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On the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing I can't help but recall the magical night that I viewed through the eyes of a 10 year old. My parents dragged me out of bed to watch television, something that had never happened before (nor since). I'm glad they did - it was dramatic history in the making, and for a change it didn't involve war, riots or assassination. It was beautiful, grainy moving images aside.
Today's Washington Post carried a great editorial about the space program, but it wasn't so uplifting.
By the 40th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark expedition, the Oregon Trail was carrying settlers to the West. By the 40th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad, a web of rail traffic crisscrossed the continent. By the 40th anniversary of Lindbergh's epic transatlantic flight, thousands of people in jetliners retraced his route in comfort and safety every day. And on the 40th anniversary of Sputnik, hundreds of satellites were orbiting the Earth. See the full article: Let's Reach for The Stars Again
Only in human spaceflight do we celebrate the anniversary of an achievement that seems more difficult to repeat than to accomplish the first time. Only in human spaceflight can we find in museums things that most of us in the space business wish we still had today.
The United States spent eight years and $21 billion -- around $150 billion today -- to develop a transportation system to take people to the moon. We then spent less than four years and $4 billion using it, after which we threw it away. Not mothballed, or assigned to caretaker status for possible later use. Destroyed. Just as the Chinese, having explored the world in the early 15th century and found nothing better than what they had at home, burned their fleet of ships.
Today my son Christopher is ten years old. Where are the moon colonies we surely thought we'd be visiting regularly by now? Oh, well. Back to numismatics.
This week we open with information on NBS activities at the upcoming ANA convention, a new e-book Standard Catalog of World Coins from Krause Publications, and a new book on Barber Dimes from Zyrus Press.
Next, we have items on George Kolbe's latest price list, a Paris coin firm's numismatic literature web site, and John Adams' 19th century auction catalog book.
Other topics include sets of Coin World back issues, Coin World and numismatic auction catalogs on microfilm, the CoinArchives.com web site, an ANS program on artist Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and coin dealer William D. Christensen.
Topics continued from previous issues include the American Medal size scale, the California Treasurer's Warrants, earthquake medals, and the S.S. Brother Jonathan ingots. To learn about the Stroud Pound and Silver Dollar Smith's Saloon, read on. Have a great week, everyone!
Numismatic Bibliomania Society
Wayne Homren, Editor
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