(SP-871: t. 18; 1. 53'; b. 10'; dr. 2'9"; a. 1 1-pdr.,
The first Tern (SP-871)—a motorboat built in 1907 at South Boston, Mass., by Murray and Tregurtha— was acquired by the United States Navy on 28 May 1917 from E. F. Nall of Atlantic City, N.J., and was commissioned the same day.
Tern operated in the 4th Naval District as a scout patrol boat through the end of World War I. She was returned to her owner on 21 November 1918.
Forster's Tern Life History
Forster’s Terns inhabit freshwater, brackish, and saltwater marshes during the breeding season, when they nest in colonies around marshy edges and small islands free from predators. Some colonies nest directly on floating vegetation, others in high parts of the marsh where there is “wrack” (decaying vegetation deposited by wind or tide), and others on weedy, sandy, shelly, or pebbly beach adjacent to marshes. Most colonies are in wetlands larger than 50 acres where there is plenty of open water for foraging, but locations change with varying water levels, storm damage, and disturbance by predators and humans. After the young fledge, many Forster’s Terns from inland populations gradually migrate toward ocean coasts. Migrants may be found in almost any wetland context, from the shorelines of the Great Lakes to major rivers to fairly small freshwater marshes. In the southern part of the wintering range (along the Gulf of Mexico coast), many Forster’s Terns remain in inland freshwater marshes all season. Others join coastal populations of Forster’s, foraging in estuaries, lagoons, bays, and over open ocean. They roost on beaches and mudflats when not foraging. They winter farther north than any other species of tern in North America.
Like most terns, Forster’s feeds primarily on small (1–4-inch) fish, which they hunt from the air and capture by plunge-diving from heights as low as a few feet to as high as 50 feet or more. When foraging, most fly along shorelines or just offshore, about 20–25 feet above the water. They normally make a shallow dive, but in some cases, they take prey nearly a foot below the water’s surface, submerging the entire body. In saltmarshes where they breed, Forster’s Terns sometimes wait to forage until mudflats are covered with a few inches of incoming tide, when small fish are most accessible. Forster’s Terns are unusual among terns in that they sometimes hunt from perches on pilings, bridges, or utility wires. The birds watch the river or the tidal flow until they spot prey coming toward them, then fly from the perch and dive. Usually, they swallow small prey quickly, but may soften larger fish in the bill before swallowing. Forster’s Tern prey include shiner perch, yellow perch, sunfish, pike, stickleback, anchovies, sardines, gobies, menhaden, and silverside minnows. They also eat some insects during the nesting season, which they pick off the water or sometimes capture in flight.
Male and female select a ground nest site on a sandy beach, barrier island, or dredge-spoil island.
Nests are small, unlined depressions in the sand, made by digging with the feet and finishing the shape with the belly. Adults defecate around the nest rim.
|Clutch Size:||1-2 eggs|
|Number of Broods:||1 brood|
|Egg Length:||2.3-2.9 in (5.75-7.45 cm)|
|Egg Width:||1.9-1.6 in (4.85-4.05 cm)|
|Incubation Period:||28-31 days|
|Nestling Period:||28-35 days|
|Egg Description:||Whitish to brown, heavily spotted around large end.|
|Condition at Hatching:||Eyes open. Covered with down and able to leave nest within one day.|
Tern SP-871 - History
Notes: "Citation Count" is the number of scholarly film articles indexed in JSTOR that cite a magazine. We collected this citation data using JSTOR's Data for Research platform. We searched for film-oriented magazines in the "references" section of the 13,866 articles from 15 journals that JSTOR categorizes as "Film Studies." We then disambiguated the data by checking the reference section of every match -- eliminating false positives (e.g. cutting Writing the Photoplay from the Photoplay search results) and eliminating articles that cited a magazine but focused on the post-1960 period (e.g. an article citing a 1998 report from Variety).
Magazine circulation data was collected from N.W. Ayer & Son's Newspaper Annuals, 1900 to 1960, at the Wisconsin Historical Society. Several editions of the Ayer Annuals are also available online at Hathi Trust.
Eric Hoyt is writing a journal article analyzing the circulation and citation data in much more depth. Derek Long is structuring the circulation data into a relational database, and the data will be available for other others to access and use by early-2014. In the meantime, keep playing with the visualization and see what trends you notice.
Nostalgia and Soldier’s Heart
In the last several hundred years, medical doctors have described a few PTSD-like illnesses, particularly in soldiers who experienced combat.
In the late 1600s, Swiss physician Dr. Johannes Hofer coined the term “nostalgia” to describe Swiss soldiers who suffered from despair and homesickness, as well as classic PTSD symptoms like sleeplessness and anxiety. Around the same time, German, French and Spanish doctors described similar illnesses in their military patients.
In 1761, Austrian physician Josef Leopold Auenbrugger wrote about nostalgia in trauma-stricken soldiers in his book Inventum Novum. The soldiers, he reported, became listless and solitary, among other things, and efforts could do little to help them out of their torpor.
Rating as of September 15, 2020.
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Kushlan, J. A., M. J. Steinkamp, K. C. Parsons, J. Capp, M. A. Cruz, M. Coulter, I. Davidson, L. Dickson, N. Edelson, R. Elliott, R. M. Erwin, S. Hatch, S. Kress, R. Milko, S. Miller, K. Mills, R. Paul, R. Phillips, J. E. Saliva, W. Sydeman, J. Trapp, J. Wheeler and K. Wohl (2002). Waterbird conservation for the Americas: The North American waterbird conservation plan, version 1. Washington, DC, USA.
Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. (2019). Longevity records of North American birds. Version 1019 Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2019.
Sauer, J. R., D. K. Niven, J. E. Hines, D. J. Ziolkowski Jr., K. L. Pardieck, J. E. Fallon, and W. A. Link (2017). The North American Breeding Bird Survey, Results and Analysis 1966–2015. Version 2.07.2017. USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, MD, USA.
Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY, USA.
Thompson, Bruce C., Jerome A. Jackson, Joanna Burger, Laura A. Hill, Eileen M. Kirsch and Jonathan L. Atwood. (1997). Least Tern (Sternula antillarum), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.
The Emancipation Proclamation
The Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, had established that all enslaved people in Confederate states in rebellion against the Union “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.”
But in reality, the Emancipation Proclamation didn’t instantly free any enslaved people. The proclamation only applied to places under Confederate control and not to slave-holding border states or rebel areas already under Union control. However, as Northern troops advanced into the Confederate South, many enslaved people fled behind Union lines.
Illustrated print by Thomas Nast depicting life before and after emancipation.
According to the North American Breeding Bird Survey, Black Tern populations declined by an estimated 1.4% per year between 1966 and 2015, resulting in a cumulative decline of 51% over that period. Partners in Flight estimates a total breeding population of 850,000 (including the Eurasian range) and rates the species a 13 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score, placing it on the Yellow Watch List for species with declining populations. The North American Waterbird Conservation Plan estimates a population of 100,000–500,000 breeding birds in North America. This species is difficult to monitor, as changing water levels often force nesting Black Terns to relocate from year to year or even during a single nesting season. The causes of population declines are not well understood but include drainage or conversion of wetlands and reduction of insect populations by agricultural pesticide use or other contributors to poor water quality. In Central American wintering areas, Black Terns may have been affected by sharp declines in prey species, especially small fish. Key to the conservation of this species is protection and restoration of freshwater wetlands from the Great Lakes region through the prairie provinces of Canada, where declines have been severe since the 1960s. Recommendations for wetland management include keeping water levels stable and maintaining a mosaic of emergent vegetation and open areas of water. In some places, Black Terns have nested successfully on artificial nest platforms, and have benefited from predator exclosures. Climate change forecasts suggest warmer temperatures throughout the breeding areas, with stronger storms and periods of drought, all of which could harm nesting habitat and nesting success in Black Terns.
Public Confidence in the Vaccine Waned
President Gerald Ford receiving the swine flu vaccine from his White House physician, Dr. William Lukash, October 14, 1976.
As the U.S. celebrated its bicentennial summer, a respiratory disease killed 34 people tied to a Philadelphia hotel that had hosted an American Legion convention. Although the cause of what would be known as Legionnaires’ disease was a previously unknown bacterium in the hotel’s air-conditioning system, swine flu was the original suspect. With fears of a pandemic reignited, Congress agreed to indemnify pharmaceutical companies for any adverse vaccine reactions.
Sencer and J. Donald Millar, who directed the CDC’s flu vaccination effort, wrote decades later that the decision had the unintentional consequence of undermining confidence in the vaccine and 𠇎nsured that every coincidental health event that occurred in the wake of the swine flu shot would be scrutinized and attributed to the vaccine.”
As public service advertisements urged citizens to “get a shot of protection,” millions of Americans rolled up their sleeves as vaccinations started on October 1. While Ford quipped the shot “may mean a few sore arms,” the press reported the possibility of much worse consequences after three senior citizens died of heart attacks shortly after receiving vaccinations at the same Pittsburgh clinic. While investigations determined no connection between the deaths and the vaccine, a number of states temporarily suspended the program.
Although photographs of Ford receiving a vaccination were distributed in hopes of rallying support, public confidence was further shaken when dozens of vaccine recipients were diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare neurological disorder causing muscle weakness, tingling in the extremities and paralysis.
Meanwhile, not only had a pandemic yet to appear, but no swine flu cases outside of the Fort Dix cluster had even been reported. Even if there was no connection between the vaccine and Guillain-Barré syndrome, the risk was no longer acceptable. After the vaccination of 45 million Americans—nearly a quarter of the country’s population—the government halted the program on December 16.
Ford lost his re-election bid in the midst of the immunization program that, with the benefit of hindsight, turned out to be unnecessary when a repeat of 1918—or even 1957 or 1968—never materialized. “When lives are at stake, it is better to err on the side of overreaction than underreaction,” wrote Millar and Sencer, who lost his job months later. “In 1976, the federal government wisely opted to put protection of the public first.”