Today in History: Graf Zeppelin died in 1917

Today in History: Graf Zeppelin died in 1917

100 years ago today, Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin was a German pioneer of airships. A former general and later aircraft manufacturer, Zeppelin provided both the brains and most of the investment money for the first successful rigid airship, the Zepplin LZ1. In July of 1900, Zeppelin made the first flight with the LZ1 in southern Germany. The dirigible remained in the air for 20 minutes before landing. On March 8, 1917, the great aviation pioneer died in Berlin.

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Today in History: Piet #Mondrian born in 1872

Today in History: Piet #Mondrian born in 1872

Happy Birthday, Piet Mondrian. The Dutch painter was born 145 years ago today. Pieter Cornelis “Piet” Mondriaan (after 1906 Mondrian) was an important contributor to the De Stijl art movement and is best known for his non-representational form termed neo-plasticism. While Mondrian’s early works were naturalistic and impressionistic in nature, his appreciation of cubism around 1910 put him on the path toward pure abstraction. Mondrian’s most famous compositions (f.ex. “Composition with Red, Yellow and Blue” from 1921) consisted primarily of grids of black lines and colored rectangles on a white background.

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Today is National Absinthe Day

Today is National #Absinthe Day.

Absinthe is a very strong green aniseed-flavored liqueur (actually spirit, as it is unsweetened), originally made with the shrub wormwood. French doctor, Pierre Ordinaire, has been credited with the creation of absinthe in the early 19th century. He prescribed it to his patients as a cure for many illnesses. Absinthe became popular among artists and writers as it was rumored to have hallucinogenic effects. Its reputation took severe a downhill turn at the end of the 19th century when the green liquid was blamed for causing madness. In 1905, a French worker is said to have murdered his wife and children after having spent the day drinking absinthe. The drink was soon banned in France, much of Europe and the United States. In 2007, a less potent version of the original absinthe was legalized in the U.S.

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Today in History: World Premiere of Swan Lake in 1877

Today in History: World Premiere of #Swan Lake in 1877

“Swan Lake” was Peter I. Tchaikovsky’s (1840-1893) first ballet composition. Apart from “Sleeping Beauty” (1890) and “The Nutcracker” (1892), it is considered today as perhaps the most important classical ballet. However, its first performance in Moscow in 1877 was met with harsh criticism by audiences and critics alike. Tchaikovsky was very disappointed by the failure of his first ballet and tried to find the cause in his music. For years, he intended to re-edit his work, but he never did. After Tchaikovsky’s death, Marius Petipa and Riccardo Driggo drastically reworked the ballet’s choreography. On February 17, 1894, the revised ballet premiered in St. Petersburg and was a huge success. Today, “Swan Lake” is considered to be Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece.

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Today in History: Alexander Graham Bell born in 1847

170 years ago today, the American scientist, inventor and engineer was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. Bell studied at the University of Edinburgh. In 1871, he went to Boston to become a teacher for the deaf. Bell’s mother and wife were both deaf, which had a major influence on his work. From 1873 to 1877, he worked as a professor of speech physiology. His research on hearing and speech led him to experiment with hearing devices which culminated in the development of the telephone in 1876. His invention attracted a great deal of attention at the 1776 Philadelphia International Exhibition, but over the years, Bell was not much involved in the further development of the phone. It is said that that Bell refused to have a telephone in his study, feeling it was an intrusion on his work as a scientist. Bell died in 1822 at the age of 75.

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Winter Sale 2017 Today

Auction Today.

Today is the day! Don’t miss our 2017 winter poster sale. Part of the offering is this fabulous 1950s Air France poster promoting travel to South America. Reserve: $100 ! Auction starts at 10 am.  http://www.invaluable.com/catalog/6TNKLC4W8P

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Today is International Polar Bear Day

Today is International #PolarBear Day

Recognized since 2011, Polar Bear Day is meant to raise awareness of the declining number of polar bears worldwide, largely believed to be a result of global warming and the loss of their natural habitat. As cuddly as they look as newborns, polar bears can grow to be 9 feet tall and weigh up to 1400 pounds.

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