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Prof. Boerner's Explorations

Thoughts and Essays that explore the world of Technology, Computers, Photography, History and Family.


Archive for November 15th, 2009

Now this is an overdue book…

A high school in Phoenix, Arizona, received an interesting package the other day: two books and a money order for $1000. It seems that these two Audubon Society books had been checked out of the school library **IN 1959**! These books were 51 years overdue… The $1000 paid for the fine calculated at 2 cents per day, with the balance included to cover any change in the rate.

These days, it would have been more common to discard the books in some dumpster somewhere. I recently culled a couple thousand books from my library, but because they were technology books, Goodwill transferred then directly from my vehicle into a nearby dumpster! I almost cried… This story was refreshing since another student can now benefit from these books.

Overdue library books returned half century later – Yahoo! News 

PHOENIX – A high school librarian in Phoenix says a former student at the school returned two overdue books checked out 51 years ago along with a $1,000 money order to cover the fines.

Camelback High School librarian Georgette Bordine says the two Audubon Society books checked out in 1959 and the money order were sent by someone who wanted to remain anonymous.

Bordine says the letter explained that the borrower’s family moved to another state and the books were mistakenly packed. … [MORE]

What a guy… This is a really sincere expression of appreciation!

A Pro-Bowler and football player, Josh Cribbs, had been Mentored by Mike Drake at Kent State University. He had grown up in Washington, D.C., and needed the extra nurturing as he honed his football skills and attitudes as the quarterback. He currently plays for the Cleveland Browns…

So what is so special? Drake’s son, Michael, is currently a high school senior and a football player. Last month, on its Senior Night, Michael was expecting to be accompanied onto the field by his mother and sister since his father had died in 2005. But he was surprised by the appearance of Josh to accompany him onto the field without any special fanfare…

That is something special! It should set an example for other to help after the fact if one cannot ‘Play It Forward’, as in the movie…

Josh Cribbs walks with late coach’s son on his senior night – Shutdown Corner – NFL – Yahoo! Sports 

Josh Cribbs In a dismal year for the Cleveland Browns, wide receiver/returner Josh Cribbs has proved to be one of the only bright spots. Last month he showed he’s equally good off the field.

The Pro Bowler traveled to Berea, OH to walk onto the field on senior night with the son of one of his former college coaches. Michael Drake, a senior receiver at Stow High School, lost his father, Mike, in 2005 to lymphoma. He had assumed he’d be accompanied by his mother and sister for senior night introductions and was stunned when he saw Cribbs arrive minutes before the game. [MORE]

by Gerald Boerner


“My first thought is always of light.”
— Galen Rowell

“The most effective way to spontaneously react to ones environment is to avoid over intellectualizing, in other words, ‘don’t think.’ ”
— Tony Sweet

“I find HDR an incredible technology and a very useful tool to record images that are beyond the ability of the camera to record.”
— Tony Sweet

“With the constantly changing light, we are constantly changing shooting positions and compositions to accommodate the light.”
— Tony Sweet

“The art of observation and the subsequent creative treatment of the scene, either through personal vision or through software intervention is a hallmark of my approach to teaching.”
— Tony Sweet

“I’m much more interested in different creative techniques than photo gear. Equipment are only tools. Photographic vision and pre-vision is what it’s all about!”
— Tony Sweet

“I work in the moment, also referred to as the ‘zone.’ This is a mental ‘place’ where I am ‘One’ with my endeavor where time seems to be non-existent and we are unaware of anything but what we are doing at the moment.”
— Tony Sweet

“Basically, having total control over the process is great, and only photographers who relied on film processing and print makers to realize their personal vision realize what a quantum leap has occurred in photography in the past 10 years.”
— Tony Sweet

“The importance of the topics of all three books cannot be overstated. Although I do photograph different subject material, I find the photographing and teaching in nature the most rewarding and stimulating.”
— Tony Sweet


Tony Sweet (Born: 1949)

Tony Sweet Tony Sweet is an American photographer, known for his widely published nature photography. He is also a jazz musician, workshop instructor, and author.

Tony Sweet worked as a professional jazz drummer for 20 years, playing with such jazz greats as Sonny Stitt, Joe Henderson, Tal Farlow, Cal Collins, Johnny Coles, et al. He started working in photography during that period photographing inside jazz clubs. Tony later changed careers and focused on nature photography. He is now best known for his fine art nature and floral images. He uses digital technology to produce fine art ink-jet (giclee) prints. His photographs are published worldwide and represented in the Getty Picture Agency. He has 2 images on Apple Macintosh computers desktop patterns.

tony_sweet at Work Tony conducts photography workshops throughout the continental United States and Canada. Tony maintains an active speaking schedule on the subjects of nature and flower photography and marketing, lecturing at professional photography organizations, universities, seminars, and workshops in the U.S. and Canada. He is a member of the Baltimore chapter of ASMP, and is a member nikSoftware’s Team Nik.

Photographic Career

Sweet_African Poppy The first transition was from photographing in jazz clubs to photographing in nature. My first mentor, who also would fix my cameras and sold used camera gear, showed me a nature slide. That was a seminal moment, because I immediately asked what equipment I needed to photograph nature. So, I sold all the fast lenses and got a 20mm, 35-70mm, 80-200mm, and a 105 macro and began photographing nature. Actually, began a whole new career at age 43!

The transition was pretty seamless, really. When you think about it, nature photography is the "jazz" of the photography field. We’re always improvising and editing what’s in the frame on the fly. We never know what to expect and need to react very quickly to ever changing, fluid situations. The only difference is in the hardware. In my head, it’s the same.

Sweet_dandelion_flower I was very fortunate to have a great mentor who got me started and very closely coached me along for my first 18 months as a nature photographer, and continues to be a good friend to this day. After which, I’ve had the great pleasure of teaching with and learning from Pat O’Hara, John Shaw, Galen Rowell, Rod Planck, to name a few. These relationships were a direct result from my working with the Great American Photography Weekend, first as a "gopher", then as an instructor.

Sweet_dogwood_flower When getting started, I read all the books by John Shaw, Galen Rowell, Rod Planck, Larry West, John Netherton, Jim Zuckerman, Freeman Patterson, and Pat O’hara. I just read everything that I could get my hands on. The styles that appealed to my innate sense of design and photographic viscera were Freeman’s and Pat’s. After years of learning from reading the aforementioned authors to get a firm foundation, I began gravitating to the more impressionist, non representational photography, exemplified by Freeman, Pat and others.

Sweet_Leaf in IceIt’s very difficult for one to describe ones own style of photography. In general, I look for color and graphic interest in most cases, however I’ve recently began looking for more sparse subjects for black and white renderings. We are all in a constant state of flux in any creative endeavor. Despite how people love to pigeon hole photographers styles, there really is only two kinds of photography: good and bad. Initially, I began photographing musicians in night clubs and portraits in my house in Cincinnati. When my first mentor, Tony Gayhart, showed me a nature slide, I decided immediately to pursue this as a career path. I also immediately swapped all of my fast, low light glass for lenses better suited for nature photography (20mm, 35-70mm, 80-200mm, and 105mm macro).

HDR is not new, being around since about 1937, but it’s new to the general photographic world. And the world has been flooded with a lot of HDR images, good and bad. I find that HDR is essential to get some scenes to work and can be another way to interpret a scene in a new, fresh way. Commercial market? Many video games have HDR style backdrops, architectural photographers use HDR (paying careful attention to processing the scene to record it as it is), stock photography (although the super real look is not a favorite, yet), and of course for book and article illustrations.

tony_sweet_Trees on Shoreline

Workshops and Classes

Sweet_flowering_dogwood_tree These are two very different situations and can’t be compared head-to-head. But, let me say this. After years of conducting workshops and teaching at various venues, I was as skeptical as anyone of the efficacy of on line classes. But, I was very quickly convinced of what a powerful teaching tool the on line classes are. Location workshops offer the advantage of being in a face-to-face situation with the instructor which, as we all agree, is great. The on line class format enables anyone on earth to interact with some of the best photographers in the world, certainly some of the best ones I know are here on, and get valuable critique information which is proven session after session to improve the students photography. It’s really not a question of which format is best. Both formats offer invaluable learning experiences and both should be pursued by the serious student.

Sweet_Boulder Beach Every successful photographer I know in every discipline has begun his/her career as a generalist. A generalist photographs everything. As one moves through the process, certain subjects engender a passion. The area that makes you want to get out of bed in the morning is the area in which you should specialize. But, even as a nature specialist, I’ll photograph anything that catches my interest. So, it’s fine to develop into a specialist, but don’t close your eyes to great imagery of any genre’.

Sweet_Golden Brook Tony conducts “Visual Artistry” photography workshops throughout the continental United States and Canada. His articles and photography are featured in Shutterbug and Rangefinder magazines. He is a frequent contributor to and a staff writer for Nikon World magazine.

He has authored three books on the art of photography: Fine Art Nature Photography, Fine Art Flower Photography, and Fine Art Photography: water, ice, fog (Jan. 2007). All are published by Stackpole Books.

Where to Photograph

Sweet_leaf_after The Great Smoky Mountains in the springtime are breath taking. The dogwoods and early spring green are wonderful and the early spring green reflections in the rivers look like liquid mercury!

Maine and Nova Scotia in June are tremendous because there are acres and acres of lupine interspersed on the coast and in the fishing villages.

Coyote Buttes in December/January because of the warm light striking "The Swirl", is warmer than any other time of year because of the low angle of the sun peaking through a break in the mountains.


Background and biographical information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Robert Adams that can be found at…

Other References:

Interview with Tony Sweet in an Interview with Photography24/7…

Tony Sweet Interview in an Interview with Alain Briot/…

Tony Sweet in an Interview with BetterPhoto Interview…

by Gerald Boerner


“I had an idea of who they were, but not to the extent of their contributions.”
— Captain Gonzales

“The more I learned about it, the more I knew that (flying) was what I wanted to do.”
— Captain Edwards, Recruiter

“Their story shouldn’t be reserved just for February. Their story should be celebrated throughout the year.”
— Captain Gonzales

“There weren’t a lot of black people doing it, “They’d think, ‘I’d never seen a black pilot before, so I don’t think I’m going to see one now.’ ”
— Captain Edwards, Recruiter

“One of the quotes we had to learn was in regards to the Tuskegee Airmen, ‘To be honest, it seemed that these guys were just like all of us. They were Airmen like the rest of us.’ ”
— Captain Gonzales

“I tried to get more African-Americans into the Air Force. I think some thought it was unattainable, but you don’t know what’s going to be hard until you try.”
— Captain Edwards, Recruiter

“During World War II, black fighter pilots fought the Germans abroad and racism in the ranks … may we never forget … and may future generations understand the way it was.”
— Phyllis Gomer-Douglas

“They were just like me and just like you. These guys were warfighters for our nation. They did their job, not with the intent to make a name for black aviators, but to be fighters for their country.”
— Captain Gonzales

“Tuskegee is more than a town located in Macon County, Alabama. It is an idea and an ideal. It was a bold experiment and a site of major African-American achievements for over 100 years.”
— Barbara J. Feldman

“They said we didn’t have the intelligence, the demeanor, the courage to be combat pilots. They learned differently. It was never about color; it was always about education and opportunity. All we needed was a chance and training. And we seized it when it came.”
— Frank McGee, Fighter Pilot


Veterans Day: The Tuskegee Airmen

Tuskegee_airman_poster The Tuskegee Airmen is the popular name of a group of African American pilots who flew with distinction during World War II as the 332nd Fighter Group of the US Army Air Corps.

Prior to the Tuskegee Airmen, no U.S. military pilots had been African American. A series of legislative moves by the United States Congress in 1941 forced the Army Air Corps to form an all-black combat unit, despite the War Department’s reluctance. In an effort to eliminate the unit before it could begin, the War Department set up a system to accept only those with a level of flight experience or higher education that they expected would be hard to fill. This policy backfired when the Air Corps received an abundance of applications from men who qualified even under these restrictive specifications, many of whom had already participated in the Civilian Pilot Training Program, which the historically-black Tuskegee Institute had participated in since 1939.

The U.S. Army Air Corps had established the Psychological Research Unit 1 at Maxwell Army Air Field, Montgomery, Alabama, and other units around the country for aviation cadet training, which included the identification, selection, education, and training of pilots, navigators and bombardiers. Psychologists employed in these research studies and training programs used some of the first standardized tests to quantify IQ, dexterity, and leadership qualities in order to select and train the right personnel for the right role (bombardier, pilot, navigator). The Air Corps determined that the same existing programs would be used for all units, including all-black units. At Tuskegee, this effort would continue with the selection and training of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Tuskegee Airmen in Inspection Major James A. Ellison returns
the salute of Mac Ross of Dayton,
Ohio, as he passes down the
line during review of the first
class of Tuskegee cadets.

Strict racial segregation in the U.S. Army required the development of separate African American flight surgeons to support the operations and training of the Tuskegee Airmen. Prior to the development of this unit, all U.S. Army flight surgeons were white. Training of African American men as aviation medical examiners was conducted through correspondence courses until 1943 when two black physicians were admitted to the U.S. Army’s School of Aviation Medicine at Randolph Field, Texas. This was one of the earliest racially integrated courses in the U.S. Army. Seventeen flight surgeons served with Tuskegee Airmen from 1941 through 1949. At that time, the typical tour of duty for a U.S. Army flight surgeon was four years. Six of these physicians lived under field conditions during operations in North Africa, Sicily and Italy. The chief flight surgeon to the Tuskegee Airmen was Vance H. Marchbanks, Jr., M.D., a boyhood friend of Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.


On March 19, 1941, the 99th Pursuit Squadron (Pursuit being the pre-World War II descriptive for "Fighter") was activated at Chanute Field in Rantoul, Illinois. Over 250 enlisted men were trained at Chanute in aircraft ground support trades. This small number of enlisted men became the core of other black squadrons forming at Tuskegee and Maxwell Fields in Alabama.

Tuskegee Airmen and P-40 Tuskegee Airmen in
front of a P-40.

In June 1941, the Tuskegee program officially began with formation of the 99th Fighter Squadron at the Tuskegee Institute. The unit consisted of an entire service arm, including ground crew. After basic training at Moton Field, they were moved to the nearby Tuskegee Army Air Field about 16 km (10 mi) to the west for conversion training onto operational types. The Airmen were placed under the command of Captain Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., then one of the few black West Point graduates.

During its training, the 99th Fighter Squadron was commanded by white and Puerto Rican officers, beginning with Major James Ellison. By 1942, Colonel Frederick Kimble oversaw operations at the Tuskegee airfield. Kimble maintained segregation on the field in deference to local customs, a policy the airmen resented. Later that year, the Air Corps replaced Kimble with the director of instruction at Tuskegee Army Airfield, Major Noel F. Parrish. Parrish, counter to the prevalent racism of the day, was fair and open-minded, and petitioned Washington to allow the Tuskegee Airmen to serve in combat. The founder of Negro Airmen International, Edward A. Gibbs, was a civilian flight instructor in the U.S. Aviation Cadet Program at the airfield during this time. An Instructor of the 99th Pursuit Squadron was Lt Daniel James, Jr.


Considered ready for combat duty, the 99th was transported to Casablanca, Morocco, on the USS Mariposa and participated in the North African campaign. From Morocco they traveled by train to Oujda then to Tunis from where they operated against the enemy. Flyers and ground crew alike were largely isolated by the racial segregation practices of their initial command, the white 33rd Fighter Group and its commander Colonel William W. Momyer. The flight crews were handicapped by being left with little guidance from battle-experienced pilots beyond a week spent with Colonel Phillip Cochran. The 99th’s first combat mission was to attack the small but strategic volcanic island of Pantelleria in the Mediterranean Sea, in preparation for the Allied invasion of Sicily in July 1943. The 99th moved to Sicily where it received a Distinguished Unit Citation for its performance in combat.

Pilots_of_the_332nd_Fighter_Group Pilots of the 332nd Fighter Group,
"Tuskegee Airmen" at Ramitelli
Airfield, Italy. From left to right,
Lt. Dempsey W. Morgan, Lt. Carroll
S. Woods, Lt. Robert H. Nelron,
Jr., Capt. Andrew D. Turner and
Lt. Clarence P. Lester

Colonel Momyer, however, told media sources in the U.S. that the 99th was a failure and its pilots cowardly, incompetent or worse, resulting in a critical article in TIME. In response, the House Armed Services Committee convened a hearing to determine whether the Tuskegee Airmen experiment should be allowed to continue. Momyer accused the 99th’s pilots of being incompetent, based on the fact that they had seen little air-to-air combat. To bolster the recommendation to scrap the project, a member of the committee commissioned and then submitted into evidence a "scientific" report by the University of Texas which purported to prove that African Americans were of low intelligence and incapable of handling complex situations (such as air combat).

Col. Benjamin O. Davis Jr., as commander of the 332nd FG in Italy, with his P-47. (U.S. Air Force photo) Col. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.,
commander of the Tuskegee
Airmen 332nd Fighter Group,
in front of his P-47 Thunderbolt
in Sicily.

Colonel Davis forcefully denied the committee members’ claims, but only the intervention of Colonel Emmett "Rosie" O’Donnell prevented a recommendation for disbandment of the squadron from being sent to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. General Hap Arnold ordered an evaluation of all Mediterranean Theater P-40 units be undertaken to determine the true merits of the 99th; the results showed the 99th Fighter Squadron to be at least equal to other units operating the fighter.

Shortly after the hearing, three new squadrons fresh out of training at Tuskegee embarked for Africa. After several months operating separately, all four squadrons were combined to form the all-black 332nd Fighter Group.

FighterBriefing1945 Men of the 332nd Fighter Group
attend a briefing in Italy in 1945.

The squadron won its second Distinguished Unit Citation on May 12-14, 1944, while attached to the 324th Fighter Group, attacking German positions on Monastery Hill (Monte Cassino), attacking infantry massing on the hill for a counterattack, and bombing a nearby strong point to force the surrender of the German garrison to Moroccan Goumiers.

By the spring of 1944, more graduates were ready for combat, and the all-black 332nd Fighter Group had been sent overseas with three fighter squadrons: The 100th, 301st, and 302nd. Under the command of Colonel Davis, the squadrons were moved to mainland Italy, where the 99th Fighter Squadron, assigned to the group on May 1, joined them on June 6 at Ramitelli Airfield, near Termoli on the Adriatic coast. From Ramitelli, the Airmen of the 332nd Fighter Group escorted Fifteenth Air Force heavy strategic bombing raids into Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Poland, and Germany.

Flying escort for heavy bombers, the 332nd earned an impressive combat record. Reportedly, the Luftwaffe awarded the Airmen the nickname, "Schwarze Vogelmenschen," or "Black Birdmen." The Allies called the Airmen "Redtails" or "Redtail Angels," because of the distinctive crimson paint on the vertical stabilizers of the unit’s aircraft.

Controversy over escort record

While it had long been said that the Redtails were the only fighter group who never lost a bomber to enemy fighters, suggestions to the contrary, combined with Air Force records and eyewitness accounts indicating that at least 25 bombers were lost to enemy fire, resulted in the Air Force conducting a reassessment of the history of the unit in late 2006.

The claim that no bomber escorted by the Tuskegee Airmen had ever been lost to enemy fire first appeared on March 24, 1945, in the Chicago Defender, under the headline "332nd Flies Its 200th Mission Without Loss." According to the March 28, 2007, Air Force report, however, some bombers under 332nd Fighter Group escort protection were shot down on the very day the Chicago Defender article was published. The subsequent report, based on after-mission reports filed by both the bomber units and Tuskegee fighter groups as well as missing air crew records and witness testimony, was released in March 2007 and documented 25 bombers shot down by enemy fighter aircraft while being escorted by the Tuskegee Airmen.


Background and biographical information is from Wikipedia articles on:

The Tuskegee Airmen that can be found at…

by Gerald Boerner

“He was a man, he always performed his promises.”
— Lt. Zebulon Pike

“In my proper character, I am an officer of the United States Army.”
— Lt. Zebulon Pike

“At two o’clock in the afternoon I thought I could distinguish a mountain to our right, which appeared like a small blue cloud…”
— Lt. Zebulon Pike

“I differ materially from Capt. Lewis, in my account of the numbers, manners, and morals of the Sioux.”
— Lt. Zebulon Pike

“Nothing that Zebulon Montgomery Pike ever tried to do was easy, and most of his luck was bad.”
— Donald Jackson, Editor of Pike’s Letters and Journals

“American agents… are the only persons authorized to hold councils of a political nature.”
— Lt. Zebulon Pike

“A discontented young fellow, filled with self pride; he certainly should have considered it an honor to be sent on so respectable an embassy as he was.”
— Lt. Zebulon Pike

“It was the wish of the Americans that their red brethren should remain peacefully round their own fires, and not embroil themselves in any disputes between the white people.”
— Lt. Zebulon Pike

“…geography of the country had turned out to be so different from our expectation; we were some what at a loss which course to pursue, unless we attempted to cross the sno cap’d mountains…”
— Lt. Zebulon Pike

“…as high again as what we had ascended [Pike’s Peak is 14,110 feet tall], and it would have taken a whole day’s march to arrive at its base, when I believe no human being could have ascended to its pinical [sic].”
— John Patrick Murphy

Discovering Pikes Peak

Zebulon_Pike Zebulon Montgomery Pike Jr. was an American soldier and explorer for whom Pikes Peak in Colorado is named. His Pike expedition, often compared to the Lewis and Clark Expedition, mapped much of the southern portion of the Louisiana Purchase.

His father, also named Zebulon Pike, was an officer in the Continental Army under General George Washington and served in the United States Army after the end of the Revolutionary War. The younger Pike grew to adulthood in a series of Midwestern outposts — the frontier of the United States at the time — in Ohio and Illinois. He joined his father’s regiment as a cadet in 1794, earned a commission as ensign in 1799 and a first lieutenancy later that year.

Southwest expedition

Nearly immediately upon his return Pike was ordered out once again to lead an exploratory expedition to find the headwaters of the Arkansas River and Red River. Near St. Louis on July 15, 1806, Pike led what is now known as “the Pike expedition” from Fort Bellefontaine to explore the southwest.

Pike never successfully reached the summit of the famous peak that bears his name. He attempted it in November 1806, made it as far as Mt. Rosa to the southeast of Pikes Peak, and gave up the ascent in waist-deep snow after having gone almost two days without food.

Pikes_peak in Winter

Climbing Pikes Peak, Colorado,
in winter, rounding Windy Point,
ca. 1890

This journey, which he is most remembered for, ended with his capture on February 26, 1807 by Spanish authorities in northern New Mexico, now part of Colorado. Pike and his men were taken to Santa Fe, then to Chihuahua where he appeared before the Commandant General Salcedo. Salcedo housed Pike with Juan Pedro Walker, a cartographer, who also acted as an interpreter and as a transcriber/translator for Pike’s confiscated documents. It was while with Walker that Pike had access to various maps of the southwest and learned of Mexican discontent with Spanish rule. Pike and his men were released, under protest, to the United States at the Louisiana border on July 1, 1807.

Pike was promoted to captain without his knowledge while on the southwestern expedition. In 1811, he was listed as Lt. Col. Zebulon M. Pike with the 4th Infantry Regiment at the Battle of Tippecanoe. He was promoted to colonel in 1812. He continued his role as a military functionary, serving as deputy quartermaster-general in New Orleans and inspector-general during the War of 1812.


Although his actual journals were confiscated by the Spanish authorities, and not recovered from Mexico until the 1900s, Pike’s account of his southwest expedition was published in 1810 as The expeditions of Zebulon Montgomery Pike to headwaters of the Mississippi River, through Louisiana Territory, and in New Spain, during the years 1805-6-7 and later published in French, German, and Dutch. His account became required reading for all American explorers that followed him in the 19th century. Pike’s account had a dramatic effect on the exploration of the southwest. He described the politics in Chihuahua that led to the Mexican independence movement, as well as the trade conditions in New Mexico and Chihuahua, which descriptions helped promote the development of the Santa Fe Trail.

Pikes Peak

Pikes_Peak_by_David_Shankbone Pikes Peak (originally Pike’s Peak) is a mountain in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, 10 miles (16 km) west of Colorado Springs, Colorado, in El Paso County. It is named for Zebulon Pike, an explorer who led an expedition to the southern Colorado area in 1806. At 14,115 feet (4,302 m), it is one of Colorado’s 54 fourteeners. Drivers race up the mountain in a famous annual race called the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The peak is also the annual site of the Pikes Peak Marathon and Ascent foot races on the Barr Trail. An upper portion of Pikes Peak is a federally designated National Historic Landmark.

Much of the fame of Pikes Peak is due to its location along the eastern edge of the Rockies. Pikes Peak is the easternmost fourteen thousand foot peak in the United States. Unlike most other similarly tall mountains in Colorado, it serves as a visible landmark for many miles to the east, far into the Great Plains of Colorado. As one drives south on Interstate 25 towards the city of Colorado Springs, it comes into view from a distance of more than 130 miles (210 km). On a clear day, the peak can be seen from Denver (over 60 miles (97 km) north), points south of Pueblo (up to 76 miles) and from locations near the Kansas border to the east.

Pikes Peak is made of a characteristic pink granite, called Pikes Peak granite. The pink color is due to a large amount of potassium feldspar. The granite was formed by an igneous intrusion in the Pre-Cambrian, approximately 1.05 billion years ago, during the Grenville orogeny.

Other Events on this Day
  • In 1777…
    The Continental Congress adopts the Articles of Confederation, the basic charter of the government that preceded the U.S. Constitution.
  • In 1805…
    The Lewis and Clark expedition reaches the mouth of the Columbia River.
  • In 1806…
    Zebulon Pike spots the mountain now known as Pikes Peak
  • In 1896…
    Streetlights in Buffalo, New York, switch on using power generated 25 miles away Niagara Falls, the first long-distance transmission of hydroelectricity.
  • In 1939…
    President Frankllin D. Roosevelt lays the cornerstone of the Jefferson Memorial.
  • In 1969…
    A quarter million anti-Vietnam War protestors march in Washington, D.C.

Dates and events based on:

William J. Bennett and John Cribb, (2008) The American Patriot’s Almanac Daily Readings on America. (Kindle Edition)

Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Zebulon Pike that can be found at…

Pikes Peak that can be found at…