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The Greatest Newspaper Correction Ever Written

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posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 04:40 PM

(49 years too late)

Robert Goddard built and flew the first-ever liquid fuel rocket on March 16, 1926 ten years before in 1916 he had already received patents for a liquid fuel rocket and a step-rocket two years prior in 1914 by way of a Smithsonian Grants .

Because of the intense criticism from the media in the 1930s and 40s, Goddard grew secretive and paranoid, eventually moving his work to a remote location in the desert near Roswell, NM. Scientists in both America and Europe knew he was accomplishing great things but didn't know how.

Most rocket scientists of that era tried to duplicate his work but they didn't have much to go by except his inspiration.

Unfortunately, he was too timid to hold up to ignorant criticisms which drove him and his work into isolation where he never published again.

( take what you will from the boldened words )

In 1920, rocket scientist Robert Goddard wrote up an article postulating how we could use rocket fuel to launch a ship into space — perhaps even all the way to the moon. His ideas did not meet with a warm reception in the media, where he was roundly mocked. 49 years later, Apollo 11 took-off to the moon, triggering The New York Times' to print the greatest newspaper correction ever to run.

The greatest newspaper correction ever written (49 years too late)
This correction has everything: scare quotes, an elaborately roundabout slam on rocket scientist Goddard's high school education, and, notably, no reference at all to Apollo 11's launch to the moon that had occurred just the day before, spurring the correction in the first place. The correction, printed in the July 17, 1969 edition of The Times reads:

A Correction: On Jan. 13, 1920, "Topics of the Times," an editorial-page feature of The New York Times, dismissed the notion that a rocket could function in a vacuum and commented on the ideas of Robert H. Goddard, the rocket pioneer, as follows:

'That Professor Goddard with his 'chair' in Clark College and the countenancing of the Smithsonian Institution, does not know the relation of action to reaction, and of the need to something better than a vacuum against which to react—to say that would be absurd. Of course he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools."

Further investigation and experimentation have confirmed the findings of Isaac Newton in the 17th Century and it is now definitely established a rocket can function in a vacuum as well as in an atmosphere. The Times regrets the error.
read more at i09

Well, at least the newspapers don't lambaste scientists like that anymore.(end sarcasm)

A more correct title would be: How an Ignorant Media Held Back Science. (Not for the First Time and Certainly Not the Last)

His story is both inspiring and sad.
edit on 31-12-2013 by Grimpachi because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 05:04 PM
reply to post by Grimpachi

Too bad it took 49 years, but they're moving a lot faster than the Catholic Church:

1992: Catholic Church apologizes to Galileo, who died in 1642

Galileo Galilei used a a telescope he built to observe the solar system, and deduced that the planets orbit the sun, not the earth.

This contradicted Church teachings, and some of the clergy accused Galileo of heresy.

What's that, 350 years? Longer than that because he died in 1642; he was accused earlier than that while he was still alive.

But in both cases, better late than never, I suppose.

edit on 31-12-2013 by Arbitrageur because: clarification

posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 05:16 PM
Could a connection be made between him and the roswell incident? Strange coincidence indeed.

posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 05:33 PM
reply to post by CheckPointCharlie

Coincidence???? I don't know. Rocket scientist right by Roswell at the time of one of the biggest UFO claims in history doing work in secret..well its close. I just checked he died in 1945 the question is did the government try to test some of his equipment.

After Goddard's death, his widow sued the US Government for infringing on his patents. The case was eventually settled for $1 million.

edit on 31-12-2013 by Grimpachi because: (no reason given)

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