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October 14 – 1947 Yeager breaks sound barrier

U.S. Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager becomes the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound.

Yeager, born in Myra, West Virginia, in 1923, was a combat fighter during World War II and flew 64 missions over Europe. He shot down 13 German planes and was himself shot down over France, but he escaped capture with the assistance of the French Underground. After the war, he was among several volunteers chosen to test-fly the experimental X-1 rocket plane, built by the Bell Aircraft Company to explore the possibility of supersonic flight.

For years, many aviators believed that man was not meant to fly faster than the speed of sound, theorizing that transonic drag rise would tear any aircraft apart. All that changed on October 14, 1947, when Yeager flew the X-1 over Rogers Dry Lake in Southern California. The X-1 was lifted to an altitude of 25,000 feet by a B-29 aircraft and then released through the bomb bay, rocketing to 40,000 feet and exceeding 662 miles per hour (the sound barrier at that altitude). The rocket plane, nicknamed “Glamorous Glennis,” was designed with thin, unswept wings and a streamlined fuselage modeled after a .50-caliber bullet. Continue reading “October 14 – 1947 Yeager breaks sound barrier”

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October 7 – 1985 Palestinian terrorists hijack an Italian cruise ship

Four Palestinian terrorists board the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauroshortly after it left Alexandria, Egypt, in order to hijack the luxury liner. The well-armed men, who belonged to the Popular Front for the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), the terrorist wing of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) led by Abu Abbas, easily took control of the vessel since there was no security force on board.

Abbas had been responsible for many attacks on Israel and its citizens in the early 1980s. On multiple occasions, he sent men on hang gliders and in hot air balloons on bombing missions to Israel, all of which turned out to be miserable failures. In an attempt to salvage his reputation, Abbas ordered the hijacking of the Achille Lauro. Yet there were no specific goals or demands set forth in the mission. Continue reading “October 7 – 1985 Palestinian terrorists hijack an Italian cruise ship”

October 1 – 1918 Crisis in Germany

At four o’clock on the morning of October 1, 1918, Max von Baden arrives in Berlin to take office as the new German chancellor, after conflict within the German military and government leadership causes his predecessor, Georg von Hertling, to resign.

Although the Allies had breached the mighty Hindenburg Line—the heavily fortified defensive zone envisioned as the last line of German defenses on the Western Front—in the last days of September 1918, German forces in general continued to hold. Continue reading “October 1 – 1918 Crisis in Germany”

September 27th – Google celebrates 17th birthday, But There is a Confusion of Real Date! – SOLVED Here

Google has turned 17 years today and is celebrating its birthday with a special doodle on the homepage. The homepage has an old school desktop screen, a Linux pengiun, a Lava lamp and an server with the Lego blocks on top. The pictures are an homage to how Google started in its early days.

In its blogpost explaining the Doodle, Google wrote that “in the world of computer programming, 17 is widely considered the least random number.” Continue reading “September 27th – Google celebrates 17th birthday, But There is a Confusion of Real Date! – SOLVED Here”

5 Things You May Not Know About Lincoln, Slavery and Emancipation

September 22 marks the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, in which he declared that as of January 1, 1863, all slaves in states in rebellion against the Union “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” To commemorate the occasion, we invite you to consider some surprising facts about Lincoln’s views on slavery, and the complex process that led him to issue the document he later called “the central act of my administration, and the greatest event of the 19th century.”

1. Lincoln wasn’t an abolitionist.
Lincoln did believe that slavery was morally wrong, but there was one big problem: It was sanctioned by the highest law in the land, the Constitution. Continue reading “5 Things You May Not Know About Lincoln, Slavery and Emancipation”

August 15 – Ali defeats Spinks to win world heavyweight championship

On this day in 1978, boxer Muhammad Ali defeats Leon Spinks at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans to win the world heavyweight boxing title for the third time in his career, the first fighter ever to do so. Following his victory, Ali retired from boxing, only to make a brief comeback two years later. Ali, who once claimed he could “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” left the sport permanently in 1981.

Born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. in Louisville, Kentucky, on January 14, 1942, the future world champ changed his name to Muhammad Ali in 1964 after converting to Islam. He earned a gold medal at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome and made his professional boxing debut against Tunney Husaker in October 1960, winning the bout in six rounds. Continue reading “August 15 – Ali defeats Spinks to win world heavyweight championship”

09 September – Congress renames the nation “United States of America”

On this day in 1776, the Continental Congress formally declares the name of the new nation to be the “United States” of America. This replaced the term “United Colonies,” which had been in general use.

In the Congressional declaration dated September 9, 1776, the delegates wrote, “That in all continental commissions, and other instruments, where, heretofore, the words ‘United Colonies’ have been used, the stile be altered for the future to the “United States.” Continue reading “09 September – Congress renames the nation “United States of America””

September 2 1969 First ATM opens for business

On this day in 1969, America’s first automatic teller machine (ATM) makes its public debut, dispensing cash to customers at Chemical Bank in Rockville Center, New York. ATMs went on to revolutionize the banking industry, eliminating the need to visit a bank to conduct basic financial transactions. By the 1980s, these money machines had become widely popular and handled many of the functions previously performed by human tellers, such as check deposits and money transfers between accounts. Today, ATMs are as indispensable to most people as cell phones and e-mail.

Several inventors worked on early versions of a cash-dispensing machine, but Don Wetzel, an executive at Docutel, a Dallas company that developed automated baggage-handling equipment, is generally credited as coming up with the idea for the modern ATM. Wetzel reportedly conceived of the concept while waiting on line at a bank. Continue reading “September 2 1969 First ATM opens for business”

August 27 1883 – Krakatau explodes

The most powerful volcanic eruption in recorded history occurs on Krakatau (also called Krakatoa), a small, uninhabited volcanic island located west of Sumatra in Indonesia, on this day in 1883. Heard 3,000 miles away, the explosions threw five cubic miles of earth 50 miles into the air, created 120-foot tsunamis and killed 36,000 people.

Krakatau exhibited its first stirrings in more than 200 years on May 20, 1883. A German warship passing by reported a seven-mile high cloud of ash and dust over Krakatau. For the next two months, similar explosions would be witnessed by commercial liners and natives on nearby Java and Sumatra. With little to no idea of the impending catastrophe, the local inhabitants greeted the volcanic activity with festive excitement. Continue reading “August 27 1883 – Krakatau explodes”

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