York Town Square

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Super Soaker founder feted at black history fair

Maya Angelou, Hank Aaron, Luther Vandross and Rosa Parks were among the many deserving greats profiled at a black history fair Tuesday at Crispus Attucks Community Center.
Perhaps exhibits on these famous achievers were expected.
And I was familiar with lesser-known luminaries — Air Force Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James, the first black four-star general; Dorie Miller, ship’s cook third class, who manned a gun during Japan’s Pearl Harbor attack; and Ben Carson, the surgeon who made history with the succcessful separation of siamese twins.
But I had never heard of aerospace engineer Lonnie Johnson of Los Angeles… .

An exhibit at the Alternative Rehabilitation-sponsored event told Johnson’s story.
In his engineering duties, he worked with high pressure nozzles — how fluids perform when put under pressure and forced through a small hole.
He opted to apply this understanding to squirt guns — the Power Drencher, in particular.
He later patented the large water gun and renamed it the Super Soaker.
Now, 40 million squirters later, he’s featured in a local history fair exhibit.
I’m remembering efforts to get a York County history fair going a few years ago. It failed to catch on.
But 140 students came through at the annual ARC event this week.
Great stuff.