The war had just been declared only ten days earlier and the Naval Academy was looking for the best and brightest.  Click here to view The Bergen Record article
dated December 18, 1941, which states that Charles E. Blackford, III, who lived at
241 Summit Avenue in Hackensack, was appointed to the Naval Academy
by the Seventh Congressional District Representative, J. Parnell Thomas.

Charles E. Blackford, III had graduated from Fairmount Junior High School ninth
grade and after attending Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts.  He was, at the present time,
December of 1941, at Princeton University.

Another young Hackensack man mentioned in the article is Melvin Gelber, an alternate to the other headline appointment Walter M. Schirra, who became one
of the original 7 Mercury Astronauts in 1959. Walter M. Schirra was born in
Hackensack Hospital and grew up in Oradell, New Jersey. The people in Oradell in the 1930’s-1940’s had the option of sending their children to Hackensack High School
or Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood.  His parents chose to send Walter
to Englewood.

Click here to view Walter M. Schirra’s extensive resume on his life’s accomplishments.

Click here to view images of three major space missions and the Hackensack Parade.

Written by:
Bob Meli
June 18, 2013


Click here to view the article in The Bergen Evening Record from December 18, 1941 that tells of Blackford and Schirra's appointment to the Naval Academy


Background image of the Naval Academy in 1941 obtained from: