ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Special Fourth of July History - Astronauts and Native Americans

Updated on June 7, 2015
Source

Historic Firsts and Lasts

Two places stand out in America as the most historic and memorable for spending the week of the Fourth of July in 2011. One of these places planned an event never again to occur, while the second was planned to continue for decades.

It is additionally remarkable that these two events occurred simultaneously in July 2011, because the second now happens only once every two years. Cape Canaveral's launch of the of final US Space Shuttle Mission in the Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-135) was planned for Friday, July 8 and the week ahead of it was filled with activities and events to celebrate the founding of the New Nation, the United States of America, along with the history and ending of the American Space Shuttle Program. Hotels and launch ticket and parking-viewing sites were sold out (by lottery) quickly in and around Cape Canaveral and Orlando, Florida.

In order to be at the launch on the morning of July 8, it was necessary for many people to fly in almost a week ahead of time, because plane seats sold out fast, while train schedules and ground transport were unwieldy. Those who drove their own vehicles had the best chance of experiencing July 8th with the least amount of hassle, but the others were able to be on hand for the Fourth of July near the Cape.

Checking out the possibilities from a point at the end of May, I found I'd have to fly in from my area and stay at least a week to be at the Cape or the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Area on the morning of July 8th. Rental cars here were already booked out, and we don't even have a train. Greyhound does not run close enough to the Cape to be of use. At the same time, launch tickets (no refunds) are good for a mission if a launch delay of days is experienced, but accommodations, car rentals, etc. would need to be adjusted by each launch ticket holder. I will be watching on NASA TV and I'm sure there will be a DVD of the proceedings released, complete with the keynote addresses of our former and current astronauts.

For the families, space enthusiasts, historians, and science fiction fans and writers, July 4 - 8, 2011 was a once-in-lifetime miracle event in America. We may see quite a lot written about it in the years to come. This type of event is a perfect way to celebrate Independence Day.

A joint news conference with crews of the International Space Station and the Atlantis is planned for Day 8 of the Mission.

The Final Mission, July 2011

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The final landing: STS135, Space Shuttle AtlantisRex Walheim, Doug Hurley, pilot; Chris Ferguson, commander;  Sandy Magnus.The last Shuttle Mission Patch
The final landing: STS135, Space Shuttle Atlantis
The final landing: STS135, Space Shuttle Atlantis | Source
Rex Walheim, Doug Hurley, pilot; Chris Ferguson, commander;  Sandy Magnus.
Rex Walheim, Doug Hurley, pilot; Chris Ferguson, commander; Sandy Magnus. | Source
The last Shuttle Mission Patch
The last Shuttle Mission Patch | Source

Waiting to Launch

Source

Last Previous Mission of Atlantis: STS-132

Florida Spaceport

A
Cape Canaveral:
Cape Canaveral, FL, USA

get directions

The National Pow Wow in July Annually

As a teenager and before I knew of my Native American heritage, I was fortunate to visit a gathering on the National Mall in Washington DC that would become the US National Pow Wow. Beginning as an event that honored US service people and Veterans of the Viet Nam Conflict and prior wars, along with Native Americans and their Veterans, the event developed into a much larger affair.

The celebration was later held annually in DC, with hundreds of Native American Nations and First Nations groups gathering to present and honor their veterans, service people, arts, dances, and cultures and shar them with the rest of the nation. The national event overwhelmed DC with its size.

The first time I witnessed this gathering, a group of US Marines were at a podium at the top of the steps to the Lincoln Memorial. After a short tribute address, a 19-year-old Marine just home from Viet Nam left briefly and returned in his Southwest Native American regalia to perform a traditional dance of his nation. I can still hear the silence in the half-filled Mall as the thousands of onlookers watched him. At the end of his dance, the crowd of mostly non-natives erupted in applause and cheers. If I remember correctly, the young Marine shipped back out to the war.

National Pow Wow, Washington DC - Men's Fancy Dance

US National Pow Wow in Indiana

Today, the US National Pow Wow is held every two or three years, reduced from its annual schedule, because of costs, increasing size, and logistics. In 2011, the pow wow was also scheduled for Danville, Indiana (hometown of Dick Van Dyke) at a large county fairgrounds west of Indianapolis on July 6 - 9. It will rotate locations during event years.

July 4th activities bring visitors into Danville on the weekend before the holiday and keep them there throughout the pow wow, so it will prove to be an exciting week. Danville is also more centrally located for the Native American and First Nations groups, hundreds of which are on the West Coast of both countries. A large pow wow has been held in conjunction with the Danville and other organizers every three years since 1969.

A national pow wow had been a major event for years in Washington DC, held in conjunction with the Smithsonian Insitution's Museum of the American Indian after it opened in 2005. The event apparently grew too large for the city to handle easily and was too far from multiple hundreds of groups that wished to attend and found transportation costs prohibitive.

The Smithsonian's Museum of the American Indian currently offers special presentations, demonstrations, and discussions on July 4th and throughout the patriotic holiday week, and shares some of its exhibits with its counterpart in New York City. Attending the events in Danville or DC are both good ways to celebrate America and its history.

National Pow Wow in Danville, Indiana

A
1900 East Main Street, Danville Indiana:
1900 E Main St, Danville, IN 46122, USA

get directions

Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds and Conference Complex

© 2011 Patty Inglish MS

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • wolf40901 profile image

      wolf40901 

      7 years ago from South Carolina

      i'm Cherokee and do agree we need the powows. they're both fun and educational. sometimes that's the only way families make extra money to live on because they sure don't get as much as people think. i hope we continue space exploration too, though, and keep their young minds wondering. without it, science is nearly null and void.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      7 years ago from London, UK

      I'd rather watch a pow wow. I think they are such fascinating people and could teach us so much. I sure they would make the world a better place.

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 

      7 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Wonderful events. I hope it want be the end of space missions, and that another program will come about. God Bless You. Nice Hub.

    • profile image

      Nan Mynatt 

      7 years ago

      This should not be our last space mission. Yes, it does cost a lot but so does the war or wars. The space program is a tribute to our country as being the forth runner in the space program. The scientist who have work long and hard to bring the missions about will be left in time and space in this century. Thanks for sharing the information on the last but,I hope that we have another!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)