History: The Man on the Moon

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Today in History: The Man on the Moon

On this day in 1969, 240,000 miles (380,000 km) away from Earth, at precisely 10:56 pm (EDT), during one of the most widely-viewed live broadcasts in television history, American astronaut, Neil Armstrong, became the first human to walk on the moon and spoke to more than a billion people on Earth: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

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Today in History: First Mars Landing in 1976

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Today in History: First Mars Landing in 1976

After nearly a year of flight time, Viking I became the first American spacecraft to successfully land on Mars. Less than a month later, the Viking II also reached the red planet. The successful landings provided a first window into climatic conditions on the red planet

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History: “Degenerate Art” exhibition opens in 1937

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Today in History: “Degenerate Art” exhibitions opens in 1937

On this day in 1937, the infamous Degenerate Art (Entartete Kunst) exhibition in Munich, Germany. Organized by Adolf Ziegler and the Nazi Party, the exhibition presented some 650 paintings, sculptures and prints by over 100 (primarily) German artists, incl.  works by famous artists such as Otto Dix, Max Ernst, Paul Klee, Emil Nolde and Kurt Schwitters. The “degenerate” works were defined as art that was insulting to any artistic skill and feeling. Even the presentation of the artworks by the Nazi regime was intentionally chaotic: the chosen venue was dark, rooms were very narrow. Paintings were displayed without frames; many were accompanied (or partially covered) by derogatory slogans. The “unhealthy” modern art presented an image of chaos that stood in stark contrast to the Nazi ideal of male heroism or the glorification of the womanhood. Over one million people attended the exhibition in the first six weeks alone. The display lasted until November 30, 1937.

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History: Lithography was invented in 1798

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Today in History: Lithography was invented in 1798
On this day in 1798, German author Alois Senefelder invented the lithographic printing method (from the Greek, “stone printing”). Looking for an inexpensive method for copying his manuscripts, Senefelder was experimenting with etching techniques using acid-resisting inks on a flat stone surface. He soon discovered that his method allowed printing from the flat surface of the stone alone. Compared to conventional copper engraving, it enabled a much faster way of working. Lithography made printing much more affordable and available to more people (f.ex. in art and newspaper printing). By 1830, Senefelder’s process had become the dominant method of pictorial reproduction in the printing industry.

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Today is National Lottery Day

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Today is National Lottery Day
If you’re feeling extra lucky on July 17th, it might be because it’s National Lottery Day! Celebrate the way lotteries contribute to local and state programs. Historically, lotteries date back to the 15th century. While early lotteries funded village needs, they also were vital to strengthening defenses. Money raised would also feed and clothe the poor. According to Random Riches author, Manfred Zollinger, one of the oldest lotteries dates back to 1441 in Bruges, Belgium.

In the United States, early lotteries paid for cannons during the American Revolution. They also raised money to pave roads up and down the East Coast. Today, lotteries are state-owned and operated. The funds they gather support government programs and the communities the lotteries serve.

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Today is National Ice Cream Day

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Today is National Ice Cream Day

National Ice Cream Day was established under President Ronald Reagan in 1984 and is observed each year on the 3rd Sunday in July as part of National Ice Cream Month. Could there be any better national day? Ice cream supposedly originated thousands of years ago in the Persian Empire when people would put snow in a bowl, pour the juices of grapes over it and eat it as a treat during the hot season. Dig in and enjoy your favorite flavor(s) !

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History: Washington DC declared capital of the United States in 1790

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Today in History: Washington DC declared capital of the United States

On this day in 1790, the young American Congress declares that a swampy, humid, muddy and mosquito-infested site on the Potomac River between Maryland and Virginia will be the nation’s permanent capital. “Washington,” in the newly designated federal “District of Columbia,” was named after the leader of the American Revolution and the country’s first president: George Washington. It was Washington who saw the area’s potential economic and accessibility benefits due to the proximity of navigable rivers.

George Washington, who had been in office just over a year when the capital site was determined, asked a French architect and city planner named Pierre L Enfant to design the capital. In 1793, the first cornerstones of the president’s mansion, which was eventually renamed the “White House,” were laid. George Washington, however, never lived in the mansion as it was not inhabitable until 1800. Instead, President John Adams and his wife Abigail were the White House’s first residents. They lived there less than a year; Thomas Jefferson moved in in 1801.

Source: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/

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Today in History: Ford Company takes its first order in 1903

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Today in History: Ford Company takes its first order in 1903

On this day in 1903, the newly formed Ford Motor Company takes its first order for a two-cylinder Model A automobile. The buyer, a dentist in Chicago, paid $850 for his new toy and the car was delivered just over one week later. Within two months, the company had sold 215 Fords. By the end of its first year, Ford had built 1000 cars at its Detroit plant.

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Today is Bastille Day!

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Today is Bastille Day!

Bastille Day is a national holiday in France, celebrated annually on July 14. It is quite similar to the Independence Day festivities in the United States. The Bastille was a stronghold built in Paris in the 14th century. In fact, the word “bastille” means “fortress” in French. During his reign, Louis XVI used it as a prison and the structure became a symbol of his power. In 1789, rioters stormed the Bastille and proceeded to demolish it. It was an act of rebellion and marked the beginning of the French Revolution. Today, the French celebrate Bastille Day and their independence with parties, parades, and festivals. Uncork a bottle of French wine or dine at a French restaurant to join in the fun!

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Today in History: First World Cup in 1930

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Today in History: First World Cup in 1930
On this day in 1930, the first-ever World Cup football matches were played simultaneously in host city Montevideo, Uruguay. France defeated Mexico 4-1 while the United States defeated Belgium 3-0. 13 teams participated “by invitation” in this first World Cup. For the Europeans, the trip to Uruguay was especially costly. In the end, only 4 European teams were persuaded to make the trip. They joined 7 South and 2 North American teams. Uruguay defeated Argentina 4-2 in the final and became the first nation to win the World Cup. Total attendance was 590,000. The World Cup has since become the world’s most watched sporting event.

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