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Prof. Boerner's Explorations

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


Tag: Walter Cronkite

Edited by Gerald Boerner


Introductory Comments:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumbWe have seen some major events on March 6th over the past two hundred years. In 1836, this day witnessed the storming of the Alamo by Santa Ana’s forces; the 163 Texian defenders were overwhelmed by the Mexican army and most defenders lost their lives. But the Battle of san Jacinto a short time later would see the Texians win their independence and establish the Republic of Texas. The rallying cry for that latter battle was “Remember the Alamo!” The state of Texas would later make the Spanish Mission in San Antonio a historic site.


Also on this day we received two life and death decisions from our court system. The first, in 1857, the U.S. Supreme Court found that the slave, Dred Scott, did not have grounds to gain freedom for himself or his family. This led to his continued enslavement and fed the fires of the abolitionists. More recently, in 1951, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg would face the court in their trial as spies for the Soviet Union. They were accused of passing nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union during World War II. They would be convicted and executed in 1953.

A milestone in broadcasting was passed in 1981 when Walter Cronkite, the dean of evening news anchors. On this night, Cronkite who had been the anchor of The CBS Evening News for nineteen years would retire his anchor spot. Dan Rather would take over the evening anchor desk. Cronkite was remembered for his ending of each broadcast with the iconic words, “And that’s the way it is: Friday, March 6, 1981.”

We now will proceed to examine some of the events that are associated with day in history... GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 906 Words ]


Quotations Related to Slavery:

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“Slavery exists. It is black in the South, and white in the North.”
— Andrew Johnson

“Since the days of slavery, if you were a good singer or dancer, it was your job to perform for the master after dinner.”
— Spike Lee

“Slavery can only be abolished by raising the character of the people who compose the nation; and that can be done only by showing them a higher one.”
— Maria W. Chapman

“Should slavery be abolished there, (and it is an event, which, from these circumstances, we may reasonably expect to be produced in time) let it be remembered, that the Quakers will have had the merit of its abolition.”
— Thomas Clarkson

“Pervading nationalism imposes its dominion on man today in many different forms and with an aggressiveness that spares no one. The challenge that is already with us is the temptation to accept as true freedom what in reality is only a new form of slavery.”
— Pope John Paul II

“The North understand it better – they have told us for twenty years that their object was to pen up slavery within its present limits – surround it with a border of free States, and like the scorpion surrounded with fire, they will make it sting itself to death.”
— Robert Toombs

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Edited by Gerald Boerner



JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumbToday we look back at the event that may have made a market for the computer in our society. What happened on that day in 1952? A Remington Rand UNIVAC I computer located at the University of Pennsylvania was tied to the CBS News offices in New York City by a terminal connection. As the election results came in for the Presidential Race between the war hero, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower (a Republican), opposed Adlai Stevenson (a Democrat). While the computer predicted the a landslide victory for Eisenhower early in the evening, the experts at CBS News doubted it based upon the pre-election polls.

This event taught us two lessons. The first was that the polling techniques in use for elections at that time needed a lot of “tweaking”. That fact should have been evident in the 1948 election where Harry Truman won despite the poll results which showed Dewey to be the likely winner! The second was that the electronic computer was coming into its own, being more than a fancy tabulating machine or calculator. It could be programmed to show some intelligence, although they were not “Electronic Brains” as was often used as a descriptor.


The UNIVAC I was the first successful commercial computer in the United States. The first commercial computer in the world was the Ferranti Mark 1 delivered to the University of Manchester in the U.K. in February, 1951. The first UNIVAC I was delivered to the United States Census Bureau in March, 1951. The correct prediction of the 1952 Presidential Election with only partial data opened the door to these huge machines. They would end up transforming the world in the second half of the 20th century.

But, let’s jump into this exploration of the Man vs. Machine encounter in the Presidential Election of 1952… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 3708 Words ]


Quotations Related to Walter Cronkite:


“And that’s the way it is.”
— Walter Cronkite

“Everything is being compressed into tiny tablets. You take a little pill of news every day – 23 minutes – and that’s supposed to be enough.”
— Walter Cronkite

“I can’t imagine a person becoming a success who doesn’t give this game of life everything he’s got.”
— Walter Cronkite

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