Welcome, Summer! Today is the First Day of Summer !

Welcome, Summer! Today is the First Day of Summer !

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Today is National Lobster Day

Today is National Lobster Day

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Today in History: Marilyn Monroe born in 1926

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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Today in History: Volkswagen is founded in 1937

Today in History: Volkswagen is founded in 1937
80 years ago today, the German automobile manufacturer Volkswagen was established. The idea for a small, affordable family car was introduced years earlier by 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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Happy Birthday, Otl Aicher born in 1922

Happy Birthday, Otl Aicher born in 1922

The German graphic designer and typographer would have turned 95 today. Aicher was best known for his visual designs for the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. His pictograms for the different sports continue to be used worldwide.

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Today in History: Mercedes-Benz

Today in History: Mercedes-Benz 

Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz merged their two companies 93 years ago on this day and created one of the greatest automobile companies in the world. It started with two different ideas for two different cars by two different men: both Daimler and Benz manufactured their own cars for some 30 years until the merger that was largely created out of economic sense. Benz & Co. formed in 1883 and its first motor car rode through the streets of Mannheim in July 1886. Daimler who had been working on his own motor carriage founded the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft in 1890 and marketed the first Mercedes in 1901. Both companies did well until shortly after World War I when the global economic climate of the early 1920s forced the two companies to form an alliance. In 1924, Daimler and Benz began marketing their products jointly while still working under separate trademarks. In June 1926, the two oldest motor manufacturers merged to form Daimler-Benz AG.

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Today in History: Marlene Dietrich passed away in 1992

Today in History: Marlene Dietrich passed away in 1992

25 years ago today, German actress and singer, Marlene Dietrich died in Paris, France. Dietrich enjoyed a long career spanning from the 1910s to the 1980s. She gained international fame for her role as Lola-Lola in the movie “The Blue Angel” in 1930 and starred in such Hollywood films as “Morocco” (1930), “Shanghai Express” (1932) and “Desire” (1936).

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