Today in History: The German Parliament moves to Berlin in 1991

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Today in History: The German Parliament moves to Berlin in 1991

Bonn had been the capital of West Germany until the country’s reunification in 1990. The “Hauptstadtbeschluss” (capital decision) stipulated that the seat of government and the parliament also be moved to the “new” capital Berlin.

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Today in History: The “red telephone” is instituted in 1963

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Today in History: The “red telephone” is instituted in 1963

The hotline between the U.S. and the Soviet Union was established following Cuban Missile Crisis. Contrary to popular belief, communications between the two superpowers occurred mostly via teletype or fax.

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History: Nürburgring opens in 1927

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Today in History: Nürburgring opens in 1927

The Nürburgring is a 22.8-kilometer circuit for car and motorcycle racing located in the town of Nürburg in Germany. Some 3,000 workers helped build the “First Mountain, Race and Test Track.” The construction of the racetrack was part of a job creation program of the government for the economically weak Eifel. For decades, the Nürburgring was regarded as the most difficult racetrack in the world. In 1976, Niki Lauda barely survived a terrible accident on the Nordschleife, the “Green Hell.” After Lauda’s accident, Formula 1 races at the Nürburgring were discontinued. Lauda was the only person ever to lap the full 22,835-metre (14.189 miles) Nordschleife in under seven minutes.

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Today in History: Andy Warhol’s First Exhibit in 1952

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Today in History: Andy Warhol’s First Exhibit in 1952

On this day in 1952, a young artist named Andy Warhol celebrated the first show of his artwork in New York. The co-founder of “Pop Art” exhibited a series of drawings that made reference to the works of the American writer, Truman Capote. Warhol had studied at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh before moving to New York in 1950. His studio, commonly known as “The Factory,” was a famous meeting place for New York artists, intellectuals and celebrities. From the mid-1960s on, Warhol no longer painted much himself. He produced a number of underground films, including “Chelsea Girls” (1966) and “Trash” (1970) and even managed a punk rock band, The Velvet Underground. Warhol passed away in Manhatten on February 22, 1987.

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Today is National Sewing Machine Day

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Today is National Sewing Machine Day
National Sewing Machine Day honors the invention of the sewing machine. It is hard to imagine having to sew things together by hand, stitch by stitch. Skilled cabinet-maker and English inventor, Thomas Saint, received the first patent for a design of a sewing machine in 1790. It was meant for leather and canvas, was never advertised and no evidence of it, other than his drawings, could be found. In 1874, William Newton Wilson found Saint’s drawings in the London Patent Office, made adjustments and built a working model. This model is currently owned by the London Science Museum. Industrial use of the sewing machine reduced the burden that was placed upon housewives, moving clothing production from them and seamstresses to large-scale factories. This also resulted in a decrease in production time which caused the price of clothing to drop considerably.

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Today in History: Christo born in 1935

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Today in History: Christo born in 1935

The avant-garde artist known as Christo (Christo Vladimirov Javacheff) was born on this day in 1935 in Bulgaria. Christo is famous for his spectacular, large-scale installations. He and his wife have wrapped the Reichstag in Berlin, the Pont Neuf in Paris, and turned New York’s Central Park orange with his project The Gates. Christo passed away on May 31 of 2020 in New York.

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Today is National Red Rose Day

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Today is National Red Rose Day

National Red Rose Day honors the flower that is a symbol of love and romance. Red roses were used in many early cultures as decorations in wedding ceremonies and wedding attire. It was through this practice that, over the years, the red rose became known as a symbol of love and romance. The tradition of giving red roses as the strongest message of love is still practiced today.

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History: Africa hosts the World Cup in 2010

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History: Africa hosts the World Cup in 2010

The 19th FIFA World Cup – the first ever on the African continent – opened in Johannesburg, South Africa. In the final, Spain defeated the Netherlands 1-0 in overtime.

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Today in History: The Pen is born in 1943

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Today in History: The Pen is born in 1943

On this day in 1943, Hungarian-born László Biró received the first patent for the pen. Biró was a journalist who was frustrated with the use of the fountain pen: it took too much time to refill the ink and there seemed to be no way to avoid ink smudges. Biró noticed newspaper inks seemed to dry more quickly, thus rendering the paper stain free, and so he set out to design a pen using the same type of ink. He filed a British patent in 1938 and continued to develop and improve the pen’s design together with his brother György and their friend Juan Jorge Meynin. A new patent for the improved pen was filed in 1943: it was the first real ballpoint pen as we know it today. The pen became an immediate bestseller in the United States after World War II where it was first introduced in the fall of 1945 at a New York department store. Despite its high price of $9, some 10,000 pens were sold within the first week

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Today in History: First Porsche in 1948

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Today in History: First Porsche

On this day in 1948, a hand-built aluminum prototype labeled “No. 1″ becomes the first vehicle to bear the name of one of the world’s leading luxury car manufacturers: Porsche. The Austrian automotive engineer Ferdinand Porsche debuted his first design at the World’s Fair in Paris in 1900. The electric vehicle set several Austrian land-speed records, reaching more than 35 mph and earning international acclaim for the young engineer. He became general director of the Austro-Daimler Company (an outpost of the German automaker) in 1916 and later moved to Daimler headquarters in Stuttgart. Daimler merged with the Benz firm in the 1920s, and Porsche was chiefly responsible for designing some of the great Mercedes racing cars of that decade.

Porsche left Daimler in 1931 and formed his own company. A few years later, Adolf Hitler called on the engineer to aid in the production of a small “people’s car” for the German masses. With his son, also named Ferdinand (known as Ferry), Porsche designed the prototype for the original Volkswagen (known as the KdF: “Kraft durch Freude,” or “strength through joy”) in 1936. During World War II, the Porsches also designed military vehicles, most notably the powerful Tiger tank.

At war’s end, the French accused the elder Porsche of war crimes and imprisoned him for more than a year. Ferry struggled to keep the family firm afloat. He built a Grand Prix race car, the Type 360 Cisitalia, for a wealthy Italian industrialist, and used the money to pay his father’s bail. When Porsche was released from prison, he approved of another project Ferry had undertaken: a new sports car that would be the first to actually bear the name Porsche. Dubbed the Type 356, the new car was in the tradition of earlier Porsche-designed race cars such as the Cisitalia. The engine was placed mid-chassis, ahead of the transaxle, with modified Volkswagen drive train components.

The 356 went into production during the winter of 1947-48, and the aluminum prototype, built entirely by hand, was completed on June 8, 1948. The Germans subsequently hired Porsche to consult on further development of the Volkswagen. With the proceeds, Porsche opened new offices in Stuttgart, with plans to build up to 500 of his company’s own cars per year. Over the next two decades, the company would build more than 78,000 vehicles. Source: history.com.
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