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Archive for the ‘This day in History’ Category

Astăzi s-a născut Charles Darwin (1809)

Posted by burdujan pe 12/02/2010


Darwin was an English naturalist who developed the modern theory of evolution.
Darwin a fost un naturalist englez care a dezvoltat teoria modernă a evoluţiei.
Along with Welsh naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, he proposed the principle of natural selection: the mechanism by which advantageous variations are passed on to later generations and less advantageous traits slowly disappear.
Împreună cu naturalistul galez Alfred Russel Wallace, el a formulat principiul selecţiei naturale: mecanismul prin care însușirile avantajoase sunt transmise generaţiilor ulterioare, iar trăsăturile mai puţin avantajoase cu timpul dispar.
Darwin’s intensely controversial theory of evolution aroused widespread argument and debate among scientists and religious leaders.
Teoria evoluţiei a lui Darwin a trezit controverse pe scară largă şi dezbateri între oamenii de ştiinţă şi lideri religioşi.

How did Darwin view religion and God?
(highlight the answer)
Though Darwin wrote of religion as a tribal survival strategy, he still believed that God was the ultimate lawgiver. He continued to help the local church with parish work, but on Sundays would go for a walk while his family attended church.

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Today, in 1985, was invented volleyball.

Posted by burdujan pe 09/02/2010


William G. Morgan invented volleyball in Holyoke, Massachusetts, just four years after basketball was invented in the neighboring town of Springfield.
William G. Morgan a inventat volei în Holyoke, Massachusetts, doar după ce cu patru ani în urmă a fost inventat baschetul în oraşul vecin din Springfield.

Morgan, a physical education director, created „Mintonette” for older athletes who wanted to play indoor sports but for whom basketball was too rough.
Morgan, un profesor de educaţie fizică, a creat „Mintonette” pentru sportivii mai în vârstă care doreau să joace un sport în sală, dar pentru care baschetul era prea dur.

Mintonette was later renamed volleyball because the point of the game is to „volley” the ball back and forth over a net.
Mintonette mai târziu a fost redenumit volei, deoarece scopul jocului este „să arunce” mingea inainte si inapoi deasupra unei plase.

Morgan’s game took several of its characteristics from what two sports?
(highlight the answer) The game took some of its characteristics from tennis and handball.

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This day in History: March 14

Posted by burdujan pe 14/03/2009

1879. Albert Einstein born


Albert Einstein is born, the son of a Jewish electrical engineer in Ulm, Germany. Einstein’s theories of special and general relativity drastically altered man’s view of the universe, and his work in particle and energy theory helped make possible quantum mechanics and, ultimately, the atomic bomb.

1950. Crime. The FBI debuts 10 Most Wanted

The Federal Bureau of Investigation institutes the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list in an effort to publicize particularly dangerous fugitives.

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This day in History: March 12

Posted by burdujan pe 12/03/2009

1923. Entertainment. First movie with sound recorded on film

On this day in 1923, inventor Lee de Forest demonstrates Phonofilm, the first film capable of taping sound. Music was recorded on a narrow strip at the edge of the film. The demonstration showed a man and woman dancing, four musicians playing instruments, and an Egyptian dancer, all accompanied by music but no dialogue.

1938. WW II. Hitler announces an Anschluss with Austria

On this day, Adolf Hitler announces an „Anschluss” (union) between Germany and Austria, in fact annexing the smaller nation into a greater Germany.

1947. Cold War. Truman Doctrine is announced

In a dramatic speech to a session of Congress, President Harry S. Truman asks for U.S. assistance for Greece and Turkey to forestall communist domination of the two nations. Historians have often cited Truman’s address, which came to be known as the Truman Doctrine, as the official declaration of the Cold War.

1952. Automobiles. Mercedes introduces 300SL

1988. Disaster. Hail causes stampede at soccer match in Nepal

On this day, a sudden hail storm prompts fans at a soccer match in Katmandu, Nepal, to flee. The resulting stampede killed at least 70 people and injured hundreds more.

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This day in History: March 11

Posted by burdujan pe 11/03/2009

1818. Literature. Frankenstein published

Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is published. The book, by 21-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, is frequently called the world’s first science fiction novel. In Shelley’s tale, a scientist animates a creature constructed from dismembered corpses. The gentle, intellectually gifted creature is enormous and physically hideous.

1927. First armored-truck holdup

On this day, the Flatheads Gang staged the first armored truck holdup in U.S. history on the Bethel Road, seven miles out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on the way to Coverdale. The armored truck, carrying $104,250 for the Pittsburgh Terminal Coal Company, drove over a mine planted under the roadbed by the road bandits. The car blew up and five guards were badly injured.


1985. Cold War. Mikhail Gorbachev picked to succeed Chernenko

After his rapid rise through the Communist Party hierarchy, Mikhail Gorbachev is selected as the new general secretary and leader of the Soviet Union, following the death of Konstantin Chernenko the day before.

1990. Lithuania proclaims its independence

Lithuania proclaims its independence from the USSR, the first Soviet republic to do so.

1997. Paul McCartney knighted


On this day, Paul McCartney, a former member of the most successful rock band in history, The Beatles, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his „services to music.” The 54-year-old lad from Liverpool became Sir Paul in a centuries-old ceremony of pomp and solemnity at Buckingham Palace in central London.




2004. Terrorists bomb trains in Madrid

On this day, 191 people are killed and nearly 2,000 are injured when 10 bombs explode on four trains in three Madrid-area train stations during a busy morning rush hour. The bombs were later found to have been detonated by mobile phones.

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This day in history: March 10

Posted by burdujan pe 10/03/2009

1906. Disaster. Mine explosion kills 1,060 in France

A devastating mine disaster kills over 1,000 workers in Courrieres, France, on this day in 1906. An underground fire sparked an explosion that destroyed a vast maze of mines. It took weeks for the all of the bodies to be recovered and identified.

1918. Entertainment. First Warner Bros. film


Warner Bros. releases its first film, Four Years in Germany. Brothers Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack Warner had started out running a nickelodeon company in Newcastle, Pennsylvania. They released their first film in 1918 but didn’t incorporate until 1923. The company failed to become a major player in the cinema world until 1927, when it released The Jazz Singer, the first feature with sound.



1959. Rebellion in Tibet.

On this day, Tibetans band together in revolt, surrounding the summer palace of the Dalai Lama in defiance of Chinese occupation forces. The March 1959 uprising in Lhasa was triggered by fears of a plot to kidnap the Dalai Lama and take him to Beijing. When Chinese military officers invited His Holiness to visit the People’s Liberation Army headquarters for a theatrical performance and official tea, he was told he must come alone, and that no Tibetan military bodyguards or personnel would be allowed past the edges of the military camp. 300,000 loyal Tibetans surrounded Norbulinka Palace, preventing the Dalai Lama from accepting the People’s Liberation Army’s invitation. By March 17, Chinese artillery was aimed at the palace, and the Dalai Lama was evacuated to neighboring India.

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This day in history: March 9

Posted by burdujan pe 09/03/2009

1913. Literature. Virginia Woolf delivers her first novel, The Voyage Out

Thirty-one-year-old writer Virginia Woolf delivers the manuscript of her first novel, The Voyage Out, to her publisher.

1916. WW-I. Germany declares war on Portugal.

On this day, Germany declares war on Portugal, who earlier that year honored its alliance with Great Britain by seizing German ships anchored in Lisbon’s harbor.

1943. Sports. Bobby Fischer born.



On this day, Bobby Fischer is born in Chicago, Illinois. Fischer became the only American ever to win the chess world championship. He also became well-known for his strange behavior, which anti-Semitic and anti-American rants, in spite of his Jewish background and American upbringing.




1945. WW-II. Firebombing of Tokyo.


On this day, U.S. warplanes launch a new bombing offensive against Japan, dropping 2,000 tons of incendiary bombs on Tokyo over the course of the next 48 hours. Almost 16 square miles in and around the Japanese capital were incinerated, and between 80,000 and 130,000 Japanese civilians were killed in the worst firestorm in recorded history.

„In the black Sumida River, countless bodies were floating, clothed bodies, naked bodies, all black as charcoal. It was unreal,” recorded one doctor at the scene. Only 243 American airmen were lostconsidered acceptable losses.

Documentary „The Greatest Bombing of Tokio”: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4

1959. Barbie makes her debut.

On this day, the first Barbie doll goes on display at the American Toy Fair in New York City.

Eleven inches tall, with a waterfall of blond hair, Barbie was the first mass-produced toy doll in the United States with adult features. The woman behind Barbie was Ruth Handler.

1981. Disaster. Japanese power plant leaks radioactive waste

A nuclear accident at a Japan Atomic Power Company plant in Tsuruga, Japan, exposes 59 workers to radiation. The officials failed to timely inform the public and nearby residents.

Approximately 60,000 people lived in the area surrounding the atomic power plant. On March 9, a worker forgot to shut a critical valve, causing a radioactive sludge tank to overflow. Fifty-six (56) workers were sent in to mop up the radioactive sludge before the leak could escape the disposal building, but the plan was not successful and 16 tons of waste into Wakasa Bay.

Despite the obvious risk to people eating contaminated fish caught in the bay, Japan’s Atomic Power Commission made no public mention of the accident. Finally, on April 21, the Atomic Power Commission publicly admitted the nuclear accident but denied that anyone had been exposed to dangerous levels of radiation. In May 1981, the president and chairman of the Japan Atomic Power Company resigned.

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This day in history: March 8

Posted by burdujan pe 08/03/2009

1669. Disaster. Mount Etna erupts

On this day, Mount Etna, on the island of Sicily in modern-day Italy, begins rumbling. Multiple eruptions over the next few weeks killed more than 20,000 people and left thousands more homeless. Most of the victims could have saved themselvesby fleeing.

1917. WWI. February Revolution begins in Russia
In Russia, the February Revolution (Russia uses the Julian calendar) begins on this day in 1917, when riots and strikes over the scarcity of food erupt in Petrograd (now St. Petersburg). Demonstrators clamoring for bread took to the streets of the Russian capital of Petrograd. Supported by 90,000 men and women on strike, the protesters clashed with police, refusi ng to leave the streets.

1942. WWII. Dutch surrender on Java
On this day, Dutch forces surrender to the Japanese after two months of fighting. The Dutch finally ended all resistance to the superior Japanese forces, surrendering on Java.

1982. Cold War. United States accuses Soviets of using poison gas
The United States government issues a public statement accusing the Soviet Union of using poison gas and chemical weapons in its war against rebel forces in Afghanistan. The accusation was part of the continuing U.S. criticism of the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan.

1983. Cold War. Reagan refers to U.S.S.R. as evil empire again
Speaking to a convention of the National Association of Evangelicals in Florida, President Ronald Reagan refers to the Soviet Union as an „evil empirefor the second time in his career. He had first used the phrase in a 1982 speech at the British House of Commons. Some considered Reagan’s use of the Star Wars film-inspired terminology to be brilliant democratic rhetoric.

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