963 AD Luxembourg became a principality.
1868 The capital letter typewriter was patented.
1894 Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor, was born. (See June 3rd, June 19th, and December 10th entries.)
1912 Alan M. Turing was born.
1931 Aviators Wiley Post and Harold Catty took off from New York for a flight around the world. (See July 22nd entry.)
1938 U. S. Congress created the Civil Aeronautics Authority.
1961 The International Treaty of Scientific Cooperation and Peaceful Use of Antarctica was signed.
Won’t you wish a happy birthday to the principality of Luxembourg which was founded on this date in 963 ad? The birthday has to be happy because Luxembourg has survived occupations and invasions by more powerful neighbors—and every other country is more powerful than Luxembourg except in its ability to survive. Good countries, like other good things, sometimes come in small packages.
Today we commemorate a chilly subject—Antarctica. On this date in 1961, an international treaty for scientific cooperation and the peaceful use of the Antarctic continent
Was signed. It will be a cold day when that treaty ends. Meanwhile, we can benefit from knowing that none of the treaty nations are planning a mass migration of their populous there in the near future.
History records that on this date, in 1868, Christopher Sholes, a Wisconsin journalist and state senator, received a patent for a contraption called a “Type-Writer.” This particular typewriter printed only capital letters—it didn’t have a shift key. But it sparked an evolution in business equipment that has led to pocket-sized computers with complete though minute keyboards, and enough memory to store all kinds of information— despite the fact that many of them also type in capital letters only.
A lot of controversy has arisen over Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor, in the past few years. Was the son of Great Britain’s King George V really a German spy? born on this day in 1894, it was a well-known fact that before Edward took the throne he wanted to sign a friendship agreement with the German government. The royal house of Windsor did have German connections which his father officially declared as severed during the First World War. Did Parliament really allow him to abdicate his title and marry a commoner just to get rid of him? The mystery has not yet been solved, though new evidence is still being uncovered.
During the 1930s, America took to the skies. On this day in 1931, aviators Wiley Post and Harold Catty took off from New York City for their epic flight around the world. And seven years later to the day, the U. S. Congress created the Civil Aeronautics Authority to regulate air traffic. The skies had become crowded with airmail routes, passenger flights, and barnstorming stunt pilots in the thirty years following the Wright Brothers’ first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Now known as the Federal Aviation Administration, this arm of government continues to monitor the thousands of aircraft that fly in America’s crowded airspace.
No one had ever heard of digital computers when British mathematician Alan Mathison Turing was born in 1912. Artificial intelligence was just a wild-eyed fantasy in a few obscure science tests. While studying for his masters degree at Cambridge University’s King’s College, Turing took long walks through the river-side meadows down to the village of Grantchester. On one of his afternoon strolls, he conceived of a universal computing machine; and in 1937, he published his theory entitled “On Computable Numbers.” After the Second World War, Turing headed a project to create the ACE— Automatic Computing Engine. Three years later, he directed the construction of the Manchester Automatic Digital Machine. And in 1950, Turing predicted that computers would eventually think like humans. Sadly, he never lived to see his prophecy come to the fruition it has reached.