Today in History: First Official Air Mail Flight in 1911

Today in History: First Official Air Mail Flight in 1911

107 years ago today, the first official flight with air mail takes place in Allahabad, British India when 23-year old French pilot Henri Pecquet transported 6000 letters and postcards in his biplane from Allahabad to Naini, some 6 miles (10 km) away.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Today in History: Fountain Pen patented 134 years ago

Today in History: Fountain Pen patented 134 years ago

On 12 February 1884, New York insurance salesman Lewis Waterman patented a groundbreaking invention, the fountain pen. Waterman’s instrument was a winner: it did not require constant dipping into the ink well and almost eliminated any ink spills. Writing instruments that contained their own ink supply already existed in the early 18th century. Today’s oldest surviving fountain pen was designed by the Frenchman M. Bion and dates back to 1702. The first American patent for a pen was awarded in 1809 to P. Williamson, a Baltimore shoemaker. After 1850, there was a steady stream of new fountain pen patents and pens in productions. But while early fountain pens were plagued by ink leaks and other failures that left them impractical to use and difficult to sell, it was Waterman’s patent that promoted the fountain pen to a widely popular writing instrument.

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Today is National #Umbrella Day

Today is National #Umbrella Day

The umbrella keeps us dry from the rain and can also protect us from the heat of the sun. The basic umbrella was invented some 4000+ years ago, evidenced in ancient art of Egypt, Greece and China (the Chinese were the first to waterproof umbrellas). The first umbrella shop – James Smith and Sons – opened in 1830 and is still located in London, England.

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Tonight is the Opening Ceremony of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games

Tonight is the Opening Ceremony of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games

Millions of people around the world will tune in to watch the festivities and celebrate the beginning of “the world’s greatest sporting event.” The 2018 Winter Games will be hosted by Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The first Olympic Games took place in Ancient Greece in 776 BC. Historians believe there was just one event—a short sprint called the “stadion.” The modern-day Olympic Games began in 1896. Today, over 10,000 athletes from over 200 countries compete for a coveted gold medal.

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Today in History: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart born in 1791

Today in History: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart born in 1791

262 years ago today, the prolific and influential composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791) was born in Salzburg, Austria. Mozart’s father Leopold recognized and furthered his son’s musical genius early on. At the age of six, Wolfgang Amadeus was already a sensation on the piano and the violin. At age nine, he composed his first opera – “Apollo and Hyacinthus.” At 13, he was appointed “concert master“ by the Archbishop of Salzburg, performing before European royalty. In 1781 Mozart moved from Salzburg to Vienna where he worked as an independent composer, achieving fame but little financial security. During the last decade of his life, he composed many of his best-known symphonies and operas, including parts of his unfinished Requiem. Mozart died at his home in Vienna on December 5, 1791. The circumstances of his early death have been the source of much debate. Mozart was survived by his wife Constance and two sons.

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Today in History: First Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix, France in 1924

Today in History: First Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix, France in 1924

The concept of Winter Olympic Games was first introduced in 1924. Following the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Congress decided that France, host of the 1924 summer games, should conduct a separate event for winter sports that same year. The French spa town of Chamonix was chosen to host what was named the “International Winter Sports Week” – the event actually lasted 11 days. The original sports were alpine and cross country skiing, figure skating, ice hockey, Nordic combined, ski jumping and speed skating. In 1925, the IOC officially created separate Olympic Winter Games and the 1924 Games in Chamonix were retroactively designated as the first Winter Olympics.

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