Eugene Cernan Passes at 82: Last Man to Walk on the Moon

Eugene Cernan, Slovak-American and the last man to walk on the moon, died on January 16, 2017.

Cernan flew into space three times and twice to the moon. He also holds the distinction of being the second American to walk in space and the last human to leave his footprints on the lunar surface.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement after Cernan’s death, “Truly, America has lost a patriot and pioneer who helped shape our country’s bold ambitions to do things that humankind had never before achieved.”

Cernan piloted the Gemini 9 mission in June 1966 and logged more than two hours outside the orbiting capsule. In May 1969, he was the lunar module pilot of Apollo 10, which descended to within eight nautical miles of the moon’s surface. He concluded his historic space exploration career as commander of Apollo 17, the last human mission to the moon in December 1972. En route to the moon, the crew captured an iconic photo of the home planet, popularly known as the “Blue Marble” photo.

As he left the lunar surface, Cernan said, “America’s challenge of today has forged man’s destiny of tomorrow. As we leave the moon and Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came, and, God willing, we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind.”

Cernan retired from the U.S. Navy and ended his NASA career in 1976. He went into private business and served as television commentator for early flights of the space shuttle.

Cernan was born in Chicago on March 14, 1934. He graduated from Proviso Township High School in Maywood, IL, and received a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University in 1956. He earned a M.S. degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.

Cernan is survived by his wife, Jan Nanna Cernan, his daughter and son-in-law, Tracy Cernan Woolie and Marion Woolie, step-daughters Kelly Nanna Taff and husband, Michael, and Danielle Nanna Ellis and nine grandchildren.

Source: NASA

Support the SASW through AmazonSmile

The Slovak American Society of Washington (SASW) is now a participant in AmazonSmile, a program sponsored by Amazon to support 501(c)(3) public charitable organizations. For each dollar you spend through AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible purchases to the SASW.

Those who have Amazon.com accounts can use them on the AmazonSmile website and will access to their shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registries as well as their account settings.

Please click on the link below to do your holiday shopping on Amazon and help support the SASW. Contributions to the SASW will only be made on purchases through the AmazonSmile website.

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/52-1906440

War hero Imrich Gablech passes away at 101

General Imrich Gablech passed away on December 16th and the age of 101. Gablech joined the RAF in 1941 and flew with the 312th Czechoslovak Squadron. Like many Czechoslovak pilots who flew with the RAF, he was persecuted by the communist regime and forced into manual labor after he returned home after the war.

Please click the link below to the Memory of Nations (“Pamet Naroda”) website to read more about his amazing story.

http://www.pametnaroda.cz/witness/index/id/1238

UČITEĽKA (“The Teacher”), showing at the AFI Silver Theater on December 17th

ucitelka-film-posterUČITEĽKA (“The Teacher”)

AFI Silver Theater
8633 Colesville Road
Silver Spring, MD
Saturday, December 17th at 7:30 pm

In this sharp and funny takedown of totalitarianism, the arrival of a new teacher at a Bratislava school in 1983 sparks a moral dilemma. As the highest-ranking Communist official in town, Mrs. Drazděchová (Zuzana Mauréry) has power, and she is unafraid to wield it, blackmailing her students and their parents to cater to her every whim, from picking up groceries to smuggling cakes into Siberia. But the tide begins to turn when a few brave parents decide to speak up. A universal parable and a taut morality tale grappling with a recent Communist past, this is a smart and acerbic satire with heart. Best Actress (Zuzana Mauréry), 2016 Karlovy Vary Film Festival; Official Selection, 2016 Busan, Tokyo, Warsaw and Dubai film festivals. Director Jan Hřebejk; Screenplay Petr Jarchovský; Producer Tibor Búza, Zuzana Mistríková, Ľubica Orechovská. Slovakia/Czech Republic, 2016, color, 102 min, DCP. In Slovak with English subtitles. NOT RATED

http://silver.afi.com/Browsing/Movies/Details/m-0100001107

Svätý Mikuláš (St. Nicholas) Party

mikulas5sPlease join us on Sunday, December 4th, to celebrate the tradition of Svätý Mikuláš at the Slovak Embassy from 2:00-5:00 pm. We will have a delicious Slovak buffet dinner prepared by the Slovak Embassy Chef, live music by Orchester Praževica, a silent auction for City University, and of course a visit from Svätý Mikuláš.

In 2016, the SASW funded five scholarships for City University students, and we would like to surpass that number in 2017.  This year, thanks to a generous anonymous donor, proceeds from our book sales, silent auction, and your donations will be matched dollar for dollar up to a total of $1,500.

The ticket prices for this year’s party are as follows:img6

$30.00 – SASW Individual Member (One adult + children)

$40.00 – Individual Non-member (One adult + children)

$50.00 – SASW Family Membership (Two adults + children)

$70.00 – Family Non-member (Two adults + children)

Those attending with small children should bring one small gift per child (wrapped and clearly labeled with the child’s name) to receive from Svätý Mikuláš. Drop off gifts at the front table, as you enter. Please encourage your child to learn a short poem or song, in Slovak or English, to present to Svätý Mikuláš, as is the Slovak custom.

Please send an email to info@dcslovaks.org to receive a reservation form. Your prepaid reservation is due at 6 pm on Wednesday, November 30th. Mail your reservation form and check made payable to the SASW, to the following address:

SASW

P.O. Box 2502

Springfield, VA 22152-2502

Celebrating and Commemorating: The Slovak Folk Calendar in the Fall

Saturday, October 1, 2016
Arlington Central Library
1015 N Quincy St, Arlington, VA
2nd Floor Meeting Room
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

How much do you know about the Slovak folk calendar, the traditional events that mark the flow of time in village life? What are the origins of these events, and what are they about? Come join us and hear Professor Kopanic talk about the traditional celebrations and commemorations of the fall season: dožinky, vinobranie, Halloween, and All Saints’ Day.

kopanic

A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Michael J. Kopanic is Adjunct Professor of History and Course Chair of European History Courses at the University of Maryland University College. Specializing in the history of East Central Europe, Slovakia, and Slovak immigration to the United States, he has spoken widely on topics in Slovak history. He also writes a regular column for the largest circulating Slovak-American newspaper, Jednota, contributes to several other fraternal publications, has published numerous articles in journals and books, and serves on the board of the CzechoSlovak Genealogical Society International.

Book Talk: “Dreams of a Great Small Nation” by Kevin McNamara

October 22, 2016
Slovak Embassy
2:00 – 4:00 PM

Following our annual meeting on Saturday, October 22nd we are hosting a talk by the author Kevin McNamara about his recent well-received book, “Dreams of a Great Small Nation” at the Slovak Embassy.

In 1917, two empires that had dominated much of Europe and Asia teetered on the edge of the abyss, exhausted by the ruinous cost, in blood and treasure, of World War I. As Imperial Russia and Habsburg-ruled Austria-Hungary began to succumb, a small group of Czech and Slovak combat veterans stranded in Siberia saw an opportunity to realize their long-held dream of independence. While their plan was audacious and complex, and involved moving their 50,000-strong army by land and sea across three-quarters of the earth’s expanse, their commitment to fighting for the Allies on the Western Front riveted the attention of Allied London, Paris, and Washington.

On their journey across Siberia, a brawl erupted at a remote Trans-Siberian rail station that sparked a wholesale rebellion. The marauding Czecho-Slovak Legion seized control of the Trans-Siberian Railroad, and with it Siberia. In the end, this small band of POWs and deserters, whose strength was seen by Leon Trotsky as the chief threat to Soviet rule, helped destroy the Austro-Hungarian Empire and found Czecho-Slovakia. British prime minister David Lloyd George called their adventure “one of the greatest epics of history,” and former U.S. president Teddy Roosevelt declared that their accomplishments were “unparalleled, so far as I know, in ancient or modern warfare.”

Kevin J. McNamara followed the path taken by the Czecho-Slovak Legion shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union, traveling almost 2,000 miles along the Trans-Siberian Railway. He was subsequently awarded research grants by the Earhart and Tawani Foundations to acquire and translate from Czech to English first-hand accounts by the men who had served in the Legion, which were published in Prague in the 1920s, but were suppressed following the Nazi and Soviet conquests of Czecho-Slovakia.

A former journalist for Calkins Media Inc., and a former aide to the late U.S. Congressman R. Lawrence Coughlin, McNamara is an Associate Scholar of the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia, PA, and a former contributing editor to its quarterly journal, Orbis: A Journal of World Affairs. He earned a B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in international politics from Temple University, where he was a student of the noted military historian, Russell F. Weigley.

http://www.fpri.org/article/2016/06/epic-misadventure-historic-achievement-remarkable-story-czecho-slovak-legion/