Major General George Owen Squier nominated to Aviation Hall of Fame
By Dennis Skupinski
Special to the United States World War One Centennial Commission web site
The Michigan WW1 Centennial Commission has nominated Major General George O. Squier the National Aviation Hall of Fame. Squier made a tremendous impact on early military aviation. He was the pioneer in military aviation, making the U.S. Army leaders in this field until the World War 1. He also established Langley Field which served as a research facility for civilian and military aviation and eventually space travel.
Major General George Owen SquierSquier's invention of multiplexing enabled telecommunications to be scalable and affordable which benefited mankind and the military. This also allowed the internet or world wide web to develop. Without the innovations of George O. Squire, our lives would be vastly different today.
From May 1916 to February 1917, he was Chief of the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps, the first successor of the Aeronautical Division, before being promoted to major general and appointed Chief Signal Officer during World War I. Squier wrote the paper that created the U.S. Army Signal Corps, Aeronautical Division, on August 1, 1907. This becomes the first "Heavier Than Air" unit in the U.S.Military. This will eventually become the U.S. Air Force 40 years later. He was commandant of the Army Signal school at Fort Leavenworth at the time when they were teaching about "Lighter than Air" aircraft.
Squier wrote the first specifications for a military aircraft to be purchased by the U.S. Army which was to be produced by the Wright Brothers in 1908.
He was the first military passenger on an airplane on September 12, 1908 on the Wright Brothers Flyer.
He was responsible for the first purchase of the first military airplane by the U.S. Army in 1909. It is also the first purchase of a military aircraft (Heavier than Air) in the world. The Wright Brothers airplane was used to train military pilots from 1909 until 1911. Then it was housed in the Smithsonian Institute for public display. This airplane is now located in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.
He was responsible for the purchase of 1,659 Acres of Virginia farmland that became Langley Field in late 1916. Langley Field was named by then Lt. Col. G.O. Squier after Samuel Langley and became the principal research facility of military and civilian aviation. He founded the Army's aviation research laboratory there.
He patented multi-plexing which is the ability to send multiple signals over the same wire by dividing up the bandwidth. This would allow the telecommunications and the internet, to be scalable. This also resulted in the formation of the company called Muzak which piped music in on telephone lines and eventually became known as "Elevator Music".
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Iowa rooster crowed for cash during World War I
By Jeff Morgan
via the Mapleton Press newspaper (IA) web site
Iowans have come up with some pretty bird-brained fundraisers over the years.
When RAGBRAI rolled through Dallas Center a few years ago, folks placed bets on Chicken Poop Bingo and watched the birds leave “surprises” on a numbered grid. In the early 1990s, anyone who donated to WOI public radio got to name a chicken at Living History Farms. (Whenever a donor showed up to visit, a staffer called out the bird’s name and pointed to whichever one happened to look up: “Oh, there it is! It’s that one over there.”)
During World War I, Private C.W. Gill of Exira, carried this postcard of auctioneer D. R. Jones with the rooster Jack Pershing. Gill gave it to Jones after the war and asked that he donate it to the State of Iowa. (State Historical Society of Iowa)But Iowa’s most famous fowl fundraiser was a scrawny little rooster named Jack Pershing, who is on triumphant (taxidermy) display at the Rolling Hills Bank in Casey, straight west of Des Moines. The old bird was part of a temporary exhibit for the town’s sesquicentennial festival, July 12-14.
“Everybody thinks he’s pretty cool,” banker Emily Wedemeyer said.
Jack’s overnight rise to celebrity status began just about a century ago, on Dec. 15, 1917, when local auctioneers Ed Meinkey and D.R. Jones were gathering items to auction off in support of the American Red Cross during World War I.
Mark Dunkerson, a farmer from nearby Fontanelle, wanted to contribute something for the auction that night but could spare only a chicken.
“I don’t have much to offer,” Dunkerson told the auctioneers, according to an account the Audubon County Journal published years later in 1944. “But there are a couple of roosters in that little flock of chickens. You could have one of them, if that would help any.”
Meinkey and Jones searched the barnyard, found an unhappy brown-black rooster in a yeast box and enlisted him for the auction with relatively low expectations. As the Audubon County Journal put it, “A scrub rooster is a scrub rooster – just that – and, as an article of value, is reckoned somewhat lightly.”
But this was for a good cause, after all, so someone made a 50-cent bid.
“Sold,” Jones said. “Here’s your bird. Come and get him.”
The buyer, however, thought the rooster was “too darn cantankerous to take home,” so he told the auctioneer to sell it again, according to a colorful account on an Adair County tourism website.
Read more: Iowa rooster crowed for cash during World War I