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Space Walking with Russia
Lots of space stuff, plus we walk through another state rankings!
Happy Friday, Okay Citizens. We appreciate you spending some time with Okay History.
The United States and Russia have had a complicated relationship over the past centuries. Russia recognized our existence on October 28, 1803, while official diplomatic relations began six years later when James Madison accepted formal papers. Or was it James Monroe? We can't tell these guys apart.
The guy with JM initials took the paperwork and made it official.
Russia then experienced some challenging times, particularly around branding when it became the Russian Soviet Republic in 1917, then the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic in 1918, which then became the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in 1936, before reverting to Russia in 1991. It was the national naming version of New Coke or, at the very least, makes us think about Monty Python.
Our current relationship is on even shakier ground with Russia invading Ukraine. At the same time, we send over resources to help Ukraine defend itself while putting the squeeze on all things financial for Russians worldwide. It's gotten so bad that one Russian had to sell his sorry-ass football club!
There is one area of shared value, and that's in space. Russia first beat us up there, then we came storming back and landed on the moon before them. We went back and forth until Russia built a space station, and both nations began work on all things space.
Today, we commemorate the first joint spacewalk when Astronaut Jerry Linenger and Cosmonaut Vasily Tsibliyev did about five hours of work on the MIR space station on April 29, 1997. Linenger wore a Russian-made suit, and both men attached themselves to a crane. They completed experiments, collected cosmic dust, put up some radiation thingys, and other science, dork stuff.
MIR would be put out to pasture the following year and ushering in the International Space Station, which is run by both countries, along with Europe, Japan, and even Canada, who didn't recognize the United States until February 18, 1927.
What the heck, Canada. Are you still upset over the stupid war?
Okay, let’s walk on over to the next round of state rankings!
40: New Mexico
Founded: January 6, 1912
Do we know the state capital off the top of our head? Yes. Santa Fe (which is by far the best name of any capital city. It sounds like a nice drink. I'll have a Santa Fe, please.)
Have we been there? No.
Do we want to go? We don't see why not.
The official bird of New Mexico is the Greater Roadrunner. This is what it looks like.
Did you ever watch this cartoon? Man, it was awesome. There wasn't any dialogue! Just violence, humor, and no talking.
This thing called WalletHub created its own ranking formula for livability, and New Mexico finished last. Imagine being a worse place to live than Mississippi. We didn't, which is why New Mexico is ranked higher, but it's still pretty bad.
The phrase, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, comes from an Italian spaghetti western with the same title. The premise is three gunslingers are looking for Confederate gold during the Battle of Glorieta Pass, which took place in March of 1862 in the New Mexico territory.
Considered the Gettysburg of the west, The Battle of Glorieta Pass was considered a draw but a tactical victory for the Union that ended any hopes the Confederates could gain a firm ground in the southwest. Despite Texas and Arizona being Confederate allies, free California loomed large over the area, and New Mexico safely in the hands of freedom, things would get even uglier for the South.
Also, have you noticed how states continue to have the same alliances? People need to start subscribing to OKH and get some education.
Why did we rank it here?
We enjoyed the television series Breaking Bad. It might be the last show we watched in real-time every Sunday evening. When the show was ending, we were on one of our too many work sabbaticals, so staying up late watching violence, and this time with dialogue, was fine.
Everything was shot on location in Albuquerque. Also, the state gets docked a few rankings for having its largest city spell its name with two q's.
Founded: January 9, 1788
Do we know the state capital off the top of our head? No. Is it Bristol?
Have we been there? We have, right?
Do we want to go? We feel like we will eventually if we haven't.
Connecticut is the home of the University of Connecticut Women's basketball team. Coached by Geno Auriemma, whose real first name is Luigi, the Huskies are the most dominant women's sports team/franchise/program in history.
They have won eleven national titles since 1995 and have made the NCAA tournament every year since 1989. We can't think of anything we have done consistently since 1989. Complain? Eating eggs, perhaps? We cry a lot.
That same WalletHub site says that Connecticut has the second-highest tax rates in the country. Anytime you have the nickname America's Country Club, that must be bad.
People also seem to be fleeing Connecticut, probably because of the high taxes and lack of membership in any country club.
Did you see this recent story of an eight-year-old bully lighting a six-year-old on fire? What is this, Florida?
Connecticut sits in a part of the country where hockey is pretty popular. From 1979 till 1997, they had a hockey team in Hartford (now we remember, the capital!) called the Whalers.
The Whalers had the coolest logo in sports, and the fins carved out the "H' and "W" perfectly. We continue to think about buying a t-shirt with the logo; we like it that much.
The team ended up moving to Raleigh, North Carolina, where hockey is not quite as popular. They changed the name to a natural disaster that kills many people in the state almost every year, and to really kick the folks back home in Connecticut in the gut - the Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup.
Why did we rank it here?
What's the point of Connecticut, exactly? They did come up with the Connecticut Plan, which got us the Constitution. We were excited when the UConn basketball programs returned to the Big East Conference. But what else is there to be excited about when it comes to Connecticut?
This might be another situation where other states are just worse. What do you think?
We love writing about space and having Anonymous chime in on how we did. We watched the television series Space Force, with the 40 – Year Old Virgin guy not too long ago, and it's a pretty good show - we recommend it.
But the real joke is the idea that Space Force is a thing. In case you didn't know (and that's the reason why Okay History exists is to inform you of such news), Space Force was founded just before the pandemic hit in December of 2019. It falls under the Department of the Air Force but doesn't make the Air Force any tougher when you stack it up against the Marines, Navy, and Army.
Not until they start fighting aliens. Then again, we will probably ship up the Marines to handle that.
Okay, the state rankings are now in the 30s. How are we doing? Who would you like to see next?