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NASM #216


January 18, 2011

R. Sargent Shriver, JFK’s Director of the Peace Corps as well as his brother-in-law, died today in Bethesda, Maryland.

Shriver, 95 years old , was a victim of Alzheimer’s disease. He was the husband of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of the Special Olympics, who died in 2009 & the father of former NBC reporter Maria Shriver. 


           November 9, 1915  – January 18, 2011

January 18, 1963

NSAM (National Security Action Memorandum) #216 is issued.

This memorandum, signed by JFK’s adviser, McGeorge Bundy, says:

“The President requests a study be made by the Department of State, Defense & CIA of the arguments for and against: 
1. Disclosure to the Soviets of our satellite reconnaissance capability.
2. The maintenance in the hands of the American Ambassador in Moscow of suitable materials for such disclosure in the event of a crisis situation  in which there was ….a threat of nuclear war.”

It is likely, having come so close to nuclear war in the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962, JFK is considering actions which might prevent such a scenario in the future.

January 18, 1950

The People’s Republic of China agrees to provide military aid to the Democratic Republic of (North) Vietnam.

January 18, 1958
Willie O’Ree becomes the 1st African-American to play in the National Hockey League. Born in New Brunswick,  O’Ree lost 95% of the vision in his right eye when he was struck by a puck before he reached the NHL.
O’Ree will score his 1st goal on January 1, 1961 vs. the Canadiens.  16 years will pass before the next African-American will play in the NHL. 

January 18, 1778
English explorer Captain James Cook becomes the 1st European to discover Hawaii. Two days later Cook will land on the island of Kauai & name the  group “The Sandwich Islands” after a sponsor, John Montague, the Earl of Sandwich.

JFK’s mother, Rose, told the story of how young Jack loved to read the book “Billy Whiskers” & that one day he asked her where the Sandwich Islands were located.  When she asked why he wanted to know, he said that was where Billy Whiskers had gone.

January 18, 1862
John Tyler, the 1st Vice-President of the United States to assume the Presidency on the death of a president, dies in Richmond, Virginia.
Tyler’s major achievement as President was adding Texas to the Union in 1845.
Tyler had been a delegate to the Virginia Secession Convention & was elected to serve in the congress of the Confederacy but died before he could take office.


January 18, 1912
British explorer Robert F. Scott arrives at the South Pole only to find a Norwegian explorer, Roald Amundsen, had already been there a month.
Weather on the return trip turned bad leaving Scott & 2 of his companions trapped in their tent.  Their frozen bodies were found in March. 



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