Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Douglas Corrigan/archive1

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Douglas Corrigan[edit]

After peer review and a few subsequent enhancements this seems a complete account of an interesting individual. —Theo (Talk) 17:46, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

  • Support. Nice article indeed. Filiocht | The kettle's on 14:19, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Object until a fair use rationale is added to Image:Wrong Way Corrigan.jpg. Support. The article is very good: concise and comprehensive. — Haeleth Talk 00:14, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
    I have explained why I believe the newspaper page to be fair use. —Theo (Talk) 21:57, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
    Thank you. Objection struck. — Haeleth Talk 22:17, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Comments. How/when/why did his name get changed from Clyde to Douglas? Also, I would try to combine or expand sections to avoid one-paragraph sections, although in an article this short, they might be OK. I'm also worried that the shortness of the article may indicate a lack of comprehensiveness, but I don't know enough about the subject to say either way. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 20:59, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
    It is my understanding that Clyde Corrigan Jr was called Douglas from childhood and had his name changed legally as an adult. I have expanded the article with additional details in most areas. —Theo
  • Theo and all - I am related to Corrigan, being a second cousin twice removed. The name change is indeed fact, although it began much earlier in his life, when his father (Clyde, after whom he was named) deserted the family. His mother informally "changed" his name to Douglas out of disdain. He was probably ten or younger at the time. I have sources for this which I will add to the article, and I will attempt to verify when the actual legal name change took place, if possible. I do not have his autobiography; maybe it states this somewhere? Toniskids 15:39, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

(Talk) 21:57, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

  • Support based on a great article which is well-written. I will assume that the image issue will be resolved — InvictaHOG 21:00, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Object Neutral: It's an interesting read, but there must be a lot more to this man than this, to be an FA biography which this is supposed to be it should cover a lot more aspects of his life interesting or not. Regarding the flight, there could be a lot more press details etc. If he had not prepared for such a flight, what condition was he in when he landed, what condition was the aeroplane in. If it took him 23 hours to notice he was going in the wrong direction, how long should the flight have lasted had he been going in the right direction. What's the name of his biography, surely that would answer a few questions and give some material to fill this page out a little more. Giano | talk 18:32, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Does the expansion just made address your concerns adequately? —Theo (Talk) 20:08, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
  • No, I'm afraid it doesn't its still very short and only two images for a man who lived to be 88. Reading between the lines there is a lot more to be told.
  1. "The company disapproved of his attitude to risk"
  2. "His favourite stunt"
  3. "Corrigan moved from job to job"
  4. " Corrigan made repeated modifications and reapplications for full certification, but none ::succeeded."
  5. "his aircraft was refused renewal of its licence"
  6. "Known to be exasperated with official resistance"
  7. "he ran for the U.S. Senate as a member of the Prohibition party but was defeated"
It seems the man was a maverick so lets have the full autobiography or rename the page to be solely about his amazing flight. Giano | talk 21:45, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Taking your points in order:
On the matter of images, I am not sure what his longevity contributes to this. Do you seek images of the man at various stages of his life? Sadly such material is not yet in the public domain and it is hard to argue fair use of multiple images. Similarly, I can find no public domain images of his aircraft.
As for the article's length, I do not know what level you seek. From your numbered comments I think that you want the implicit made explicit. This may be no more than a matter of style but I have respected your opinions elsewhere so I would appreciate your clarification. Specifically:
  1. "The company disapproved of his attitude to risk" because he stunted in their aircraft. This was already stated in that paragraph but I have recast it to make this clearer.
  2. "His favourite stunt" was there to add colour by showing that he had a repertoire. Listing more of his stunts seems redundant to me. (No, I would like to know what they were, were they dangerous? Irresponsible? Dull? Clever? Giano | talk 14:25, 23 November 2005 (UTC))
  3. "Corrigan moved from job to job" has now been clarified to indicate the type of job. Although we can infer that he moved on because he was fired, there are no sources to support this. The sources show that he had several jobs but give no details. (This suggests a transigent, or beligerent personality, there must be written comments on this somewhere Giano | talk 14:25, 23 November 2005 (UTC))
  4. " Corrigan made repeated modifications and reapplications for full certification, but none succeeded." This arises from a combination of causes that are implicit in that paragraph: Corrigan was prepared to take greater risks than the authorities could accept and at that time the flying regulations were being tightened constantly. Corrigan's attitude to authority kept him a step beind the flying authorities. Is this not clear from the article? (We are back to his charater again Giano | talk 14:25, 23 November 2005 (UTC))
  5. "his aircraft was refused renewal of its licence". See previous comment.
  6. "Known to be exasperated with official resistance". What more is it appropriate to say about this? (How did he show this exasperation? Giano | talk 14:25, 23 November 2005 (UTC))
  7. "he ran for the U.S. Senate as a member of the Prohibition party but was defeated" seems to me like a full statement. Like many celebrities, Corrigan ran for public office. Original research of political records might reveal why he chose a minor party. (Prohibition Pary? The link tells me little other than a dilike of alchohol, why that party, was he a rabbid teatotaler, or a hypocrite or very religious - it's certainly not the party most of the Irish Catholics of my acquaintance would choose to join - So why? I dont know and this biography should be telling me Giano | talk 14:25, 23 November 2005 (UTC))
I do not understand what you mean about the "full autobiography"/ Necessarilly, his autobiography ends at the point that it was written. It is very heavily focused on the flight. (Sorry, that was a slip of the mind I meant biography. Giano | talk 14:25, 23 November 2005 (UTC))
Theo (Talk) 12:44, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Theo, I have addressed your points in italics for clarity above. For this article to be an FA biography it needs so much more detail and information. What is there is good but limited, it suggests that there is a lot more to tell. He ran for the Prohibition Party. I know nothing of that party - the links suggests abstinence from alcohol was he a rabid teetotaller? like so much not in the page I don't know, and this biography is not telling me. Did no one write an obituary appraising his life at all, it would be odd if no one hadn't, but if there really are no more facts and details available to you, then perhaps this is not a subject for FA - just an interesting, better than many ordinary, page. Giano | talk 14:25, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Giano, I have now addressed your objections as far as my sources will allow. I have increased the emphasis on his waywardness and irresponsibility. I can find nothing that portrays him as belligerent: quiet rebellion seems to have been his style, but this is all implicit. Rather than describe his stunt repertoire I have emphasised the inherent risk of such activity. I have attempted to further clarify the reasons for his failure to achieve certification of "Sunshine". His exasperation was expressed in his autobiography so I have made that source explicit within the text. I can find no clue as to why he ran on a Prohibition ticket. The party espoused Right Wing Christian values and advocated state support of Bible reading as well as the more central platform of alcohol prohibition. None of my sources (including his autobiography) allude to his attitude to alcohol or religion. I think that on this point I must acknowledge that your curiosity (and mine) is unlikely to be assuaged and that the article cannot currently mak featured article status until some other source surfaces or his daughters comment publicly. Thank you for all your comments. I am sorry that we end up with an objection that cannot be resolved. I have flagged the article for expansion in this area. —Theo (Talk) 23:13, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Sorry, but I'm afraid you probably won't find a daughter, as to my knowledge Corrigan had none, only three sons. However, I am a cousin (see above). ;-) His running for office under the Prohibition Party is news to me. However, I do believe I've heard/read that he did indeed have a lifelong distaste for alcohol, and that one of the reasons for this was because his father, who abandoned the family when Corrigan was a young boy, had a drinking problem. However, I have no sources to support this at present, so will not add it to the page. I can say that his paternal grandmother came from a strong Indiana Mennonite (earlier Pennsylvania Dutch) background, and like the Amish, the Mennonites tend to eschew alcohol. Thus, it can be postulated - but not conclusively substantiated - that his religious background and family history may have contributed to his political and personal views and beliefs. Toniskids 15:39, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Object - It a tight, readable article that I'd support, except, I more or less agree with the comment above: it seems a little sparse, both with details of the flight, and about his life apart from his big flight. Case in point, I made some minor additions, like: the name of his autobiography, the name of the plane(!), the fact that the plane travelled with him by ship back to the US. There were some other interesting bits, from other sites, and some discrepancies, that I didn't include because they were one-source, but still, interesting, e.g. he made $75,000 around the trip (for the movie, etc) compared to $50/week as a pilot-mechanic; his plane cost $900 at auction, not the $325 as reported. These may be wrong, but they're out there...
  • More important, Corrigan's characterization is underplayed: I read an in-depth article on the flight that painted a more vivid picture of Corrigan as risk taker, which if correct is largely missing here. He liked doing stunts, to the objection of fellow pilots, and had to be officially forbidden by the company he worked for (Ryan, the Spirit of St. Louis builders) to do them. His plane wasn't licensed fly on the trip prior to the crossing (so if that was originially going to be the crossing trip, he'd have been in a plane deemed unsafe to fly), and eventually it was grounded by aviation officials; he only finally managed to get an experimental license (i.e. his plane was just hanging together; another source has his extra fuel tanks as a bunch of gas cans welded to the front of the plane). Then, he developed a gas tank leak on the way to New York, which he didn't fix. That turned into a big leak, he was flying over the Atlantic with an inch of gas in the cockpit, had to punch a hole in the floor with a screwdriver to drain it, and finally revved up to burn fuel faster rather than lose it, reversing his strategy of flying slower to conserve. Also, the same article has him barnstorming, hustling plane rides for cash with his friend on the East Coast (the article talks about running a small town shuttle service). If accurate, this adventurer-wildman aspect should be reflected in the article...
  • Later life doesn't seem to be, as the article portrays it, exactly a "simple life": Corrigan tested bombers for the Government during W.W. II and also flew in the U.S. Army Ferry Command. In 1946 he ran for the U.S. Senate on the Prohibition ticket, after which he worked as a commercial pilot--this time for a small California airline. In 1950, he bought a 20-acre orange grove in Santa Ana, Calif., settling down there with his 3 sons and his wife Elizabeth, who died in 1966. - http://www.trivia-library.com/a/where-are-they-now-flying-irishman-douglas-corrigan.htm (Also, the article says it's an 18-acre farm...).

So, some work necessary. --Tsavage 01:19, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

  • Thank you for your extensive and helpful comments. I wish that I had these when I had the article on peer review. I have expanded the article and attempted to address the points that you raise. Fasolino's "in-depth article" was one of my sources; I omitted much of his detail because previous FAs of mine only got there after extensive condensation; I can see that I overdid this and trust that I have now gained a more appropriate balance. I chose the $325 price for the aircraft because that is what he gave in his own book and The People's Almanac has proven unreliable elsewhere. Inconsistently, I have now used their $75,000 earnings figure because it fits with comparable fees for other late thirties movies and news stories (as does $50/week for a mechanic). His wartime experiences were new to me and I am glad to include them. His political failure is born out by other sources. I prefer the 18-acre size because the source for that is a Santa Ana local. I guess that The People's Almanac authors rounded up to a neater number. I hope that you can support the expanded version. —Theo (Talk) 20:08, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
By me, it's almost there. I struck many of the specifics. I still have a small problem with the writing style. I went through and copyedited a bunch of sentences, which hopefully made things read a little smoother (this is a difficult way to edit, compared to rewriting). What I left in the objections are relatively minor:
  • I do wonder still about his apparently short-lived political career. As soon as one mentions political activity, new questions about "what the person was really like?" tend to come up. This is the effect of the very brief Prohibition party mention. If no additional material is available, short of doing personal interviews, it would probably be enough to get basic info on the Party, and also maybe include, "although his personal motivation isn't entirely clear from the records..." That sort of thing. At least knowing what the Party was about gives a clue...
  • The Clyde name-change bit (not explicitly mentioned above) also sticks. I see there is a hidden note; perhaps that should be worked into the text. As is, it's a point brought up and left hanging.
  • The description of the big flight, and the work-up to it, could probably use a standard rewrite: more paragraphs? rebuilding sentences? It has the feel of a lot of facts strung together so as to be readable, as opposed to a smooth recounting of the events. The information is there to paint the apparently appropriate picture of Corrigan as maverick, but it doesn't quite come across easily, as is. A relatively minor reorganization should do it.
My overall objection is pretty much consistent with Giano's above. However, I don't agree with many of the latest specific points brought up there. I don't think much more need be told in this context. I believe the central editorial point is: Corrigan is an interesting figure, mainly for doing one thing. Perhaps painting him as a "maverick" only by referring briefly to unlicensed flights, forbidden stunts, barnstorming, cobbled-together plane, is too one-dimensional, IF we wanted to know every minute detail of his life; for an encyclopedia article, the level of detail should simply match the subject. "He took some risks, was one of the first to fly across the Atlantic alone in a possibly death-trap plane, and became quite famous (and paid) for his trouble", seems to sum it up, which this article does, giving much additional info with which to assess is life and character before and after, cradle to grave. The more detail that's included here or there, the more the entire article has to be rebalanced, and I don't think that's warranted to the degree suggested by some of Giano's specifics. So, IMO, it's now mainly a couple of points of info and of style. (I checked a few other FA bios, and the type of content varies, as far as balance between personal detail, and accomplishments. Past FAs are not the standard, I know, still, the ones I read were all quite good. Karl Dönitz is perhaps a relevant example, where the article seems to work well, while concentrating almost exclusively on events, with little personal background commentary (although that article might work better with much more personal detail, given his life and, um, crimes...) --Tsavage 16:30, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Sorry, I was about to go Neutral (which probably wouldn't matter as Giano's objection seems pretty extensive, but I just read this (which is cited in the References), and much of the article here is a pretty close copy of that piece. That perhaps accounts for the stilted flow, as words and phrases have been changed so as not to make it identical, and extra bits of detail inserted, but IMO it's essentially an alteration, not a rewrite. --Tsavage 01:39, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
  • For what little it is worth, I can only assert that I did not start from that article or any other single source. I started from the original stubby article, read most of the cited sources (many of which are cross-cited), built the outline and then wrote a first draft. I then did some googling, which turned up most of the other sources. The stilted flow arises from my inadequacies as a writer. Sadly, I recognise that such an accusation of such subtle plagiarism is impossible to refute except by extensive work by a third party, so I will stop further work on this. Given your opinion, Tsavage, I think that it would be appropriate for you to flag this as a copyvio (although I do not share your opinion). —Theo (Talk) 09:56, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
  • I appreciate your reply. On my part, I don't think an apology is exactly the thing here, but I do want to let you know that I didn't have any intention of in any way attacking you/your editorial integrity personally (an article is a collective endeavour and all that). I also didn't carefully comb through the history, which perhaps I should have (I wasn't thinking in terms of a "charge" at the time, despite how it sounded). I stumbled on FAC only a week ago, and I'm sure that charging in there with that newcomer ENTHUSIASM is something that gets tempered if one sticks around. Perhaps I could've put it more mildly. I've since posted a very similar comment (FAC Collyer Brothers), and I'm not at all sure that's the case there, either. It's very tricky with this online research business, for example, there are a number of high-in-the-search-rankings reference sites that use Wikipedia as their content, as I'm sure you've noticed, and while in those cases, it's obvious, it kinda highlights how the recycling of info is bound to be a much bigger obstacle in this online research environment, than "before". I'm not going to copyvio Corrigan (I haven't even read up on the criteria for copyvio... ;)). Perhaps in the FAC I should have written something more like: "Seems pretty close to this cited article?" with the link. I'll reread what I wrote just yesterday at Collyer. You should resubmit, maybe take another pass at it first, this process probably only made it better?!... --Tsavage 20:33, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
Moments later and, re the aforementioned Collyer Brothers FAC (I went to review my objection), this response just posted:
I followed the link from your first objection and found it very serious indeed: It looks like one of our article's authors simply took the Useless Information summary, stripped out the idiotic attempts at humor, and rewrote what was left slightly to avoid blatant copyvio. With that considered, I am withdrawing my nomination of this article. Andrew Levine 07:52, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Tsavage, I appreciate your explanation. The articles do have similar structures. I imagine that the Centennial of Flight essay particularly resonated with me when I was sourcing the research. I know that I did not start from a single source. All of this is moot, however, because I cannot resolve Giano's outstanding objection about Corrigan's affinity for the Prohibition Party. I do not think that it can be appropriate for me to resubmit the article to FAC with Giano's objection unresolved and I cannot face rewriting the article yet again knowing that it is fundamentally flawed by an omission that I cannot rectify. I agree that the article is much better than it was when first submitted. But it can never be good enough without original research so I regret wasting all our time on it. Ho hum. —Theo (Talk) 23:51, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Well, on that point, for what it's worth, I felt the same way about wanting to know more about his lifestyle (as I did note), until I thought about it. There's no hard-and-fast standard for "comprehensiveness". First, in this case, the Prohibition Party might seem weird, if one assumes a maverick in one area is likely a non-conformist, let-people-do-what-they-want type in others. But that's an easy presumption; people usually aren't so consistent in their behaviors. Corrigan may well have been a straightlaced guy, except for his flying thing. Second, everything isn't knowable, else there could be hardly any "good" bios. In this case, his flight, and career in aviation, are the main parts of his story, and they seem knowable and well-covered. Perhaps simply treating this character issue directly would resolve it: "Little is known of his personal life. His autobiography doesn't say whatever, and other published accounts shed no light. He will be remembered for his flight." That sorta thing. IF that's held up by research, I don't think it's a cop-out or whatever, it's a legitimate treatment. OR, this being the World Wide Web, there's every chance you could get in touch with some of his contemporaries or their relatives, by Web then email. That'd be cool...! It'd only take a few words from one first-hand source: Was he a boozer or a Bible thumper, or both? --Tsavage 01:09, 28 November 2005 (UTC) - comment edited --Tsavage 15:13, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Hey now, don't solicit original research. But I agree that the particular standing objection shouldn't neccessarily DQ the article's FAC. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 01:38, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Sorry, strike that last part! (Unless, of course, for personal reasons, you just gotta know...) --Tsavage 03:08, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Well I would be fascinated to know his personality seems to be contradictory - go on Theo (I dare you) phone his mates up and ask, we are all dying to know! Seriously though, I'll write down here as it's getting very busy up there. People have rather jumped on my use of the word maverick, perhaps that was not the best word to use, but I did qualify it by "it seems to me" so it was my opinion rather than general fact. I appreciate you have made valiant efforts to improve the page, and improved it certainly is. If there really is no more information then no more can be done. I'll change from oppose to neutral. Not because I don't like the style or prose, and I've no opinion on the copyvio issue (I've never understood the complxities of the subject). However, I do feel though an FA biography should be comprehensive, if insufficient information is available on a subject then that must preclude their biography (IMO) from becoming an FA. I know this is not the response you are going to like or want Theo, but a biography must be just that, not just a limited collection of available facts. Giano | talk 12:00, 28 November 2005 (UTC)