“Pages of history” features excerpts from The News Journal archives including the Wilmington Morning News and the Evening Journal.
May 15, 1973, The Morning News
Skylab launched into doubt as liftoff damages power units
Skylab, the nation’s first space station, was no sooner rocketed into orbit yesterday than a deployment failure of its solar power wings threatened to delay and severely limit manned operations aboard the largest spaceship ever built.
The 80-ton space station took off on time at 1:30 p.m., but the vibrations of liftoff apparently damaged at least one of the two wing-like solar panels that was to provide power….
The problem was described as one of the most serious setbacks to the nation’s space program, and the launching of the Skylab astronauts was postponed until Sunday….
There was a serious question as to whether the second and third crews, scheduled to follow in August and November, would be able to come anywhere close to completing their plans for 56-day flights each. The original plan was for the nine astronauts to live and work in Skylab over the next eight months to test man’s ability in the gravity-free conditions for long periods….
LOCAL CONNECTION TO NASA:This Middletown High School alum set his sights on the stars. Now he works for NASA.
May 17, 1960, Wilmington Morning News
U.S. rejects call from Soviets for air spying apology
British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was striving desperately today to revive the collapsed summit conference in Paris. The Big Four meeting turned into a debacle at the outset in a bitter trading of cold war blasts between President Eisenhower and Soviet Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev….
In his initial efforts late last night, Macmillan failed in a talk lasting an hour and 35 minutes to placate Khrushchev….
Eisenhower, described as impassively sitting through Khrushchev’s summit tirades over the U-2 spy plane episode and then letting his fury show later in private…was understood to be awaiting the outcome of Macmillan’s efforts.
An American U-2 plane, piloted by Francis G. Powers, was downed deep inside Russia May 1. Powers was captured and faces trial by the Soviets as a spy….
May 18, 1954, Wilmington Morning News
Supreme Court says states lack right to separate Negro and white pupils
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the states of the nation do not have the right to separate Negro and white pupils in different public schools.
By a unanimous 9-0 vote, the high court held that such segregation of the races is unconstitutional.
Chief Justice Warren read the historic decision to a packed but hushed gallery of spectators nearly two years after Negro residents of four states and the District of Columbia went before the court to challenge the principle of segregation….
In its decision, the high court struck down the long standing “separate but equal” doctrine first laid down by the Supreme Court in 1896 when it maintained that segregation was all right if equal facilities were made available for Negroes and whites….
Integration plans in state to be discussed
Atty. Gen. H. Albert Young said yesterday that he plans to confer with state school officials as soon as possible on the next step to be taken in Delaware as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s precedent-making opinion on segregation….
In Wilmington, Gail C. Belden, president of the Wilmington Board of Education, said that while nothing definitive can be said as yet, “we are giving it very serious consideration – as we have been for some time – and will be in a position to carry out the orders as soon as they are known.”
Dr. George R. Miller Jr., the state superintendent, said the ruling “will not have any immediate effect.” He said that “it will take some time for any definite plan to be evolved. This situation has been discussed informally for some months, and we believe the first step will be to get started at the local level, in the lower grade schools.”
CATCH UP ON HISTORY:From The News Journal archives, week of March 13
May 19, 1980, Evening Journal
At least 15 die in Miami riots
Snipers roamed, fires burned and looters went unchallenged in Miami early today, as two nights of racial rioting left at least 15 dead….
The rioting, sparked by the acquittal of four ex-policemen in the fatal beating of a black man, was the worst in terms of fatalities in a U.S. city since July 1967 when Newark, N.J. and Detroit exploded during what became known as the “long hot summer” of racial turmoil.
More than 371 people were injured, 12 critically, in the chaos that began Saturday night. Four policemen were shot, none seriously. One lieutenant suffered a fatal heart attack while patrolling….
Volcano erupts in Washington state
Abrasive volcanic ash drifted over three states today and a mile-wide wall of steaming mud oozed down the side of Mount St. Helens after a volcanic eruption that killed at least five people and reduced the pristine snow-covered peak to an ashen flattop.
“It looks like the aftermath of an atomic explosion,” said Dwight E. Reber, a pilot for Columbia Helicopters Inc. of Aurora, Ore. “I think the whole north face of the mountain has blown out.”
The ash – which prompted health warnings – fell half an inch deep on the ground as far as 500 miles away from Vancouver, Wash.….
Reach reporter Ben Mace at firstname.lastname@example.org.