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Cape Canaveral, Florida (JFK+50) Lt. Col. Guion S. Bluford of the United States Air Force became the 1st African-American to be launched into outer space thirty-one years ago today, August 30, 1983.

Lt. Col Bluford, a mission specialist, was launched with his fellow astronauts aboard the space shuttle Challenger from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 2:32 a.m.

Bluford earned a PhD in the philosophy of Aeronautical Engineering from the United States Air Force Institute of Technology.



Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) A hot line between the Pentagon and the Kremlin was activated fifty=one years ago today, August 30, 1963, making John F. Kennedy the 1st POTUS to have access to the new technology.

Earlier in June, the hot line agreement had been signed by representatives of the United States and the Soviet Union.

The White House issued a statement saying the hotline would…

 “help reduce the risk of war occurring by accident or miscalculation.”

The first test message sent over the wires from Washington was: 

“The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog’s back 1234567890.”


The New York Times reported that the hot line was…

“a direct outgrowth of the serious delays that developed in diplomatic communications between the 2 capitals during the Cuban Missile Crisis.”

The hot line had the capability of reducing the time to initiate direct communication between the President of the United States and the Premier of the Soviet Union from hours to minutes.

Despite the improvement, however, the process was not exactly what has been depicted in Hollywood.  

If JFK wanted to place a call on the hotline, he first had to call the Pentagon and have operators there type in his message on the teletype machine* that was part of the system.

The President’s message would then be encrypted, fed to a transmitter and sent to the Kremlin. Premier Khrushchev would then receive the message and a reply would be sent following a similar procedure back to the Pentagon.

While JFK was the first president to have access to the hot line, it was actually LBJ who became the first president to use it in 1967 when he was considering sending Air Force jets to the Middle East.


“August 30, 1963/Communications ‘Hot Line’ Connects Soviet and U.S. Heads of State,”  The Learning Network, www.learning.blogs.nytimes.com/



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