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 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 is World Chocolate Day

Today is World Chocolate Day

Observed annually on July 7, there are some references that seem to indicate that this day celebrates the introduction of chocolate to Europe in 1550. To be honest, we don’t much care as long as we have an “official” reason to celebrate in style and eat lots of chocolate on this special occasion … after all, we are only doing our part in observing World Chocolate Day.

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Today in History: First Zeppelin Flight

Today in History: First Zeppelin Flight

On July 2, 1900, the first zeppelin flight took place over Germany’s Lake Constance (the Bodensee). Leading the flight was no other than Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, the designer and builder of the first rigid airship in the world, the LZ 1 (LZ stands for Luftschiff Zeppelin or Zeppelin Airship). Powered by two Daimler engines with 28 PS, the airship consisted of a 128-meter-long aluminum construction which was carried by hydrogen cells. While the zeppelin may be considered a spectacular aircraft, it was but only an episode in the conquest of the skies by humans. The size and especially the highly explosive gas mixture limited the use of the otherwise elegant aircraft. The catastrophic explosion of the “Hindenburg” on May 6, 1937 was the sad climax and the end of zeppelins.

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Today in History: First Tour de France in 1903

Today in History: First Tour de France in 1903

In its early years, the Tour de France bicycle race lasted for 20 days with a course that stretched about 1,500 miles. The race was first created by the sports daily, L’Auto as a way to boost its circulation. The first Tour de France was won by Italian-French racer, Maurice Garin.

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Today is National Camera Day !

Today is National Camera Day !

National Camera Day commemorates photographs, the camera, and their invention.

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