Today in History: Alexander Graham Bell born in 1847

Today in History: Alexander Graham Bell born in 1847

172 years ago today, the American scientist, inventor, and engineer was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. Bell studied at the University of Edinburgh. In 1871, he went to Boston to become a teacher for the deaf. Bell’s mother and wife were both deaf, which had a major influence on his work. From 1873 to 1877, he worked as a professor of speech physiology. His research on hearing and speech led him to experiment with hearing devices which culminated in the development of the telephone in 1876. His invention attracted a great deal of attention at the 1776 Philadelphia International Exhibition, but over the years, Bell was not much involved in the further development of the phone. It is said that that Bell refused to have a telephone in his study, feeling it was an intrusion on his work as a scientist. Bell died in 1822 at the age of 75.

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Today in History: Miles Davis records Kind of Blue in 1959

Today in History: Miles Davis records Kind of Blue in 1959

It is considered the best-selling jazz album in history and one of the most influential works of jazz music ever produced.

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Today in History: Rio de Janeiro founded in 1565

Today in History: Rio de Janeiro founded in 1565

454 years ago today, the city of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro (River of January) was founded on the flat sandy beaches between Sugar Loaf and Morro Cara de Cao. The name of the city of Rio de Janeiro was based on a misunderstanding: in January 1502, Portuguese explorer Goncalo Coelho landed in the Guanabara Bay and thought its waters would be a large river. The town was originally settled by French Huguenots. The economic wealth of the city developed after gold and diamond discoveries between 1690 and 1720. Due to its port location, Rio de Janeiro established a flourishing trade with Portugal, thereby laying the foundation for the present size of the city that has a population of over 6 million people.

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Today in History: Yellowstone Park established in 1872

Today in History: Yellowstone Park established in 1872

147 years ago today, President Grant signed the bill creating the nation’s first national park at Yellowstone.

Native Americans had lived and hunted in the region that would become Yellowstone for hundreds of years before the first Anglo explorers arrived. John Colter, a famous mountain man, was the first Anglo to travel through the area in the early 1800s. Before the Civil War, only a handful of trappers and hunters ventured into the area, and it remained largely a mystery. In 1869, the Folsom-Cook expedition made the first formal exploration, followed a year later by a much more thorough reconnaissance by the Washburn-Langford-Doane expedition. In 1871, geologist Ferdinand Hayden led a government sponsoired exploration and brought along William Jackson, a pioneering photographer, and Thomas Moran, a brilliant landscape artist, to make a visual record of the expedition. Their images provided the first visual proof of Yellowstone’s wonders and caught the attention of the U.S. Congress.

Early in 1872, Congress moved to set aside 1,221,773 acres of public land straddling the future states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho as America’s first national park. President Grant signed the bill into law on this day in 1872. The Yellowstone Act of 1872 designated the region as a public “pleasuring-ground,” which would be preserved “from injury or spoilation, of all timber, mineral deposits, natural curiosities, or wonders within.” Source: history.com

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Today is International #PolarBear Day

Today is International #PolarBear Day

Recognized since 2011, Polar Bear Day is meant to raise awareness of the declining number of polar bears worldwide, largely believed to be a result of global warming and the loss of their natural habitat. As cuddly as they look as newborns, polar bears can grow to be 9 feet tall and weigh up to 1400 pounds.

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Today in History: Buffalo Bill born in 1846

Today in History: Buffalo Bill born in 1846

173 years ago today, American scout, officer and showman William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody was born in Iowa. Young William started working at the age of eleven. At the age of 14, he became a rider for the “Pony Express,” the postal service between St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. During the American Civil War, Cody served as an army scout for the Union. After the war, he became a contractor to supply buffalo meat to Kansas Pacific Railroad workers where he got his nickname, Buffalo Bill. It is said that Cody killed over 4000 bison (buffalo) in 18 months (1867-1868). From 1868 to 1872, Cody served as a U.S. Army scout during in the Indian Wars before he started performing in Wild West shows. In 1883, he founded his troupe “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West,” a circus-like attraction that would tour the United States and Europe for the next 23 years. Cody died on January 17, 1917.

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Today in History: Disney’s Pinocchio released in 1940

Today in History: Disney’s Pinocchio released in 1940

79 years ago today, Walt Disney’s animated movie “Pinocchio,” was released. It was the second animated feature film produced by Disney, following the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937.

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