The C.S.S. Hunley, a confederate submarine, was originally a boiler, which was made
into a 60' long, cigar shaped sub. Eight men turned a crank attached to a propeller to
produce movement, and the ship's weapon was on explosive charge on a 15-foot pole attached
to the bow. The Hunley was actually a deathtrap. More than a dozen men, including H.L.
Hunley, the inventor, drowned or suffocated in test dives before the submarine was ready
for battle. On February 17, 1964, off the harbor at Charleston, S.C., the Hunley attacked
the Union ship Housatonic, crippling the enemy ship but going to the bottom with the
Connie Mack, who managed the Philadelphia Athletics from 1900 to 1950, once said,
"I've seen boys on my baseball team go into a slump and never come out of it, and
I've seen others snap right out and come back better than ever. I guess more players lick
themselves than are ever licked by an opposing team."
Back in the early 1930s, C.D. "Bigboy" Blalock of Louisiana State
University--a six-foot-six-inch giant of a boxer--was taking on a stocky fellow from
Mississippi State. In the second round, Bigboy let lose a roundhouse. The Mississippi man
stepped in, and his head caught Bigboy's arm inside the elbow. With the opponent's head
acting as a lever, Bigboy's arm whipped around in almost full circle, connecting with
haymaker force on Bigboy's own chin. He staggered, grabbed the rope, walked almost all the
way around the ring, and then fell flat for the count--the only prizefighter who ever
knocked himself out with a right to his own jaw.
A recent news release told of a Charlotte, North Carolina, woman who set a world record
while playing a convenience store video game. After standing in front of the game for
fourteen hours and scoring an unprecedented seven and a half million points on the game
called "Tapper," the woman was pleased to see a TV crew arriving to record her
efforts for posterity. She continued to play while the crew, alerted by her fiancÚ,
prepared to shoot. However, she was appalled to see the video screen suddenly go blank.
While setting up their lights, the camera team had accidentally unplugged the game, thus
bringing her bid for ten million points to an untimely end! The effort to publicize her
achievement became the agent of her ultimate failure.
General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson was such a brilliant leader that many
experts believe he could have led the Confederacy to victory had he not died early in the
Civil War. The irony of Jackson's death is that he was shot accidentally by his own men.
It seems he had given them orders to fire if they heard anyone coming through the woods.
Jackson himself was returning to his own lines one night when he came crashing through the
underbrush; on horseback--and his troops obeyed his command! Despite his wound, General
Jackson still might have lived had he not caught pneumonia and died about a week later.
Today in the Word, MBI, April, 1990, p. 37.