History: Salvador Dali died in 1989

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Today in History: Salvador Dali died in 1989

On this day in 1989, the prominent Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali passed away in Figueres, Spain.

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Today in History: Basketball was invented in 1891

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Today in History: Basketball was invented in 1891

On this day in 1891, the game of basketball was created 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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Today in History: Olympic Games in Mexico open in 1968

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Today in History: Olympic Games in Mexico open in 1968

On this day in 1968, 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: First Olympic Games in Asia in 1964

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Today in History: First Olympic Games in Asia in 1964

On this day in 1964, 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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Today in History: Mark Spitz wins 7th Gold in 1972

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Today in History: Mark Spitz wins 7th Gold in 1972

On this day in 1972, U.S. swimmer legend Mark Spitz won his 7th gold medal at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. He earned the gold when Spitz and his team set a new world record in the 400-meter medley relay. Spitz also set new world records in the six other events in which he won the gold. At the time, no other athlete had won so many gold medals at a single Olympiad, a record that would stand until Michael Phelps took home 8 gold medals at the 2012 Beijing Games.

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History: Michael Phelps wins 8th Olympic Gold

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History: Michael Phelps wins 8th Olympic Gold
On this day in 2008, the American champion swimmer Michael Phelps won his 8th Gold Medal in the 4×100-meter medley relay race at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. With this medal, he broke the record for the most gold medals won by a person in a single Olympic games, a record previously held by American swimmer Mark Spitz.

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Today is National Running Day

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Today is National Running Day

Each year on the first Wednesday in June, people across the United States participate in National Running Day. This day was designated as a day for runners to reaffirm their passion for running.

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Today in History: Otl Aicher born in 1922

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Today in History: Otl Aicher born in 1922

The German graphic designer and typographer would have turned 98 today. Aicher was best known for his visual designs for the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. His pictograms for the different sports continue to be used worldwide.

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Today in History: Victor Vasarely born in 1908

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Today in History: Victor Vasarely born in 1908
The Hungarian-French artist Victor Vasarely (born: Gyözö Vásárhelyi ) was born in Pecs, Hungary, in 1908, Vasarely began his artistic training in Budapest in the late 1920s. In 1928, he studied the concepts of the Bauhaus working under Sandor Bortnyk at the Mühely Art School. Vasarely moved to Paris in 1930 and became an independent graphic designer. His early work was characterized by strong black and white contrasts. In the late 1940s, Vasarely developed his own geometric abstract style exploiting the deception of the human eye using forms of geometry and color nuances to trigger striking spatial effects. This led to the formulation of the principles of the short-lived Op Art movement in the early 1950s for which Vasarely is probably best known. In 1970, Vasarely opened the first museum dedicated to his art in Gordes, France (it closed in 1996). In 1976, he founded the Fondation Vasarely in Aix-en-Provence (housed in a building designed by Vasarely). In 1976, the Vasarely Museum was established in the artist’s birth-town of Pécs. A second museum in Zichy Palace in Budapest followed in 1987. Victor Vasarely died in Paris on March 15, 1997.

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Today in History: The first modern Olympics open in Athens in 1896

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Today in History: The first modern Olympics open in Athens in 1896

On this day in 1896, 241 athletes from 14 countries took part in the first modern Olympiad in Athens, Greece. The event took place over 1500 years after the last ancient Olympic Games, which originated in Olympia in south-western Greece.

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