Grateful American® Foundation

History Matters
July 16 to July 31, 2021

Showing our children that their past is prelude to their future
By John Grimaldi and David Bruce Smith

On July 17, 1975, a coterie of astronauts, and cosmonauts, rendezvoused in the stars.

According to some, America and the Soviet Union had a “heavenly embrace” moment, for the first time since Apollo 18, and Soyuz 19 anchored in orbit. Their commanders, Aleksei Leonov and Thomas P. Stafford, greeted each other amiably, and dedicated two days of experimenting with in–space rescue missions–for contingency reasons.

“Back on Earth, United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim congratulated the two superpowers for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project and praised their unprecedented spirit of cooperation and peace in planning and executing the mission,” according to History.com.

Within sixteen years, however, Russia’s powerful hold over its Eastern Bloc Republics fizzled; the Berlin Wall broke, and the Cold War went up–in smoke.

For more information, the Grateful American Book Prize recommends Saving freedom: Truman, the Cold War, and the Fight for Western Civilization by Joe Scarborough.

If the timing had been different, Jack London could have been a candidate for the Grateful American Book Prize, but he was born too early: San Francisco, 1876.

At 21, he sailed to Canada’s Klondike territories during the apex of their Gold Rush flush, but instead of sweeping for a fabulous fortune, London perused the land, its indigenous people, and pondered the plethora of piggish prospectors who grabbed for gold.

London’s adventures surfaced in the form of a successful debut short story collection called The Son of the Wolf: Tales of the Far North.

Three years later, The Call of the Wild—a story of an abducted dog, was released, and became a best seller, that permanently pivoted the author’s profile of prestige from evanescent to evergreen.

When he died in 1916 at the age of 40, London had already written fifty works of fiction and non-fiction that are still loved.

The Grateful American Book Prize recommends The Call of the Wild by Jack London.

 

The Department of Justice (DOJ) was founded in 1870, but in its first four decades of operation, it hired rent-a-cop investigators, that were usually borrowed from other government agencies–including the Secret Service. Finally, on July 26,1908, the division assembled a dedicated aggregation of its own.

U.S. Attorney General Charles Bonaparte hired 10 experienced, former Secret Service agents that morphed to 34–and–eventually–three hundred.

Meanwhile, J. Edgar Hoover joined the Department in 1917; he was promoted to special assistant to Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer in 1919, and by 1924, was the acting director of the Bureau of Investigation. The entity officially became known as the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1935.

Hoover remained Director until his 1972 death, but his reign was sullied by controversy and corruption; today, the Senate approves prospective Director nominees, and limits service to one, ten-year term.

The Grateful American Book Prize recommends The True Story of J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI by Barry Denenberg.


History Matters is a biweekly feature courtesy of The Grateful American Book Prize.