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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Happy Birthday, David Lance Goines

Happy Birthday, David Lance Goines
The American artist, calligrapher, and book printer was born in 1945 and celebrates his 74th birthday today. Mr. Goines lives and works in Berkeley, California.

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First Indoor Swimming Pool opens in London in 1742

First Indoor Swimming Pool opens in London in 1742

277 years ago today, 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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Today in History: Golden Gate Bridge opens in 1937

Today in History: Golden Gate Bridge opens in 1937

82 years ago today, on the opening day of the Golden Gate Bridge, some 200,000 pedestrians appeared to cross the bay between San Francisco and Marin County. A day later, the bridge opened to traffic. With a total length of 8,981 ft. (2,737 m), the Golden Gate Bridge remained the largest suspension bridge in the world until 1964. First ideas and drafts of the project started circulating at the end of the 19th century but no one thought the project financially and technically feasible. Today, the bridge is considered to be one of the Wonders of the Modern World. Frommers travel guide called it ” possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world.”

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Today in History: Miles Davis born in 1926

Today in History: Miles Davis born in 1926

93 years ago today, American jazz legend, Miles Dewey Davis III, was born in Alton, Illinois. Davis was among the most influential figures in the history of jazz music and 20th century music. His five-decade career kept him at the forefront of a number of major stylistic developments in jazz.

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Today in History: Sale of Manhattan in 1626

Today in History: Sale of #Manhattan in 1626

393 years ago today, Peter Minuit, a Dutch colonist, acquired Manhattan from unnamed Native American people in exchange for trade goods worth 60 Dutch guilders (approx.. $1100 today, accounting for inflation). With the purchase, the settlers wanted to lay the foundation for a central Dutch presence in North America, calling it New (Nieuw) Amsterdam, what is now lower Manhattan.

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Today in History: Bob Dylan born in 1941

Today in History: Bob Dylan born in 1941
Happy Birthday! The American music icon is celebrating his 78th birthday today.

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