Howard Hughes and American Ambition

Stage and Screen, Business, Aviation, Personalities, pic: 1947, Millionaire American Howard Hughes pictured with an engineer on the vast wooden sea-plane "Spruce Goose" which he designed, Howard Hughes, (1905-1976) millionaire Businessman, Aviator and film Director/Producer was an eccentric who became a total recluse (Photo by Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images)

The man standing in the image is Howard Hughes. He is aboard his “Spruce Goose”, or the Hughes H-4 Hercules. The Hercules was created to move troops and materials across the atlantic due to the large amount of ships that were begin sunk by the Germans. With materials scarce Hughes elected to make the plane out of birch, with the use of a small amount of spruce. Henry Kaiser, the creator of the concept of the H-4, left the production of the Hercules early, leaving Hughes to create the plane. Nevertheless, Hughes finished the plane in 1946, after WWII. Due to this, the plane was of no use to military and the contract was cancelled. Hughes was later tried for his failure to meet military contract during the war. He would emerge victorious against unjust Senator Brewster who was trying to meet the desires of Pan Am owner Juan Trippe. The trial was dropped when it was discovered that Trippe persuaded Brewster to try Hughes, his competitor in the aviation world.

Hughes grew up in Texas, and after his father’s death inherited Hughes Tool Company. Hughes Tool Co. was vastly successful for their oil drilling bit which lead to massive revenue. Hughes later used the company to venture into the movie business, making many successful motion pictures such as Hell’s Angels, and Scarface. With an affluent interest in aviation Hughes became the leading shareholder of TWA, an american airline. Hughes guided the company to prosperity and introduced revolutionary airplane designs to the company.

Howard Hughes is a story of American ambition. His endless desire for success, his self-belief, and his bold means led him to evolve into the richest man in America for a number of years. He was not complacent upon his inheritance of Hughes Tool Company, he later strove for excellence in his own interests. Which led him to forge a successful life of his own through aviation and creating motion pictures; the key facet of the American dream is manifested in him: the desire for success. He took a colossal risk in creating the unprecedented Hercules, and yet he believed in himself: “I have stated several times that if it’s a failure, I’ll probably leave this country”. Through this belief he pushed into unparalleled engineering frontiers and success in the H-4 and other progressive planes. Like “George”, he attested to the unjust opposition in Senator Brewster. Triumphantly, he came out of the trials favorably, overcoming the corrupt. Hughes evokes crucial principals of American history and created contemporary ideas for American citizens.

Sadly, Hughes later led a reclusive lifestyle due the exacerbating demands of his increasingly harmful OCD. He died in 1976 and had the Spruce Goose maintained up until the end of his life.

Ps. One of my favorite movies “The Aviator” was based on him. It’s an excellent movie and I recommend it, although it’s quite long.

Pre “Miracle on Ice” and It’s Implications

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“Here you had a group of 18, 19 year old college kids who had really never played together… and here they are going up against these communist countries, particularly the Soviet Union. Where a lot of those guys were professional hockey players.”

“Having the US win the Olympic medal in hockey was the greatest thing that could happen to a teenager like myself… watching this event and the buildup to it. It was a tremendous event and it left you speechless.”

For my interview I spoke with my father about the 1980 “Miracle on Ice”. The preceding years to the game were very gloomy. Although Carter had solved the oil embargo of 1973-74, it had left a lasting impression on Americans and portended the economic downfall of the late 70s. The recession of the 1970s left the United States with an unemployment rate of 8%; the highest since the Great Depression. Furthermore, the US was in the midst of the Cold War; a very terrifying time. Also, the US was coming off of the Vietnam war which ended in the early 70’s. To top it all off, the Iranian Hostage Crisis was in full force. In other words, the US was not in it’s best form. Yet, out of this darkness a source of inspiration was forged; the 1980 Miracle on Ice.

The 1980 Olympic team was comprised mostly of college hockey players because, at the time, professional athletes were not allowed to compete in the Olympics. However, the Soviet Union had a loophole. Many of the Soviet Union’s players were technically employed by the Red Army; even though they had almost no military duties. Essentially, the USSR players were professional athletes, however they maintained their amateur titles.

Despite that they were amateurs, the US team began to win games. After picking up wins against Czechoslovakia, Norway, Romania, and West Germany the team faced the USSR in the semifinals. Amidst the Cold War, the Soviet Union was the US’ distinct, bitter rival. With the crowds ebullient, the US hockey team routed the Soviet Union; with a decisive goal by captain Mike Eruzione with ten minutes left. The US would hold on to win the game and shock the world. The streak continued when the US beat Finland in the championship game to win the Olympic gold medal.

The Miracle on Ice ignited US nationalism, it proved that Americans could achieve anything. The tournament was a source of inspiration; the unqualified, amateur Americans rallied to beat the professional, skilled Soviets. The game was a blow to the Soviets, their bitter rival defeated them in their highest degree of excellence. The tournament foreshadowed the eventual downfall of the Soviets and the US’ triumph in the Cold War.

Get Culture

Central Virginia’s pure beauty is boasted in many areas; however, this grace is represented the most in it’s beautiful geography. One way to experience Virginia’s outdoors is to take a hike. For the hike, Bearfence Mountain was chosen, and more specifically, the rock scramble trail. After an hour long drive I arrived at Shenandoah National park and in front of the mountain. The 2.5 mile hike was short, however the last stretch of the hike was a rock scramble which featured a sizable drop off to one side. At the end of the trail there is a rock lookout where one can see for miles upon miles. DSC_1705 copy

Americans enjoy hiking so much because it evokes a sense of  triumph, the hiker has conquered the mountain and now is at the top. Furthermore, the peak promises rest, a beautiful view, and protection from getting hurt along a rugged trail. Which is similar to the American workforce; after one works hard and fights his way to the top there is a promise of prosperity, a better life, and security.

Since their inception in 1872, national parks’ popularity has been vast. National parks are prominent in America because they display it’s beauty. Americans love for it’s beauty is shown everywhere; for instance, the song “America, the Beautiful”. Is it literally said that “God shed His grace on thee”; and this song is celebrated for verbalizing this elegance.

Finally, the only way to end a good, American day would be to enjoy the one this that challenges apple pie in “Americanness”; the wonderful cheeseburger. Even better, to enjoy this cheeseburger in the company of your friends at a renowned local restaurant: Tip Top.

What Every American Should Know

1892_small_fullsize  (Immigrants on Ellis island)


The two interpretations of the article go as follows: a statement of contemporary America’s desires; and an attack on “classical” American’s beliefs. A modern American would view this as an article that addresses inequality in America. One who has traditional American views would deem the article as one that talks of unnecessary, untrue problems in America today.

Great Gatsby Quote

“By seven o’clock the orchestra has arrived, no thin five piece affair, but a pitful of oboes and trombones… the cars from New York are parked five deep in the drive, and already the halls and salons and verandas are gaudy with primary colors, and hair shorn in strange new ways, and shawls beyond dreams of Castile.”

Why does Gatsby attempt to lure Daisy to his house by throwing large parties, rather than contacting her directly?