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Letter from American History – December 2009

Journalist Heather Pringle discusses the discovery of America and casts a critical eye on the claims of a host of intrepid trailblazers who may have journeyed here long before Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
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George Bush: World War II Navy Pilot

Former president George H. W. Bush recounts his time in World War II as a naval aviator. He served aboard the Finback and San Jacinto and flew Avengers over Chichi Jima, Saipan, Rota, Marcus Island, Guam, Manila Bay and Wake Island.
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Roger Bacon

A scholar-monk who envisioned an Academy of Science, Roger Bacon's ideas were far ahead of his time and ran counter to the Church's doctrine.

By Dianna L. Dodson

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A Lady’s Life in the Gold Rush

From remote mining camps in northern California in the early 1850s, Louise ('Dame Shirley') Clapp wrote a series of vivid letters to her sister in New England.
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Samuel Langley: Aviation Pioneer

More than 100 years ago, Samuel Langley's team of specialists from the Smithsonian Institution proved to a small group of astonished observers that powered flight was possible. But they still had to prove that their Aerodrome could safely carry a man into the sky.
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Climbing Mount Everest

Three generations of British mountaineers committed themselves to standing where no one ever had before.