the first of Glenn’s three orbits, he reported seeing a series of small particles floating outside his capsule. As he reported to NASA, he had never seen anything like it, and he thought it looked like a series of luminescent stars surrounding him. Glenn referred to the specks as “fireflies,” and tried banging on his capsule walls to see if he could make them move, which he could. Some NASA scientists worried that the sparks were a malfunctioning part of the space capsule or that’s Glenn’s mysterious vision was caused by a medical condition he encountered while in space, while others tried to find a more spiritual meaning to the celestial “fireflies.” So, what were they? The mystery was solved later that year, when Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter made his orbital flight aboard Aurora 7. Carpenter also reported seeing the particles, and to him they looked like snowflakes. Turns out, Carpenter was pretty close to the truth. They were indeed bits of frozen condensation on the capsule’s exterior that broke off as it moved from through areas of varying temperatures.

7. Glenn returned to space, 36 years after Friendship 7.

John Glenn remained with NASA until 1964, but did not return to space in any of the later Mercury missions. It is believed that President Kennedy and other government officials, well aware of the symbolic importance of the first American to orbit the Earth, ordered NASA to keep him grounded, for fear of his being injured or killed in a space program that was still, in many ways, in the developmental stage. Glenn returned to Ohio, where he became a successful businessman. He later entered politics, and was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1974, serving four terms. Glenn maintained close contacts with NASA, and spoke often of his regret at not having been part of subsequent missions, including the lunar landings. In 1998, however, John Glenn got his wish and returned to space. Though it had been more than 35 years since he had last suited up, Glenn was selected as part of the crew aboard the space shuttle Discovery. His participation, at the age of 77, would allow scientists to study the affects of space travel on the elderly. When Glenn returned from the nine-day mission, he and his fellow crew members were welcomed home with a ticker-tape parade in New York City, marking the second time Glenn had received such an honor.

7 things you might not know about Rep. John Katko's life in DC

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In his first term in Congress, U.S. Rep. John Katko cultivated new friendships and forged his own rituals in the nation's capital.

Despite having a job that revolves around Washington, the 53-year-old father of three from Camillus says he keeps his focus on his family and life in Central New York. Here's a look at seven things you might not know about Katko's life in D.C.

Sleeping in his office

Since taking office in January 2015, Katko has slept in his Capitol Hill office when Congress is in session. He's among a small group of House members who rough it, rather than paying for an apartment in Washington, where one-bedroom units rent for $2,000 per month or more.

Katko sleeps on a pull-out sofa bed in his personal office and showers in the morning in the House gym, where he works out.

"You don't get a good night's sleep because there's always something going on at night," Katko said. "The other side of his wall in the office is a men's room. I can hear it flushing at night."

Katko said his decision to forego an apartment isn't just about saving money.

"I don't ever want to get to the point where I'm too comfortable in Washington," he said. That's why he flies back to Syracuse on the first possible flight at the end of each work week in Washington.

Making friends with Democrats

The Republican says he has no problem making friends with Democrats. One is Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., a triathlete who leads a members-only spinning class in the House gym. Katko says he attends the grueling class at 6:30 a.m. each Wednesday.

"I have a Democratic woman leading a spinning class with me and these other Democrats and Republicans," he said. "One of the nice things about it that is you can't help but build friendship as you get to know people."

After becoming friends, Sinema agreed to co-author a House bill with Katko that would give employees the option of establishing their own paid parental leave account.

Katko has also become friends with Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III, D-Mass., a member of one of the leading families in Democratic politics. The two have lockers next to each other in the House gym.

National security secrets

As a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Katko receives classified briefings in a secure room at the Capitol up to four times per day.

The briefings from members of the FBI, CIA, Department of Homeland Security and military officials occur behind two sets of lead-lined doors in the SCIF (pronounced skiff), or Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility.

Katko has to hand armed guards his smart phone, Fitbit and other electronic devices before entering the secure room.

"I remember the first day I went in there, I forgot to take my phone out," he said. "And they came running in asking, 'Who has a phone?'" Katko, feeling embarrassed in front of his new colleagues on the committee, reached in his pocket and handed it over.

A competitive athlete

At 6 feet 2 inches and 215 pounds, Katko plays organized hockey while in Washington and back home in Central New York. His love for the sport began as a youth in Camillus, and Katko went on to star at Niagara University from 1980 to 1984. He was captain of the 1984 team.

In Washington, Katko trains with other members of Congress. He plays in the annual Congressional Hockey Challenge, a game in which lawmakers take on a team of lobbyists to raise money for charity. Last year, Katko scored the game-winning goal and was named MVP.

Back home, Katko plays hockey occasionally with Auburn firefighters and plans to join Syracuse firefighters in the rink starting this month. When not playing hockey, he has run in half-marathons, and competed in 100-mile charity bike rides.

Daily ritual

Some members of Congress rarely venture outside during their work days, moving between their offices and the Capitol through tunnels. But Katko insists on walking outside when possible to take in the view of his surroundings.

He also has a daily routine after votes in which he walks to the center of the Capitol Rotunda, places a hand on his wedding ring, and looks up at the Capitol Dome.

"I can't tell you how many times I've felt stressed, and it kind of inspires me to do that," Katko said.

Blessed by Pope Francis

When Pope Francis addressed a joint meeting of Congress in September 2015, Katko invited his wife, Robin.

After the speech, the couple ran into Secretary of State John Kerry and his security detail making their way through a locked-down Capitol. Katko followed Kerry's entourage past security to make a quick exit.

"They went shuffling through all of the security checkpoints and to this small room in the back of the Capitol," Katko said, adding he soon realized the couple was in a spot they didn't belong.

Members of President Obama's cabinet, Vice President Joe Biden and leaders of the House walked by one-by-one as a receiving line formed for the Pope's exit. Within minutes, Pope Francis appeared and walked over to the Katkos.

"The door was open and he was coming out," Katko said. "I just bowed to him and he turned to us, blessed Robin and me, and walked to his car."

A touch of home

Katko has become a regular visitor at The Dubliner, a landmark Capitol Hill pub owned by Danny Coleman, the Syracuse native whose father opened Coleman's on Tipperary Hill in 1933.

The Dubliner is a comfortable spot for many Central New York natives who work on Capitol Hill. Katko said he stops by every couple of weeks for a Guinness, sometimes joined by his congressional buddies at the small bar in the back.

For Katko, the pub also holds an important place in family history. His sister, Cindy, met her future husband, David Hoyne, when they both worked at the pub in 1987. Hoyne is now the owner of Kitty Hoynes Irish Pub and Restaurant in Syracuse's Armory Square.

Did you know …

“The Holy Spirit unites us to Jesus Christ and to His body,” writes Viola. Additionally: 6. The Spirit leads us (Rom. 8:14 Gal. 5:18 Matt. 4:1 Luke 4:1). 7. The Spirit sanctifies us (2 Thess. 2:13 1 Pet. 1:2 Rom. 5:16). 8. The Spirit empowers us (Luke 4:14 24:49 Rom. 15:19 Acts 1:8). 9. The Spirit fills us (Eph. 5:18 Acts 2:4 4:8, 31 9:17). 10. The Spirit teaches us to pray (Rom. 8:26-27 Jude 1:20). 11. The Spirit bears witness in us that we are children of God (Rom. 8:16). 12. The Spirit produces in us the fruit or evidence of His work and presence (Gal. 5:22-23).

14 Gemma’s Singing

As important to Sons as its biker-themed looks was the bluesy, Americana soundtrack. Blending a bit of rock 'n roll into each song, the music was such an integral part of SoA that Kurt Sutter commissioned the series’ own personal band, the Forest Rangers, led by the show’s music supervisor Bob Thiele. But when it came to executing Sutter’s musical vision, it wasn’t just Thiele providing the vocals.

Recruiting none other than his wife, Katey Sagal sang at least one song for each of Sons’ seven seasons. Sagal had a history as a singer, providing backup vocals for such artists as Kiss, Bob Dylan, and Bette Midler.

In her early days, the actress was so terrified of singing publicly that she hid off-stage to control her stage fright.

These days, those worries are behind her and she’s not afraid to show her talents as a grade A songstress.

7 Things You May Not Know about Mary Magdalene

Many of us have at least heard the name Mary Magdalene or know bits and pieces of her life through Bible stories. But in taking a closer look at this faithful follower of Christ, we can learn so much more and be challenged by her courage and faithful devotion to Christ.

In biblical times, it was very common and expected for women to be treated as “less than.” That’s one reason that the miracles of Christ healing women, spending time, reaching out, sharing truth with them, is so important today. And why the life and story of Mary Magdalene being delivered and set free by Christ, giving financially to His ministry, lingering at the foot of the cross in His final moments, visiting the empty tomb after His death, and being the first to see him again after the Resurrection, remains so very significant.

Jesus showed great respect and care for women. He broke the barriers of social expectations. He tore down walls of injustice and prejudice. He came to heal, forgive, and set free. As believers, He commissions us for His service, men and women alike, to share Truth with a broken world.

Here are seven interesting things from Scripture to help us know more about Mary Magdalene’s life and ministry and what we can learn from her today:

7 Things You Didn't Know About System of a Down's Self-Titled Album

Every so often, a band comes along that defies all the basic principles of marketing and commerciality and yet becomes immensely popular despite — or because of — their bizarre, challenging, maniacal music. Faith No More, Korn, Tool and Slipknot fit that bill. But, arguably, the strangest metal band to win over the masses is System of a Down.

Their self-titled record, which came out on June 30th, 1998, is a head-spinning hybrid of Slayer, Dead Kennedys, Parliament/Funkadelic and Mr. Bungle. Bulldozer rhythms collide with jazzy interludes and world music influences, while barked, punk-inspired vocals segue into heartfelt, nasal melodies. As for the band's lyrics, those skip between profound poetry, political commentary and nonsensical Dr. Seussian wordplay.

"The reason we do a lot of things in the same song is because you don't wake up in the morning and think about one thing during your whole day," vocalist Serj Tankian told Pulse! magazine shortly after the record came out. "You think about love for a second, you think about hate, you get angry at your boss. With System of a Down, we want to bring all of that kind of life emotion into the music."

The approach struck a chord with the mainstream. The album's two singles, "Sugar" and "Spiders," received substantial airplay and the album went gold on February 2nd, 2000. After the release of System's mega-breakthrough follow-up, Toxicity, System of a Down went platinum. In celebration of its enduring greatness and strangeness, here are seven things you may not know about the LP.

System of a Down played in the Los Angeles scene and attracted a strong following with songs they wrote for their self-titled debut. However, numerous A&R people who checked out System turned them down, viewing them as a novelty group that wouldn't translate beyond the Armenian community. "The two or three years that we were selling out clubs and had a huge buzz in L.A., nobody wanted to sign us because we were Armenian," Daron Malakian said in the book Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal. "We were told, 'There's a big Armenian community in L.A., but who's gonna get you in Germany? Who's gonna get you in these places where they don't know what an Armenian is?'"

After hearing about System of a Down from his A&R man Guy Oseary, American Recordings president Rick Rubin went to The Viper Room to check out a gig. "It was the funniest show," Rubin told Rolling Stone, looking back. "I couldn't stop laughing. It was intense." He happily offered the band a record deal. However, by that time, System of a Down had other plans. "We were actually going to sign with Universal," guitarist Daron Malakian said in Louder Than Hell. "But then we went into their offices and looked at the posters on the walls and what they were promoting and we realized they didn't have any rock acts or even anybody in there that knew what to do with rock. It was pretty much a hip-hop/R&B culture that they were building there. As soon as we walked out of that meeting, we said, 'You know, man, we should just go with Rick. He believes in us and he's not following any trends. He's just going with his instinct.'"

Before they were signed, the band members decided to name themselves after a poem by Malakian called "Victim of a Down." But bassist Shavo Odadjian was convinced the group would have a better chance at catching fans' eyes if they changed the first word in the phrase to "System," so the band would be filed in record bins closer to one of their favorite bands, Slayer. Malakian had no problem at all with Odadjian's suggestion. "Slayer is one of the bands that taught me how to play the guitar. I would sit there and listen to Reign in Blood, Show No Mercy and South of Heaven. It was like religion to me," he recently told Revolver. "When System first came out, people asked me to explain our music, and I would say, 'It's as if Slayer and the Beatles had a baby.'"

All kinds of styles went into the songwriting on System of a Down: hardcore, thrash, jazz, Mediterranean music, classic rock and even black metal. Malakian loved the latter so much, he eventually signed Satyricon to his Sony imprint EatUrMusic and released their 2004 album, Volcano. "I've never hidden my black-metal influence," Malakian said. "And I've never felt like any style of music should be off limits. I mean, I love Satyricon, but I also love Armenian music and country. Why can't all that go together?"

System were having personal and professional issues with their original drummer Andy Ortronik Khachutarian leading up to the studio sessions for their debut album. Realizing they might need a last-minute replacement, they asked their friend John Dolmayan if he would learn the songs in case Khachutarian was unavailable. "Next thing we know, Andy gets into a fight and punches a wall, shattering every bone from his fingers all the way up to his elbow," Malakian recalled in Louder Than Hell. "Right away, I said [to Odadjian], 'Call John.' I didn't even stutter. Then we went in and did the record."

Although they have songs about relationships, drugs, sex and surrealist nonsense, System of a Down have widely been viewed as a political band. That premise isn't exactly incorrect. The members have been outspoken about the Armenian genocide, played numerous political benefits and the cover art for their self-titled debut was taken from an anti-fascist poster called "Five Fingers Have the Hand," designed by visual artist John Heartfield for the Communist Party of Germany. The original poster included the text, "A hand has five fingers! With these five grab the enemy!" The band revised the saying on the back of the album as, " The hand has five fingers, capable and powerful, with the ability to destroy as well as create." According to, at a meeting of the Communist Party of Germany, Heartfield stood up insisted there was "nothing more powerful than the human hand when the five fingers work together. The hand [is] a perfect symbol to oppose Hitler." Heartfield worked with a photographer who took countless shots of a worker's hand until the artist was sure he had the picture he needed for the poster.

Like many of their critics, System considered their songs to be outsider music. Even Rick Rubin made it clear to the band that he wasn't expecting it to be commercially successful. "There was no point of reference," he told Rolling Stone. "It was so unusual."

"We never expected 'Sugar' or 'Spiders' to be embraced by MTV or to be on the radio," Dolmayan told Shoutweb long before System of a Down went gold. "We never expected anything to be on the radio. We thought we would be a very underground band. But for some reason, the mainstream has kind of accepted it. I think it's pushing the boundaries of the mainstream, which is good. It allows music that may not necessarily have been heard by a lot of people to be heard. And that will push on for the next generation, too."

7 Things You Might Not Know About Iranian Views of Israel

Has Iran been signaling openness to a thaw in relations with Israel? Opinions are divided, with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissing Rosh Hashana greetings from Iranian leaders on social media and delivering a hardline speech against Iran at the United Nations General Assembly. But the Iranian delegation included a Jewish member of the Iranian parliament and a number of Iran analysts see reason for cautious optimism.

1. Iran and Israel have a history of cooperation

Before Iran’s 1979 revolution, Israel sent agricultural engineers to train Iranians in irrigation systems, while Iran provided Israel with about 70 percent of its energy [oil] needs. The two countries also shared intelligence and defense information.

“Israel also secretly sold Iran weapons that the US wouldn’t, said Trita Parsi, author of Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran and the U.S. Parsi added that, “[Israel] lobbied Washington to sell arms to Iran and ignore Iranian rhetoric on Israel” as late as 1989. This later became known as the Iran-Contra Affair.

2. Attitudes among Iranians show signs of changeToday, Iranian expatriates who support the Reformist regime say that despite anger at Israel for pushing sanctions, war rhetoric , and policies they see as discriminating against Palestinians, Iran should recognize Israel as a legitimate state and disagreements should be dealt with through diplomatic means. There are no polls, but Parsi says that the sentiment is common.

3. Iran's reputation is based on its rhetoric, but not on its deeds

Israel’s focus on Iran as its enemy is based more on Iran’s past rhetoric than its nuclear capabilities, argues Rabbi Dr. Marc Gopin, head of George Mason University’s Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution.

“Israel calls Iran the biggest threat to Israel and the West but does not see China or Pakistan as threats, despite each being a major world power with nuclear arms, and Pakistan being highly unstable and Islamic,” Gopin said.

“Iran never created an offensive war, but it is [Iran's] rhetoric against Israel, not the development of nuclear power, that brought the West against them—the [Rouhani] cabinet knows that and is trying to reverse course. Gopin added, “If Netanyahu refuses every gesture and in fact makes fun of them, then [Iran] is putting its country in better light in the court of public opinion. language matters in war and peace.”

4. Iranians consider Jews an important minority

Iranians have often said they consider their attitudes about Israel separate from their attitudes about Jews. In the ancient city of Esfahan, the Jewish population of Iran typically had positive relations with their neighbors.

This Rosh Hashanah, the Jews of Iran received state greetings on their holy day for the first time, said Iranian journalist Ali Reza Eshragi, 35, who grew up in Esfahan and came to the U.S. in 2008 as an Iran analyst and teaching fellow. A senior editor at Reformist daily newspapers in his native country, Eshragi described his reaction to the Rosh Hashanah messages as “surprised” and “happy.” Iranians view Jews, who have had a continuous presence in the country for 2,500 years, as an important part of Iranian history, he said.

Dr. Robert Mnookin, Chair of Harvard University’s negotiations program said, “To assume it [Iran’s social media messages towards the Jewish people] means nothing is unwise to exaggerate its importance is also unwise.”

5. Indirect gestures can lead to dialogue between enemy states

In diplomacy and negotiations, small, indirect gestures are often used to try and thaw relations with hostile countries. Well before President Nixon’s historic visit to China in 1972, which opened diplomatic relations between the two countries, the U.S. president started making conciliatory gestures. For example, he referred to China for the first time as “The People’s Republic of China” instead of “Red China. Later gestures included relaxing trade restrictions, said international affairs expert John Mueller of Ohio State University.

6. Iranians are offended by Netanyahu

Long before Netanyahu exasperated Iranians by erroneously asserting that Iranians aren’t free to wear jeans, his dismissive response to Iran’s Rosh Hashanah greetings outraged Iranian newspaper readers. Commenters called the Israeli prime minister “extremist” and “rude,” and asked why he saw himself as representative of all Jews. They wrote similarly angry comments in response to Netanyahu’s UN speech this month, in which the Israeli leader called Rouhani a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and implied that he supported a military attack against Iran.

7. Some Israelis and Iranians think Israel should go on a charm offensive

Iranian journalist Eshragi said that Iran may have taken a cautious diplomatic step last week when it called Israel by its name for the first time in decades, instead of its usual rhetoric, “the Zionist occupier regime.”

“This trend started during the Iranian delegation visit to New York,” he noted. “[Iran's foreign minister, Mohammed Javad] Zarif responded directly to Netanyahu’s claims. The very fact that Iran is calling Israel by name could be the first step toward reducing enmity.” The new language, said Eshragi, “is an important breakthrough that could and should be proportionally reciprocated by the Israeli regime.”

Former Mossad director Efraim Halevy said that it’s important to pass diplomatic messages to Iran that speak to the human concerns of its people. “Ultimately, the only way to settle conflicts is to speak to and engage the enemy,” he said, “even when the enemy is not responding.”

7 Things You Might Not Know About Martha Raddatz

While you’re probably familiar with upcoming presidential debate co-anchor Anderson Cooper, you may not know as much about his October 9 broadcast partner, Martha Raddatz, an ABC News veteran who seems eager to press both candidates on issues that went unexplored during their first face-off in September.

Before the fireworks start, we’ve unpacked some facts about Raddatz, from her seat on a bombing mission to being mortified at a very un-presidential ringtone going off in the White House briefing room.


Born in Idaho Falls, Idaho in 1953, Martha Raddatz attended East Lake High in Salt Lake City, Utah and attended class with Roseanne Barr. While Raddatz earned her diploma in 1971, Barr opted out of further education to pursue a career in comedy.


(Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) Raddatz attended the University of Utah near her childhood home in Salt Lake without much of an idea of what she wanted to do for a living. When a job position opened up at nearby television affiliate KTVX, Raddatz opted to drop out of college during her senior year. While she later described the decision as “stupid,” Raddatz was able to move up from menial tasks to shooting her own stories, eventually becoming an on-camera presence by the age of 24.


Raddatz worked her way up to positions at an ABC affiliate in Boston and at National Public Radio before becoming ABC's chief White House correspondent in 2005. Uncomfortable remaining in the press corps in Washington, Raddatz insisted on traveling to Iraq multiple times in order to gain a better understanding of how the war was affecting the area. Military officials cited her determination to return to those troubled hot spots as one reason they respected her reporting Raddatz later compiled some of her experiences in Iraq into a book, The Long Road Home.


Eager to experience the rigors of combat firsthand, Raddatz spent years trying to convince the U.S. military to allow her to fly along on a bombing raid. She finally got her wish: Raddatz was inside an F-15E when it was loaded with explosive devices weighing more than 500 pounds each.


Crossing a river in Jalalabad near Afghanistan, Raddatz hitched a ride on a makeshift inflatable raft steered by an eight-year-old local. It was the only path that would get her near an area that was once home to Osama bin Laden.


Raddatz’s globetrotting has had one undesirable side effect: it has proven worrisome to her kids, including her son Jake, who grew concerned for her mother’s safety whenever she was about to travel. In 2011, Raddatz was headed for Kabul when she received word that the U.S. government had located and killed Osama bin Laden. Calling Jake to tell him she wouldn’t be making the trip, she then had to tell him why: he was sworn to secrecy until the president announced it on television later that day.


During her time as a White House correspondent, Raddatz often had trouble hearing incoming calls or messages on her cell phone—press gatherings are frequently busy, crowded, and noisy. To allow her to acknowledge important incoming calls, she asked Jake to program a loud ringtone into her cell. He chose Chamillionaire’s “Ridin’ Dirty.” In a 2007 White House briefing, it went off in her purse, and she had to scramble to turn it off.

When Chamillionaire heard the story, he was pleased, "Can't lie," he tweeted. "That just made my night. Appreciate it. @MarthaRaddatz Keep it gangsta.”

7 things you might not know about Jimi Hendrix on his 75th birthday

2 of 9 Legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix is shown in this undated photo. Hendrix has been voted the instruments greatest player in a poll conducted by Total Guitar magazine. Hendrix, who died in 1970 at 27, beat Led Zeppelins Jimmy Page to the top spot in the poll of the magazines readers, it was announced this week. Eric Clapton came in third, followed by Slash of Guns N Roses and Brian May of Queen. (AP Photo/HO) AP Show More Show Less

4 of 9 ADVANCE FOR USE TUESDAY, JUNE 13, 2017 AND THEREAFTER- In this June 18, 1967 photo, Jimi Hendrix performs at the Monterey Pop Festival in Monterey, Calif. Before Burning Man and Bonnaroo, Coachella and Lollapalooza, Glastonbury and Governors Island, there was Monterey Pop. Fifty years ago in June 2017, the three-day concert in the San Francisco Bay area gave birth to the "Summer of Love'' and paved the way for today's popular festivals. (Monterey Herald via AP) Associated Press Show More Show Less

MONTEREY - JUNE 18: American guitarist Jimi Hendrix (1942 - 1970) plays his Fender Stratocaster guitar while performing at the Monterey International Pop Music Festival, on June 18, 1967 in Monterey, California. (Photo by Ed Caraeff/Getty Images)

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Movie poster advertises the Italian release of the music documentary 'Monterey Pop,' starring Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding, Janis Joplin, The Who, The Mamas and the Papas, Canned Heat, and The Jefferson Airplane (Leacock-Pennebaker), 1968. (Photo by John D Kisch/Separate Cinema Archive/Getty Images)

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MONTEREY CA - JUNE 18: Jimi Hendrix performs onstage at the Monterey Pop Festival on June 18, 1967 in Monterey, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Today, Nov. 27, would have been Jimi Hendrix's 75th birthday. Perhaps rock and roll's greatest electric guitarist, Hendrix became one of the 20th century's most influential musicians despite a mainstream career that lasted only four years.

Hendrix died of asphyxiation after overdosing on barbiturates on Sept. 18, 1970.

Here are seven things you might not know about Jimi.

1. DID NOT SEE HIS DAD UNTIL HE WAS 3. Jimi's father, Al, didn't get to hold his son until Sept. 1, 1945, nearly three years after he was born. Al, who served in World War II, was denied the standard military furlough afforded servicemen for childbirth and held in a stockade to keep him from going AWOL. Father and son met for the first time in Berkeley at the home of a family friend named Mrs. Champ.

2. ARMY OR JAIL: When he was 19, Hendrix was given the choice of serving in the Army or going to jail after he was caught twice riding in stolen cars. He chose the Army and was trained as a paratrooper.

3. KICKED OUT FOR MASTURBATING: The military life did not appeal to Hendrix. He began goofing off, received low marksmanship scores, missed bed checks and earned a demotion from private first class to private. Among the allegations cited in his discharge report, his captain listed "masturbating in the platoon area while supposed to be on detail."

4. THE RED HOUSE: Hendrix lived at at 1524A Haight St. &mdash in spitting distance of the famed Haight/Ashbury corner in San Francisco &mdash for a few years in the 1960s. The house was painted red in his honor.

5. HE OPENED FOR THE MONKEES?! In mid-1967, despite success in England, Jimi Hendrix was still relatively unknown in the United States. The hit pop band The Monkees were enthralled by Jimi and enlisted him for a tour. Unfortunately, their teeny-bopper audience wanted nothing to do with his cutting-edge psychedelic riffs and tried to shout him off the stage. The unlikely marriage lasted for seven tour dates. Jimi quit the tour, but it was rumored for years that the conservative Daughters of the American Revolution had pressured promoters to fire him because his stage act was "too erotic." It was totally false, of course &mdash a joke started by a music critic, but some publications printed it as straight news.

6. ODD VERSE: A line from Hendrix's "Purple Haze" is perhaps the best known of all mondegreens, or misheard lyrics. Instead of singing "Excuse me while I kiss the sky," people sing 'Excuse me while I kiss this guy." Supposedly Hendrix occasionally played along with the joke and occasionally did sing, "Scuse me, while I kiss this guy" to goof on the audience.

7. THE SONG INSPIRED BY LUMPY POTATOES: In 1967, Hendrix got in a fight with then girlfriend Kathy Mary Etchingham. The story goes that she had cooked a batch of mashed potatoes, but Jimi found them wanting.

"We'd had a row over food. Jimi did't like lumpy mashed potato," she told Q magazine in 2013. "There were thrown plates and I ran off (to a friend's house). When I came back the next day, he had written that song about me. It's incredibly flattering."

The song was "The Wind Cries Mary," one of the hits of Hendrix's breakthrough album, "Are You Experienced."

4. The Edible Souvenirs

The Heart Castle has a real, working ranch that has now been raising cattle for 150 years on the Piedra Blanca Ranch. “I love this ranch,” wrote Hearst in 1917, “I love the sea and I love the mountains and the hollows in the hills and the shady places in the creeks and the fine old oaks and even the hot brushy hillsides – full of quail – and the canyons – full of deer. I would rather spend a month at the ranch than any place in the world.”

Hearst Ranch. Poultry House. Photo by Alexander Vertikoff

So yeah, Julia wasn’t just designing fancy foyers. She had to make a dairy barn, a poultry house, and a cowboy bunkhouse for Hearst’s dear friend (and an on-site rancher), Don “Pancho” Francisco Estrada. Luckily, upon his death Hearst transferred the majority to the land to the state of California, under the condition that it remain committed to agriculture – which makes this America’s last functioning estate ranch. What that means for you, of course, is the opportunity to pick up organic, humanely raised beef in the gift shop and select food markets. They even have an Instagram:

Watch the video: Ringo, το σήμα του Vengeance Western Movie, Spaghetti Western, Αγγλικά, πλήρους μήκους δωρεάν (January 2022).