Today in History: American Red Cross founded in 1881

Today in History: American Red Cross founded in 1881

136 years ago today, humanitarians Clara Barton and Adolphus Solomons found the American National Red Cross in Washington, DC. an organization established to provide humanitarian aid to victims of wars and natural disasters in congruence with the International Red Cross. Barton had been known as the “Angel of the Battlefield” for tireless dedication to helping the sick and wounded during the American Civil War. She was in Europe when the Franco-Prussian War broke out in 1870 where she joined the International Red Cross to work behind the German lines. After her return to the United States, she organized an American branch of the International Red Cross. The American Red Cross received its first U.S. federal charter in 1900. Barton headed the organization into her 80s and died in 1912.

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Today in History: The Greyhound Bus Company

Today in History: The Greyhound Bus Company
102 years ago today, the Greyhound Bus Company began its operations in Hibbing, Minnesota. Its Swedish founder, Carl Eric Wickman, had moved to the United States in 1905. After being laid off from work in the mines, Wickman unsuccessfully tried his luck as a Hupmobile salesman. In 1914, as a last resort, Wickman used his remaining 7-passenger car as a shuttle for miners. He took them from Hibbing to Alice (known for its saloons) and charged 15 cents per ride. A year later, Wickman joined forces with Ralph Bogan, who was running a transit service from Hibbing to Duluth, Minnesota. The Greyhound Bus Company was born (it was named Mesaba Transportation Company at the time). The buses were dubbed “greyhounds” because of their gray paint and sleek appearance. By the end of 1918, Wickman owned 18 buses earning $40,000 a year. By 1927, buses traveled across the entire USA. The running dog was first used as the company’s logo in 1929. By then, the company was called Greyhound Lines.

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Today in History: Kentucky Derby

Today in History: Kentucky Derby
142 years ago today, on May 17, 1875, a cheering crowd of 10,000 people watched the horse, Aristides, a Thoroughbred named after an ancient Greek general, and his rider, Oliver Lewis, cross the finish line to win the first ever Kentucky Derby. The first derby was a 1.5 mile race (the traditional 1.25 mile distance was not established until 1896). Thirteen of the fifteen jockeys in the race, including Oliver Lewis, were African-American.

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Today in History: Philips founded in 1891

Today in History: Philips founded in 1891

126 years ago today, the Philips Company was founded by father and son, Frederik and Gerard Philips. The Dutch company initially produced carbon-filament lamps and other electro-technical products. The first factory building in Eindhoven is used as a museum today.

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Happy Birthday, Otl Aicher born in 1922

Happy Birthday, Otl Aicher born in 1922

The German graphic designer and typographer would have turned 95 today. Aicher was best known for his visual designs for the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. His pictograms for the different sports continue to be used worldwide.

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Today in History: Mercedes-Benz

Today in History: Mercedes-Benz 

Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz merged their two companies 93 years ago on this day and created one of the greatest automobile companies in the world. It started with two different ideas for two different cars by two different men: both Daimler and Benz manufactured their own cars for some 30 years until the merger that was largely created out of economic sense. Benz & Co. formed in 1883 and its first motor car rode through the streets of Mannheim in July 1886. Daimler who had been working on his own motor carriage founded the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft in 1890 and marketed the first Mercedes in 1901. Both companies did well until shortly after World War I when the global economic climate of the early 1920s forced the two companies to form an alliance. In 1924, Daimler and Benz began marketing their products jointly while still working under separate trademarks. In June 1926, the two oldest motor manufacturers merged to form Daimler-Benz AG.

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