Today in History: Sale of Manhattan in 1626

Today in History: Sale of #Manhattan in 1626

394 years ago today, Peter Minuit, a Dutch colonist, acquired Manhattan from unnamed Native American people in exchange for trade goods worth 60 Dutch guilders (approx.. $1100 today, accounting for inflation). With the purchase, the settlers wanted to lay the foundation for a central Dutch presence in North America, calling it New (Nieuw) Amsterdam, what is now lower Manhattan.

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Today is World Turtle Day!

Today is World Turtle Day!

Did you know that turtles have been around for more than 200 million years? These ancient creatures evolved before mammals, birds, snakes, or lizards! Biologists believe that turtles have managed to outlive many other species due to the unique protection provided by their shells. Turtles come in all different shapes and sizes, and can be found on every continent except Antarctica. The smallest is the Bog Turtle, which usually measures just four inches in length, and the largest is the Leathery Turtle, which can weigh up to 1500 pounds! Source: punchbowl.com

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Today in History: Otto Baumberger born in 1889

Today in History: Otto Baumberger born in 1889
131 years ago today, noted Swiss painter and poster artist Otto Baumberger was born in Zurich. Baumberger produced some 200 posters of great quality and style and is one of the main representatives of the Swiss Sachplakat (object poster).

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Today in History: TWA begins commercial service in 1934

Today in History: TWA begins commercial service in 1934

On May 18, 1934, TWA (Trans World Airlines) officially launched its commercial service on the Columbus-Pittsburgh-Newark route with the Douglas DC-2. The aircraft’s success quickly led to its introduction on most TWA routes, and the growth of others. The most prominent of these was the Sun Racer, also known as TWA Flight 1, which promised to deliver passengers from coast to coast in a single day.

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Today in History: Kentucky Derby

Today in History: Kentucky Derby

145 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: First Academy Awards in 1927

Today in History: First Academy Awards in 1927

93 years ago today, the first ever Academy Awards of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Awards were handed out at a banquet held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Some 270 people attended, and tickets cost $5 each. After a long dinner, complete with numerous speeches, Douglas Fairbanks, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which had been formed in 1927, handed out 15 awards in a five-minute ceremony. The awards presentation was somewhat anticlimactic compared to today’s Academy Award ceremonies, as the winners had already been announced in February. Starting with the following year’s awards, the Academy began releasing the names of the winners to the press on the night of the awards ceremony to preserve some suspense. That practice ended in 1940, after the Los Angeles Times published the results in its evening edition, which meant they were revealed before the ceremony. The Academy then instituted a system of sealed envelopes, which remains in use today. Source: history.com.

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Today in History: First Stamp released in 1840

Today in History: First Stamp released in 1840

180 years ago today, the world’s first postage stamp – the Penny Black – was released. An English teacher named Rowland Hill and was largely responsible for this minor postal revolution. In 1837, Hill recommended to price deliveries by weight, rather than the distance traveled and the size of the letter or package as had been customary. While his plan was dismissed by the postmaster and the government, merchants, traders and bankers viewed the existing postal system as corrupt and restraining and pushed for Hill’s plans to be given a chance. One year after the the passage of the Penny Postage Bill in 1839, Great Britain became the first county to produce an adhesive postage stamp: the 1d. Penny Black. During it one year in use, over 68 million stamps were printed. The stamp was an instant success with the public. Within seven months, over 160 million letters had been sent, doubling the number of letters sent in the previous year.

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