Sunday, May 06, 2007

A convergence of catastrophies


By J. Kingston Pierce

May 6, 1937: At 7:25 p.m., the German zeppelin Hindenburg burst into flames as it tried to land at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey. While newsreel cameras continued to film, and radio reporter Herbert Morrison delivered his pain-struck and now famous blow-by-blow of events (“this is terrible; this is the one--one of the worst catastrophes in the world”), the 804-foot, hydrogen-filled “ship of the air” crashed to the ground. Thirty-five of the 97 passengers and crew on board were killed. As Wikipedia recalls, “Most deaths did not arise from the fire but were suffered by those who leapt from the burning ship. (The lighter-than-air fire burned overhead.) Those passengers who rode the ship on its descent to the ground survived. Some deaths of crew members occurred because they wanted to save more people on board the ship.”

May 6, 2007: Newsweek reporter Marcus Mabry
writes that “It’s hard to say which is worse news for Republicans: that George W. Bush now has the worst approval rating of an American president in a generation, or that he seems to be dragging every ’08 Republican presidential candidate down with him. But according to the new Newsweek Poll, the public’s approval of Bush has sunk to 28 percent, an all-time low for this president in our poll, and a point lower than Gallup recorded for his father at Bush Sr.’s nadir. The last president to be this unpopular was Jimmy Carter who also scored a 28 percent approval in 1979. This remarkably low rating seems to be casting a dark shadow over the GOP’s chances for victory in ’08. The Newsweek Poll finds each of the leading Democratic contenders beating the Republican frontrunners in head-to-head matchups.”

(Cross-posted from Limbo.)

READ MORE:Survivors Recall Hindenburg 70 Years On,” by Chris Newmarker (AP).

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