Today in History: Soccer legend Pelé turns 78

Today in History: Soccer legend Pelé turns 78

Happy Birthday to Brazilian soccer legend, Pelé, born Edson Arantes do Nascimento on October 23, 1940. Considered by many to be the greatest soccer player of all time, Pelé became a star at the age of 17 with his performance in the 1958 World Cup. Pelé played professional soccer in Brazil for two decades and was a member of three Brazilian World Cup teams. He was been named FIFA co-Player of the Century in 1999 and continues to serve as a global ambassador for soccer and other humanitarian causes.

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Today in History: Disney’s Dumbo premiered in 1941

Today in History: Disney’s Dumbo premiered in 1941

77 years ago today, Disney’s animated classic premiered in the United States

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Today in History: Robert Rauschenberg is born in 1925

Today in History: Robert Rauschenberg is born in 1925

93 years ago today, American painter and graphic artist, Robert Rauschenberg, was born in Port Arthur, Texas. He studied art in Kansas (1946-1947), Paris (1947) and at Black Mountain College in North Carolina under Joseph Albers (1948-1950). Rauschenberg was based in New York City and is perhaps best known for his influence on pop art of the 1960s, constantly questioning the distinction between art and everyday objects. The eclectic artist often combined sculpture and paint in his works. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, he experimented with collage and photography. Rauschenberg died from heart failure in 2008.

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Today in History: The first Oktoberfest in 1810

Today in History: The first Oktoberfest in 1810

208 years ago today, the very first Oktoberfest took place. The festivities lasted five days and were organized around the wedding of the Bavarian Crown Prince. It was the first non-religious folk festival in Germany and had all of Munich on its feet – certainly something that has not changed in the last two centuries.

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Today in History: Olympic Games in Mexico open in 1968

Today in History: Olympic Games in Mexico open in 1968

50 years ago today, the first Olympic Games in Latin America were opened In Mexico City. The Games were overshadowed by political events such as the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and civil unrest in the host country. More than 5,000 athletes from over 100 nations participated. It marked the first time that West- and East Germany would send separate teams to the Olympics (the team from the GDR was forced to depart early as the IOC forbade it from competing under the name DDR). During the medal ceremony for the 200-meter dash, American medal winners Tommie Smith and John Carlos demonstrated their sympathy for the “Black Panther” movement by raising a black-gloved fist during the American national anthem. American Bob Beamon created a sensation with his world record long jump of 8.90 meters (29 ft. 2 1/2 in.), beating the existing record by 55 cm (21 3/4 in.).

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Today in History: Mona Lisa shown at Castle Clos Lucé in 1517

Today in History: Mona Lisa shown at Castle Clos Lucé in 1517

501 years ago today, Leonardo da Vinci allegedly presented his Mona Lisa to King Francis I of France. Da Vinci was invited to work at King’s castle in 1516 and it is believed that he took the Mona Lisa (and several other works) with him where he continued to make refinements to his masterpiece before presenting it to the King. The Mona Lisa was acquired by King Francis at the time and is now property of the French Republic. It is likely the most visited, most written and talked about, and possibly even the most valuable painting in the world. It has been on permanent display at the Louvre in Paris since 1797.

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Today in History: First Olympic Games in Asia in 1964

Today in History: First Olympic Games in Asia in 1964

54 Years ago today, the 18th modern Olympic Games opened in Tokyo. It was the first time that the Games were hosted by an Asian country. Tokyo was originally scheduled to hold the Games in 1940 but after Japan’s invasion on China, the honor was passed on to Helsinki and the event was ultimately canceled because of World War II. The 1964 Games were the first to be telecast live internationally. The “Summer Games” were scheduled for mid-October to avoid both the typhoon season (September) as well as Tokyo’s mid-summer heat and humidity. 93 nations participated, 16 of which made their first Olympic appearance.

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