Today in History: First Mars Landing in 1976

Today in History: First Mars Landing in 1976

After nearly a year of flight time,  Viking I became the first American spacecraft to successfully land on Mars. Less than a month later, the Viking II also reached the red planet

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Today in History: The Man on the Moon

Today in History: The Man on the Moon

49 years ago today, 240,000 miles (380,000 km) away from Earth, at precisely 10:56 pm (EDT), during one of the most widely-viewed live broadcasts in television history, American astronaut, Neil Armstrong, became the first human to walk on the moon and spoke to more than a billion people on Earth: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

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Today in History: “Degenerate Art” exhibition opens in 1937

Today in History: “Degenerate Art” exhibitions opens in 1937

Today marks the 81st anniversary of the opening of the infamous Degenerate Art (Entartete Kunst) exhibition in Munich, Germany. Organized by Adolf Ziegler and the Nazi Party, the exhibition presented some 650 paintings, sculptures and prints by over 100 (primarily) German artists, incl.  works by famous artists such as Otto Dix, Max Ernst, Paul Klee, Emil Nolde and Kurt Schwitters. The “degenerate” works were defined as art that was insulting to any artistic skill and feeling. Even the presentation of the artworks by the Nazi regime was intentionally chaotic: the chosen venue was dark, rooms were very narrow. Paintings were displayed without frames; many were accompanied (or partially covered) by derogatory slogans. The “unhealthy” modern art presented an image of chaos that stood in stark contrast to the Nazi ideal of male heroism or the glorification of the womanhood. Over one million people attended the exhibition in the first six weeks alone. The display lasted until November 30, 1937.

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Today in History: Metro opening in Paris in 1900

Today in History: Metro opening in Paris in 1900

118 years ago today, the first Paris Metro Line was inaugurated. The underground transit system had eight stations that linked the eastern and western city districts. The event coincided with the 1900 Paris World’s Fair. The Metro entrances were designed by French architect Hector Guimard in Art Nouveau style. 86 of the original entrances are still in existence today.

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Today in History: Lithography was invented in 1798

Today in History: Lithography was invented in 1798

220 years ago today, German author Alois Senefelder invented the lithographic printing method (from the Greek, “stone printing”). Looking for an inexpensive method for copying his manuscripts, Senefelder was experimenting with etching techniques using acid resisting inks on a flat stone surface. He soon discovered that his method allowed printing from the flat surface of the stone alone. Compared to conventional copper engraving, it enabled a much faster way of working. Lithography made printing much more affordable and available to more people (f.ex. in art and newspaper printing). By 1830, Senefelder’s process had become the dominant method of pictorial reproduction in the printing industry.

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Today in History: Disneyland opening in 1955

Today in History: Disneyland opening in 1955

63 years ago today, the “happiest place on earth” opened its doors to the public. On opening day, some 60,000 people visited the park. Admission on July 17, 1955 was $1. After several years of careful planning, construction of the huge amusement park began in 1954. The theme park was built on 160 acres of former farming land near Los Angeles, California and cost $17 million to build. As a result of Disneyland’s huge success, an even bigger theme park was built in Florida, opening in 1971. Other parks in Tokyo (1983), Paris (1992) and Hong Kong (2005) followed. In 2013, the original Disneyland greeted more than 16 million visitors who spend close to $3 billion! Interestingly enough, Tokyo’s Disneyland exceeded that number with 17.2 million visitors during 2013.

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Today in History: Washington DC declared capital of the United States in 1790

Today in History: Washington DC declared capital of the United States in 1790

228 years ago today, the young American Congress declares that a swampy, humid, muddy and mosquito-infested site on the Potomac River between Maryland and Virginia will be the nation’s permanent capital. “Washington,” in the newly designated federal “District of Columbia,” was named after the leader of the American Revolution and the country’s first president: George Washington. It was Washington who saw the area’s potential economic and accessibility benefits due to the proximity of navigable rivers.

George Washington, who had been in office just over a year when the capital site was determined, asked a French architect and city planner named Pierre L Enfant to design the capital. In 1793, the first cornerstones of the president’s mansion, which was eventually renamed the “White House,” were laid. George Washington, however, never lived in the mansion as it was not inhabitable until 1800. Instead, President John Adams and his wife Abigail were the White House’s first residents. They lived there less than a year; Thomas Jefferson moved in in 1801.

Source: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/

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