No One Alive Today Will Ever See This Again!

Mars

The Red Planet is about to be spectacular!
This month and next, Earth is catching up with
Mars in an encounter that will culminate in the closest approach between the two planets in recorded history. The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287. Due to the way Jupiter’s gravity tugs on
Mars and perturbs its orbit, astronomers can only be certain that Mars has not come this close to Earth in the Last 5,000 years, but it may be as long as 60,000 years before it happens again.

The encounter will culminate on August 27th when Mars comes to within 34,649,589 miles of Earth and will be (next to the moon) the brightest object in the night sky. It will attain a magnitude of -2.9 and will appear 25.11 arc seconds wide. At a modest 75-power magnification, Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye.

Mars will be easy to spot. At the beginning of August it will rise in the east at 10p.m. and reach its azimuth at about 3 a.m.

By the end of August when the two planets are closest, Mars will rise at nightfall and reach its highest point in the sky at 12:30a.m.

That’s pretty convenient to see something that no human being has seen in recorded history. So, mark your calendar at the beginning of August to see Mars grow progressively brighter and brighter throughout the month.

Make sure you share the experience with your children and grand children. NO ONE ALIVE TODAY WILL EVER SEE THIS AGAIN!

Zeitgeist: Addendum

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“Saved by the Bell”

    “Mr. Watson, come here; I want you”

According to Reader’s Digest, Discovering America’s Past, “Alexander Graham Bell’s coherent telephone message…was in fact a cry for help…” “An accidental splash of acid prompted Alexander Graham Bell to make the first phone call, which his assistant, Tom Watson, answered by rushing in from a room down the hall.”

The invention of the telephone first appeared in the 1870’s. While visiting the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876, the emperor of Brazil, Dom Pedro II, placed the receiver to his ear and was treated to Bell’s recitation of Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” soliloquy. Delighted and astonished, Dom Pedro exclaimed, “It talks!”

Critics questioned its practicality and some saw it as a scientific toy. In order for Bell to marry Mabel, and receive his future father-in-law’s blessing, Bell and Watson embarked on a demonstration tour. Alexander Graham Bell, in Salem, Massachusetts, 1877, using leased or loaned telegraph wires for connection, sat on stage, while Watson was stationed miles away. After Watson’s introduction and shouted greetings, Watson received thunderous ovations for his repertoire of song, which included Yankee Doodle, Hold the Fort, and a favorite, Do Not Trust Him, Gentle Lady.

American History Illustrated, published by The National Historical Society and noted Affilitates

Back In “Time”

THE LEICA FREEDOM TRAIN

The Leica is the pioneer 35mm camera. It is a German product – precise, minimalist, and utterly efficient. Behind its worldwide acceptance as a creative tool was a family-owned, socially oriented firm that, during the Nazi era, acted with uncommon grace, generosity and modesty.
E. Leitz Inc., designer and manufacturer of Germany’s most famous photographic product, saved its Jews.

And Ernst Leitz II, the steely eyed Protestant patriarch who headed the closely held firm as the Holocaust loomed across Europe, acted in such a way as to earn the title, ‘the photography industry’s Schindler.’

The ‘Leica Freedom Train’ As soon as Adolf Hitler was named chancellor of Germany in 1933, Ernst Leitz II began receiving frantic calls from Jewish associates, asking for his help in getting them and their families out of the country. As Christians, Leitz and his family were immune to Nazi Germany’s Nuremberg laws, which restricted the movement of Jews and limited their professional activities.

To help his Jewish workers and colleagues, Leitz quietly established what has become known among historians of the Holocaust as ‘the Leica Freedom Train,’ a covert means of allowing Jews to leave Germany in the guise of Leitz employees being assigned overseas.

Employees, retailers, family members, even friends of family members were ‘assigned’ to Leitz sales offices in France, Britain, Hong Kong and the United States. Leitz’s activities intensified after the Kristallnacht of November 1938, during which synagogues and Jewish shops were burned across Germany.

Before long, German ’employees’ were disembarking from the ocean liner Bremen at a New York pier and making their way to the Manhattan office of Leitz Inc., where executives quickly found them jobs in the photographic industry. Each new arrival had around his or her neck the symbol of freedom – a new Leica.

The refugees were paid a stipend until they could find work. Out of this migration came designers, repair technicians, salespeople, marketers and writers for the photographic press.

Keeping the story quiet The ‘Leica Freedom Train’ was at its height in 1938 and early 1939, delivering groups of refugees to New York every few weeks. Then, with the invasion of Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, Germany closed its borders. By that time, hundreds of endangered Jews had escaped to America, thanks to the Leitzes’ efforts.

How did Ernst Leitz II and his staff get away with it? Leitz Inc. was an internationally recognized brand that reflected credit on the newly resurgent Reich. The company produced range-finders and other optical systems for the German military. Also, the Nazi government desperately needed hard currency from abroad, and Leitz’s single biggest market for optical goods was the United States.

Even so, members of the Leitz family and firm suffered for their good works A top executive, Alfred Turk, was jailed for working to help Jews and was freed only after the payment of a large bribe.

Leitz’s daughter, Elsie Kuhn-Leitz, was imprisoned by the Gestapo after she was caught at the border, helping Jewish women cross into Switzerland. She eventually was freed but endured rough treatment in the course of questioning. She also fell under suspicion when she attempted to improve the living conditions of 700 to 800 Ukrainian slave laborers, all of them women, who had been assigned to work in the plant during the 1940s.

(After the war, Kuhn-Leitz received numerous honors for her humanitarian efforts, among them the Officier d’honneur des Palms Academic from France in 1965 and the Aristide Briand Medal from the European Academy in the 1970s.)

Why has no one told this story until now? According to the late Norman Lipton, a freelance writer and editor, the Leitz family wanted no publicity for its heroic efforts. Only after the last member of the Leitz family was dead did the ‘Leica Freedom Train’ finally come to light. It is now the subject of a book, ‘The Greatest Invention of the Leitz Family:

The Leica Freedom Train,’ by Frank Dabba Smith, a California-born Rabbi currently living in England.

    “Shadows of the Storm”

Frederic S. Klein, NHS member, just received a brochure announcing the publication of a historical project. The whispers in the Historical Times office have become a reality. The fascinating reality is a series called THE IMAGE OF WAR, 1861-1865. The first volume of that series is to be known as “Shadows of the Storm”.

The secret was maintained over a six-year span of time while William Davis, NHS President, maintained sudden expeditions to far away places, only to return with a secretive nature, leading one to suspect the discovery of sunken treasures.

Klein is amazed that these treasures were found to be pictorial, and definitely were located in remote and unsuspected locations.

“…The brochure describes this “most impressive and exhaustive array of Civil War photographs ever assembled…” “…Civil War photographs hidden in dusty library boxes, attic trunks, European archives, personal family albums-thousands never before published…”

Now seen throughout history in every Civil War publication. A valuable historical collection – the Devil’s Den sharp-shooter or the trenches at Petersburg.

According to American History Illustrated, published by The National Historical Society and noted Affilitates, Shadows of the Storm was edited by…NHS President William C. Davis, and B. I. Wiley, Consulting Editor.