Jan-15: Important Firsts and Sully’s Miracle

Three important firsts – a Nigerian coup, the Super Bowl and Wikpedia launching and the Miracle on the Hudson mark this day.

See two previously published Jan. 15th posts:  Boston Bhopal – The Forgotten Great Molasses Flood of 1919 and Princess Diana Steps in Political Minefield That Leads to Convention Banning Landmines


Nigeria’s First Coup

nzeogwuOn this day Nigeria’s three-year Republic was overthrown by a military coup intended to fight corruption and ethnic rivalries, but which only exacerbated both.  The coup brought about a “succession of increasingly repressive military governments [that] ruled Nigeria for 29 of the next 33 years, until the restoration of of democracy in 1999.”  A BBC Report contends that the reverberations from that coup are still felt in Nigeria today.


The First Super Bowl

The first battle between the old guard NFL and new AFL took place in Los Angeles Coliseum with the NFL’s defending champion Green Bay Packers beating the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs 35-10.  The game was broadcast to a TV audience of 51.2 million viewers.  By Super Bowl 49 this had reached 114.4 million viewers plus a worldwide audience.


Wikipedia Launches

Wikipedia, the  free-access, free-content Internet encyclopedia, supported and hosted by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, launched on this day in 2001.  Today it is ranked among the ten most popular websites and constitutes the Internet’s largest and most popular general reference work.  The English Wikipedia is now one of 291 Wikipedia editions and is the largest with 5,055,597 articles.  There is a grand total, including all Wikipedias, of over 38 million articles in over 250 different languages.  As of February 2014, it had 18 billion page views and nearly 500 million unique visitors each month.[13]

A peer review of 42 science articles found in both Encyclopædia Britannica and Wikipedia was published in Nature in 2005, and found that Wikipedia’s level of accuracy approachedEncyclopedia Britannica ’​s.  Criticisms of Wikipedia include claims that it exhibits systemic bias, presents a mixture of “truths, half truths, and some falsehoods”,and that in controversial topics it is subject to manipulation and spin.


Miracle on the Hudson

US Air Flight 1549 took off from New York’s LaGuardia aiport and lost both engines after multiple bird strikes and Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger made an emergency landing on the Hudson River.  All 155 occupants, the passengers and crew, successfully evacuated from the partially submerged plane as it sank into the river; they were rescued by nearby watercraft. The incident came to be known as the “Miracle on the Hudson” and Sully became a national hero.

Clint Eastwood is directing and Tom Hank starring in “Sully” about the legendary landing.

Cover Photo: By Greg L [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons


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