Author: Nancy W. Boyer


Rising Above Rejections

Throughout history and in more modern history, there is a lesson of rising above rejection.   Let’s look at the meaning of rejection and how it effects our lives.

Rejection:  The noun rejection can refer to the actual act of rejecting something or to the feeling one has after being rejected. In other words, you might have feelings of rejection after experiencing the rejection of others.

When we are finding love in our lives, we may have experienced rejection when someone turned us down for a date…or even a marriage proposal.   Rejection is also felt when a person may ask for a divorce.  It could even mean when family members decide not to be part of the family unit.   These are all hard experiences.   Many people experience; feel terrible about it and then decide that life must go on and rise above it.

In history, we read about the lives of very famous people who have experienced rejection in the public arena and made amazing comebacks.   Here are a few to consider:

Abe Lincoln Rail SpliterAbraham Lincoln is one of our most famous Presidents.  His heart-aches, illnesses, and rejections should encourage anyone to keep trying.  This list is long, but worth reading:

  • 1832   Lost job   Elected company captain of Illinois militia in Black Hawk War
  • 1833   Failed in business
  •  1834   Elected to Illinois State Legislature
  • 1835 Sweetheart died
  • 1836 Had a nervous breakdown
  •  1842  A jealous man challenged him to a duel.  Abraham Lincoln traveled to Alton to meet James Shields in a duel. Friends of both opponents negotiated a truce, and the duel was averted.
  • Reelected to Illinois Legislature and received license to practice law
  • 1837  Led Whig delegation in moving Illinois state capital from Vandalia to Springfield.   He became law partner of John T. Stuart
  • 1838  Defeated for Speaker, but was nominated for Illinois House Speaker by Whig caucus   Re-elected to Illinois House (running first in his district)
    Served as Whig floor leader
  • 1839  Chosen presidential elector by first Whig convention and  admitted to practice law in U.S. Circuit Court
  • 1840  Argues first case before Illinois Supreme Court
    Re-elected to Illinois state legislature
  • 1842  Admitted to practice law in U.S. District Court
  • 1843 Defeated for nomination for Congress
  • 1844  Established own law practice with William H. Herndon as junior partner
  • 1846  Elected to Congress
  • 1848  Lost nomination  (Chose not to run for Congress, abiding by rule of rotation among Whigs.)
  • 1849  Rejected for Land Officer    Admitted to practice law in U.S. Supreme Court
    Declined appointment as secretary and then as governor of Oregon Territory
  • 1854  Defeated for U.S. Senate
  • 1856  Defeated for nomination for Vice President
  • 1858  Again defeated for U.S. Senate

A few other modern-day Presidents had their setbacks before winning the Presidency.

-Reagan_on_horsebackFormer California Gov. Ronald Reagan ran for the 1976 Republican presidential nomination. Incumbent President Gerald Ford beat him in the crucial New Hampshire and Florida primaries. Though Reagan was able to win some of the later contests that year, Ford edged him out at the convention.





Bill-Clinton-cigar-AP-by John GapsIII

Photo by John Gaps III

In his first race for office, Bill Clinton narrowly lost to incumbent Republican House member John Paul Hammerschmidt of Arkansas. He later became attorney general and then governor.  But he lost his first gubernatorial reelection race in 1980.




George W. Bush also entered political life by challenging an incumbent House member. In 1978, he ran against Texas Democrat Kent Hance, who mocked the Yale graduate as a clueless preppy from Connecticut. Hance won.

  • P20914-13.jpg

Photo by Eric Draper, Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library

  • Barack Obama

    Photo credit: AP Photo/Manuel Balce CenetaIn 2000

  • Barack Obama ran in an Illinois Democratic primary against Representative Bobby Rush. Like George W. Bush, he found that an Ivy League education was not necessarily an advantage. Representative Rush exploited Obama’s Harvard law degree to suggest that he was out of touch with the district. Rush smashed him by a two-to-one margin.



To all aspiring writers, take hope from some of the best and most successful.

Rejection Letters from publishers:

JK Rowlings got 12 rejections before making a billion dollars on Harry Potter.

Dr. Seuss’s rejection said “Too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling.”

William Golding  The Lord of the Flies

William Golding wrote The Lord of the Flies, selling 15 million copies.  His rejection letter said, “An absurd and uninteresting fantasy which was rubbish and dull”

(Credit about these 3 authors from a young writer, Christian Mihai, who is following my novel, The Seeds .  Thanks, Christian)

As all can see, perseverance is always the best policy if we believe we have something to give to this world.  I write because I enjoy it and it’s challenging.   I may never have a great book published that the world will remember or make a fortune.  That is not my goal, but joy in what I do is worth all the effort.  In fact, my mind is completely absorbed, when I am writing, from the disappointments that could bring me down.

Rising above your rejections, whatever they may be, will bring  renewed life and hope into your world.   Never give up!

Reprimanding Americans on Tolerance

The following article was written by David Harsanyi.

He is the senior editor at The Federalist  February 5, 2016   The National Review     (President meeting families in overflow room at Baltimore Mosque.Photo credit: Drew Angerer )

Obama’s Baltimore Mosque Speech Was a Dangerous Fantasy

For seven years now, the president has reprimanded the American people for their attitudes about Islam.   Barack Obama’s big speech to the Islamic Society of Baltimore — granted, filled with many harmless platitudes — was no different, leaving little room for any honest dialogue about ideology or faith.

Many of the president’s ideas about “tolerance,” in fact, are antithetical to the American experience, and not something to celebrate. Acceptance of outsiders is an American virtue, yes. Do we have to embrace all ideas, as well? Obama has conflated tolerance of individuals and groups with tolerance of a select belief system — one that he demands be immune from criticism.

We certainly don’t want people attacking peaceful Muslims, but it’s irresponsible and intellectually obtuse to act as if the pervasive violence, misogyny, homophobia, child abuse, tyranny, anti-Semitism, bigotry against Christians, etc. that exist in large parts of Islamic society abroad has absolutely nothing to do with faith. This week, Obama spoke about the evils of Islamophobia to a group that featured women covered, subordinated, and segregated from men. I’m happy he’s open-minded about that sort of thing.

Americans are free to practice their faith in any way they choose. But I’m not sure why all of us should feel obligated to celebrate this kind of narrow-mindedness. You will remember how offended liberals get when presidential candidates visit Bob Jones University or Mormons fund campaigns they find objectionable. Why is this different? Most liberals won’t even allow that terrorism and extremism have something to do with Islam. We don’t need the president gratuitously attacking an entire religion.  Obama hits this note quite often.

This week, John Kerry, the Imam of Beacon Hill, said this about ISIS: “And they are also above all apostates, people who have hijacked a great religion and lie about its real meaning and lie about its purpose and deceive people in order to fight for their purposes.” Kerry has no more theological authority to brand someone an apostate of Islam than King Salman of Saudi Arabia has to consecrate the Eucharist. Not even moderate Sunni clerics make this claim. Yet, over and over, leftists try and detach the branches of Islam they dislike from the trunk so they can call you a bigot for attacking their idealized conception of Islam.

Yesterday, the president explained that an “attack on one faith is an attack on all our faiths.” Christian communities, often older than Islam itself, have been devastated by Islamic groups and left unprotected by moderate Muslim governments for decades. These attacks are aimed at Christians. We have done nothing to help them. It is then completely rational for Christians to be apprehensive about Islam. We can see Europe’s assimilation problems — which the Muslim community here has largely avoided — and wonder how this theology and culture will adapt to secularism. It’s not narrow-minded to do so. It would be reckless not to.

“We have to respect the fact that we have freedom of religion,” claimed a president who believes forcing nuns (and everyone) to buy birth control comports with American values. There is no law in this country that inhibits the freedom of Muslim Americans to practice their religion freely. Not one. I’m unsure that the president understands that hearing things you don’t like does not constitute an attack on freedom. People say ugly things all the time. No crime is acceptable, but Muslims have experienced far fewer hate crimes than blacks, Jews, or gays. Any way you want to parse the numbers, there is no epidemic of Islamophobia. But Obama likes to create the impression that some great injustice is occurring.

Take this CNN headline: “Obama rebuts anti-Muslim rhetoric in first U.S. mosque visit.” What does it mean? In the piece, we learn that the president reacted to “young Muslim parents whose children are worried about being removed from the country.” I know of no Republican candidate — or anyone of note on the right, or anywhere else for that matter — who has ever suggested any policy resembling this. Not even Donald Trump.

A president who wanted to bring people together would have dismissed this as a preposterous idea. He would have explained that no one in American politics is plotting to kick Muslims out of the country. He could have pointed out that in the United States, these children will enjoy more religious freedom than any Islamic nation offers, and be free of virtually any religious or factional violence — but that in this country, people still have the freedom to be critical of one another’s beliefs and even denounce them. This freedom is a lot more useful than dangerous notions about “tolerance.”

written by:  David Harsanyi

Rewarding Bad Behavior

As our children are growing up, we compliment them when they are doing the right thing. I have never heard of a parent paying a child to be good.  Yes, we may have given them allowances of a few dollars, but that was for tasks that they were expected to do. Not doing them…meant no allowance.   Through that allowance, a child may be encouraged to buy something that they especially want; save part of it for a “rainy day” and give some  (maybe 10%) to the poor or the church.

Things have changed drastically it seems.  Some children have grown up to be adults and have decided that “crime pays”.   To keep these people from killing each other, one city has decided to PAY them to be good.  You can read all about it in an article written by Tim Murphy  .   Crime was so bad in Richmond, CA that the cry was “do anything…to stop it”.



Neighborhood Safety Director DeVone Boggan in Richmond, CA photo credit: Kristopher Skinner/Staff

This is when they came up with the idea of paying criminals not to kill each other or anyone else. DeVone Boggan became the director of the Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS). His committee members combed the streets of Richmond, making a list of criminals that they would approach with a financial offer.  The police, at one point complained about the ONS because their policy  was not to pass any information to the police department. Some criminals who agreed to try the ONS’s proposals were being paid up to $1,000 a month for this arrangement.

At the onset, the crime rate went down about 10%, but by the end of writing his article about Richmond, Mr. Murphy came to his conclusion on the policy of paying for good behavior:

“…Three weeks after I met with Boggan, the city’s 137-day murder-free streak ended. A 38-year-old man was killed in a drive-by shooting,  and over the next few weeks, Richmond seemed to be sliding back to the bad old days. A 43-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man were gunned down within 24 hours of each other. A 30-year-old woman shot the 16-year-old father of her child in a dispute over his new girlfriend. A robber was shot and killed  during a break-in. None of them was on Boggan’s list.

   gun and money 2

It appears that some City Councilmen,  who spoke out about the validity of the program of payment to criminals for good behavior and asked for a investigation into use of finances  in Richmond, CA, were threatened.

Of course, Mr. Hoggan celebrates some successes in his article for the N.Y. Times .

Mr. Hoggan writes “…In 2014, we celebrated the lowest number of firearm assaults and homicides in more than four decades. Richmond recorded a 76 percent reduction in homicides and a 69 percent reduction in firearm assaults from 2007, when the Office of Neighborhood Safety was created. In reality, we’ve achieved these results not simply by the cash incentive. Our change agents work with about 150 clients a year, at a cost of about $20,000 per person, which pays for daily mentoring, coaching and companionship. By comparison, it costs our city about $200,000 to hire one new police officer.”  (The ONS is funded by the people of Richmond and at time asks for donations.)

According to writer, Megan Walsh,  The police do not work with ONS, though, and there have been tensions and, sometimes, embarrassments. In 2011, a brawl broke out when rival gang members arrived at City Hall to pick up their checks. The ONS staff refused to hand over the names of those involved. Bill Johnson, director of the National Association of Police Organizations, says that can send a message that police aren’t part of the solution — which in turn could be “corroding the social fabric we all have to live under.”

Maybe this is why  people do not speak out to what is wrong or degrading to the moral values of the communities around us.  Fear is a weapon that not only terrorist use but by those who have “sold their soul” to evil ways.

Michael Linsin gave some advice to teachers about not bribing their students with rewards if they will do their best work.  I think his advise could also be applied to any town, state or nation that might be considering a similar program as Richmond.  Here it is in part:


 “Rewards lead to entitlement. When you offer rewards(money) in return for good behavior, you create a peculiar sense of entitlement. They’ll feel entitled to receive something for merely doing what is expected….

 Rewards cheapen the intrinsic motivation to behave. Being rewarded to behave cheapens the intrinsic merit of being a valued citizen. In other words, it puts a price tag on the priceless.

Rewards lead to more and more and more. When you put a price tag on good behavior by offering rewards… will demand higher and more frequent payments. Rewards, you see, are not only ineffective in the long term, but they weaken over time.”

Mr. Linsin concludes:  “The Ultimate Reward   Good behavior is its own reward because it offers one self-respect and confidence…”

teacher teaches childrenIf a person has no confidence or self-respect…or has never been taught right from wrong, how will paying him change his heart or motivation to not kill, steal or commit crimes?




One has to ask, “What is our society coming to?”  Have we become so callused and insensitive to what is right and wrong that we no longer have conscience?   Yes, there is a big problem with incarceration and an over-crowded jail system.   Has this problem become so big that “Do the crime…serve the time” no longer has meaning?

   Is parenting so bad among many parts of our society that we are no longer teaching right from wrong to our children?  Are we  allowing impressionable minds to watch so much violence on T.V. and video games, that even our young people are becoming de-sensitized?  This would also apply to children who must endure alcoholic, drug addicted or abusive parents…to them or to each other.

When I was an Assistant Principal to elementary students in Florida, there was so much misbehaving in the classroom that I had to take care of.  When taking a child to my office, I would ask them to lay down on a blanket that I had next to my desk.  Within minutes, the child would be totally asleep and stay that way sometimes for hours.  A security officer at one of my schools, told me that I should ride with him some night into the community.  He said I would see little children from ages 5-10 out on the street with parents who were gathering for who knows what reason.  Children did not do homework; read with parents, or get the sleep they needed.  Of course the same students came to school hungry the next morning for the free government provided breakfast.  Even if some children are not roaming the streets late at night, they may be left in their rooms with a TV or computer as a sitter, with no expected time to crawl into bed for a good night’s rest.  More and more is being exposed of teens who are finding themselves victims of the internet crime.   America, we must wake up!

Are we ignoring teaching our children because we also have an addiction to the electronic devises around us?parent texting

How much time do we spend reading and sharing conversation that teach values to our children or grandchildren?

Drug addiction has reached a new high, even among the middle class and elite that often leads to crime to feed the habit.  Will we also begin to pay the dealers not to deal?  Is that also what Richmond is doing?  Of course that would not work, for the profit margin difference to deal or not to deal would be ridiculous.  So many questions…and so few answers to a society that needs new spiritual and moral revival  We must have an awakening within ourselves and our communities.    It will take leadership as well as the ordinary person to make a difference.  It is not easy to work hard; get an education and then find a job to support oneself.  Fast money is alluring and deceptive.  The rich and famous like sports stars and entertainers, who are looked up to by much of our society have a responsibility to speak out to the value of hard work and perseverance.

I hope that Richmond, CA will find an answer to their criminal element…and for all communities that suffer from the problem of crime. Paying the criminal to be “good men and women” may not be the answer.  In most cases, no amount of bribery will change a soul.   Only God can do that.  Perhaps Dr. Phil says it best,  “When are we going to stop rewarding  bad behavior?”



Children can be Adorable

My last blog was on the beauty, intelligence and temperament of dogs.  Therefore, while I’m doing “cute” and not some tragic thing going on in the world, I thought I would share with you how adorable children can be.

Actually, I am probably advertising and promoting a children’s line.  (The Diana Award Collection is an exclusive new baby clothes range distributed by Seraphine. Featuring the signature Diana Tartan, made in Scotland.)

The real reason for showing the video, is the amazing job that the person or company making the video has done in producing this advertisement.

(Watch out Super Bowl advertisers! Oh, they are in Scotland and probably will not pay the millions of dollars!)

Having worked with children myself, I know it is not easy to have them do as one wishes.  They are more likely to run to the other side of the room or cry.  It took some great skill and probably some good editing.

Enjoy with me now, some adorable children and a great video.  

Dogs are Amazing Animals

Dogs have been called “Man’s best friend” (or women’s), but they are much more than that.  So often we forget how intelligent they are.  One thinks they don’t speak our language, but so often they understand exactly what we are saying.  It may be that they hear a word or two and associate it with an activity that they have done before.   Who really knows, but our dog can jump up and be ready to go even if we are spelling the words.  Maybe it is in the tone of voice.

Dogs have been known throughout the world as “wild dogs”, “working dogs” and “domestic dogs”.   They are able to be highly trained and often perform in circus shows and other events.

The downside is that when we find a dog with great traits, intelligence and temperament, they can be over-bred and inter-bred, ending up with many health issues.  Which has been the case with Golden Retrievers that are probably the best companion dog in the world, with a temperament of “gold”.  We always suggest families with small children consider the Golden Retriever when choosing a pet.

Meet our dog, Gracie…age 13 and loves everybody. VA Sunday 021

Having said all that, I have a question.  Are you lacking a dance partner?   Maybe this lady in the video below would rather have a good, intelligent, obedient dog as a dance partner any day.  It appears that she found one…even if he does have four legs.

A dog show in Moscow…give it a moment to start.


A Culture Forgives Honor Killings

The unbelievable story of a woman who simply  loved and married a man outside of her faith has been made into a documentary.  Saba Qaiser’s  father attempted to murder her, but she survived his misnamed “Honor Killing”.  This documentary about Saba Qaiser’s ordeal will be presented at the Academy Awards.  The media exposure may hopefully be the beginning of a new revolution against abusing or murdering women because they make their own life decisions.

The New York Times author, Nicholas Kristof, has written an article about this attempted  murder and the culture that expects the victim to forgive.  After the forgiveness, life then will go on as usual and more women will be at risk from this practice.

Saba Quaiser in movie A Girl in the River

(Saba Qaiser in “A Girl in the River,” an Oscar-­nominated documentary about her survival of an attempted “honor killing” after she fell in love and married. photo credit HBO)

In one of my previous blogs, Wake Up Men…Your Women are at Risk,  featured the story of an American journalist, Lara Login, who was assaulted and raped by men within the same culture as Saba.  Lara was covering what was supposed to be a new beginning for all people of Egypt known as the Arab Spring.   This uprising did nothing for the women caught in the jaws of time and tradition.

Woman and governments around the world need to stand up for those who have suffered for centuries under such brutality.   One may ask what can  be done if traditions of a culture has been around for thousands of years?  It will take determined leaders of  country after country to change their laws in order to protect the women of their societies.  The problem with this is that the male leaders in power are often part of the same culture.

Wrongs have to be challenged, but it will take courage.  We, in America and other countries abolished slavery; gave  women the right to vote; education, and the privilege of being protected from abusive families, husbands and others.   Yet, there is still suffering. Modern law stands on the side of the abused when actions are challenged and reported. It is hard to imagine the trauma that a woman, like Saba, goes through when she is told that it is her responsibility to forgive and forget….allowing her attacker to go free.

Here is Mr. Kristof’s article




Challenger…Remembering a teacher

Challenger_flight_51-l_crew and Teacher Christa McAuliffe

Today marks 30 years since The Challenger disaster.  As a teacher and a resident of Florida, I remember it well.  My fifth graders and I went out of the classroom onto the school yard to witness the launch.  They were so excited.  This teacher, my colleague…even though I had never met her…was making history.  She was taking the ride of her life and had brought her experiments with her to share again with her students and school children of the world.   Sadly, she would never have that opportunity.   I honor Christa McAuliffe today…her courage, excitement, dedication and bravery, along with her team mates who perished with her.  Christa McAuliffe space

Sharon Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher to fly in space. Selected from among more than 11,000 applicants from the education profession for entrance into the astronaut ranks.

Challenger launch

Oct. 5, 1984  Space Shuttle Challenger Photographed by astronaut Paul J. Weitz, who was piloting the Shuttle training aircraft (STA).

Christa’s companion astronauts were as follows:  (Information provided by NASA)

  • scobeeThe spacecraft commander was Francis R. (Dick) Scobee.Scobee was born on May 19, 1939, in Cle Elum, Washington, and graduated from the public high school in Auburn, Washington, in 1957. He then enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, training as a reciprocating engine mechanic but longing to fly. He took night courses and in 1965 completed a B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Arizona. This made it possible for Scobee to receive an officer’s commission and enter the Air Force pilot training program. He received his pilot’s wings in 1966 and began a series of flying assignments with the Air Force, including a combat tour in Vietnam. Scobee also married June Kent of San Antonio, Texas, and they had two children, Kathie R. and Richard W., in the early 1960s. He attended the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California, in 1972 and thereafter was involved in several test programs. As an Air Force test pilot Scobee flew more than 45 types of aircraft, logging more than 6,500 hours of flight time.In 1978 Scobee entered NASA’s astronaut corps and was the pilot of STS-41-C, the fifth orbital flight of the Challenger spacecraft, launching from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on April 6, 1984. During this seven-day mission the crew successfully retrieved and repaired the ailing Solar Maximum Satellite and returned it to orbit. This was an enormously important mission, because it demonstrated the capability that NASA had long said existed with the Space Shuttle to repair satellites in orbit.
  •  Michael John smithMichael J. Smith, born on April 30, 1945 in Beaufort, North Carolina. At the time of the Challenger accident a commander in the U.S. Navy, Smith had been educated at the U.S. Naval Academy, class of 1967, and received an M.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1968. From there he underwent aviator training at Kingsville, Texas, and received his wings in May 1969. After a tour as an instructor at the Navy’s Advanced Jet Training Command between 1969 and 1971, Smith flew A- 6 “Intruders” from the USS Kitty Hawk in Southeast Asia.
  • ResnickJudith  Judith Resnik was one of three mission specialists on Challenger. Born on April 5, 1949 at Akron, Ohio, the daughter of Dr. Marvin Resnik, a respected Akron optometrist, and Sarah Resnik. Brought up in the Jewish religion, Resnik was educated in public schools before attending Carnegie-Mellon University, where she received a B.S. in electrical engineering in 1970, and the University of Maryland, where she took at Ph.D. in the same field in 1977. Resnik worked in a variety of professional positions with the RCA corporation in the early 1970s and as a staff fellow with the Laboratory of Neurophysiology at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, between 1974 and 1977.Selected as a NASA astronaut in January 1978, the first cadre containing women, Resnik underwent the training program for Shuttle mission specialists during the next year. Thereafter, she filled a number of positions within NASA at the Johnson Space Center, working on aspects of the Shuttle program. Resnik became the second American woman in orbit during the maiden flight of Discovery, STS-41-D, between August 30 and September 5, 1984. During this mission she helped to deploy three satellites into orbit; she was also involved in biomedical research during the mission. Afterward, she began intensive training for the STS-51- L mission on which she was killed.
  • Ronald McNairRonald E. McNair was the second of three mission specialists aboard Challenger. Born on October 21, 1950 in Lake City, South Carolina, McNair was the son of Carl C. McNair, Sr., and Pearl M. McNair. He achieved early success in the segregated public schools he attended as both a student and an athlete. Valedictorian of his high school class, he attended North Carolina A&T State University where in 1971 he received a B.S. degree in physics. He went on to study physics at MIT, where he specialized in quantum electronics and laser technology, completing his Ph.D. in 1977. As a student he performed some of the earliest work on chemical HF/DF and high pressure CO lasers, publishing path breaking scientific papers on the subject.
  • Ellison_Shoji_Onizuka_NASA2Ellison S. Onizuka, was the last of the three mission specialists. He had been born in Kealakekua, Kona, Hawaii, on June 24, 1946, of Japanese-American parents. He attended the University of Colorado, receiving B.S. and M.S. degrees in engineering in June and December 1969, respectively. While at the university he married Lorna Leido Yoshida of Hawaii, and the couple eventually had two children. He also participated in the Air Force R.O.T.C. program, leading to a commission in January 1970. Onizuka served on active duty with the Air Force until January 1978 when he was selected as a NASA astronaut. With the Air Force in the early 1970s he was an aerospace flight test engineer at the Sacramento Air Logistics Center. After July 1975 he was assigned to the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California, as squadron flight test officer and later as chief of the engineering support section.When Onizuka was selected for the astronaut corps he entered into a one year training program and then became eligible for assignment as a mission specialist on future Space Shuttle flights. He worked on orbiter test and checkout teams and launch support crews at the Kennedy Space Center for the first two Shuttle missions. Since he was an Air Force officer on detached duty with NASA, Onizuka was a logical choice to serve on the first dedicated Department of Defense classified mission. He was a mission specialist on STS-51-C, taking place 24-27 Jan. 1985 on the Discoveryorbiter. The Challenger flight was his second Shuttle mission.
  • 220px-Gregory_Jarvis_(NASA)_croppedGregory B. Jarvis, a payload specialist, worked for the Hughes Aircraft Corp.’s Space and Communications Group in Los Angeles, California, and had been made available for the Challenger flight by his company. Jarvis had been born on August 24, 1944, in Detroit, Michigan. He had been educated at the State University of New York at Buffalo, receiving a B.S. in electrical engineering (1967); at Northeastern University, Boston, where he received an M.S. degree in the same field (1969); and at West Coast University, Los Angeles, where he completed coursework for an M.S. in management science (1973). Jarvis began work at Hughes in 1973 and served in a variety of technical positions until 1984 when he was accepted into the astronaut program under Hughes’ sponsorship after competing against 600 other Hughes employees for the opportunity. Jarvis’ duties on the Challenger flight had revolved around gathering new information on the design of liquid-fueled rockets.
  • Christa McAuliffeSharon Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher to fly in space. Selected from among more than 11,000 applicants from the education profession for entrance into the astronaut ranks, McAuliffe had been born on September 2, 1948, the oldest child of Edward and Grace Corrigan. Her father was at that time completing his sophomore year at Boston College, but not long thereafter he took a job as an assistant comptroller in a Boston department store and the family moved to the Boston suburb of Framingham. As a youth she registered excitement over the Apollo moon landing program, and wrote years later on her astronaut application form that “I watched the Space Age being born and I would like to participate.”McAuliffe attended Framingham State College in her hometown, graduating in 1970. A few weeks later she married her longstanding boyfriend, Steven McAuliffe, and they moved to the Washington, DC, metropolitan area so Steven could attend Georgetown Law School. She took a job teaching in the secondary schools, specializing in American history and social studies. They stayed in the Washington area for the next eight years, she teaching and completing an M.A. from Bowie State University, in Maryland. They moved to Concord, New Hampshire, in 1978 when Steven accepted a job as an assistant to the state attorney general. Christa took a teaching post at Concord High School in 1982, and in 1984 learned about NASA’s efforts to locate an educator to fly on the Shuttle. The intent was to find a gifted teacher who could communicate with students from space.NASA selected McAuliffe for this position in the summer of 1984 and in the fall she took a year-long leave of absence from teaching, during which time NASA would pay her salary, and trained for an early 1986 Shuttle mission. She had an immediate rapport with the media, and the teacher in space program received tremendous popular attention as a result. It is in part because of the excitement over McAuliffe’s presence on the Challenger that the accident had such a significant impact on the nation.

challenger memorial


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