Today in History: First documenta opened in 1955

Today in History: First documenta opened in 1955

64 years ago today, the documenta in Kassel, Germany, opened its doors for the first time. The documenta is perhaps one of the most important cyclically recurring exhibitions for modern and contemporary art in the world. Founded in 1955 by artist and curator Arnold Bode, the exhibition was initially scheduled to take place every 4 years, but has been staged in 5-year intervals since 1972. Every documenta is limited to 100 days of exhibition. In its inaugural year, the showcase had 130,000 visitors and a budget of roughly 180,000 Euros. 60 years later (according to 2012 figures), the documenta attracts over 900,000 people and boasts a budget that exceeds 30 million Euro.

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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

229 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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Today in History: Ford Company takes its first order in 1903

Today in History: Ford Company takes its first order in 1903

116 years ago today, the newly formed Ford Motor Company takes its first order for a two-cylinder Model A automobile. The buyer, a dentist in Chicago, paid $850 for his new toy and the car was delivered just over one week later. Within two months, the company had sold 215 Fords. By the end of its first year, Ford had built 1000 cars at its Detroit plant.

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Today in History: First successful Matterhorn ascent in 1865

Today in History: First successful Matterhorn ascent in 1865

153 years ago today, the Matterhorn (4,478 m, 14,692 ft) was first successfully ascended by Edward Whymper and his team of mountaineers, Michel Croz, Lord Francis Douglas, Charles Hudson, Douglas Hadow, and the two Zermatt guides, Peter Taugwalder father and son. During the descent, however, the day ended in tragedy when Douglas, Hudson, Hadow and Croz were killed after a supporting rope broke. One climber had slipped, pulling the three others with him. Taugwalder and Whymper had been alarmed by Croz’s warning shouts and when they grasped the rocks, the rope broke, causing the four others to plummet to their deaths.

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Today is Bastille Day!

Today is Bastille Day!

Bastille Day is a national holiday in France, celebrated annually on July 14. It is quite similar to the Independence Day festivities in the United States. The Bastille was a stronghold built in Paris in the 14th century. In fact, the word “bastille” means “fortress” in French. During his reign, Louis XVI used it as a prison and the structure became a symbol of his power. In 1789, rioters stormed the Bastille and proceeded to demolish it. It was an act of rebellion and marked the beginning of the French Revolution. Today, the French celebrate Bastille Day and their independence with parties, parades, and festivals. Uncork a bottle of French wine or dine at a French restaurant to join in the fun!

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Today in History: First World Cup in 1930

Today in History: First World Cup in 1930

89 years ago today, the first-ever World Cup football matches were played simultaneously in host city Montevideo, Uruguay. France defeated Mexico 4-1 while the United States defeated Belgium 3-0. 13 teams participated “by invitation” in this first World Cup. For the Europeans, the trip to Uruguay was especially costly. In the end, only 4 European teams were persuaded to make the trip. They joined 7 South and 2 North American teams. Uruguay defeated Argentina 4-2 in the final and became the first nation to win the World Cup. Total attendance was 590,000. The World Cup has since become the world’s most-watched sporting event.

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Today in History: First performance of the Rolling Stones in 1962

Today in History: First performance of the Rolling Stones in 1962

57 years ago today, the British rock band performed for the first time as a group at the Marquee Club in London.

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