A Pioneer

Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywood, California

Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywood, California

Inscription at the base of the monument:

THE ATLAS AS SHOWN HERE,

IS TO THE EXACT SCALE OF THE

ORIGINAL MISSILE

THE PIONEER ATLAS

(INTO ORBIT WITH 122-POUND

PAY LOAD, DECEMBER 18, 1958)

 Inscription on the back of the monument:

  • FIRST INTERCONTINETAL BALLISTIC MISSILE OF THE UNITED STATES
  • FIRST TO FLY 5500 NAUTICAL MILES, NOVEMBER 28, 1959
  • FIRST TO LIFT A UNITED STATES CAPSULE INTO SPACE
  • FIRST SATELLITE TO BROADCAST A MESSAGE TO“THE FREE WORLD”
  • FIRST TO RECORD A MESSAGE IN SPACE AND BROADCAST IT TO EARTH

Things are not always what they seem. At first blush when looking at this monument in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery at Hollywood, California, you see the reproduction of the Atlas missile built to scale in glimmering white granite which was launched into space on December 18, 1958. This was part of the United States’ reaction to Sputnik, which had previously been sent into space to the embarrassment of our government. The space race was on in the mid to late 50s and the US was losing. This successful launch helped our country catch up.

320px-Atlas-B_with_Score_payload[1]

The Atlas was launched with a one hundred and fifty pound payload, a communications satellite that was part of Project SCORE (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment). The satellite carried an on-board tape recorder that carried a Christmas message from President Dwight Eisenhower that was broadcast, “This is the President of the United States speaking. Through the marvels of scientific advance, my voice is coming to you from a satellite circling in outer space. My message is a simple one: Through this unique means I convey to you and to all mankind, America’s wish for peace on Earth and goodwill toward men everywhere.”

So, does this monument mark the grave of Roy Johnson, the ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency) project leader? Nope. Does it mark the grave of anyone who worked on the missile project? Nope. The monument marks the grave of Carl Morgan Bigsby and his wife, Constance W. Bigsby. The connection to the rocket:

Inscription on the front of the monument—center panel:

THE ATLAS PIONEER IN SPACE

HERE SYMBOLIZES

THE LIFETIME ACTIVITIES OF

CARL MORGAN BIGSBY

A RECOGNIZED LEADER

IN MANY PHASES

OF THE GRAPHIC ARTS.

HE, TOO, WAS A PIONEER

 

CARL MORGAN

BIGSBY

RETIRED BY GOD

1898 – 1959

CONSTANCE W.

BIGSBY

TOO BAD…WE HAD FUN

1914 –

IMG_8788 (2)

 

 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Famous graves, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A Pioneer

  1. krocksauce says:

    What? No witty remark about Constance’s inscription? I guess none is necessary. I like her spunk though.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s