Today in History: Ernst Litfass born in 1816

Today in History: Ernst Litfass born in 1816

203 years ago today, German printer and publisher Ernst Litfass was born. Litfass is best known for his invention of the free-standing cylindrical advertising column – the Litfasssäule (Litfass Column) – that premiered in Berlin in 1855. During the first half of the 19th century, posters had seen a huge increase as a means of advertising. The uncoordinated posting of announcements and ads on homes, trees, walls and any open street corner became a nuisance which resulted in a decree in 1849 that prohibited any placarding of posters with the exception of government notices. Litfass responded to the demand for a regulated system and signed a contract to erect special advertising columns throughout Berlin to address the problem. In return, he was granted exclusive rights for the display of the posters.

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Today in History: Facebook launched in 2004

Today in History: Facebook launched in 2004

The American social networking site launched its services 15 years ago today. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes, all of whom were students at Harvard University. Facebook is the largest social network in the world, with more than two billion users as of 2018. The company’s headquarters are in Menlo Park, California.

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Today in History: Buster Keaton died in 1966

Today in History: Buster Keaton died in 1966

53 years ago today, Hollywood actor, director, and producer Buster Keaton passed away at the age of 70 in Los Angeles, California. Keaton was best known for his comic performance in silent films during the 1920s. His films “The General” (1926) and “The Cameraman” (1928) remain among the most highly regarded films of all times.

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Today in History: Carl Benz gets patent for gasoline car in 1886

Today in History: Carl Benz gets patent for gasoline car in 1886

133 years ago today, German engineer Carl Friedrich Benz received the first patent for a gasoline-powered vehicle. Benz had begun to work on the two-stroke (or two-cycle) engine in 1878. Benz & Co. formed in 1883 and its first motor car rode through the streets of Mannheim, Germany in July of 1886.

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Today in History: Claire Waldoff died in 1957

Today in History: Claire Waldoff died in 1957

Germany’s pre-World War II “Cabaret Queen,” Claire Waldoff. passed away 62 years ago today. Waldoff was a famous Kabarett singer and entertainer in Berlin during the 1910s and 1920s, known for performing ironic songs in the Berlinish dialect and lesbian undertones and themes.

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Today in History: Audrey Hepburn died in 1993

Today in History: Audrey Hepburn died in 1993

26 years ago today, screen legend Audrey Hepburn (born Audrey Kathleen Ruston) passed away. The British film and fashion icon was one of Hollywood’s largest movie stars during the 1950s and 1960s. Hepburn shot to stardom through her Oscar-winning lead role in Roman Holiday in 1953. She went on to star in a number of successful films, such as Sabrina (1954), The Nun’s Story (1959), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), Charade (1963), My Fair Lady (1964) and Wait Until Dark (1967). Hepburn devoted much of her later life to UNICEF. She died of appendiceal cancer at her home in Switzerland at the age of 63. Source: wikipedia.org

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Today in History: 1st Official Basketball Game in 1892

Today in History: 1st Official Basketball Game in 1892

On January 20, 1892, the first official game of basketball was played at a YMCA gymnasium in Albany, New York. The game was created a month earlier by Dr. James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts. Naismith wrote the sport’s original 13 rules to create a game that could be played in YMCA gyms during the cold winter months. Initially, teams were made up of nine players attempting to toss a soccer ball into peach baskets secured to the balconies at the ends of a gymnasium. When a basket was made, the game was paused while a man with a ladder had to retrieve the ball. Following the first public matches in 1892, popularity of the new game spread quickly. The first intercollegiate match was played in 1895 and the first professional league was founded in 1898. Nets did not replace the sport’s original peach baskets until 1905.

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