Today in History: First Wimbledon Tennis Tournament

Today in History: First Wimbledon Tennis Tournament

On this day in 1877, the world’s first official lawn tennis tournament was held at the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club at Wimbledon, a district of London. Twenty-two players participated in the Gentlemen’s Singles competition, the only event at the first Wimbledon. In front of a crowd of some 200 people, Spencer Gore became the first champion by defeating William Marshall in three straight sets that lasted only 48 minutes. Gore took home a silver cup (worth 25 guineas) and 12 guineas in prize money.

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Today is World Chocolate Day

Today is World Chocolate Day

Observed annually on July 7, there are some references that seem to indicate that this day celebrates the introduction of chocolate to Europe in 1550. To be honest, we don’t much care as long as we have an “official” reason to celebrate in style and eat lots of chocolate on this special occasion … after all, we are only doing our part in observing World Chocolate Day.

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Today in History: First UEFA European Nations Cup (now UEFA Euro) hosted by France

Today in History: First UEFA European Nations Cup (now UEFA Euro) hosted by France

58 years ago today, the first European soccer championship opened in France. The event is held every four years in the even-numbered year between the World Cup tournaments. In 1960, 4 teams competed in the finals out of 17 that had initially entered the competition. The Soviet Union won the first competition beating Yugoslavia 2-1 in a tense game in Paris. Over the years, the event has become the second most watched soccer tournament in the world (after the World Cup).

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Today in History: The Bikini

Today in History: The Bikini
Two small pieces of fabric caused major turmoil at the beaches at the end of the 1940s. French fashion designer Louis Reard gave them a name: bikini. The first bikini was presented on July 5, 1946 at a Paris fashion show. The rest is history.

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Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!

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Today in History: First Zeppelin Flight

Today in History: First Zeppelin Flight

On July 2, 1900, the first zeppelin flight took place over Germany’s Lake Constance (the Bodensee). Leading the flight was no other than Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, the designer and builder of the first rigid airship in the world, the LZ 1 (LZ stands for Luftschiff Zeppelin or Zeppelin Airship). Powered by two Daimler engines with 28 PS, the airship consisted of a 128-meter-long aluminum construction which was carried by hydrogen cells. While the zeppelin may be considered a spectacular aircraft, it was but only an episode in the conquest of the skies by humans. The size and especially the highly explosive gas mixture limited the use of the otherwise elegant aircraft. The catastrophic explosion of the “Hindenburg” on May 6, 1937 was the sad climax and the end of zeppelins.

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Today in History: First Tour de France in 1903

Today in History: First Tour de France in 1903

In its early years, the Tour de France bicycle race lasted for 20 days with a course that stretched about 1,500 miles. The race was first created by the sports daily, L’Auto as a way to boost its circulation. The first Tour de France was won by Italian-French racer, Maurice Garin.

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