1756 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born.
1832 Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was born. (See July 4th entry.)
1850 Samuel Gompers was born.
1880 The electric light bulb was patented.
1888 The National Geographic Society was incorporated.
1951 An Air Force plane dropped a one-kiloton atom bomb.
1964 France officially recognized the People’s Republic of China.
1967 Three U. S. astronauts were killed in a fire aboard their Gemini spacecraft.
1973 The U. S. military draft ended when the Vietnam peace accords were signed in Paris.
An illuminating event took place on this anniversary. You could say it was the original bright idea when a light bulb went on, not in someone’s head, but on someone’s
Workbench. On this date in 1880, Thomas A. Edison received a patent for his incandescent electric light bulb. It has been easier to shed light in dark places ever since, thanks to Edison’s invention; and people have also been seeking to turn off the lights since then. It took Edison roughly 1,500 attempts before he found the right substance to use as a filament. Why did he keep trying? Aside from the fact that he felt each failure was another lesson in how not to build a light bulb, he was afraid of the dark.
Today, we celebrate the life of a musical prodigy who composed lyrical works about a magic flute, mistaken identity, and a gentleman named Figaro. born on this date in Austria in 1756, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart went on to write 626 musical compositions—including operas, symphonies, sonatas, and concerti—during his short, thirty - five-year life span.
How much—if anything—do these names mean to you: Virgil Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee? You may remember them as the three astronauts who were killed in an Apollo rocket fire at Cape Kennedy, Florida. It happened on this day in 1967. We need to be mindful that while we have our eyes on the skies, trouble may be right at our feet. These astronauts did not die in outer space; their tragic accident occurred right on the ground.
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was born on this day in Daresby, England, in 1832. An ingenious mathematician and logician who studied at Oxford University, Dodgson achieved his greatest fame when he wrote under the pen name of Lewis Carroll. His two famous novels, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass & What Alice Found There, were written to entertain a pretty ten-year-old whose name was coincidentally Alice Pleasance Liddell. His fantastic nonsense has entertained many generations of children and adults ever since. As Dodgson himself wrote: ‘The time has come,’ the Walms said, / ‘To talk of many things: / Of shoes and ships and sealing wax / Of cabbages and kings / And why the sea is boiling hot / And whether pigs have wings.’
In the early part of this century, American laborers needed strong representation to attain a humane quality of life in the newly industrialized society. Decent wages, reasonable working hours, and fair treatment were not always easy to come by. When Samuel Gompers was born in London, England, on this day in 1850, child labor, low wages, and fourteen-hour workdays were still common practices in factories. At the end of his nearly forty-year career, Gompers changed that tide in labor. When he emigrated with his family to the U. S. in 1863, he followed his father’s trade and became a cigar - maker. He gained his worldwide reputation by leading the national cigar-makers union away from the Knights of Labor to form the American Federation of Labor—the AF of L—and by promoting voluntarism. Gompers believed that unions should use strikes and boycotts to achieve their aims. He also encouraged them to apply written trade agreements and to establish national jurisdiction over the numerous local unions that existed.
On this date, in 1888, the doors to a whole new world opened for many generations of Americans—young and old alike. They led to faraway lands and peoples; introduced us to rarely-seen portions of the natural world; and showed us glimpses of our past and future through the eyes of great scientists, explorers, and photographers. Thanks to a suggestion made by the telephone’s inventor Alexander Graham Bell, these worlds were not just documented in words. There were pictures, pictures, and more pictures. This is the anniversary of The National Geographic Society’s incorporation in Washington, D. C., with Bell’s son-in-law as its editor-in-chief.
Many decisive events of war and peace have occurred on this particular day in history.
In 1951, a U. S. Air Force plane dropped a one-kiloton atom bomb on Frenchman Flats,
Nevada, ushering in a new phase in the nuclear arms race. On a more peaceful note, in
1964, France officially recognized the People’s Republic of China; and in 1973, the U. S.
Military draft was discontinued when the Vietnam peace accords were signed in Paris.
Since this day also seems to tie in with things that are French, a quote from Victor Hugo
Seems appropriate: “There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world and that is an idea whose time has come.”