Today I read two very interesting articles. One was about the first "First officer" on Star Trek. Star Trek - The Original Series ran from 1966 to 1969 and it was famous for its Captain, Captain James T. Kirk (played by William Shatner, later reprised by Chris Pine in the new movie series) and even more famous for its first officer Command Spock (played by the amazing Leonard Nimoy, later reprised by Zachary Quinto in the new movie series). But, the pilot episode did not have either of these characters. The Captain in the pilot was a character named Christopher Pike. I knew this because the character makes an appearance in one of the later episodes of Star Trek. However, what I did not know was that the first officer in the pilot was played by a woman. She was referred to only as "Number One" apparently. The actress who played this character was Majel Barrett. And apparently, people were not ready to accept a woman playing the second in command on a starship. Not just the network execs but even the test audiences were not happy with this apparently. And so, the character was ditched. In fact, Majel Barrett went on to play a nurse on the series and later she appears as a different character in Star Trek - The Next Generation. In addition, she was also the voice of the ship computer on all the TV series. And hopefully, she will continue to do so in the future as well.
The second article I read was about a 13 year old Canadian girl who broke the world record for the fastest marathan in 1967. It was a time when women and underaged boys were not allowed to compete in long distance running events such as the marathons. This article is an interview with Maureen Mancuso who ran the marathon in 3:15:22 in 1967. In the article she talks about how instead of recognizing her amazing feat, the media created a controversy of her achievement. Her parents and coach were admonished for letting her compete citing health concerns. And apparently, one of the news agencies even asked her coach if she was a male in disguise. In spite of all this, she is still going strong. This is a story she shared in the article about her will to compete:
“I was running this run in Burlington, not so long ago. The Robbie Burns. And I guess nobody expected it, but the last hundred yards to the finish line, I went into a full out sprint and the guy that I was catching up to, heard me coming and he was like, ‘I don't think so!’ And so we battled it out hard as we could to the line, and then we just sat laughing at the end. The crowd caught on, and they were laughing along with us…the pair of us charging along saying ‘Oh no you don’t!,’" Mancuso laughs, again.
- The first article, I think I found on Reddit.
- The second article was shared by Leigh Honeywell on Twitter.