John’s Believe It Or Not… June 13th

In 1944 – F/O Andrew Mynarski killed and awarded posthumous Victoria Cross. In 1993 – Kim Campbell was chosen to succeed Brian Mulroney as PC Party leader. In 1966 The Miranda rights are established. In 1971 The New York Times publishes the “Pentagon Papers”. In 1983 Pioneer 10 departs solar system.

John Fioravanti teaching at the blackboard.

It’s Tuesday! We survived Monday! Did you know…

* 1944 – F/O Andrew Mynarski killed and awarded posthumous Victoria Cross. (Pilot Officer Andrew Mynarski was the mid-upper gunner of a Lancaster bomber, attacking a target at Cambrai, France, on the night of 12 June 1944. The aircraft came under fire from an enemy fighter. The pilot ordered the crew to bail out. In an act of heroism, Mynarski remained onboard the fiery plane, determined to save his friend. The son of Polish immigrants, Andrew Mynarski grew up in the North End of Winnipeg. In 1932 he left school and took a job as a leather cutter to help support the family. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941 and in January 1943 was posted to England. Mynarski was serving with 419 “Moose” Squadron when his plane was shot down. Preparing to jump from the blazing airplane, he saw that the rear gunner, Pat Brophy, was trapped in his gun turret, struggling to break free. Immediately, Mynarski turned from the escape hatch and made his way back through the flames, ignoring his friend’s shouts of, “Go back! Save yourself!” After numerous attempts to release Brophy, Mynarski reluctantly makes his way back to the hatch. His parachute and clothes ablaze, he offered his friend a final gesture of encouragement: he stood at attention and saluted. He jumped but succumbed to his burns soon after landing. Miraculously, Brophy survived the crash. The plane hit a tree as it crashed to earth, breaking open the gun turret and throwing him free. He thus lived to tell of Pilot Officer Andrew Mynarski’s bravery. Andrew Mynarski was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for his effort to save another’s life.)

The 10ft statue of P/O Mynarski giving a final salute to his trapped friend
The 10ft statue of P/O Mynarski giving a final salute to his trapped friend. (Radio Canada International)

* 1993 – Kim Campbell was chosen to succeed Brian Mulroney as PC Party leader. (Kim Campbell, byname of Avril Phaedra Campbell (born March 10, 1947, Port Alberni, B.C., Can.), Canadian politician, who in June 1993 became the first woman to serve as prime minister of Canada. Her tenure was brief, however, lasting only until November. Campbell was educated at the University of British Columbia (B.A., 1969) and at the London School of Economics, where she studied Soviet government. She taught political science for six years before returning to the University of British Columbia to pursue a law degree; upon graduation in 1983, she practiced law in Vancouver for two years before devoting herself full-time to a political career. In 1989 Prime Minister Brian Mulroney appointed her Minister for Indian Affairs and Northern Development. In 1990 she became justice minister and attorney general; her tenure was marked by several legislative successes, including strengthening Canada’s gun-control laws and passing a tough rape law. Her appointment as defense minister in January 1993 was seen as a signal of Mulroney’s confidence in her political future, especially when he announced his own retirement shortly thereafter. Campbell was selected by a party convention to replace Mulroney and became Canada’s first woman prime minister, in June 1993. In November the Progressive Conservatives suffered a devastating electoral defeat (the party won only two seats and Campbell failed to carry her own Vancouver riding), and she left office. The following month she resigned as party leader. Following her retirement from active politics, Campbell became a fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. From 1996 to 2000 she served as the Canadian consul-general in Los Angeles. Afterward, she resumed her fellowship at Harvard, and from 2004 to 2006 she served as secretary-general for the Club of Madrid, a group she helped found, which includes former heads of government and attempts to enhance democracy throughout the world. She was active in various nongovernmental organizations, including the International Crisis Group and the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence. Her autobiography, Time and Chance, was published in 1996.)

Photograph of A. Kim Campbell - Canada's 19th Prime Minister
Photograph of A. Kim Campbell – Canada’s 19th Prime Minister (

* 1966 The Miranda rights are established. (On this day in 1966, the Supreme Court hands down its decision in Miranda v. Arizona, establishing the principle that all criminal suspects must be advised of their rights before interrogation. Now considered standard police procedure, “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can, and will, be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, one will be appointed to you,” has been heard so many times in television and film dramas that it has become almost cliche. The roots of the Miranda decision go back to March 2, 1963, when an 18-year-old Phoenix woman told police that she had been abducted, driven to the desert and raped. Detectives questioning her story gave her a polygraph test, but the results were inconclusive. However, tracking the license plate number of a car that resembled that of her attacker’s brought police to Ernesto Miranda, who had a prior record as a peeping tom. Although the victim did not identify Miranda in a line-up, he was brought into police custody and interrogated. What happened next is disputed, but officers left the interrogation with a confession that Miranda later recanted, unaware that he didn’t have to say anything at all. The confession was extremely brief and differed in certain respects from the victim’s account of the crime. However, Miranda’s appointed defense attorney (who was paid a grand total of $100) didn’t call any witnesses at the ensuing trial, and Miranda was convicted. While Miranda was in Arizona state prison, the American Civil Liberties Union took up his appeal, claiming that the confession was false and coerced. The Supreme Court overturned his conviction, but Miranda was retried and convicted in October 1966 anyway, despite the relative lack of evidence against him. Remaining in prison until 1972, Ernesto Miranda was later stabbed to death in the men’s room of a bar after a poker game in January 1976. As a result of the case against Miranda, each and every person must now be informed of his or her rights when arrested.)

Mug Shot:The “Miranda” in the Miranda warning was Ernesto Miranda.
The “Miranda” in the Miranda warning was Ernesto Miranda.(National Constitution Center)

* 1971 The New York Times publishes the “Pentagon Papers”. (The New York Times begins publishing portions of the 47-volume Pentagon analysis of how the U.S. commitment in Southeast Asia grew over a period of three decades. Daniel Ellsberg, a former Defense Department analyst who had become an antiwar activist, had stolen the documents. After unsuccessfully offering the documents to prominent opponents of the war in the U.S. Senate, Ellsberg gave them to the Times. Officially called The History of the U.S. Decision Making Process on Vietnam, the “Pentagon Papers” disclosed closely guarded communiques, recommendations, and decisions concerning the U.S. military role in Vietnam during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, along with the diplomatic phase in the Eisenhower years. The publication of the papers created a nationwide furor, with congressional and diplomatic reverberations as all branches of the government debated over what constituted “classified” material and how much should be made public. The publication of the documents precipitated a crucial legal battle over “the people’s right to know,” and led to an extraordinary session of the U.S. Supreme Court to settle the issue. Although the documents were from the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, President Richard Nixon opposed their publication, both to protect the sources in highly classified appendices, and to prevent further erosion of public support for the war. On June 30, the Supreme Court ruled that the Times had the right to publish the material. The publication of the “Pentagon Papers,” along with previous suspected disclosures of classified information to the press, led to the creation of a White House unit to plug information leaks to journalists. The illegal activities of the unit, known as the “Plumbers,” and their subsequent cover-up, became known collectively as the “Watergate scandal,” which resulted in President Nixon’s resignation in August 1974.)

The July 1, 1971, front page of The New York Times.
July 1, 1971, front page of The New York Times. (The New York Times)

* 1983 Pioneer 10 departs solar system. (After more than a decade in space, Pioneer 10, the world’s first outer-planetary probe, leaves the solar system. The next day, it radioed back its first scientific data on interstellar space. On March 2, 1972, the NASA spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a mission to Jupiter, the solar system’s largest planet. In December 1973, after successfully negotiating the asteroid belt and a distance of 620 million miles, Pioneer 10 reached Jupiter and sent back to Earth the first close-up images of the spectacular gas giant. On June 13, 1983, the NASA spacecraft left the solar system. NASA officially ended the Pioneer 10 project on March 31, 1997, with the spacecraft having traveled a distance of some six billion miles. Headed in the direction of the Taurus constellation, Pioneer 10 will pass within three light years of another star–Ross 246–in the year 34,600 A.D. Bolted to the probe’s exterior wall is a gold-anodized plaque, 6 by 9 inches in area, that displays a drawing of a human man and woman, a star map marked with the location of the sun, and another map showing the flight path of Pioneer 10. The plaque, intended for intelligent life forms elsewhere in the galaxy, was designed by astronomer Carl Sagan.)

Pioneer · Artist's rendition of the Pioneer 10 spacecraft at Jupiter.
Pioneer · Artist’s rendition of the Pioneer 10 spacecraft at Jupiter. (NASA)

Acknowledged Sources:

* Canadian History Timeline – Canada’s Historical Chronology

* This Day In History – What Happened Today

* Historica Canada – Heritage Minutes     

* Encyclopaedia Britannica                                 



Author: John Fioravanti

I'm a retired History teacher (35 years), husband, father of three, grandfather of three. My wife, Anne, and I became business partners in December, 2013, and launched our own publishing company, Fiora Books (, to publish my books. We have been married since 1973 and hope our joint business venture will be as successful as our marriage.

11 thoughts on “John’s Believe It Or Not… June 13th”

  1. My thoughts on another thought-provoking article:
    My over-riding thought, as I read about the bravery of Pilot Officer Andrew Mynarski, was how excruciatingly painful it must have been for the air to be rushing by seriously burned skin as he finally parachuted out of that plane. How tragically ironic that the man he stayed behind to save lived through the crash while he himself succumbed to his burns.

    WE need a Kim Campbell in America – strengthening gun-control laws and passing a tough rape law are both much needed in this country — and most of our politicians are too weak-willed to even bring it up, much less insist upon it. I’m putting her autobiography on my TBR list.

    I’m sure some teacher ran me by the Miranda Law background (at least I HOPE so), but it didn’t stick if they did. Thanks for giving us all the info. My reaction to his death? Karma’s a bitch!

    Love the Pioneer 10 “Cliff Notes” – was it really so long ago? I think *most* people fail to realize the degree to which the technological advances of the entire world came from what we learned through ‘the space race.’

    I recently listened to a fascinating interview by a NASA scientist who is advocating for permanently solving our resource and pollution problems by mining “off-earth” — encouraging renewed engagement in the space program.

    NOT that America’s woefully science-IGNORANT administration is likely to consider (much less appropriate funding for) anything that doesn’t line their personal pockets *today*!

    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry, Madelyn – I missed this set of comments. Yes, Kim Campbell was and is a classy lady who is definitely head and shoulders above most politicians in that she genuinely cared for the people and acted like it. I agree the Mynarski story was tragic – but uplifting too. Many technological advancements were made because of warfare and the Space Race – necessity is the mother of invention. One of the things I really dislike is conservatives who are short-sighted and can’t see beyond their own interests. So – we need to spread the good word!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, was Kim Campbell’s term all the way back in 1993? Time flies! I didn’t realize she was a lawyer in Vancouver for two years before getting into politics. I may just have to read up on her a bit more. Thanks for the research you’ve done on this one, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Although I’m a Liberal, I admired Kim Campbell. She got a raw deal from her own party. They knew they’d get massacred in the fall election, so the brass made sure she got elected leader – the sacrificial lamb to protect their future choice – Jean Charest. I left the link to her book in case you’re interested, Christy. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I’m going to look up the link. How did you know that I’d return to do that 😉 Thanks for explaining more about the “lamb” situation. You are such a great resource, John. Really appreciate it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s a theory – there’s no proof but there’s really no way that she should have won that leadership convention away from Charest. After the election, Charest was one of the two Conservatives elected to the House of Commons. He assumed the leadership when Kim resigned and began to rebuild the party. Of course, what I’ve left unsaid is that the election disaster for the Progressive Conservatives was because Brian Mulroney was easily the most unpopular Prime Minister in our history by the end of his second term. So he bowed out before the election and that forced the leadership convention. Unfortunately, Kim took the brunt of the voters’ wrath. So if you ever hear people giving the PC’s credit for giving Canada its first female PM, you can smile because you know the truth.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow…that is quite the story of Mynarski. He deserved the Victoria Cross…and I imagine he has been richly honored in his heavenly life. I’m always deeply moved by the choices people make – to help others or to stand for what is right. Thank you……

    Liked by 1 person

  4. An amazing story of Andrew Mynarski and timed well with the Pioneer 10 story as well. Both have a spiritual aspect. Also when you think of the life Miranda could have had with a book and talk show appearances, ending up dead after a poker game seems like a twist of fate. (or fate consummated)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love having the opportunity to present uplifting human interest stories here, John. I think Miranda’s end reflected the type of life he lived – I doubt if he would have known what he could have done with his story. Thanks for sharing your insights, good sir!

      Liked by 1 person

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