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taztug

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Message Posted: May 10, 2006 12:44:24 PM

On May 10th the following happend in the old west:

Tanscontinental Railroad
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lvskyguy
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Message Posted: Jul 23, 2014 3:02:36 AM

1984 – Vanessa William became the first Miss America to resign her title due to nude photos of her published in Penthouse Magazine.
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rjojo40AL
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Message Posted: Jul 22, 2014 9:42:24 AM

Jul 22, 1991: Cannibal and serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is caught.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, police officers spot Tracy Edwards running down the street in handcuffs, and upon investigation, they find one of the grisliest scenes in modern history-Jeffrey Dahmer's apartment.

Edwards told the police that Dahmer had held him at his apartment and threatened to kill him. Although they initially thought the story was dubious, the officers took Edwards back to Dahmer's apartment. Dahmer calmly explained that the whole matter was simply a misunderstanding and the officers almost believed him. However, they spotted a few Polaroid photos of dismembered bodies, and Dahmer was arrested.

When Dahmer's apartment was fully searched, a house of horrors was revealed. In addition to photo albums full of pictures of body parts, the apartment was littered with human remains: Several heads were in the refrigerator and freezer; two skulls were on top of the computer; and a 57-gallon drum containing several bodies decomposing in chemicals was found in a corner of the bedroom. There was also evidence to suggest that Dahmer had been eating some of his victims.

Neighbors told both detectives and the press that they had noticed an awful smell emanating from the apartment but that Dahmer had explained it away as expired meat. However, the most shocking revelation about how Dahmer had managed to conceal his awful crimes in the middle of a city apartment building would come a few days later.

Apparently, police had been called two months earlier about a naked and bleeding 14-year-old boy being chased down an alley by Dahmer. The responding officers actually returned the boy, who had been drugged, to Dahmer's apartment–where he was promptly killed. The officers, who said that they believed it to be a domestic dispute, were later fired.

A forensic examination of the apartment turned up 11 victims–the first of whom disappeared in March 1989, just two months before Dahmer successfully escaped a prison sentence for child molestation by telling the judge that he was desperately seeking to change his conduct. Dahmer later confessed to 17 murders in all, dating back to his first victim in 1978.

The jury rejected Dahmer's insanity defense, and he was sentenced to 15 life terms. He survived one attempt on his life in July 1994, but was killed by another inmate on November 28, 1994.
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cgstach
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Message Posted: Jul 22, 2014 8:02:15 AM

* 2002 - Over the strenuous opposition of the United Auto Workers (UAW) and the auto industry, Governor Gray Davis of California signs a stringent law regulating emissions from automobiles.

The U.S. Congress passed the first national fuel economy standards, known as Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, in 1975, in the wake of the 1973 oil embargo.

The standards sought to control emissions of so-called "greenhouse gases" (such as carbon dioxide) from cars and light trucks that contribute to global warming, or the gradual increase in the temperature of the earth's atmosphere. Automakers have historically resisted increases in these standards, as stricter standards usually require an overhaul of their production methods to make cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles.

California--which represents 10 percent of the nation's automobile market and is known for its struggles with air pollution--took the lead early in setting stricter fuel emissions standards than the federal government's. Assembly Bill (AB) 1493, which Davis signed into law in July 2002, was the first law in the nation to address the greenhouse gases emitted in automobile exhaust. The law required the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to regulate greenhouse gases under the state's motor vehicle program and gave automakers until the 2009 model year to produce cars and light trucks that would collectively emit 22 percent fewer greenhouse gases by 2012 and 30 percent fewer by 2016.

Despite his well-documented enthusiasm for the Hummer, a sport-utility-vehicle (SUV) known for its prodigious size (and prodigious emission of greenhouse gases), Davis' Republican successor, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, sought to uphold AB 1493 against continuous challenges from the auto industry and the presidential administration of George W. Bush. Democrat Barack Obama's election as president in 2008 turned the tide in California's favor: In January 2009, Obama directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reverse an earlier decision and give California (by then joined by 13 other states) the right to adopt tougher auto emissions standards. That May, Obama announced plans to bring the entire nation up to California's proposed standard, which would make cars nationwide roughly 30 percent cleaner and more fuel-efficient by 2016.

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cgstach
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Message Posted: Jul 21, 2014 5:29:53 PM

* 1960 - The German government passes the "Law Concerning the Transfer of the Share Rights in Volkswagenwerk Limited Liability Company into Private Hands," known informally as the "Volkswagen Law."

Founded in 1937 and originally under the control of Adolf Hitler's National Socialist (Nazi) Party, Volkswagen would eventually grow into Europe's largest car manufacturer and a symbol of Germany's economic recovery after the devastation of World War II. The Volkswagen Law, passed in July 1960, changed the company to a joint stock corporation, with 20 percent held each by Germany and Lower Saxony, the region in which Volkswagen is still headquartered. By limiting the share of any other stockholder to 20 percent, regardless of how many shares owned, the law effectively protected the company from any attempt at a hostile takeover.

By 2007, the controversial legislation had come under full-blown attack from the European Commission as part of a campaign against protectionist measures in several European capitals. The commission objected not only to the 20 percent voting rights cap but to the law's stipulation that measures taken at the annual stockholders' meeting must be passed by more than four-fifths of VW shareholders--a requirement that gave Lower Saxony the ability to block any such measures as it saw fit.

In March of that year, fellow German automaker Porsche announced that it had raised its stake in Volkswagen to 30.9 percent, triggering a takeover bid under a German law requiring a company to bid for the entirety of any other company after acquiring more than 30 percent of its stock. Porsche announced it did not intend to take over VW, but was buying the stock as a way of protecting it from being dismantled by hedge funds. Porsche's history was already entwined with Volkswagen, as the Austrian-born engineer Ferdinand Porsche designed the original "people's car" for Volkswagen in 1938.

On October 23, 2007, the European Court of Justice formally struck down the Volkswagen Law, ruling that its protectionism illegally restricted the free movement of capital in European markets. The decision cleared the way for Porsche to move forward with its takeover, which it did, maintaining that it will still preserve the Volkswagen corporate structure. By early 2009, Porsche owned more than 50 percent of Volkswagen shares.

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cgstach
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Message Posted: Jul 21, 2014 5:28:30 PM

* 1960 - The German government passes the "Law Concerning the Transfer of the Share Rights in Volkswagenwerk Limited Liability Company into Private Hands," known informally as the "Volkswagen Law."

Founded in 1937 and originally under the control of Adolf Hitler's National Socialist (Nazi) Party, Volkswagen would eventually grow into Europe's largest car manufacturer and a symbol of Germany's economic recovery after the devastation of World War II. The Volkswagen Law, passed in July 1960, changed the company to a joint stock corporation, with 20 percent held each by Germany and Lower Saxony, the region in which Volkswagen is still headquartered. By limiting the share of any other stockholder to 20 percent, regardless of how many shares owned, the law effectively protected the company from any attempt at a hostile takeover.

By 2007, the controversial legislation had come under full-blown attack from the European Commission as part of a campaign against protectionist measures in several European capitals. The commission objected not only to the 20 percent voting rights cap but to the law's stipulation that measures taken at the annual stockholders' meeting must be passed by more than four-fifths of VW shareholders--a requirement that gave Lower Saxony the ability to block any such measures as it saw fit.

In March of that year, fellow German automaker Porsche announced that it had raised its stake in Volkswagen to 30.9 percent, triggering a takeover bid under a German law requiring a company to bid for the entirety of any other company after acquiring more than 30 percent of its stock. Porsche announced it did not intend to take over VW, but was buying the stock as a way of protecting it from being dismantled by hedge funds. Porsche's history was already entwined with Volkswagen, as the Austrian-born engineer Ferdinand Porsche designed the original "people's car" for Volkswagen in 1938.

On October 23, 2007, the European Court of Justice formally struck down the Volkswagen Law, ruling that its protectionism illegally restricted the free movement of capital in European markets. The decision cleared the way for Porsche to move forward with its takeover, which it did, maintaining that it will still preserve the Volkswagen corporate structure. By early 2009, Porsche owned more than 50 percent of Volkswagen shares.

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rjojo40AL
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Message Posted: Jul 21, 2014 11:54:31 AM

Jul 21, 1973: "Soul Makossa" is the first disco record to make the Top 40.

During the pre-dawn hours of nearly any given night in the early 1970s, a group of young men who would change the face of the music industry could be found eating omelets and talking about records at a Manhattan restaurant called David's Pot Belly. The names in this rotating group of friends are unfamiliar to most: David Mancuso, David Rodriguez, Michael Cappello and Nicky Siano. They were not musicans but DJs at dance clubs like The Gallery, The Loft and Le Jardin, and through their taste in music and their obsessive search for new material, they would collectively bring a thing called "Disco" into existence. Their power to shape popular culture would first become evident on this day in 1973, when a song called "Soul Makossa" entered the Billboard Top 40 as the first-ever chart hit definitively launched by the infant disco scene.

"Soul Makossa" was a 1972 recording by the Paris-based Cameroonian artist Emmanual "Manu" Dibango, and it is now best remembered as the source of the rhythmic chant—"Mama-ko, mama-sa, maka-mako-sa"—that appears in Michael Jackson's "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin''" (1982) and Rihanna's "Don't Stop The Music" (2006). Issued on the French label Fiesta, "Soul Makossa" might never have been heard on this side of the Atlantic had David Mancuso not pulled it from a shelf in a Jamaican record shop in Brooklyn one day in the spring of 1973 and, after hearing it, immediately recognized its percussion-heavy, Afro-Latin sound and repetitive chorus as absolutely perfect for the dance floor.

While DJs like Mancuso scoured every corner of New York City for new dance records to spin, the record industry paid absolutely no attention to the club scene, never having considered that it might offer a way to "break" a new record. "Soul Makossa" would change all that. As soon as Mancuso began spinning it at The Loft, his fellow DJs had to have their own copies, and so did their fans. Rolling Stone and Billboard magazine noted that the street price of the rare import had shot through the roof in New York City as devotees of the largely black, gay and Hispanic club scene tried to get their hands on Manu Dibango's surprise hit. "People went wild trying to find that record," Nicky Siano recalled in Love Saves The Day (2003), Tim Lawrence's history of American dance culture in the 1970s. "No one had 'Soul Makossa.'"

Taking note of its underground success, Atlantic Records licensed "Soul Makossa" from Dibango's French label and released a domestic version of the single. When it entered the Top 40 on this day in 1973, it awakened the music industry to an important new cultural and commercial phenomenon, laying the groundwork for the disco explosion to come.
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lvskyguy
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Message Posted: Jul 21, 2014 3:02:16 AM

2007 – “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” was first published, selling 15 million copies within a 24 hour period.
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cgstach
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Message Posted: Jul 20, 2014 4:07:28 PM

* 1969 - At 10:56 p.m. EDT, American astronaut Neil Armstrong, 240,000 miles from Earth, speaks these words to more than a billion people listening at home: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Stepping off the lunar landing module Eagle, Armstrong became the first human to walk on the surface of the moon.

The American effort to send astronauts to the moon has its origins in a famous appeal President John F. Kennedy made to a special joint session of Congress on May 25, 1961: "I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth." At the time, the United States was still trailing the Soviet Union in space developments, and Cold War-era America welcomed Kennedy's bold proposal.

In 1966, after five years of work by an international team of scientists and engineers, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) conducted the first unmanned Apollo mission, testing the structural integrity of the proposed launch vehicle and spacecraft combination. Then, on January 27, 1967, tragedy struck at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, when a fire broke out during a manned launch-pad test of the Apollo spacecraft and Saturn rocket. Three astronauts were killed in the fire.

Despite the setback, NASA and its thousands of employees forged ahead, and in October 1968, Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission, orbited Earth and successfully tested many of the sophisticated systems needed to conduct a moon journey and landing. In December of the same year, Apollo 8 took three astronauts to the dark side of the moon and back, and in March 1969 Apollo 9 tested the lunar module for the first time while in Earth orbit. Then in May, the three astronauts of Apollo 10 took the first complete Apollo spacecraft around the moon in a dry run for the scheduled July landing mission.

At 9:32 a.m. on July 16, with the world watching, Apollo 11 took off from Kennedy Space Center with astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin Jr., and Michael Collins aboard. Armstrong, a 38-year-old civilian research pilot, was the commander of the mission. After traveling 240,000 miles in 76 hours, Apollo 11 entered into a lunar orbit on July 19. The next day, at 1:46 p.m., the lunar module Eagle, manned by Armstrong and Aldrin, separated from the command module, where Collins remained. Two hours later, the Eagle began its descent to the lunar surface, and at 4:18 p.m. the craft touched down on the southwestern edge of the Sea of Tranquility. Armstrong immediately radioed to Mission Control in Houston, Texas, a famous message: "The Eagle has landed."

At 10:39 p.m., five hours ahead of the original schedule, Armstrong opened the hatch of the lunar module. As he made his way down the lunar module's ladder, a television camera attached to the craft recorded his progress and beamed the signal back to Earth, where hundreds of millions watched in great anticipation. At 10:56 p.m., Armstrong spoke his famous quote, which he later contended was slightly garbled by his microphone and meant to be "that's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." He then planted his left foot on the gray, powdery surface, took a cautious step forward, and humanity had walked on the moon.

"Buzz" Aldrin joined him on the moon's surface at 11:11 p.m., and together they took photographs of the terrain, planted a U.S. flag, ran a few simple scientific tests, and spoke with President Richard M. Nixon via Houston. By 1:11 a.m. on July 21, both astronauts were back in the lunar module and the hatch was closed. The two men slept that night on the surface of the moon, and at 1:54 p.m. the Eagle began its ascent back to the command module. Among the items left on the surface of the moon was a plaque that read: "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot on the moon--July 1969 A.D--We came in peace for all mankind."

At 5:35 p.m., Armstrong and Aldrin successfully docked and rejoined Collins, and at 12:56 a.m. on July 22 Apollo 11 began its journey home, safely splashing down in the Pacific Ocean at 12:51 p.m. on July 24.

There would be five more successful lunar landing missions, and one unplanned lunar swing-by, Apollo 13. The last men to walk on the moon, astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt of the Apollo 17 mission, left the lunar surface on December 14, 1972. The Apollo program was a costly and labor intensive endeavor, involving an estimated 400,000 engineers, technicians, and scientists, and costing $24 billion (close to $100 billion in today's dollars). The expense was justified by Kennedy's 1961 mandate to beat the Soviets to the moon, and after the feat was accomplished ongoing missions lost their viability.

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rjojo40AL
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Message Posted: Jul 20, 2014 8:42:53 AM

Jul 20, 1972: U.S. government study disputes Nader's charges against Corvair.

On this day in 1972, the results of a two-year study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation are released; the study concludes that 1960-63 Chevrolet Corvair models are at least as safe as comparable models of other cars sold in the same period, directly contradicting charges made by the leading consumer advocate Ralph Nader.

In his bestselling 1965 book "Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile," Nader had dedicated an entire chapter, titled "The One-Car Accident," to the Corvair. Upon its debut in 1960, the Corvair won Motor Trend's "Car of the Year" honors and became an immediate sensation thanks to its innovative design and its lightweight, air-cooled, rear-mounted aluminum engine. However, its deficiencies–including its tendency to oversteer and spin out of control in the hands of the average driver–earned almost as much attention. After his niece was seriously injured in a Corvair, the general manager of General Motors himself threatened to resign if the car's suspension was not redesigned (it was, in 1964). By the time the revamped Corvair was released in 1965, Nader had already published "Unsafe at Any Speed," making 1960-63 Corvair models the target of his most outraged criticism. Sales of the Corvair swiftly dwindled, and GM withdrew the car from production in 1969.

At Nader's own urging, the U.S. government began a comparative study of the 1963 Corvair with other comparable vehicles in September 1970. The other cars used were a 1967 Corvair (featuring the newly redesigned suspension), a 1962 Ford Falcon, a 1960 Plymouth Valiant, a 1962 Volkswagen and a 1963 Renault. Nader had specifically criticized the Corvair's handling and stability, as well as its tendency to roll over during sharp turns. In the study's results, released on July 20, 1972, the government stated, among other conclusions, that the Corvair's handling in a sharp turn did not "result in abnormal potential for loss of control" and that the rollover rate for the Corvair was comparable to that of "other light domestic cars."

According to The New York Times, Nader spoke out against the study, calling it "a shoddy, internally contradictory whitewash" and accusing the Highway Traffic Administration of using "biased testing procedures and model selection." He argued against the use of only the 1963 Corvair in the tests, which he said was significantly different from the 1960-62 models–a charge that the government disputed, saying that the first significant changes to the Corvair were made in 1964. Three independent engineers certified the government's findings, calling them "reasonable, appropriate and sound," and General Motors issued a statement stating that the study "confirms our position on the handling and stability characteristics of these cars."
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lvskyguy
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Message Posted: Jul 20, 2014 3:04:13 AM

1940 – The first freeway in California opened. CA 110, formerly known as the Pasadena Freeway, is Arroyo Seco Parkway.
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cgstach
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Message Posted: Jul 19, 2014 4:29:29 PM

* 1942 - The agricultural chemist George Washington Carver, head of Alabama's famed Tuskegee Institute, arrives in Dearborn, Michigan at the invitation of Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company.

Born to slave parents in Missouri during the Civil War, Carver managed to get a high school education while working as a farmhand in Kansas in his late 20s. Turned away by a Kansas university because he was an African American, Carver later became the first black student at Iowa State Agricultural College in Ames, where he obtained his bachelor's and master's degrees. In 1896, Carver left Iowa to head the department of agriculture at the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, a school founded by the leading black educator Booker T. Washington. By convincing farmers in the South to plant peanuts as an alternative to cotton, Carver helped resuscitate the region's agriculture; in the process, he became one of the most respected and influential scientists in the country.

Like Carver, Ford was deeply interested in the regenerative properties of soil and the potential of alternative crops such as peanuts and soybeans to produce plastics, paint, fuel and other products. Ford had long believed that the world would eventually need a substitute for gasoline, and supported the production of ethanol (or grain alcohol) as an alternative fuel. In 1942, he would showcase a car with a lightweight plastic body made from soybeans. Ford and Carver began corresponding via letter in 1934, and their mutual admiration deepened after Carver made a visit to Michigan in 1937. As Douglas Brinkley writes in "Wheels for the World," his history of Ford, the automaker donated generously to the Tuskegee Institute, helping finance Carver's experiments, and Carver in turn spent a period of time helping to oversee crops at the Ford plantation in Ways, Georgia.

By the time World War II began, Ford had made repeated journeys to Tuskegee to convince Carver to come to Dearborn and help him develop a synthetic rubber to help compensate for wartime rubber shortages. Carver arrived on July 19, 1942, and set up a laboratory in an old water works building in Dearborn. He and Ford experimented with different crops, including sweet potatoes and dandelions, eventually devising a way to make the rubber substitute from goldenrod, a plant weed. Carver died in January 1943, Ford in April 1947, but the relationship between their two institutions continued to flourish: As recently as the late 1990s, Ford awarded grants of $4 million over two years to the George Washington Carver School at Tuskegee.

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rjojo40AL
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Message Posted: Jul 19, 2014 10:04:20 AM

Jul 19, 1799: Rosetta Stone found.

On this day in 1799, during Napoleon Bonaparte's Egyptian campaign, a French soldier discovers a black basalt slab inscribed with ancient writing near the town of Rosetta, about 35 miles north of Alexandria. The irregularly shaped stone contained fragments of passages written in three different scripts: Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphics and Egyptian demotic. The ancient Greek on the Rosetta Stone told archaeologists that it was inscribed by priests honoring the king of Egypt, Ptolemy V, in the second century B.C. More startlingly, the Greek passage announced that the three scripts were all of identical meaning. The artifact thus held the key to solving the riddle of hieroglyphics, a written language that had been "dead" for nearly 2,000 years.

When Napoleon, an emperor known for his enlightened view of education, art and culture, invaded Egypt in 1798, he took along a group of scholars and told them to seize all important cultural artifacts for France. Pierre Bouchard, one of Napoleon's soldiers, was aware of this order when he found the basalt stone, which was almost four feet long and two-and-a-half feet wide, at a fort near Rosetta. When the British defeated Napoleon in 1801, they took possession of the Rosetta Stone.

Several scholars, including Englishman Thomas Young made progress with the initial hieroglyphics analysis of the Rosetta Stone. French Egyptologist Jean-Francois Champollion (1790-1832), who had taught himself ancient languages, ultimately cracked the code and deciphered the hieroglyphics using his knowledge of Greek as a guide. Hieroglyphics used pictures to represent objects, sounds and groups of sounds. Once the Rosetta Stone inscriptions were translated, the language and culture of ancient Egypt was suddenly open to scientists as never before.

The Rosetta Stone has been housed at the British Museum in London since 1802, except for a brief period during World War I. At that time, museum officials moved it to a separate underground location, along with other irreplaceable items from the museum's collection, to protect it from the threat of bombs.
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ncclyde
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Message Posted: Jul 19, 2014 8:03:18 AM

Birthday of both Samuel Colt (1814) and Gaston Glock (1929)
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lvskyguy
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Message Posted: Jul 19, 2014 3:07:27 AM

1961 – The Movie, By Love Possessed, was the first featured film shown on a commercial regular scheduled flight on TWA from New York to Los Angeles. It was shown on the Boeing 707 for the First Class Cabin Passengers.
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cgstach
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Message Posted: Jul 18, 2014 5:31:12 PM

* 64 - A fire erupts in Rome, spreading rapidly throughout the market area in the center of the city. When the flames finally died out more than a week later, nearly two-thirds of Rome had been destroyed.

Emperor Nero used the fire as an opportunity to rebuild Rome in a more orderly Greek style and began construction on a massive palace called the Domus Aureus. Some speculated that the emperor had ordered the burning of Rome to indulge his architectural tastes, but he was away in Antium when the conflagration began. According to later Roman historians, Nero blamed members of the mysterious Christian cult for the fire and launched the first Roman persecution of Christians in response
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rjojo40AL
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Message Posted: Jul 18, 2014 10:09:59 AM

Jul 18, 1999: David Cone pitches perfect game.

On July 18, 1999, New York Yankee David Cone pitches the 16th perfect game in major league history and 14th in the modern era with a no-hit, no-walk victory over the Montreal Expos.

David Cone had made his name as a pitcher with the New York Mets from 1987 to 1992. His best year was 1988, when he finished with 20 win to just three losses and a 2.22 ERA in 231 1/3 innings. Four years later, he was traded to Toronto, where he helped the Blue Jays win the World Series. During the off-season, he signed with the Kansas City Royals, with whom he cruised to a 16-5 record and a 2.94 ERA and won the American League Cy Young Award in the strike-shortened 1994 season. In 1995, the journeyman Cone again switched teams, this time joining the New York Yankees. He helped the Yankees to World Series wins in 1996 and 1998, cementing his status as a clutch big-game pitcher.

In 1998, Cone won 20 games and lost just seven with a 3.55 ERA. The 1999 Yankees could not match the previous season’s heroics, but on July 18, Cone put on a show for the fans in Yankee Stadium. It was Yogi Berra Day, and Yankee great Don Larsen--who wowed fans with a perfect game in the 1956 World Series--was in the stands. Despite the 98-degree heat, Cone needed only 88 pitches, 68 of them strikes, to set down 27 Expos in a row. The speed of his fastball increased throughout the game, and his slider darted in and out of the strike zone, confounding the Expos. With two outs in the ninth inning, Expo shortstop Orlando Cabrera hit a pop-up that was easily caught by third baseman Scott Brosius for the last out. Cone dropped to his knees, dumbfounded, before being bear-hugged by his catcher, Joe Girardi, and carried off the field by his teammates.

Cone hung on with the Yankees for two more seasons, helping them to two more World Series wins, in 1999 and 2000.
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lvskyguy
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Message Posted: Jul 18, 2014 3:08:59 AM

In 1984, James Oliver Huberty opened fire at McDonald’s in San Ysidro, California, killing 21 people and injuring 19 before being shot dead by Police.
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cgstach
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Message Posted: Jul 17, 2014 8:05:36 PM

* 1955 - Disneyland, Walt Disney's metropolis of nostalgia, fantasy, and futurism, opens on July 17, 1955. The $17 million theme park was built on 160 acres of former orange groves in Anaheim, California, and soon brought in staggering profits. Today, Disneyland hosts more than 14 million visitors a year, who spend close to $3 billion.

Walt Disney, born in Chicago in 1901, worked as a commercial artist before setting up a small studio in Los Angeles to produce animated cartoons. In 1928, his short film Steamboat Willy, starring the character "Mickey Mouse," was a national sensation. It was the first animated film to use sound, and Disney provided the voice for Mickey. From there on, Disney cartoons were in heavy demand, but the company struggled financially because of Disney's insistence on ever-improving artistic and technical quality. His first feature-length cartoon, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1938), took three years to complete and was a great commercial success.

Snow White was followed by other feature-length classics for children, such as Pinocchio (1940), Dumbo (1941), and Bambi (1942). Fantasia (1940), which coordinated animated segments with famous classical music pieces, was an artistic and technical achievement. In Song of the South (1946), Disney combined live actors with animated figures, and beginning with Treasure Island in 1950 the company added live-action movies to its repertoire. Disney was also one of the first movie studios to produce film directly for television, and its Zorro and Davy Crockett series were very popular with children.

In the early 1950s, Walt Disney began designing a huge amusement park to be built near Los Angeles. He intended Disneyland to have educational as well as amusement value and to entertain adults and their children. Land was bought in the farming community of Anaheim, about 25 miles southeast of Los Angeles, and construction began in 1954. In the summer of 1955, special invitations were sent out for the opening of Disneyland on July 17. Unfortunately, the pass was counterfeited and thousands of uninvited people were admitted into Disneyland on opening day. The park was not ready for the public: food and drink ran out, a women's high-heel shoe got stuck in the wet asphalt of Main Street USA, and the Mark Twain Steamboat nearly capsized from too many passengers.

Disneyland soon recovered, however, and attractions such as the Castle, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Snow White's Adventures, Space Station X-1, Jungle Cruise, and Stage Coach drew countless children and their parents. Special events and the continual building of new state-of-the-art attractions encouraged them to visit again. In 1965, work began on an even bigger Disney theme park and resort near Orlando, Florida. Walt Disney died in 1966, and Walt Disney World was opened in his honor on October 1, 1971. Epcot Center, Disney-MGM Studios, and Animal Kingdom were later added to Walt Disney World, and it remains Florida's premier tourist attraction. In 1983, Disneyland Tokyo opened in Japan, and in 1992 Disneyland Paris--or "EuroDisney"--opened to a mixed reaction in Marne-la-Vallee. The newest Disneyland, in Hong Kong, opened its doors in September 2005.

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rjojo40AL
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Message Posted: Jul 17, 2014 2:29:33 PM

Jul 17, 1941: Joe DiMaggio ends 56-game hitting streak.

On this day in 1941, New York Yankees center fielder Joe DiMaggio fails to get a hit against the Cleveland Indians, which brings his historic 56-game hitting streak to an end. The record run had captivated the country for two months.

Joseph Paul DiMaggio was born November 25, 1914, in Martinez, California. In 1891, his father Giuseppe had emigrated from Sicily to the Bay Area, where he made his living as a fisherman (he was later made legendary by Ernest Hemingway’s 1952 novel The Old Man and the Sea.) The DiMaggio family moved to San Francisco’s Italian-dominated North Beach neighborhood the year Joe was born. Joe was the eighth of nine children, the fourth of five boys, two of whom--his older brother Vince and younger brother Dominic--joined him in the major leagues. His two brothers had successful major league careers, but "Joltin’ Joe," arguably the best player of his generation, and one of the greatest of all time, was a phenomenon.

In 1941, DiMaggio was in his sixth season as center fielder for the New York Yankees. He had already helped lead the team to the American League pennant and World Series wins alongside first baseman Lou Gehrig in 1936, ’37 and ’38. In 1939, Gehrig fell ill with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, later known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and DiMaggio picked up the slack. That year, he led the American League with a .381 batting average and helped the Yankees to their fourth championship in a row; they were the first major league team ever to four-peat. In 1940, DiMaggio led the American League in hitting again at .352, but the Yankees finished two games behind Hank Greenberg’s Detroit Tigers.

On May 15, 1941, DiMaggio began his record-breaking streak against the White Sox in Yankee Stadium with a single and an RBI. As the streak continued, fans across the nation took notice. DiMaggio broke George Sisler’s American League record of 41 consecutive games with a hit on June 29 at Griffith Stadium in Washington, and four days later, on July 2, DiMaggio broke "Wee" Willie Keeler’s major league record streak of 44 games. As the nation followed DiMaggio’s progress and he continued to hit in game after game, the Les Brown Orchestra scored a hit with the popular tune "Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio."

Finally, on July 17 in Cleveland, in a night game in front of 67,468 fans, DiMaggio went hitless against Cleveland pitchers Al Smith and Jim Bagby, Jr. In his first three at-bats, DiMaggio grounded out to third twice against Smith, both on hard-hit balls, and then walked. With Bagby pitching in the eighth inning, DiMaggio hit into a double play, ending a Yankee rally and the greatest hitting streak in major league history. DiMaggio confided to a teammate after the game that by failing to get a hit he had also lost the $10,000 promised to him by Heinz ketchup for matching the number "57" featured on their labels.

DiMaggio won the 1941 American League MVP over Red Sox slugger Ted Williams in spite of the latter’s .406 batting average that season, the last time any major league player hit over .400. DiMaggio retired after the 1951 season after 13 seasons with the Yankees that included 11 pennants and 10 World Series wins. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955.
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lvskyguy
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1867 – The Harvard School of Dental Medicine was established. It was the first dental school in the U.S. that was affiliated with a university.
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leemun
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1762 - Catherine II becomes tsar of Russia.
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Joisygal
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Ginger Rogers (1911): Dancer who became a part of the vaudeville circuit after winning a "Charleston" contest in Texas. In 1929, Rogers was cast in the Broadway Musical, "Top Speed," and joined the cast of "Girl Crazy" in 1930. In 1933, Rogers appeared in the Warner Bros. films 42nd Street and Gold Diggers of 1933, and began her legendary dance partnership with Fred Astaire after joining RKO later that same year. Some of Rogers’ most memorable performances with Fred Astaire can be seen in Roberta (1935), Follow the Fleet (1936), Top Hat (1935) and Swing Time (1936). Rogers went solo again in the late 1930s, and turned in an Oscar-winning performance in the 1940 film, Kitty Foyle. In 1992, Rogers was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Kennedy Center. Rogers passed away in 1995.
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rjojo40AL
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Jul 16, 1999: JFK Jr killed in a plane crash.

On July 16, 1999, John F. Kennedy, Jr.; his wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy; and her sister, Lauren Bessette, die when the single-engine plane that Kennedy was piloting crashes into the Atlantic Ocean near Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Jr., was born on November 25, 1960, just a few weeks after his father and namesake was elected the 35th president of the United States. On his third birthday, "John-John" attended the funeral of his assassinated father and was photographed saluting his father's coffin in a famous and searing image. Along with his sister, Caroline, he was raised in Manhattan by his mother, Jacqueline. After graduating from Brown University and a very brief acting stint, he attended New York University Law School. He passed the bar on his third try and worked in New York as an assistant district attorney, winning all six of his cases. In 1995, he founded the political magazine George, which grew to have a circulation of more than 400,000. Unlike many others in his famous family, he never sought public office himself.

Always in the media spotlight, he was celebrated for the good looks that he inherited from his parents. In 1988, he was named the "Sexiest Man Alive" by People magazine. He was linked romantically with several celebrities, including the actress Daryl Hannah, whom he dated for five years. In September 1996, he married girlfriend Carolyn Bessette, a fashion publicist. The two shared an apartment in New York City, where Kennedy was often seen inline skating in public. Known for his adventurous nature, he nonetheless took pains to separate himself from the more self-destructive behavior of some of the other men in the Kennedy clan.

On July 16, 1999, however, with about 300 hours of flying experience, Kennedy took off from Essex County airport in New Jersey and flew his single-engine plane into a hazy, moonless night. He had turned down an offer by one of his flight instructors to accompany him, saying he "wanted to do it alone." To reach his destination of Martha's Vineyard, he would have to fly 200 miles--the final phase over a dark, hazy ocean--and inexperienced pilots can lose sight of the horizon under such conditions. Unable to see shore lights or other landmarks, Kennedy would have to depend on his instruments, but he had not qualified for a license to fly with instruments only. In addition, he was recovering from a broken ankle, which might have affected his ability to pilot his plane.

At Martha's Vineyard, Kennedy was to drop off his sister-in-law Lauren Bessette, one of his two passengers. From there, Kennedy and his wife, Carolyn, were to fly on to the Kennedy compound on Cape Cod's Hyannis Port for the marriage of Rory Kennedy, the youngest child of the late Robert F. Kennedy. The Piper Saratoga aircraft never made it to Martha's Vineyard. Radar data examined later showed the plane plummeting from 2,200 feet to 1,100 feet in a span of 14 seconds, a rate far beyond the aircraft's safe maximum. It then disappeared from the radar screen.

Kennedy's plane was reported missing by friends and family members, and an intensive rescue operation was launched by the Coast Guard, the navy, the air force, and civilians. After two days of searching, the thousands of people involved gave up hope of finding survivors and turned their efforts to recovering the wreckage of the aircraft and the bodies. Americans mourned the loss of the "crown prince" of one of the country's most admired families, a sadness that was especially poignant given the relentless string of tragedies that have haunted the Kennedy family over the years.

On July 21, navy divers recovered the bodies of JFK Jr., his wife, and sister-in-law from the wreckage of the plane, which was lying under 116 feet of water about eight miles off the Vineyard's shores. The next day, the cremated remains of the three were buried at sea during a ceremony on the USS Briscoe, a navy destroyer. A private mass for JFK Jr. and Carolyn was held on July 23 at the Church of St. Thomas More in Manhattan, where the late Jackie Kennedy Onassis worshipped. President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, were among the 300 invited guests. The Kennedy family's surviving patriarch, Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, delivered a moving eulogy: "From the first day of his life, John seemed to belong not only to our family, but to the American family. He had a legacy, and he learned to treasure it. He was part of a legend, and he learned to live with it."

Investigators studying the wreckage of the Piper Saratoga found no problems with its mechanical or navigational systems. In their final report released in 2000, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the crash was caused by an inexperienced pilot who became disoriented in the dark and lost control.

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WES03
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1969 - Apollo 11 lifts off from Florida...the first manned lunar landing mission.
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cgstach
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* 1945 - At 5:29:45 a.m., the Manhattan Project comes to an explosive end as the first atom bomb is successfully tested in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Plans for the creation of a uranium bomb by the Allies were established as early as 1939, when Italian emigre physicist Enrico Fermi met with U.S. Navy department officials at Columbia University to discuss the use of fissionable materials for military purposes. That same year, Albert Einstein wrote to President Franklin Roosevelt supporting the theory that an uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction had great potential as a basis for a weapon of mass destruction. In February 1940, the federal government granted a total of $6,000 for research. But in early 1942, with the United States now at war with the Axis powers, and fear mounting that Germany was working on its own uranium bomb, the War Department took a more active interest, and limits on resources for the project were removed.

Brigadier-General Leslie R. Groves, himself an engineer, was now in complete charge of a project to assemble the greatest minds in science and discover how to harness the power of the atom as a means of bringing the war to a decisive end. The Manhattan Project (so-called because of where the research began) would wind its way through many locations during the early period of theoretical exploration, most importantly, the University of Chicago, where Enrico Fermi successfully set off the first fission chain reaction. But the Project took final form in the desert of New Mexico, where, in 1943, Robert J. Oppenheimer began directing Project Y at a laboratory at Los Alamos, along with such minds as Hans Bethe, Edward Teller, and Fermi. Here theory and practice came together, as the problems of achieving critical mass-a nuclear explosion-and the construction of a deliverable bomb were worked out.

Finally, on the morning of July 16, in the New Mexico desert 120 miles south of Santa Fe, the first atomic bomb was detonated. The scientists and a few dignitaries had removed themselves 10,000 yards away to observe as the first mushroom cloud of searing light stretched 40,000 feet into the air and generated the destructive power of 15,000 to 20,000 tons of TNT. The tower on which the bomb sat when detonated was vaporized.

The question now became-on whom was the bomb to be dropped? Germany was the original target, but the Germans had already surrendered. The only belligerent remaining was Japan.

A footnote: The original $6,000 budget for the Manhattan Project finally ballooned to a total cost of $2 billion.

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lvskyguy
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Message Posted: Jul 16, 2014 3:05:34 AM

1935 – The world’s first parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City.
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cgstach
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* 1903 - The newly formed Ford Motor Company takes its first order from Chicago dentist Ernst Pfenning: an $850 two-cylinder Model A automobile with a tonneau (or backseat). The car, produced at Ford's plant on Mack Street (now Mack Avenue) in Detroit, was delivered to Dr. Pfenning just over a week later.

Henry Ford had built his first gasoline-powered vehicle--which he called the Quadricycle--in a workshop behind his home in 1896, while working as the chief engineer for the main plant of the Edison Illuminating Company in Detroit. After making two unsuccessful attempts to start a company to manufacture automobiles before 1903, Ford gathered a group of 12 stockholders, including himself, to sign the papers necessary to form the Ford Motor Company in mid-June 1903. As Douglas Brinkley writes in "Wheels for the World," his history of Ford, one of the new company's investors, Albert Strelow, owned a wooden factory building on Mack Avenue that he rented to Ford Motor. In an assembly room measuring 250 by 50 feet, the first Ford Model A went into production that summer.

Designed primarily by Ford's assistant C. Harold Wills, the Model A could accommodate two people side-by-side on a bench; it had no top, and was painted red. The car's biggest selling point was its engine, which at two cylinders and eight-horsepower was the most powerful to be found in a passenger car. It had relatively simple controls, including two forward gears that the driver operated with a foot pedal, and could reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour (comparable to the car's biggest competition at the time, the curved-dash Oldsmobile).

Dr. Pfenning's order turned out to be the first of many, from around the country, launching Ford on its way to profitability. Within two months, the company had sold 215 Fords, and by the end of its first year the Mack Avenue plant had turned out some 1,000 cars. Though the company grew quickly in the next several years, it was the launch of the Model T in 1908 that catapulted Ford to the top of the automobile industry. The Lizzie's tremendous popularity kept Ford far ahead of the pack until dwindling sales led to the end of its production in 1927. That same year, Ford released the second Model A amid great fanfare; it enjoyed similar success, though the onset of the Great Depression kept its sales from equaling those of the Model T.

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lvskyguy
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1916 – Pacific Aero Products was incorporated by William Boeing and George Conrad Westervelt in Seattle, Washington. This was later renamed the Boeing Airplane Company.
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leemun
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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2014 2:51:26 AM

1099 - Jerusalem fell to the Crusaders

The First Crusade (1096–1099) started as a widespread pilgrimage (France and Germany) and ended as a military expedition by Roman Catholic Europe to regain the Holy Lands taken in the Muslim conquests of the Levant (632–661), ultimately resulting in the recapture of Jerusalem in 1099. It was launched on 27 November 1095 by Pope Urban II with the primary goal of responding to an appeal from Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos, who requested that western volunteers come to his aid and help to repel the invading Seljuq Turks from Anatolia. An additional goal soon became the principal objective—the Christian reconquest of the sacred city of Jerusalem and the Holy Land and the freeing of the Eastern Christians from Muslim rule.

[Edited by: leemun at 7/15/2014 2:54:35 AM EST]
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cgstach
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* 1966 - Eight student nurses are brutally murdered by Richard Speck at their group residence in Chicago, Illinois. Speck threatened the women with both a gun and a knife, tying each of them up while robbing their townhouse. Over the next several hours, Speck stabbed and strangled each of the young women throughout various rooms of the place. One young woman, Corazon Amurao, managed to escape with her life by hiding under a bed; Speck had lost count of his victims.

Richard Speck was an alcoholic and a petty criminal with over 20 arrests on his record by the age of 25. He had "Born to Raise Hell" tattooed on his forearm and periodically worked on cargo boats traveling the Great Lakes. On the night of July 13, after drinking heavily at several Chicago bars, Speck broke into the townhouse for student nurses of the South Chicago Community Hospital.

Speck then used his gun to force three nurses into a bedroom, where he found three more women. Using nautical knots, he then tied the women's hands and feet with strips torn from bedsheets. By midnight, three more nurses had come home only to be tied up as well. Speck assured the women that he was only going to rob them.

After stealing from the women, he took them into separate rooms, killing them one by one. The remaining women heard only muffled screams from their roommates. Amurao, who was hiding under her bed, waited until 6 a.m. the following day before leaving her hiding place. She then crawled out onto a second-story ledge and screamed for help. Police responding to the cries obtained a detailed description of Speck from Amurao; the sketch was placed on the front page of every local newspaper the next morning. Speck, who was hiding out at a dollar-a-night hotel, slashed his right wrist and left elbow in a suicide attempt on July 16.

Speck was arrested the next day at the Cook County Hospital. With Amurao's identification and his fingerprints left at the scene, Speck was convicted and sentenced to death. However, in 1972, when the Supreme Court invalidated the death penalty law under which he was sentenced, Speck was re-sentenced to 400 years in prison. He died in prison of a heart attack on December 5, 1991.

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leemun
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1789

The storming and destruction of Bastille marked the beginning of the French Revolution.

On the morning of 14 July 1789, the city of Paris was in a state of alarm. The partisans of the Third Estate in France, now under the control of the Bourgeois Militia of Paris (soon to become Revolutionary France's National Guard), had earlier stormed the Hôtel des Invalides to gather arms (29,000 to 32,000 muskets, but without powder or shot), and were mainly seeking to acquire the large quantities of arms and ammunition stored at the Bastille. On the 14th there were over 13,600 kilograms (30,000 lb) of gunpowder stored there.
French sketching from 1789 depicting the storming of the Bastille.

At this point, the Bastille was nearly empty of prisoners, housing only seven old men annoyed by all the disturbance:four forgers, two "lunatics" and one "deviant" aristocrat, the Comte de Solages (the Marquis de Sade had been transferred out ten days earlier). It was, however, a symbol of royal tyranny.

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rjojo40AL
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Jul 14, 1995: A revolutionary new technology is christened "MP3".

Representatives of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) were not in attendance at the 1995 christening of the infant technology that would shake their business model to its core just a few years later. Known formally as "MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3," the technology in question was an efficient new format for the encoding of high-quality digital audio using a highly efficient data-compression algorithm. In other words, it was a way to make CD-quality music files small enough to be stored in bulk on the average computer and transferred manageably across the Internet. Released to the pubic one week earlier, the brand-new MP3 format was given its name and its familiar ".mp3" file extension on this day in 1995.

The importance of MP3, or any other scheme for compressing data, is made clear by some straightforward arithmetic. The music on a compact disc is encoded in such a way that a single second corresponds to approximately 176,000 bytes of data, and a single three-minute song to approximately 32 million bytes (32MB). In the mid-1990s, when it was not uncommon for a personal computer to have a total hard-drive capacity of only 500MB, it was therefore impossible to store even one album's worth of music on the average home computer. And given the actual connection speed of a then-standard 56K dial-up modem, even a single album's worth of music would have taken literally all day to transfer over the Internet. In this way, the nature of the CD format and the state of mid-90s computer and telecommunications technologies offered the music industry a practical barrier to copyright infringement via Internet file-sharing. But then came MP3.

Over the course of the late 1980s and early 1990s, several teams of audio engineers worked to develop, test and perfect the standard that would eventually gain the blessing of Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG). Their approach took advantage of certain physical and cognitive characteristics of human hearing, such as our inability to detect the quieter of two sounds played simultaneously. Using a "perceptual" compression method, engineers were able to eliminate more than 90 percent of the data in a standard CD audio file without compromising sound quality as perceived by the average listener using standard audio equipment.

Suddenly, that digital copy of your favorite pop song took up only 2-3 MB on your hard-drive rather than 32MB, which in combination with the growth in average drive capacity and the increase in average Internet connection speed created the conditions for both the rampant, Winamp- and Napster-enabled copyright infringement of 1999-2000 and for the legal commercial distribution of digital music via the Internet. In the eyes of the RIAA, those are the conditions that also explain the 29 percent decline in the sales of music CDs between 2000 and 2006.
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lvskyguy
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Message Posted: Jul 14, 2014 3:04:56 AM

1881 – Billy the Kid was shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett in his house, now known as Maxwell House, in New Mexico.
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Joisygal
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Message Posted: Jul 13, 2014 11:42:57 PM

1982 - The All-Star Game was played outside the United States for the first time. They played in Montreal, Canada.
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rjojo40AL
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Jul 13, 1955: Last woman hanged for murder in Great Britain.

Nightclub owner Ruth Ellis is convicted of murdering boyfriend David Blakely on this day in 1955. Ellis was later executed by hanging and became the last woman in Great Britain to be put to death.

Ellis was born in Rhyl, Wales, in 1926. She left school as a young teenager, had a child and worked a variety of jobs, eventually becoming a nightclub hostess. In 1950, she married dentist George Ellis, with whom she had a second child. The marriage was short-lived and Ruth Ellis returned to working in nightclubs. She then became involved in a tempestuous relationship with David Blakely, a playboy race-car driver. Ellis became pregnant but miscarried several days after a fight during which Blakely hit her in the stomach. She later became obsessed with Blakely when he failed to come see her as promised. On April 10, 1955, she shot him to death outside the Magdala pub in Hampstead, North London.

During her trial, which began in June 1955, Ellis stated “It was obvious that when I shot him I intended to kill him.” This was a critical statement, as British law required demonstration of clear intent in order to convict someone of murder. It reportedly took the jury less than half an hour to find Ellis guilty and she automatically received the death penalty. Thousands of people signed petitions protesting her punishment; however, on July 13, 1955, the 28-year-old Ellis was hanged at Holloway Prison, a women’s institution in Islington, London. She was the last woman executed for murder in Great Britain. On August 13, 1964, Peter Anthony Allen and John Alan West became the last people to be executed for murder in England. In 1965, the death penalty for murder was banned in England, Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland outlawed capital punishment in 1973. However, several crimes, including treason, remained punishable by death in Great Britain until 1998.

In 1985, a movie titled Dance With a Stranger chronicled Ellis’ life. In December 2003, a British court dismissed an appeal filed by Ellis’s sister asking for Ruth’s conviction to be reduced to manslaughter on the grounds of “provocation and/or diminished responsibility.”
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Mikeyl
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Message Posted: Jul 13, 2014 5:33:59 PM

July 13th 1645 Aleksei Romanov succeeds his father Michael as czar of Russia
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cgstach
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* 1930 - France defeats Mexico 4-1 and the United States defeats Belgium 3-0 in the first-ever World Cup football matches, played simultaneously in host city Montevideo, Uruguay. The World Cup has since become the world’s most watched sporting event.After football (soccer, to Americans) was dropped from the program for the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, FIFA President Jules Rimet helped to organize an international tournament in 1930. Much to the dismay of European footballers, Uruguay, winner of back-to-back gold medals at the 1924 Paris Olympics and 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, was chosen to host the inaugural World Cup.Due to depression in Europe, many European players, afraid their day jobs would not exist when they returned, were either unable or unwilling to attend the tournament. As a result, some of the most accomplished European teams, including three-time Olympic gold medalist England and football enthusiasts Italy, Spain, Germany and Holland did not make an appearance at the first World Cup. However, when Uruguay agreed to help pay traveling expenses, Rimet was able to convince Belgium, France, Romania and Yugoslavia to make the trip. In Romania, King Carol selected the team members himself, gave them a three-month vacation from their jobs and guaranteed the players would be employed when they returned.Going into the tournament, Uruguay and Argentina were the overwhelming favorites, while France and the United States also fielded competitive sides. In the first round, France’s Lucien Laurent scored the first-ever World Cup goal. In its second game, France lost to Argentina 1-0 amid controversy over the referees ending the game six minutes early. Once the problem was discovered, the referees had to bring the Argentine players back onto the field to play the final minutes. After beating Belgium, the United States beat Paraguay to set up a semi-final match with Argentina, which they lost 6-1. Still, the semi-final placement was the best U.S. World Cup finish to date.In the first World Cup final, held on July 30, 1930, 93,000 spectators looked on as Uruguay defeated Argentina 4–2 in a rematch of the 1928 Olympic gold medal game. Uruguay went on to win its second World Cup in 1950 with a 2-1 win over Brazil in Rio de Janeiro.

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lvskyguy
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Message Posted: Jul 13, 2014 3:02:26 AM

1923 – The Hollywood Sign was officially dedicated in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles. It originally read “Hollywoodland” but the last four letters were dropped after the sign was renovated in 1949.
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cgstach
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* 1995 - A heat advisory is issued in Chicago, Illinois, warning of an impending record-breaking heat wave. By the time the heat breaks a week later, nearly 1,000 people are dead in Illinois and Wisconsin.

On July 13, the temperature in the city hit 106 degrees Fahrenheit and the heat index, which combines temperature with humidity for an estimate of how hot it feels, was above 120 F. During the week, the daytime temperature never went below the mid-90s and even the nighttime temperature stayed in the mid-80s. The use of air conditioning by those who had it caused records to be set for energy use and, subsequently, some power failures. People opened so many hydrants to cool themselves off in the streets that water pressure in several communities was lost. Attempts to close the hydrants were often met with violent resistance. When the heat warped train rails and made them unusable, commuting delays became common.

The young and the old were the most vulnerable to the heat. Hundreds of children were hospitalized from heat ailments. By July 14, paramedics and area hospitals were overwhelmed and unable to keep up with the continuing emergency. Soon, the corpses began to pile up. At the Chicago morgue, 17 bodies were usually handled per day. But just midway through the heat wave, there was a backlog of hundreds of bodies. Refrigerated trucks had to be brought in to hold the excess.

Most of those who died were older men who lived alone, despite the fact that senior women outnumbered senior men in the area. Researchers believe that strength of social connections to the community, which can be greater with women, was the most important factor in determining who became a victim of the heat wave.

Without any explicit criteria about how to identify a death due to heat, it was difficult to accurately count the deaths from the disaster. However, about 740 more people died in Chicago during the heat wave than in a normal week. Cook County's chief medical examiner, Edmund Donoghue, estimated that there were 465 heat-related deaths in the city. Mayor Richard Daley questioned this number, but may have been trying to downplay the toll to avoid criticism of the city's poor preparations for the heat. In fact, it was several days into the heat wave before the city implemented its heat-emergency plan.

Four years later, when another heat wave hit the city, better preparation and a more rapid response limited the deaths to just over 100.

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WES03
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Message Posted: Jul 12, 2014 8:46:14 AM

1864 - Confederate forces under Gen. Jubal Early retreat from Washington, DC.
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lvskyguy
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Message Posted: Jul 12, 2014 3:03:14 AM

1862 – The Medal of Honor was authorized by the United States Congress.
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Joisygal
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Message Posted: Jul 11, 2014 11:40:57 PM

1977 - The Medal of Freedom was awarded posthumously to Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in a White House ceremony.

1979 - The abandoned U.S. space station Skylab returned to Earth. It burned up in the atmosphere and showered debris over the Indian Ocean and Australia.
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rjojo40AL
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Message Posted: Jul 11, 2014 12:27:55 PM

Jul 11, 1978: Gas fire incinerates crowded campsite.

On this day in 1978, a truck carrying liquid gas crashes into a campsite, crowded with vacationers, in San Carlos de la Rapita, Spain. The resulting explosion killed more than 200 people; many others suffered severe burns.

Shortly after 3 p.m. on a hot day on the Mediterranean coast of Spain, a 38-ton truck carrying propylene gas, used in the manufacture of alcohol, was traveling on a small, winding road 120 miles south of Barcelona. The truck, owned by Cisternas Reunidas, may have been on this coastal road instead of the nearby turnpike in order to avoid paying a toll. For unknown reasons, the truck crashed into a cement wall. (Some witnesses report seeing a fire on the truck before the crash.)

Down a hill from the cement wall, 800 people, mostly families on vacation from Germany and France, were camped out near the beach in tents and makeshift bungalows. The truck, carrying 1,500 cubic feet of pressurized liquid gas, plunged down the hill and exploded in a massive fireball. Flames shot up 100 feet into the air, killing many people instantly. The resulting crater was 20 yards in diameter. The huge fire and explosion also caused the camper's portable gas units and cars to blow up. Few of the survivors were wearing any protective clothing other than a bathing suit and many of them suffered horrible burns.

The timing of the disaster also contributed to the high casualty toll. Coming just after lunch, many people had not yet returned to the nearby beach. In all, 215 people lost their lives. So many German citizens were involved that German officials arranged for an airlift of doctors and equipment from Stuttgart to assist in the relief effort.

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cgstach
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* 1804 - In a duel held in Weehawken, New Jersey, Vice President Aaron Burr fatally shoots his long-time political antagonist Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton, a leading Federalist and the chief architect of America's political economy, died the following day.

Alexander Hamilton, born on the Caribbean island of Nevis, came to the American colonies in 1773 as a poor immigrant. (There is some controversy as to the year of his birth, but it was either 1755 or 1757.) In 1776, he joined the Continental Army in the American Revolution, and his relentless energy and remarkable intelligence brought him to the attention of General George Washington, who took him on as an aid. Ten years later, Hamilton served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, and he led the fight to win ratification of the final document, which created the kind of strong, centralized government that he favored. In 1789, he was appointed the first secretary of the treasury by President Washington, and during the next six years he crafted a sophisticated monetary policy that saved the young U.S. government from collapse. With the emergence of political parties, Hamilton was regarded as a leader of the Federalists.

Aaron Burr, born into a prestigious New Jersey family in 1756, was also intellectually gifted, and he graduated from the College of New Jersey (later Princeton) at the age of 17. He joined the Continental Army in 1775 and distinguished himself during the Patriot attack on Quebec. A masterful politician, he was elected to the New State Assembly in 1783 and later served as state attorney. In 1790, he defeated Alexander Hamilton's father-in-law in a race for the U.S. Senate.

Hamilton came to detest Burr, whom he regarded as a dangerous opportunist, and he often spoke ill of him. When Burr ran for the vice presidency in 1796 on Thomas Jefferson's Democratic-Republican ticket (the forerunner of the Democratic Party), Hamilton launched a series of public attacks against Burr, stating, "I feel it is a religious duty to oppose his career." John Adams won the presidency, and in 1797 Burr left the Senate and returned to the New York Assembly.

In 1800, Jefferson chose Burr again as his running mate. Burr aided the Democratic-Republican ticket by publishing a confidential document that Hamilton had written criticizing his fellow Federalist President John Adams. This caused a rift in the Federalists and helped Jefferson and Burr win the election with 73 electoral votes each.

Under the electoral procedure then prevailing, president and vice president were not voted for separately; the candidate who received the most votes was elected president, and the second in line, vice president. The vote then went to the House of Representatives. What at first seemed but an electoral technicality--handing Jefferson victory over his running mate--developed into a major constitutional crisis when Federalists in the lame-duck Congress threw their support behind Burr. After a remarkable 35 tie votes, a small group of Federalists changed sides and voted in Jefferson's favor. Alexander Hamilton, who had supported Jefferson as the lesser of two evils, was instrumental in breaking the deadlock.

Burr became vice president, but Jefferson grew apart from him, and he did not support Burr's renomination to a second term in 1804. That year, a faction of New York Federalists, who had found their fortunes drastically diminished after the ascendance of Jefferson, sought to enlist the disgruntled Burr into their party and elect him governor. Hamilton campaigned against Burr with great fervor, and Burr lost the Federalist nomination and then, running as an independent for governor, the election. In the campaign, Burr's character was savagely attacked by Hamilton and others, and after the election he resolved to restore his reputation by challenging Hamilton to a duel, or an "affair of honor," as they were known.

Affairs of honor were commonplace in America at the time, and the complex rules governing them usually led to an honorable resolution before any actual firing of weapons. In fact, the outspoken Hamilton had been involved in several affairs of honor in his life, and he had resolved most of them peaceably. No such recourse was found with Burr, however, and on July 11, 1804, the enemies met at 7 a.m. at the dueling grounds near Weehawken, New Jersey. It was the same spot where Hamilton's son had died defending his father's honor two years before.

There are conflicting accounts of what happened next. According to Hamilton's "second"--his assistant and witness in the duel--Hamilton decided the duel was morally wrong and deliberately fired into the air. Burr's second claimed that Hamilton fired at Burr and missed. What happened next is agreed upon: Burr shot Hamilton in the stomach, and the bullet lodged next to his spine. Hamilton was taken back to New York, and he died the next afternoon.

Few affairs of honor actually resulted in deaths, and the nation was outraged by the killing of a man as eminent as Alexander Hamilton. Charged with murder in New York and New Jersey, Burr, still vice president, returned to Washington, D.C., where he finished his term immune from prosecution.

In 1805, Burr, thoroughly discredited, concocted a plot with James Wilkinson, commander-in-chief of the U.S. Army, to seize the Louisiana Territory and establish an independent empire, which Burr, presumably, would lead. He contacted the British government and unsuccessfully pleaded for assistance in the scheme. Later, when border trouble with Spanish Mexico heated up, Burr and Wilkinson conspired to seize territory in Spanish America for the same purpose.

In the fall of 1806, Burr led a group of well-armed colonists toward New Orleans, prompting an immediate U.S. investigation. General Wilkinson, in an effort to save himself, turned against Burr and sent dispatches to Washington accusing Burr of treason. In February 1807, Burr was arrested in Louisiana for treason and sent to Virginia to be tried in a U.S. court. In September, he was acquitted on a technicality. Nevertheless, public opinion condemned him as a traitor, and he fled to Europe. He later returned to private life in New York, the murder charges against him forgotten. He died in 1836.

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WES03
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Message Posted: Jul 11, 2014 8:53:54 AM

1864 - Battle of Ft. Stevens. Only Civil War battle within the city limits of Washington, DC.
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lvskyguy
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Message Posted: Jul 11, 2014 3:01:53 AM

1922- The Hollywood Bowl opened. The Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra inaugurated the first season of music under the stars.
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cgstach
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Message Posted: Jul 10, 2014 4:03:58 PM

* 1925 - In Dayton, Tennessee, the so-called "Monkey Trial" begins with John Thomas Scopes, a young high school science teacher, accused of teaching evolution in violation of a Tennessee state law.

The law, which had been passed in March, made it a misdemeanor punishable by fine to "teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals." With local businessman George Rappalyea, Scopes had conspired to get charged with this violation, and after his arrest the pair enlisted the aid of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to organize a defense. Hearing of this coordinated attack on Christian fundamentalism, William Jennings Bryan, the three-time Democratic presidential candidate and a fundamentalist hero, volunteered to assist the prosecution. Soon after, the great attorney Clarence Darrow agreed to join the ACLU in the defense, and the stage was set for one of the most famous trials in U.S. history.

On July 10, the Monkey Trial got underway, and within a few days hordes of spectators and reporters had descended on Dayton as preachers set up revival tents along the city's main street to keep the faithful stirred up. Inside the Rhea County Courthouse, the defense suffered early setbacks when Judge John Raulston ruled against their attempt to prove the law unconstitutional and then refused to end his practice of opening each day's proceeding with prayer.

Outside, Dayton took on a carnival-like atmosphere as an exhibit featuring two chimpanzees and a supposed "missing link" opened in town, and vendors sold Bibles, toy monkeys, hot dogs, and lemonade. The missing link was in fact Jo Viens of Burlington, Vermont, a 51-year-old man who was of short stature and possessed a receding forehead and a protruding jaw. One of the chimpanzees--named Joe Mendi--wore a plaid suit, a brown fedora, and white spats, and entertained Dayton's citizens by monkeying around on the courthouse lawn.

In the courtroom, Judge Raulston destroyed the defense's strategy by ruling that expert scientific testimony on evolution was inadmissible--on the grounds that it was Scopes who was on trial, not the law he had violated. The next day, Raulston ordered the trial moved to the courthouse lawn, fearing that the weight of the crowd inside was in danger of collapsing the floor.

In front of several thousand spectators in the open air, Darrow changed his tactics and as his sole witness called Bryan in an attempt to discredit his literal interpretation of the Bible. In a searching examination, Bryan was subjected to severe ridicule and forced to make ignorant and contradictory statements to the amusement of the crowd. On July 21, in his closing speech, Darrow asked the jury to return a verdict of guilty in order that the case might be appealed. Under Tennessee law, Bryan was thereby denied the opportunity to deliver the closing speech he had been preparing for weeks. After eight minutes of deliberation, the jury returned with a guilty verdict, and Raulston ordered Scopes to pay a fine of $100, the minimum the law allowed. Although Bryan had won the case, he had been publicly humiliated and his fundamentalist beliefs had been disgraced. Five days later, on July 26, he lay down for a Sunday afternoon nap and never woke up.

In 1927, the Tennessee Supreme Court overturned the Monkey Trial verdict on a technicality but left the constitutional issues unresolved until 1968, when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a similar Arkansas law on the grounds that it violated the First Amendment.

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lvskyguy
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Message Posted: Jul 10, 2014 3:03:20 AM

1964 – The Beatles’ Album, A Hard Day’s Night, was released.
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Toadman7
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Message Posted: Jul 9, 2014 4:34:02 PM

July 9, 1997

Boxer Mike Tyson was temporarily banned from boxing for biting Evander Holyfield's ear.
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Toadman7
Champion Author Dallas

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Message Posted: Jul 9, 2014 4:32:51 PM

July 9, 2002

Baseball's All-Star Game ended in a tie after 11 innings. Both sides had run out of pitchers.

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