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 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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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: Frank Lloyd Wright was born in 1867

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Today in History: Frank Lloyd Wright was born in 1867

Frank Lloyd Wright is considered to be one of the most influential architects of his time. He designed more than 1,000 structures, over 500 of which were built. He also created many of the interior elements of his buildings, incl. furniture. Wright developed a philosophy he titled “organic architecture” believing that structures needed to blend into the landscape, creating a harmony between humanity and its environment. Frank Lloyd Wright died on April 9, 1959, in Phoenix, Arizona. In 1991, he was recognized by the American Institute of Architects as “the greatest American architect of all time.”

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Today is National Running Day

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Today is National Running Day

Each year on the first Wednesday in June, people across the United States participate in National Running Day. This day was designated as a day for runners to reaffirm their passion for running.

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Today in History: Marilyn Monroe born in 1926

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Today in History: Marilyn Monroe born in 1926
Today is the birthday of American actress, model and sex-symbol, Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson). A supporting role in the film “The Asphalt Jungle” (1950) marked Monroe’s breakthrough in Hollywood. Films like “Niagara” (1953), “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (1953), and “Some Like It Hot” (1959) made her to one of the most successful movie stars of the 1950s.Monroe was found dead from a drug overdose on August 5, 1962 in her home in Brentwood, California. She was 36 years old.

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Happy Birthday, David Lance Goines

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Happy Birthday, David Lance Goines
The American artist, calligrapher, and book printer was born in 1945 and celebrates his 76th birthday today. Mr. Goines lives and works in Berkeley, California.

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Today in History: Volkswagen is founded in 1937

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Today in History: Volkswagen is founded in 1937
on this day in 1937, the German automobile manufacturer Volkswagen was established. The idea for a small, affordable family car was introduced years earlier by the engineer, Ferdinand Porsche, who wanted to create an automobile that was easy to build and inexpensive to buy. In 1933, Adolf Hitler got involved and contracted Porsche to design and build the Volkswagen (“People’s Car”) that could fit 2 adults and 3 children, drive 100 km/h (62 mph) and would cost no more than 1,000 Reichsmark (approx. $396). Hitler quickly funded the building of a brand-new Volkswagen factory to create Ferdinand Porsche’s design. Construction began on May 26, 1937. Volkswagen was founded two days later on May 28.

The People’s Car was to be made available to all German citizens through a state-sponsored savings plan at a price of 990 Reichsmark (comparable to the price of a small motorcycle at the time). The car was initially called a KdF-Wagen (Kraft durch Freude / Strength through Joy). But by the time the first cars had been produced – the KdF-Wagen was displayed for the first time at the Berlin Motor Show in 1939 – World War II started. All production was halted and re-focused on military vehicles. No cars were ever delivered through the savings plan. One early Type 1 convertible model was given to Hitler on his 50th birthday.

At the end of the war, with the factory plant in ruins, the Allies used Volkswagen to help revive the German auto industry and thus the success story of the VW Beetle began. In 1950, the “beetle”-shaped car sold for approx. 4000 Deutsche Mark (approx. $2000). In 1955, VW had produced its one millionth car. In 1972, the Beetle broke the long-standing worldwide production record of Ford’s legendary Model T with 15 million vehicles. By 2003, when the last original Beetle rolled off the production lines in Puebla, Mexico, almost 22 million Beetles had been sold in over 150 countries – a true world record.

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First Indoor Swimming Pool opens in London in 1742

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First Indoor Swimming Pool opens in London in 1742

On this day in 1742, the world’s first indoor pool – the Bagnio – opened its doors in London. London in the 18th century had a stench all its own, the Thames and Fleet open sewers, the streets still clogged with filth. The poor still used the open waterways of the capital for the pleasure of swimming, though the degree of pleasure to be had from a dip in the Thames at that time is perhaps debatable. Thus it was that the Bagnio, opened on May 28 1742 in Lemon Street, Goodman’s Fields, was a business idea whose time had come. For the subscription of a guinea gentlemen (and only gentlemen, ladies were not to be countenanced) could use the 43-foot long pool, advertised as being warmed and kept fresh every day. As this was indoors the prying eyes of lesser mortals would be kept from the wealthy users – at the price of a guinea, the lower rungs of society were unlikely to be interested in the pool. The facilities of the Bagnio included a cold pool as well as the warmed one, and what were described as waiters were available to teach the art of swimming to those who had not yet mastered it.

Two observations should be made about the Bagnio as an innovation. The first is that the Romans in the first century AD are believed to have had such facilities in Britain – they had already installed a heated pool in Rome in the first half of the century. The second is that Bagno or Bagnio was also a synonym for brothel, so we may speculate on other services available beyond swimming coaching in the Lemon Street establishment. (source: http://www.information-britain.co.uk)

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