Today in History: U.S. Marine Corps created in 1775

Today in History: U.S. Marine Corps created in 1775

243 years ago today, during the American Revolution, the Continental Congress passed a resolution forming two battalions of Continental Marines capable of fighting for independence both at sea and on shore. The resolution was drafted by future U.S. president John Adams and adopted in Philadelphia on November 10, 1775. The original U.S. Marines distinguished themselves in important operations during the Revolutionary War. In July 1798. the U.S. Marine Corps became a permanent military force under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Navy (formed in May 1798). Marines have participated in all the wars of the United States and in most cases were the first soldiers to fight. Today, the USMC  has approx. 200,000 active-duty members and 40,000 reserve Marines.

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History: The Berlin Wall falls in 1989

History: The Berlin Wall falls in 1989

Today marks the 29th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. On November 9, 1989, East German officials opened the Berlin Wall, allowing travel from East to West Berlin. The following day, celebrating Germans began to tear the wall down. One of the ugliest and most infamous symbols of the Cold War was soon reduced to rubble. The “fall of the Berlin Wall” paved the way for German reunification, which formally took place on October 3, 1990.

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History: German scientist discovers X-rays in 1895

History: German scientist discovers X-rays in 1895

On this day in 1895, physicist Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen (1845-1923) becomes the first person to observe X-rays, a significant scientific advancement that would ultimately benefit a variety of fields, most of all medicine, by making the invisible visible. Rontgen’s discovery occurred accidentally in his Wurzburg, Germany, lab, where he was testing whether cathode rays could pass through glass when he noticed a glow coming from a nearby chemically coated screen. He dubbed the rays that caused this glow X-rays because of their unknown nature.

Rontgen’s discovery was labeled a medical miracle and X-rays soon became an important diagnostic tool in medicine, allowing doctors to see inside the human body for the first time without surgery. In 1897, X-rays were first used on a military battlefield, during the Balkan War, to find bullets and broken bones inside patients.

Scientists were quick to realize the benefits of X-rays, but slower to comprehend the harmful effects of radiation. Initially, it was believed X-rays passed through flesh as harmlessly as light. However, within several years, researchers began to report cases of burns and skin damage after exposure to X-rays. Wilhelm Rontgen received numerous accolades for his work, including the first Nobel Prize in physics in 1901, yet he remained modest and never tried to patent his discovery. Today, X-ray technology is widely used in medicine, material analysis and devices such as airport security scanners. Source: history.com

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Today is National Eating Healthy Day!

National Eating Healthy Day falls on the first Wednesday in November and has been observed since 2009.

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History: October Revolution in Russia in 1917

History: October Revolution in Russia in 1917

101 years ago today, Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks took over the winter palace and ended the rule of the post-Tsarist provisional government and transferred all powers to the communists in Russia.

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Today in History: Alois Senefelder born in 1771

Today in History: Alois Senefelder born in 1771

Alois Senefelder (born Nov. 6, 1771, Prague – died Feb. 26, 1834, Munich) is often referred to as the inventor of lithography. Son of an actor at the Theatre Royal in Prague, Senefelder was unable to continue his studies at the University of Ingolstadt after his father’s death and thus tried to support himself as a performer and author, but without success. He learned printing in a printing office, purchased a small press, and sought to do his own printing. Desiring to publish plays that he had written but unable to afford the expensive engraving of printing plates, Senefelder tried to engrave them himself. His work on copper plates was not proving very successful when an accident led to his discovery of the possibilities of stone (1796). Senefelder records that one day he jotted down a laundry list with grease pencil on a piece of Bavarian limestone. It occurred to him that if he etched away the rest of the surface, the markings would be left in relief. Two years of experimentation eventually led to the discovery of flat-surface printing (modern lithography). In 1818 he documented his discovery in Vollständiges Lehrbuch der Steindruckerey (1818; A Complete Course of Lithography). Source: britannica.com.

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Today in History: Raymond Savignac born in 1907

Today in History: Raymond Savignac born in 1907

We have always been fascinated with the poster art by Raymond Savignac (1907 – 2002). The French artist began his career in 1935 at the Alliance Graphique under the supervision of Cassandre. He gained fame in 1949 with the publication of his first major poster, Mon Savon. As he states in his autobiography: “I was born at the age of 41, weaned on the udder of the Monsavon cow.” Savignac’s strength was combining a complex concept in a simple design, combined with humor. He is said to be among France’s most influential poster artists of the past fifty years.

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