Today in History: NYC subway opens in 1904

Today in History: NYC subway opens in 1904

114 years ago today, New York City Mayor George McClellan inaugurates the city’s new rapid transit system, the subway. The original line ran approximately nine miles through 28 stations from City Hall north to Grand Central Station, then west to Times Square and up the West Side to 145th Street. The general public was invited to travel the new train at 7 pm on that day when more than 100,000 people paid a nickel to take their first rider under Manhattan. The New York City subway soon became America’s largest underground train network. Today, it has 26 lines, more than 450 stations in operation and some 4 ½ million daily passengers.

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Today in History: Roy Lichtenstein is born in 1923

Today in History: Roy Lichtenstein is born in 1923

95 years ago today, the American artist, Roy Lichtenstein, was born in New York City. The masterful painter rose to fame in the 1960s when he became one of the leading figures of the new Pop Art movement. His bright parodies of comic strips and advertisements carried him into the art world spotlight. Lichtenstein died in New York City on September 29, 1997.

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Today in History: Picasso born in 1881

Today in History: Picasso born in 1881

Pablo Picasso, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, is born in Malaga, Spain. His work comprises more than 50,000 paintings, drawings, engravings, sculptures, and ceramics produced over 80 years.

Picasso is perhaps best known for his contribution to Cubism. In 1907, he painted the groundbreaking work Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, which, with its fragmented and distorted representation of the human form, broke from previous European art. The painting demonstrated the influence on Picasso of both African mask art and Paul Cezanne and is seen as a forerunner of the Cubist movement, founded by Picasso and the French painter Georges Braque in 1909. After Cubism, Picasso explored classical and Mediterranean themes, and images of violence and anguish increasingly appeared in his work. In 1937, this trend culminated in the masterpiece Guernica, a monumental work that evoked the horror and suffering endured by the Basque town of Guernica when it was destroyed by German warplanes during the Spanish Civil War. Picasso remained in Paris during the Nazi occupation but was fervently opposed to fascism and after the war joined the French Communist Party. Picasso’s work after World War II is less studied than his earlier creations, but he continued to work feverishly and enjoyed commercial and critical success. He continued to produce art with undiminished force until his death in 1973 at the age of 91. Source: history.com

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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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