Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 34

Hawaii becomes 50th state on August 21, 1959

Hawaii becomes 50th state on August 21, 1959.

Hawaii becomes 50th state On August 21, 1959, the modern United States receives its crowning star when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs a proclamation admitting Hawaii into the Union as the 50th state. The president also issued an order for an American flag featuring 50 stars arranged in staggered rows: five six-star rows and four five-star rows. The new flag became official July 4, 1960.

The first known settlers of the Hawaiian Islands were Polynesian voyagers who arrived sometime in the eighth century. In the early 18th century, American traders came to Hawaii to exploit the islands' sandalwood, which was much valued in China at the time.

In the 1830s, the sugar industry was introduced to Hawaii and by the mid 19th century had become well established. American missionaries and planters brought about great changes in Hawaiian political, cultural, economic, and religious life. In 1840, a constitutional monarchy was established, stripping the Hawaiian monarch of much of his authority.

In 1893, a group of American expatriates and sugar planters supported by a division of U.S. Marines deposed Queen Liliuokalani, the last reigning monarch of Hawaii. One year later, the Republic of Hawaii was established as a U.S. protectorate with Hawaiian-born Sanford B. Dole as president.

Many in Congress opposed the formal annexation of Hawaii, and it was not until 1898, following the use of the naval base at Pearl Harbor during the Spanish-American War, that Hawaii's strategic importance became evident and formal annexation was approved. Two years later, Hawaii was organized into a formal U.S. territory. During World War II, Hawaii became firmly ensconced in the American national identity following the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

In March 1959, the U.S. government approved statehood for Hawaii, and in June the Hawaiian people voted by a wide majority to accept admittance into the United States. Two months later, Hawaii officially became the 50th state. History Channel / Wikipedia / Hawaiian Islands

Wikipedia  Hawaiian Islands, NOAA Satellite; Na Pali Coast, Kaua'i, by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel, National Geographic; Volcanic Coast, Haleakala National Park, by Paul Chesley, National Geographic; Living Earth - Pu'u 'O'o crater, by Frans Lanting; Volcano erupting on the Big Island in Hawaii in July by Alain Barbezat for National Geographic; The blue ocean line of Honolulu - an aerial view.
Hawaiian Islands (Hawaiian: Mokupuni o Hawai‘i) are an archipelago of eight major islands, several atolls, numerous smaller islets, and undersea seamounts in the North Pacific Ocean, extending some 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometres) from the island of Hawaiʻi in the south to northernmost Kure Atoll (the northwesternmost island in Hawaii is Green Island, which is joined to the Kure Atoll).

Understanding Military Terminology

Understanding Military Terminology - emergency-essential employee

(DOD) Emergency-essential employee: A Department of Defense civilian employee whose assigned duties and responsibilities must be accomplished following the evacuation of non-essential personnel (including dependents) during a declared emergency or outbreak of war. See also evacuation. (Cornell Law / Wikipedia)

The Taking of the English Flagship the Royal Prince (Willem van de Velde the Younger, 1666)

The Old Salt’s Corner

The Flagship is a vessel used by the commanding officer of a group of naval ships, reflecting the custom of its commander, characteristically a flag officer, flying a distinguishing flag. Used more loosely, it is the lead ship in a fleet of vessels, typically the first, largest, fastest, most heavily armed, or best known.

In common naval use, the term flagship is fundamentally a temporary designation; the flagship is wherever the admiral's flag is being flown. However, admirals have always needed additional facilities; a meeting room large enough to hold all the captains of the fleet, and a place for the admiral's staff to make plans and draw up orders.

In the 20th century, ships became large enough that most types could accommodate a commander and staff, and during World War II admirals would often prefer a faster ship over the largest one. Some larger ships may have a separate flag bridge for use by the admiral and his staff while the captain commanded from the main navigation bridge. Because its primary function is to coordinate a fleet, a flagship is not necessarily more heavily armed or fortified than other ships.

As with many other naval terms, flagship has crossed over into common usage, where it means the most important or leading member of a group. It has also come to be an adjective describing the most prominent or highly touted product, brand, location, or service among those offered by a company. It now has common derivations such as the “flagship brand” or “flagship product” of a manufacturing company or “flagship store” of a retail chain. Auto companies usually have a flagship in the form of their leading, highest-priced car. Wikipedia

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin’”

Why is it when two planes almost hit each other it is called a “near miss”? Shouldn't it be called a “near hit”?

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

Bizarre News (we couldn’t make up stuff this good – real news story)

Bizarre News (we couldn’t make up stuff this good – real news story)

New Hampshire man leads Saline County deputies on bizarre chase

New Hampshire man leads Saline County deputies on bizarre chase

SALINA, Kansas - Sheriff’s deputies arrested Aaron Jansen, 29, but not before he put on quite a show on July 5th. Jansen, speeding in a car spray-painted with derogatory comments about law enforcement, refused to pull over and even survived a series of tire-shredding road spikes as he turned into a soybean field, where he revved the engine and drove in circles for 40 minutes.

As deputies set up a perimeter, Jansen futilely tossed items from the car (blankets, CDs, anything available) and then (with the car still moving) climbed out the driver’s door and briefly “surfed” on the roof. Finally, as deputies closed in, Jansen shouted a barrage of Bible verses before emerging from the car wearing a cowboy hat, boots, and a woman’s dress. KAKE

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Why were dancers in the thirties and forties called “jitterbugs”?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Why were dancers in the thirties and forties called “jitterbugs”?

Band leader Cab Calloway coined the word “Jitterbug” as a description of both the music and the dancers during the big band era.

It came from a time when drinking alcohol was prohibited by law, giving rise to the popularity of illegal booze.

Because of its hangover effect, moonshine had long been called “jitter sauceº, and Calloway, while watching the intoxicated dancers, labeled them “jitterbugs”.

The style of dance was even carried over into the 1950’s when teenagers did the jitterbug. Wikipedia

Image: Jitterbug: (Band leader Cab Calloway in Zoot suit

The Cab Calloway Orchestra and Jitterbug Dancers (Wikipedia / Google Search)

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Yellow” (The Cowardly Lion, from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.)

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Yellow: meaning cowardly, is actually an abbreviation of “yellow dog”, an American insult that first appeared in the nineteenth century to describe a cowardly or worthless person.

In the early 20th Century, when employers were fighting trade unions, they insisted that new employees sign a pledge never to join a union. This pledge was called a “yellow dog” contract by union members, with the implication that anyone signing it was “yellow”. Phrases.org UK

Image: The Cowardly Lion, from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. (Wikipedia)

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang - U.S. Navy

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Boat: Water craft small enough to be carried on a ship, unless a submarine, which is always called “a boat” or “the boat” when referring to the actual vessel (as opposed to the “ship's company” when referring to a sub's command or crew).

- A ship may be called a boat but ONLY by members of its crew, and only those who have actually completed a deployment

- The Boat: (1) The Submarine; (2) Airdale term for the ship their airwing is attached to. “We're going to The Boat for a few weeks.”

Det: Short for detachment. When part of a unit leaves and operates at another ship or base. Also used in reference to some “workups” that involve the entire unit. Ex. NAS Fallon det.

GITMO: Guantanamo Bay Naval Station on Cuba, which had a shorthand designation of GTMO.

IYARGOL: Term coined by the nukes in response to Ordnance's navy pride. “If you ain't Reactor, go on liberty.” Unlike the majority of junior enlisted personnel, nukes are trained with “questioning attitude” and have a much harder time living in ignorance so to speak.

Just for MARINES - U.S. Marines

Just for you MARINE

CH-46 Sea Knight: Twin engine helicopter capable of carrying a platoon of Marines.

Chain of Command: The continuous chain of authority that links the most junior private to the Commander in Chief and vice versa. Many argue that the U.S. implementation of the chain of command is the most important strategy employed by our military forces. In other armies the loss of a commander would throw the entire organization into disorder while in the U.S. military, the next most senior person present just assumes command. It is taught that whenever two Marines are walking together, one is in charge.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: A general or admiral appointed by the President to serve as his senior military advisor. He works with the Secretary of Defense and has no direct authority over the individual services. He does, however, direct the Unified Commands as the direct superior to their Commanders (who were previously called Commander in Chief until the practice was ended by President Bush who wanted exclusive use of the title).

Military Acronyms

Navy Acronyms

HQMC - Headquarters Marine Corps

HRC - Human Resources Center

HSI - Human-System Integration

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VT-31 - Training Squadron 31: “Wise Owls” NAS Corpus Christi, Texas

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

According to Gordon Moore

A single greeting card that plays Happy Birthday has more computer power than the Earth had in 1950!

According to Gordon Moore, the number of transistors that can be arranged to fit on a silicon chip doubles every 18 months. This means that the number of actions a computer is able to do also doubles every 18 months.

If you would like to think about it in practical terms, the number of operations it takes a common greeting card to play Happy Birthday is more than all technology on Earth was capable of in the 1950’s! While this is amazing, scientists believe that the limit of computational power will be reached in the year 2020 because it is physically impossible to reduce the sizes of transistors and further! (OMG Facts)

Image: According to Gordon Moore (Wikipedia)


1941 - Ted Williams: The Splendid Splinter

Sports 1941 Wikipedia

Note - many sporting events did not take place because of World War II

World Series Champions: The New York Yankees defeat the Brooklyn Dodgers 4 games to 1

Ted Williams records a season batting average of .406; it is the last time any major leaguer will hit over .400

Joe DiMaggio’s 56–game hitting streak (May 15 – July 16)

NFL Champions: Chicago Bears defeat the New York Giants 37–9

NBL Champions: Oshkosh All-Stars win three games to none over the Sheboygan Redskins

Stanley Cup Champs: Boston Bruins defeat the Detroit Red Wings 4 games to 0

U.S. Open Golf: Craig Wood

U.S. Open Tennis (Men/Ladies): Bobby Riggs / Sarah Palfrey Cooke

Wimbledon (Men/Women): Not Held

NCAA Football Champions: Minnesota Golden Gophers

NCAA Basketball Champions: Wisconsin

Kentucky Derby: Whirlaway becomes the 5th horse to win the U.S. Triple Crown

Image: Ted Williams: The Splendid Splinter (Google Image Search)



● The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History houses the world's largest shell collection, some 15 million specimens.

● The famous Citgo sign near Fenway Park in Boston is maintained not by Citgo, but by Boston's historical society.

● The state of Maine has 62 lighthouses. One of the most famous (and oldest) is Portland Head Light, which was commissioned by President George Washington.

Answer to Last Week's Test

Who is the only person ever to decline a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction?

Answer: Sinclair Lewis for his book “Arrowsmith

Joke of the Day

A husband walks into Victoria's Secret to purchase a sheer negligee for his wife. He is shown several possibilities that range from $250 to $500 in price – the more sheer, the higher the price. Naturally, he opts for the most sheer item, pays the $500, and takes it home. He presents it to his wife and asks her to go upstairs, put it on, and model it for him.

Upstairs the wife thinks (she's no dummy), “I have an idea. It's so sheer that it might as well be nothing. I won't put it on, but I'll do the modeling naked, return it tomorrow, and keep the $500 refund for myself.” She appears naked on the balcony and strikes a pose. The husband says, “Good Grief! You'd think for $500, they'd at least iron it!”

He never heard the shot. Funeral on Thursday at Noon. Closed Casket