In a rare public appearance, the widower of Sharon Christa McAuliffe helped break ground for a planetarium in Concord, N. H., dedicated to the social studies teacher who perished with six other crew members in the 1986 explosion of the shuttle Challenger. Steven McAuliffe and Christa McAuliffe’s parents, Grace and Ed Corrigan, joined New Hampshire Gov. John H. Sununu, astronaut Robert Allan Parker and about a dozen state officials as construction was begun on the $2.6-million, pyramid-shaped planetarium, scheduled to open in January, 1990. McAuliffe said that, even after the shuttle accident, he continues to support the nation’s manned space program. “Things don’t stop because bad things happen,” he said. “The human race’s destiny is going to be fulfilled. Whether we like it or not, we’re going to go forward. It’s not a choice, it’s a question of how well we do it.” He called the planetarium a fitting memorial to his wife and said: “I know it’s one that Christa, although she would be very humbled by it, would be very, very proud to be associated with.”
Today is bittersweet for Peggy Say, whose brother, Terry A. Anderson, marks his 41st birthday--his fourth in captivity. Anderson, chief Middle East correspondent for the Associated Press, is the longest-held of the 16 foreign hostages in Lebanon. He was kidnaped March 16, 1985, by the pro-Iranian Shia Muslim faction Islamic Jihad (Islamic Holy War). Say, the spokeswoman for the Anderson family, lives with the hope that her brother will be free by the time of the presidential election. “I guess it’s an exquisite agony,” she said. “You know it’s going to happen, that you are building up to it. You are sure that the long road is at an end. You can actually see it, and yet you have to wait out the time in between.” Meanwhile, seven Lebanese newspapers published a letter to Anderson from a committee of journalists working for his release. “All free men and women who live by the pen share this morning in your captivity,” the letter said in part. “We join our hearts with yours in yearning for your freedom.”
Just in time for Halloween, a black cat has turned up 10 miles from home nearly three years after he disappeared. “This is one cat that really has nine lives, I guess,” said Eleanor Kilgore of Dallas, owner of the wayward cat, named Winston. She had long since given up her pet for dead when she received a telephone call. The caller, Sandy Odean, said she had been feeding Winston since she moved into her home in July, but until now, had not been able to get close enough to the skittish cat to read its identification tag.