Sports, Entertainment, History

In its listing of today’s important anniversaries and birthdays, the Wikipedia notes that it was on this date in 1970 that Vinko Bogotaj flew into television history. He’s the guy who was featured in the opening montage of “ABC’s Wide World of Sports.” tumbling off the end of a ski-jump ramp. You know — the agony of defeat. The surprise to me is that this happened so late; I would have sworn I’d seen it back during the Johnson (Lyndon, not Andrew) administration.

The anniversary list also reports that Charles Lindbergh received the Medal of Honor — yes, the one usually called “the Congressional Medal of Honor” — on this date in 1928. That’s a new one on me, as I thought the medal was reserved for combat heroics (or for wiping out virtually defenseless Indians, as at Wounded Knee, which produced 18 or 20 Medal of Honor recipients). In any case, Congress’s vote to award the medal demonstrates how huge Lindbergh’s accomplishment loomed at the time. The citation said:

“For displaying heroic courage and skill as a navigator, at the risk of his life, by his nonstop flight in his airplane, the ‘Spirit of St. Louis,’ from New York City to Paris, France, 20-21 May 1927, by which Capt. Lindbergh not only achieved the greatest individual triumph of any American citizen but demonstrated that travel across the ocean by aircraft was possible.”