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Yuri Gagarin

Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin was a Soviet Air Forces pilot and cosmonaut who became the first human to journey into outer space, achieving a major milestone in the Space Race. Gagarin became an international celebrity and was awarded many medals and titles, including Hero of the Soviet Union, his nation's highest honour. Born in the village of Klushino near Gzhatsk, in his youth Gagarin was a foundryman at a steel plant in Lyubertsy, he joined the Soviet Air Forces as a pilot and was stationed at the Luostari Air Base, near the Norwegian border, before his selection for the Soviet space programme with five other cosmonauts. Following his spaceflight, Gagarin became deputy training director of the Cosmonaut Training Centre, named after him, he was elected as a deputy of the Soviet of the Union in 1962 and to the Soviet of Nationalities the lower and upper chambers of the Supreme Soviet. Vostok 1 was Gagarin's only spaceflight but he served as the backup crew to the Soyuz 1 mission, which ended in a fatal crash, killing his friend and fellow cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov.

Fearing for his life, Soviet officials permanently banned Gagarin from further spaceflights. After completing training at the Zhukovsky Air Force Engineering Academy on 17 February 1968, he was allowed to fly regular aircraft. Gagarin died five weeks when the MiG-15 training jet he was piloting with his flight instructor Vladimir Seryogin crashed near the town of Kirzhach. Yuri Gagarin was born 9 March 1934 near Gzhatsk, his parents worked on a collective farm—Alexey Ivanovich Gagarin as a carpenter and Anna Timofeyevna Gagarina as a dairy farmer. Yuri was the third of four children, his older brother Valentin was born in 1924 and by the time Yuri was born was helping with the cattle on the farm. His sister Zoya, born in 1927, helped take care of "Yura" and their youngest brother Boris, born in 1936. Like millions of Soviet Union citizens, the Gagarin family suffered during the Nazi occupation of Soviet Union during World War II. Klushino was occupied in November 1941 during the German advance on Moscow and a German officer took over the Gagarin residence.

The family were allowed to build a mud hut 3 by 3 metres inside on the land behind their house, where they spent twenty-one months until the end of the occupation. His two older siblings were deported by the Germans to Poland for slave labour in 1943 and did not return until after the war in 1945. In 1946, the family moved to Gzhatsk. In 1950, aged 16, Gagarin began an apprenticeship as a foundryman at a steel plant in Lyubertsy, near Moscow, enrolled at a local "young workers" school for seventh-grade evening classes. After graduating in 1951 from both the seventh grade and the vocational school with honours in mouldmaking and foundry work, he was selected for further training at the Saratov Industrial Technical School, where he studied tractors. While in Saratov, Gagarin volunteered at a local flying club for weekend training as a Soviet air cadet, where he trained to fly a biplane, a Yak-18, he earned extra money as a part-time dock labourer on the Volga River. In 1955, Gagarin was accepted to the First Chkalovsky Higher Air Force Pilots School, a flight school in Orenburg.

He began training on the Yak-18 familiar to him and graduated to training on the MiG-15 in February 1956. Gagarin twice struggled to land the two-seater trainer aircraft, risked dismissal from pilot training. However, the commander of the regiment decided to give him another chance at landing. Gagarin's flight instructor gave him a cushion to sit on, which improved his view from the cockpit, he landed successfully. Having completed his evaluation in a trainer aircraft, Gagarin began flying solo in 1957. On 5 November 1957, Gagarin was commissioned a lieutenant in the Soviet Air Forces having accumulated 166 hours and 47 minutes of flight time, he graduated from flight school the next day and was posted to the Luostari Air Base close to the Norwegian border in Murmansk Oblast for a two-year assignment with the Northern Fleet. On 7 July 1959, he was rated Military Pilot 3rd Class. After expressing interest in space exploration following the launch of Luna 3 on 6 October 1959, his recommendation to the Soviet space programme was endorsed and forward by Lieutenant Colonel Babushkin.

By this point, he had accumulated 265 hours of flight time. Gagarin was promoted to the rank of senior lieutenant on 6 November 1959, three weeks after he was interviewed by a medical commission for qualification to the space programme. Gagarin's selection for the Vostok programme was overseen by the Central Flight Medical Commission led by Major General Konstantin Fyodorovich Borodin of the Soviet Army Medical Service, he underwent physical and psychological testing conducted at Central Aviation Scientific-Research Hospital, in Moscow, commanded by Colonel A. S. Usanov, a member of the commission; the commission included Colonel Yevgeniy Anatoliyevich Karpov, who commanded the training centre, Colonel Vladimir Ivanovich Yazdovskiy, the head physician for Gagarin's flight, Major-General Aleksandr Nikolayevich Babiychuk, a physician flag officer on the Soviet Air Force General Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Air Force. The commission limited their selection to pilots between 25 and 30 years old.

The chief engineer of the programme Sergei Korolev specified that candidates, to fit in the limited space in the Vostok capsule, should weigh less than 72 kg and be no taller than 1.70 metres in height.

William H. ‘Bill’ Kerdyk Jr.

William H. ‘Bill’ Kerdyk Jr. is an American entrepreneur and international golf tournament organizer. Kerdyk was born in Doctor’s Hospital in Coral Gables, Florida to William Kerdyk Sr. and Marlene Schulte Kerdyk. His father, Bill Sr. was raised in Gloversville, New York, the son of a direct immigrant from the Netherlands. His mother, Marlene was the child of German immigrants, from Minnesota. Kerdyk was raised in Coral Gables, graduated from Coral Gables Senior High School and earned a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and Real Estate from Florida International University. In 1985, Kerdyk joined Kerdyk Real Estate, he purchased the business from his uncle in 1993. Kerdyk is President and CEO of Kerdyk Real Estate, a full service real estate brokerage company headquartered in Coral Gables, Florida. In addition to its residential and commercial division, the company focuses on its management portfolio and the disposition of REO and distressed properties through its Division of Bankruptcies and Foreclosures.

Kerdyk is president of Kerdyk Referral Services for licensed real estate agents. Kerdyk Real Estate is involved with several professional and service organizations: The Beacon Council Big Brothers Big Sisters of America Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce Gulliver Schools Academy Board of Trustees Miami Association of Realtors Realtors Commercial Alliance Rotary Club of Coral Gables/Rotary International Super Bowl Host Committee Past National Delegate, National Association of Realtors Kerdyk was the founder and served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Coral Gables, a community bank that he and a group of investors founded in 2006 with $20 million in capital. In December 2014, First American Bank, a full service bank with 53 branches located in 3 states and headquartered in Elk Grove Village, IL with assets of $4 billion, received regulatory approval to merge with the Bank of Coral Gables, located in Coral Gables, Florida. Kerdyk has joined the Board of Directors of First American Bank.

Kerdyk, an avid golfer, founded the Toyota Junior World Cup with Japanese business partners Yasmasa Tagashira and Eiji Tagashira in 1992. This junior golf tournament was formed to allow the finest junior golfers in the world the opportunity to compete in an international team event. More than 70 countries participate in qualifying tournaments held throughout the year in North and South America, Europe and Africa; the winners and second-place finishers in the qualifying tournaments are invited to participate in the finals held in Japan. Toyota and Japan Airlines are the major sponsors of the tournament; some notable junior golfers who have participated in previous tournaments and gained prominence include 2016 British Open Champion and 2016 Olympic Silver Medalist Sweden's Henrik Stenson, 2013 US Open Champion and 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist England's Justin Rose, 2011 Masters Tournament Champion Charles Schwartzel, 2010 British Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen and 2008 Masters Tournament Champion Trevor Immelman.

The tournament qualifying system is modeled after the World Cup soccer tournament, where regional tournaments are held to allow countries to qualify and play. Kerdyk chaired the Junior Orange Bowl Golf Tournament in Miami for several years, one of the premier invitational amateur golf tournaments in the world. In 2014, the championship announced a girl’s event as part of the tournament. After serving for 20 years, Kerdyk stepped down from public office in April 2015 and the City of Coral Gables bestowed the title Vice Mayor Emeritus upon him in recognition of his many years of service, he served as a Coral Gables Commissioner on a citywide, nonpartisan basis starting in 1995 and was subsequently re-elected in 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011. He served as Vice Mayor in 1999, 2001 and from 2007 to 2015. In April 2015, in recognition of his longstanding career as a public servant, the 3.5 acre Riviera Park, located at 6611 Yumuri Street in Coral Gables, was renamed ‘William H. Kerdyk, Jr. Family Park’.

At a Coral Gables City Commission meeting held in April 2015, the following video commemorating the Kerdyk legacy was broadcast: Kerdyk had four major stands as a Coral Gables Commissioner, which include support for strong zoning codes, fiscal conservation, strong advocacy for ‘best in class’ city services and quality of life issues for residents Throughout his political career, Kerdyk has initiated several city programs: Coral Gables Trolleys: A free intra-city transportation connector system that serves over 1.25 million riders annually and has enhanced overall mass transit throughout the community. Parknership Program: A public/private partnership to purchase and enhance open spaces throughout the City of Coral Gables. $2 million in private funding has been raised to date. Downtown Landscape Plan: he orchestrated an ordinance that required landscaping for all new developments in the community areas of Coral Gables; the purpose of the plan is to increase tree canopy, improve natural beauty of the area and create a pedestrian friendly environment.

Ponce de Leon Boulevard Median: Initiated and assisted in securing funding for a landscaped median on Ponce de Leon Boulevard in the heart of Coral Gables that has improved traffic flow and enhanced the boulevard. Traffic Calming: Proposed and initiated traffic calming measures throughout Coral Gables residential areas. Kerdyk has served on numerous political organizations affecting Miami-Dade County and the State of Florida: Public Service Commission Nominating Council: Nominated by Senator Marco Rubio and appointed by the State of Florida to serve on nine-member council. Metropolitan Planning Organization: Appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to serve on panel responsible for Miami-Dade County's transportation planning process

French cruiser Émile Bertin

Émile Bertin was a French fast light cruiser named after Louis-Émile Bertin, a 19th-century naval architect. She was designed to operate both as a destroyer flotilla leader; the design was the basis for light and heavy French cruisers the larger La Galissonnière class of cruisers. This was the first French warship to use triple mountings for guns. Emile Bertin had an overall length of 177 meters, a beam of 15.84 meters, a draft of 5.33 meters. She displaced 5,980 metric tons at 8,480 t at deep load, her hull was divided by 13 bulkheads into 14 watertight compartments. Her crew consisted of 543 men in 675 in wartime. Before World War II, Émile Bertin served as flagship for a flotilla of 12 large destroyers of the Le Fantasque and Vauquelin classes in the Atlantic. At the start of 1939, she was transferred to Toulon. In secrecy, she arrived in Lebanon on 23 September 1939, loaded with 57 tons of gold - the Polish state gold reserves - and returned to Toulon. At the start of 1940, after a refit at Toulon, she carried out surveillance around the Canary Islands to ensure that there were no German forces there.

After further dockyard work at Brest, in early April 1940, she became the flagship of Group Z, the French squadron supporting the Allied Norwegian campaign, with Admiral Edmond Derrien in command. As well as Émile Bertin, Group Z comprised the 2,400 t contre-torpilleurs Tartu, Chevalier Paul, Maillé Brézé, Bison and Épervier, as well as the 1,500 t Brestois and Foudroyant. Off Namsos, she was damaged by bombs on 19 April, she returned to Brest for repair and remained there until 21 May, was replaced off Norway, by the cruiser Montcalm. She made two trips from Brest to Halifax, Nova Scotia, the first with the cruiser Jeanne d'Arc and aircraft carrier Béarn, carrying gold from the Bank of France; the French armistice was signed shortly after Émile Bertin had docked for the second time, when Captain Battet signalled the French Admiralty for advice, the cruiser was ordered to Fort-de-France, Martinique with the gold. No effort by Royal Navy units present succeeded in preventing this, but the ocean liner Pasteur, to follow Émile Bertin, did not succeed in leaving Halifax fast enough.

She was used as troopship operated under British colours. Once at Martinique and the gold safely unloaded, she made ready to defend the island against an expected British attack -, abandoned through United States pressure. For the next two years or so, the ship was inactive at anchor off Fort-de-France, until, on 16 May 1942 she was ordered by the Vichy authorities to be immobilised, after pressure from the United States, she joined the Allied forces in June 1943, under French colours, was modernised in the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. Émile Bertin operated in the Mediterranean, took part in the Allied invasion of southern France in 1944 and bombarded Axis positions along the Italian Riviera. After various Mediterranean duties, the cruiser entered Toulon for a refit until October 1945, she deployed as flagship to Indochina until 2 July 1946, when she sailed for home with the cruiser Tourville. Émile Bertin served as a gunnery training ship until the navy scrapped her in October 1959. Draper, Alfred.

Operation Fish: The Race to Save Europe's Wealth 1939-1945. London: Cassel. ISBN 0-304-30068-3. Jordan, John. "Emile Bertin: Fast Minelaying Cruiser". In McLean, David & Preston, Antony. Warship 1996. London: Conway Maritime Press. Pp. 53–65. ISBN 0-85177-685-X. Jordan, John & Moulin, Jean. French Cruisers 1922–1956. Barnsley, UK: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84832-133-5. David Miller The Illustrated Directory of Warships: From 1860 to the Present, Salamander Books, pp 214–215 Jean Lassaque Le croiseur Emile Bertin 1933-1959, Marines éditions, ISBN 2-915379-05-X