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    March 8, 1918: Killer Influenza

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    March 7, 1897: First Morning of the Cornflake

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    March 6, 1992: False Alarm

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    March 5, 1904: Tesla’s Having a Ball

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    March 4, 1877: The Microphone Sounds Much Better

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    March 1, 1966: Probe Makes First Contact With...

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    Feb. 28, 1935: Sheer Bliss

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    Feb. 27, 1812: Rage, Rage Against the Industrial Age

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    Feb. 26, 1870: New York City Blows Subway Opportunity

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    Feb. 25, 1919: Oregon Taxes Gas by the Gallon

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    Feb. 22, 1857: Hertz Enters Cycle of Life

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    Feb. 21, 1947: ‘Take a Polaroid’ Enters the...

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    Feb. 20, 1962: Yank in Orbit

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    Feb. 19, 1473: Copernicus Born

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    Feb. 15, 1995: Mitnick Arrested

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    Feb. 14, 1989: GPS Enters Orbit

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    Feb. 13, 1990: Seeing the Earth as Others See Us

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    Feb. 12, 1908: The Great Race

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    Feb. 8, 1828: Sci-Fi’s Prophetical Father Is Born

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    Feb. 7, 1863: Early Stab at Organizing Elements

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    Feb. 6, 1959: Titan Launches; Cold War Heats Up

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    Feb. 5, 1940: It’s Surreal Thing — H.R. Giger Born

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    Feb. 4, 1951: Major Assist Removes Enormous Cyst

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    Feb. 1, 1893: Lights! Kinetograph! Action!

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    Jan. 31, 1958: First U.S. Satellite Discovers Van...

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    Jan. 29, 1901: DuMont Will Make TV Work

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    Jan. 28, 2001: Hey, Don’t Tampa With My Privacy

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    Jan. 25, 1979: Robot Kills Human

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    Jan. 24, 1935: First Canned Beer Sold

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    Jan. 23, 1978: Pfffttt….

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    Jan. 22, 1950: Jury Acquits Tucker of Fraud

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    Jan. 18, 1911: Clear the Deck

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    Jan. 17, 1985: Please Hold

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    Jan. 16, 1936: Day at the Races, and Your Nag in a...

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    Jan. 15, 1929: Birth of a Moral Compass, Even for...

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    Jan. 14, 1953: Federal Express Leaves for...

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    Jan. 10, 1863: Take the Tube

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    Jan. 9, 1643: Astronomer Sees Ashen Light of Venus

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    Jan. 8, 1942: Birthday of a First-Rate Mind, and a...

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    Jan. 7, 1851: Foucault Gets the Swing of Things

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    Jan. 4: Braille, Pitman Birthdays Celebrate New...

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    Jan. 3, 1957: Electric Watch Debuts, a Space Age Marvel

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    Jan. 2, 1860: ‘Gentlemen, I Give You the Planet...

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    Jan. 1, 1801: Up in the Sky … It’s a Star …...

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    Dec. 31, 1938: Set ‘em Up, Joe … for a Breath Test

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    Dec. 28, 1973: Endangered Species Get a Helping Hand

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    Dec. 27, 1831: Beagle Sets Sail With a Very Special...

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    Dec. 26, 1982: Time’s Top Man? The Personal Computer

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    Dec. 25, 2004: Next Stop, Titan, Saturn’s Largest...

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    Dec. 24, 1968: Christmas Eve Greetings From Lunar Orbit

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    Dec. 21, 1842: Birth of an Anarchist, and...

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    Dec. 20, 1996: Science Loses Its Most Visible...

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    Dec. 19, 1974: Build Your Own Computer at Home!

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    Dec. 18, 1878: Let There Be Light — Electric Light

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    Dec. 17, 1790: Accurate Calendar Requires...

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    Dec. 14, 1996: Big Holiday Bonus Shows Workers the...

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    Dec. 13, 1809: First Removal of Ovarian Tumor

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    Dec. 12, 1896: Marconi Demos Radio — Dec. 12,...

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    Dec. 11, 1910: Neon Lights the City of Light

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    Dec. 10, 1944: Web Visionary Passes Into Obscurity

  • Today in Tech History

    Dec. 7, 1999: RIAA Sues Napster

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    Dec. 6, 1850: The Eyes Have It, Thanks to the...

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    Dec. 5, 1901: Disney, Heisenberg — Separated at...

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    Nov. 30: A St. Andrew’s Day Salute to Scottish...

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    Nov. 29, 1972: Pong, a Game Any Drunk Can Play

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    Nov. 28, 1660: Hey, Guys, Let’s Found Britain’s...

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    Nov. 27, 1895: Nobel’s Final Will Not Prized by...

  • Today in Tech History

    Nov. 26, 1894: Cybernetics Pioneer Norbert Wiener Born

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    Nov. 23, 1963: Doctor Who Materializes on BBC

  • Today in Tech History

    Nov. 22, 1963: Zapruder Films JFK Assassination

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    Nov. 21, 1968: Love Canal Calamity Surfaces

  • Today in Tech History

    Nov. 20, 1984: SETI Seekers Find a Home

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    Nov. 19, 1996: Canadian Bridge Crosses 8 Miles of...

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    Nov. 16, 1904: Vacuum Tube Heralds Birth of Modern...

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    Nov. 15, 1864: Sherman’s March to the Sea Changes...

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    Nov. 14, 1666: Watching a Transfusion, and Taking Notes

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    Introducing Mad Science, a History Book of Our...

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    Nov. 13, 1460: Death Stills Henry the Navigator

  • Today in Tech History

    Nov. 12, 1935: You Should (Not) Have a Lobotomy

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    Nov. 9, 1888: Jack the Ripper Strikes for the Last...

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    Nov. 8, 1895: Roentgen Stumbles Upon X-Rays

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    Oct. 5, 1895: Cycling’s ‘Race of Truth’

    1895: The North Road Cycling Club in London holds what is widely regarded as the first bicycle time trial.

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    Oct. 4, 1958: ‘Comets’ Debut Trans-Atlantic Jet Age

    1958: Two DeHavilland Comets depart London and New York, each bound for the other city. Flying for the British Overseas Airways Corporation, the two aircraft complete the first...

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    Oct. 3, 1947: Birth of Palomar’s ‘Giant Eye’

    1947: After 13 years of grinding and polishing, the Palomar Observatory mirror is completed at Caltech.

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    Oct. 2, 1996: FOIA Law Ushers in Digital Democracy

    1996: President Bill Clinton signs amendments to the Freedom of Information Act that help usher in a new age of digital democracy. The new law requires the government to make...

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    Oct. 1, 1950: Come Fly With Me, Says BBC

    1950: The BBC airs the first live, in-flight TV broadcast, from a specially outfitted plane flying over London. It is not free of glitches, but once TV stations are introduced to...

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    Sept. 28, 1998: Internet Explorer Leaves Netscape...

    1998: A report from the International Data Corporation shows that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has passed Netscape Navigator in browser share for the first time.

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    Sept. 27, 1822: Deciphering the Rosetta Stone...

    1822: Jean-François Champollion shows a draft translation of the mysterious Rosetta stone and demonstrates to the world how to read the voluminous hieroglyphics left behind...

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    Sept. 24, 1979: First Online Service for Consumers...

    1979: CompuServe begins offering a dial-up online information service to consumers.

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    Aug. 14, 1901: Before the Wright Bros., There Was...

    1901: Gustave Whitehead purportedly travels a mile-and-a-half in the air aboard his birdlike monoplane. If he did, that means he flew nearly two-and-a-half years before the Wright...

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    Aug. 7, 1991: Ladies and Gentlemen, the World Wide Web

    1991: The World Wide Web becomes publicly available on the internet for the first time.

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    July 30, 2003: Last Vee-Dub Marks the End of an...

    2003: The last “old style” Volkswagen Beetle rolls off a Mexican assembly line.

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    July 25, 1965: Dylan’s Move to Electric Leaves...

    1965: Bob Dylan trades acoustic for electric at the Newport Folk Festival. It does not go over well.

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    July 24, 1959: Nixon, Khrushchev Have a Chat in the...

    1959: Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev engage in the so-called Kitchen Debate, an entertaining parry-and-thrust between the two on ideology,...

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    July 23, 1962: Telstar Provides First-Ever TV Link...

    1962: The Telstar 1 communications satellite relays the first trans-Atlantic television signal in history.

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    July 19, 1963: Cracking the 100-Kilometer-High...

    1963: Test pilot Joe Walker takes an X-15 aircraft to an altitude of 67 miles (106 kilometers), becoming the only pilot to surpass the 100-kilometer barrier in a rocket plane...

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    July 11, 1975: Unearthing Qin Shi Huang’s...

    1975: Archeologists complete excavation of the necropolis of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of a unified China, and discover 8,000 terra-cotta warriors and their horses guarding...

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    July 10, 1962: Swedes Set to Belt Us All … Safely

    1962: Swedish engineer Nils Bohlin receives a U.S. patent for the three-point, lap-and-shoulder, vehicle safety belt. It’s considered one of the most important and...

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    July 4, 1054: Crab Nebula Makes a Spectacular Debut...

    1054: A supernova noted by Chinese observers heralds the creation of the Crab Nebula. The exact date has been disputed, but most accounts accept the Chinese date of July 4.

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    July 2, 1928: America’s First TV Station Goes on...

    1928: W3XK, the first American TV station, begins broadcasting from suburban Washington, D.C.

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    June 27, 1954: World’s First Nuclear Power Plant...

    1954: The first nuclear power plant to be connected to an external grid goes operational in Obninsk, outside of Moscow.

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    June 25, 1997: Minor Collision Doesn’t Dull Cargo...

    1997: An unmanned “Progress” spacecraft collides with the Mir space station while attempting to dock.

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    June 20, 1963: Cuban Missile Crisis Spurs...

    1963: A “hot line” is established between the White House and the Kremlin. Now, the leaders of the two most powerful nations on Earth can communicate quickly in a crisis.

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    June 19, 240 B.C.: The Earth Is Round, and It’s...

    240 B.C.: Greek astronomer, geographer, mathematician and librarian Eratosthenes calculates the Earth’s circumference. His data was rough, but he wasn’t far off.

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    June 18, 1983: Sally Ride, the First American Woman...

    1983: Sally Ride becomes the first American woman to travel into space.

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    June 13, 1955: Innumerable Carats of Ice Amid...

    1955: Soviet geologists in eastern Siberia discover a massive deposit of diamond in what will become the Mir mine, the second largest excavated pit in the world.

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    June 11, 1644: The Barometer Gets Its First...

    1644: Italian physicist Evangelista Torricelli demonstrates the principles of the mercury barometer, an instrument he invented the previous year.

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    June 6, 1944: Artificial Harbor Paves the Way for...

    1944: The invasion of Normandy was as much a triumph of technology as it was a feat of logistics or firepower. That an invasion was coming was well known by everyone, including...

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    June 4, 1783: Balloons That Carry Passengers?...

    1783: The Montgolfier brothers, Joseph and Jacques, stage a public demonstration of the first hot-air balloon capable of carrying passengers.

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    May 31, 1977: Trans-Alaska Pipeline a Source of Oil...

    1977: The 800-mile-long Trans-Alaska Pipeline System is completed.

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    May 25, 1961: JFK Vows to Put American on Moon by...

    1961: President Kennedy declares his intention of putting an American astronaut on the moon by the end of the decade.

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    May 23, 1985: Selling Stealth Secrets to the Reds...

    1985: Aerospace engineer Thomas Patrick Cavanagh is sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of trying to sell secrets of the stealth bomber to the Soviet Union.

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    May 21, 1927: Lucky Lindy Flies His Way Into the...

    1927: Charles Lindbergh lands at Le Bourget airfield outside of Paris, completing the first nonstop transatlantic flight and becoming an instant international celebrity.

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    May 16, 1988: Nicotine Declared as Addictive as...

    1988: C. Everett Koop, surgeon general of the United States, publishes a report declaring nicotine as addictive as either heroin or cocaine.

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    May 9, 1960: Easy Birth Control Arrives, But...

    1960: The birth control pill wins the approval of the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA gives its blessing to the 10-milligram dose of Enovid, which by then had been in...

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    May 8, 1886: Looking for Pain Relief, and Finding...

    1886: Trying to come up with a headache cure and general pain reliever, pharmacist John Pemberton invents the...

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    May 7, 558: The Roof Caves In on the Hagia Sophia

    558: The dome of the Hagia Sophia cathedral in Constantinople collapses following an earthquake.

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    May 2, 1952: First Commercial Jet Flies From London...

    1952: A de Havilland Comet, flying for British Overseas Airways Corporation, becomes the first jet aircraft to enter commercial service, carrying passengers from London to...

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    May 1, 1851: All’s Fair in Love, War, Machinery...

    1851: The Great Exhibition opens in London’s Hyde Park. It’s the birth of the world’s fair, a cosmopolitan...

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    April 30, 1897: J.J. Thomson Announces the Electron...

    1897: Physicist J.J. Thomson tells a startled scientific audience that he’s discovered something smaller than an atom, a particle with a minuscule mass and a negative charge.

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    April 26, 1956: The Container Ship’s Maiden Voyage

    1956: The converted tanker Ideal X leaves Newark, New Jersey, carrying 58 cargo-laden truck-trailers on its specially fitted deck. Containerization is born....

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    April 25, 1859: Big Dig Starts for Suez Canal

    1859: Egyptian workers under French engineers begin construction of the Suez Canal.

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    April 24, 1184 B.C.: Trojan Horse Defeats...

    1184 B.C.: During the Trojan War, the Greeks depart in ships, leaving behind a large wooden horse as a victory offering. It is hauled inside the walls of Troy, and Greek soldiers...

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    April 23, 1940: Batteries Included, and They...

    1940: Engineer Herman Anthony of Ray-O-Vac receives a patent for the leakproof battery. His invention is about to go to war.

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    April 20, 1964: Picturephone Dials Up First...

    1964: Bell’s Picturephone service dials up the world’s first videophone call, and the New York World Fair’s science consultant William L. Laurence gets some face...

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    April 18, 1915: Aerial Warfare Is About to Make a...

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    April 17, 1790: America Loses One of Its Most...

    1790: Benjamin Franklin dies.

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    April 13, 2000: Seek and Destroy – Metallica Sues...

    2000: Heavy metal band Metallica sues Napster for enabling thievery and copyright infringement. The rockin’ lawsuit came on the heels of the

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    April 12, 1976: Apple’s ‘Adult Supervision’...

    1976: Ronald Wayne, who with Steves Jobs and Wozniak founded Apple Computer,

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    April 11, 1888: Concertgebouw, Home of Nearly...

    1888: The Concertgebouw concert hall opens in Amsterdam.

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    April 10, 1849: Safety Tech Gets to the Point, Baby

    1849: A New York inventor receives a patent for the spring safety pin. He invented it because he needed some cash and was able to sell the rights within hours. Parents and babies...

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    April 9, 1959: America Meets Its 7 Original Astronauts

    1959: The first seven astronauts selected to participate in NASA’s Project Mercury are introduced by the space agency at a press conference in Washington.

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    April 6, 1909: Peary Claims North Pole, But Is the...

    1909: American explorer Robert Peary claims to have reached the geographic North Pole on this date. If true, it makes him the first person to attain “the Big Nail”...

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    April 5, 1956: Disneyland’s Bathroom of the...

    1956: The Crane Company Bathroom of Tomorrow opens in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland, promising visitors the lavish lavatory of the future, which was actually “Available Today!” from — you...

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    April 4, 1581: Francis Drake Knighted by His...

    1581: Francis Drake, having completed the first circumnavigation of the world a few months earlier, is knighted by Queen Elizabeth aboard his ship, the Golden Hind.

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    April 3, 1996: Unabomber Nabbed in His Montana Hideout

    1996: Ted Kaczynski is arrested by the FBI at his cabin outside Lincoln, Montana. The Unabomber’s reign of terror is over.

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    April 2, 1845: Photographing the Sun, Measuring...

    1845: French physicists Armand H. L. Fizeau and J. Leon Foucault take the first photograph of the sun.

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    March 29, 1993: Teleportation Beams From Sci-Fi to...

    1993: Scientists show teleportation is possible, at least theoretically. The downsides: The original teleported object must be destroyed, and it can’t happen instantaneously.

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    March 28, 1910: It Floats, It Flies, It’s a Seaplane

    1910: Henri Fabre makes the first successful seaplane flight at Martigues, near Marseilles, France.

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    March 27, 1933: Just One Word … Plastics

    1933: Two British research chemists miss an important detail … and make polyethylene.

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    March 23, 1983: Reagan Taunts the Russians With...

    1983: President Reagan announces his “Star Wars” missile-defense program.

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    March 22, 1981: RCA SelectaVision Spins (Briefly)...

    1981: RCA’s long-awaited videodisc system, essentially a vinyl record that plays video, hits stores in the United States. The company spent 15 years and $200 million...

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    March 21, 1963: The Rock

    Once used to house the most dangerous criminals in the federal penal system, Alcatraz was deteriorating badly by 1963, a victim of the same harsh elements of sea, wind and fog that made it such a...

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    March 20, 1800: Volta’s Battery Shows Potential

    Volta had already created the electrophorus to create static electric charges and discovered methane before becoming professor of...

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    March 19, 1474: Venice Enacts a Patently Original Idea

    The crafts guilds, especially those of Venice’s lucrative glass-blowing trades, had their own restrictions, but the

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    March 16, 1975: Mariner 10 Bids Mercury Farewell

    Mariner 10, the last of the Mariner family, launched on Nov. 3, 1973 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. With Mariner 10′s narrow-angle cameras, ultraviolet spectrometers and infrared radiometers,...

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    March 14, 1899: Zeppelin Gets Patent for a Really...

    Zeppelin, who received a German patent nearly four years earlier, can more accurately be said to have perfected, rather than invented, the cylindrical-shaped craft. His final designs were based on...

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    March 13, 1842: Henry Shrapnel Dies, But His Name...

    Shrapnel, a British lieutenant, was serving in the Royal Artillery when he perfected his shell in the mid-1780s. A shrapnel shell, unlike a conventional high-explosive artillery round, is designed...

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    March 12, 1923: Talkies Talk … On Their Own

    Inventors as august as Thomas Edison had been trying to link two marvels of the age — the phonograph and the moving picture — for several decades. The fidelity was as good (or bad) as...

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    March 9, 1862: Ironclads

    The battle took place at Hampton Roads, Virginia, where a day earlier the CSS Virginia (known popularly as the Merrimack, her name when she had been a frigate in the...

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    March 7, 1912: It’s Amundsen

    Amundsen and his team actually reached the pole (90 degrees South) on Dec. 14, 1911, beating

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    March 6, 1992: False Alarm

    The media seized upon the virus, so named because it was programmed to strike on the birthday of the Renaissance artist, making it...

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    March 5, 1872: Westinghouse Gives Railroads a Brake

    Before the air brake, railroad engineers would stop trains by cutting power, braking their locomotives and using the whistle to signal their brakemen.

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    March 1, 2006: English Wikipedia’s Millionth...

    Created by user Nach0king, the entry describes the train depot as “eleven minutes’ journey time from Glasgow Central” and as...

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    Feb. 29, 45 B.C.: Julius Caesar Takes the Leap

    Caesar was reforming a calendar based on 364 days, with an occasional extra leap month. But the Roman religious officials in charge of minding the calendar had been asleep at the switch,...

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    Feb. 28, 1561: ‘Father of Surgery’ Explains the...

    Surgery, in Paré’s time, was considered a low profession and very few physicians deigned to practice it. Barbers, oddly enough, were often called upon to do the actual cutting and...

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    Feb. 27, 1812: Rage, Rage Against the Industrial Age

    The Frame Breaking Act made it a capital offense for anyone convicted of “machine breaking,” the willful destruction of mechanized looms and cloth-finishing machinery and other new...

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    Feb. 24, 1938: Americans Can Now Stop Chewing on...

    1938: The first nylon-bristled toothbrushes go on sale, a welcome alternative to chewing on sticks or scrubbing the teeth with ground-up oyster shells.

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    Feb. 22, 1918: A Really Big Kid From Alton, Illinois

    Wadlow, the oldest of five children born to Harold and Addie Wadlow, was a normal-sized newborn (8 pounds, 6 ounces) who began his rapid growth almost immediately. At 6 months old, he weighed 30...

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    Feb. 21, 1947: ‘Take a Polaroid’ Enters the...

    The camera, which became better known by the name of Land’s company, Polaroid, was the first so-called instant camera. Using...

  • Today in Tech History

    Feb. 20, 1962: Yank in Orbit

    Glenn, a Marine pilot who flew more than 100 combat missions during World War II and the Korean War, became a test pilot in the 1950s...

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    Feb. 17, 1864: We’re Sunk

    The Hunley‘s attack served both to illustrate the submarine’s effectiveness as a stealth weapon and to...

  • Today in Tech History

    Feb. 16, 2005: Matter of Protocol

    The need to get greenhouse emissions under control and face the specter of global warming is now almost universally accepted, but opponents of

  • Today in Tech History

    Feb. 15, 1995: Mitnick Arrested

    1995: Perhaps the most celebrated cracking case in history begins with the arrest of Kevin Mitnick by the FBI on charges of wire fraud and breaking into the computer systems of...

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    Feb. 14, 1929: Al Capone’s .45 Caliber Valentine

    The St. Valentine’s Day massacre wasn’t the first time a mobster used the Tommy gun in a rub-out, but the slaughter...

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    Feb. 13, 1633: Church vs. Galileo

    Galileo’s long-running feud with the Roman Catholic Church over whether the Earth revolved around the sun (the Copernican view advocated by Galileo) or the sun around the Earth (the...

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    Feb. 8, 1828: Sci-Fi’s Prophetical Father Is Born

    Verne was the son of a highly analytical father and a highly imaginative mother, and this amalgamation shows in his writing. “

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    Feb. 7, 2000: Mafiaboy’s Moment

    Using a bot network to gain control of millions of computers, this not-so-callow youth staged a classic DoS attack lasting a week, flooding the websites with an overwhelming volume of traffic....

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    Feb. 2, 1935: You Lie

    Criminal justice systems in many societies have long believed that you can spot a liar based on several physiological reactions to questioning. An increase in blood pressure and heart rate, dry...

  • Today in Tech History

    Feb. 1, 2003: Second Shuttle Lost

    Damage to the orbiter’s thermal protection system, which occurred at launch when foam insulation detached from the main propellant tank and struck the left wing, was immediately suspected...

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    Jan. 31, 1961: A Chimp Named Ham Spaces Out

    But this was no leisure tour for Ham. There was work to be done — specifically, to see if chimps, and by close genetic association, humans, had slower reaction times in space. Ham, whose...

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    Jan. 30, 1790: The Lifeboat, an Idea Whose Time Has...

    Christened the Original, she was a 30-foot-long, double-ended, 10-oar longboat built by Henry Greathead of South Shields. She carried 7 hundredweight (784 pounds or 356 kilograms) of...

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    Jan. 26, 1906: Fred Marriott Lets Off Some Steam

    His vehicle was a modified “Stanley Steamer,” a popular consumer model that the Stanley Motor Carriage Company produced from 1897 to 1924. Such steam-powered automobiles, which were at one...

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    Jan. 25, 1945: Fluoridation — Better Teeth, or...

    Fluoridation, implemented as a means of reducing tooth decay, involves adding one part per million of fluoride to the water supply. (The optimum level, according to the Centers for Disease...

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    Jan. 24, 1848: Gold!

    While the gold rush made millionaires out of some, most prospectors did not strike it rich. Some returned home with little more than they had arrived with, and others stayed on to make a new life...

  • Today in Tech History

    Jan. 23, 1911: Science Academy Tells Marie Curie,...

    A healthy dose of sexism, racism and chauvinism, all alive and well in the rarified air of the fin de siècle French scientific fraternity, conspired to deny Curie the seat, which was...

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    Jan. 20, 2009: Mr. President, You’re Live

    Over 1 billion people are estimated to have watched the inauguration on their TVs and computers, with nearly 2 million people crammed onto the National Mall. The web content delivery service...

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    Jan. 19, 2006: NASA’s New Horizons Blasts Off...

    Lifting off from Cape Canaveral, the probe left Earth faster than any man-made object before it — 36,373 mph — on its way to the last planet in our system to be visited by a...

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    Jan. 18, 1778: Cook Blunders Into Paradise, Which...

    Cook, commanding the HMS Resolution and accompanied by HMS Discovery, was sailing north from Tahiti on his third...

  • Today in Tech History

    Jan. 17, 1966: H-Bombs Rain Down on a Spanish...

    The bomber collided with the KC-135 tanker at 31,000 feet. Exploding fuel completely destroyed the tanker, killing all four crew members. The B-52 broke apart, spilling its payload — four...

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    Jan. 13, 2004: Duck!

    Although the asteroid was small, measuring roughly 30 meters in width, the potential for local devastation and loss of life was real enough that astronomers seriously considered contacting the...

  • Today in Tech History

    Jan. 12, 1967: It’s Cold in Here

    Cryonics offers the promise of an extended life span, if not eternal life, by preserving the body until medicine comes up with a way of reversing...

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    Jan. 11, 1911: In the Gathering Shadows, a Sliver...

    Established to promote the sciences, even as Germany stood at the threshold of its stormiest political epoch, the society, which served as an umbrella organization for a variety of scientific...

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    Jan. 10, 1949: A Brand-New Format for the...

    Flat disc records began replacing the cylinder for reproducing recorded sound as early as 1887. The original standard, what we know as the 78, had a 10-inch diameter disc with a rotational speed...

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    Jan. 4, 1903: Edison Fries an Elephant to Prove His...

    1903: Thomas Edison stages his highly publicized electrocution of an elephant in order to demonstrate the dangers of alternating current, which, if it posed any immediate danger...

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    Dec. 23, 1970: World Trade Center Tops Out

    The massive project was conceived in the 1950s to energize lower Manhattan. Architect Minoru Yamasaki worked in...

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    Dec. 19, 1974: Build Your Own Computer at Home!

    A small New Mexico company — with the big name of Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems and the small name of MITS — manufactured the Altair as a do-it-yourself kit. At its...

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    Dec. 12, 1896: Marconi Demos Radio — Dec. 12,...

    Dec. 12: Inventor Guglielmo Marconi amazes a London assemblage in 1896 with a demonstration of wireless communication across a room. Five years later to the date, Marconi sends...

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    Dec. 7, 1941: Attack at Pearl Harbor a Bold,...

    Japan knew it could not defeat the Americans in a conventional war, lacking as it did sufficient manpower and raw materials (notably oil) for such a sustained effort. By destroying the U.S. fleet...

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    Dec. 5, 1901: Disney, Heisenberg — Separated at...

    1901: Animation pioneer Walt Disney and nuclear physicist Werner Heisenberg are born. So, if you’ve ever thought the Uncertainty Principle was a bit goofy, you may be onto...

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    Nov. 30, 2004: Who Is Ken Jennings?

    2004: Ken Jennings, the longest-reigning Jeopardy! champion and one of the biggest money winners in game-show history, meets his Waterloo.

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    Nov. 28, 1660: Hey, Guys, Let’s Found Britain’s...

    1660: An informal group of “natural philosophers” establish what will become the Royal Society, Britain’s foremost scientific academy.

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    Nov. 21, 1968: Love Canal Calamity Surfaces

    1968: Karen Schroeder, a second-generation resident of the Love Canal neighborhood of Niagara Falls, New York, gives birth to an infant girl with multiple birth defects. The...

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    Nov. 14, 1666: Watching a Transfusion, and Taking Notes

    1666: Samuel Pepys, writing in his famous diary, records the first description of a blood transfusion.

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    Nov. 10, 1983: Gates Opens Windows a Bit Early

    1983: Microsoft chief Bill Gates unveils the Windows operating system for PCs. Don’t hold your breath waiting until you can buy a copy … unless you can hold your...

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    Nov. 7, 1905: Remote Control Wows Public

    1905: Spanish engineer Leonardo Torres-Quevedo uses a radio remote controller to operate a boat more than a mile away in the Bilbao estuary. The crowd is amazed.

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    Nov. 2, 1947: Spruce Goose … Or an Expensive Turkey?

    1947: The Spruce Goose, with Hollywood producer-aviator-tycoon Howard Hughes at the controls, makes its first — and only — flight, skimming the waters of...

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    Nov. 1, 1859: A Welcome Sight for Those in Peril...

    1859: The second lighthouse at Cape Lookout, North Carolina, is lit for the first time.

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    Oct. 31, 1951: We’ll Cross That Street When We...

    Postwar Britain had only 10 percent of its current road traffic, but fatalities were mounting. The typical pedestrian crossing was marked with...

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    Oct. 28, 1989: Critter Crunch, Mother of All Robot...

    1989: The 21st Annual MileHiCon, a sci-fi and fantasy gathering in Denver, hosts a truly epochal moment in the history of geekdom: the birth of robot battles.

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    Oct. 27, 1946: And Now a Few Words From Our Sponsor

    The Federal Radio Commission (later renamed the Federal Communications Commission) started issuing television licenses in 1928. These noncommercial licenses did not allow selling airtime or any...

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    Oct. 25, 1671: Cassini Spots a Two-Toned Saturnian Moon

    1671: Giovanni Cassini discovers Iapetus, one of Saturn’s moons.

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    Oct. 24, 1960: Soviet Rocket Explodes, Killing Top...

    1960: The attempted launch of a prototype R-16 ICBM ends in disaster when the Soviet rocket blows up on a launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, killing more than 100 engineers,...

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    Oct. 18, 1945: Red Spy Steals U.S. Atom Bomb Secrets

    1945: Klaus Fuchs passes U.S. atomic bomb secrets to the Soviet Union for the first time.

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    Oct. 17, 1973: Angry Arabs Turn Off Oil Spigot

    1973: The Arab oil-producing states impose an embargo against nations supporting Israel in the Fourth Arab-Israeli War, also known as the October War, Ramadan War or Yom Kippur War.

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    Oct. 14, 1858: This History Might Ring a Bell

    1858: Manual labor hoists the great hour bell into place high in the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament in London. Some people are already calling the 14.33-ton bell...

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    Oct. 13, 1972: Survival Instincts Put to the Test

    1972: A chartered flight carrying a Uruguayan rugby team to its match in Chile crashes in the high Andes, resulting in one of the most grueling survival ordeals of modern times.

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    Oct. 12, 1928: Iron Lung, Savior to a Generation

    1928: A young polio sufferer at Children’s Hospital in Boston becomes the first person to use the iron lung artificial respirator. Her recovery from respiratory failure is...

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    Oct. 10, 1861: The Journey Begins for Nansen

    1861: Fridtjof Nansen is born. He will become a towering figure in Arctic exploration, the natural sciences and international diplomacy.

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    Oct. 7, 1959: Luna 3’s Images From the Dark Side

    1959: The space probe Luna 3 takes the first photographs of the far side of the moon.

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    Oct. 6, 1956: Sabin Polio Vaccine Ready to Test

    Updated 6:30 p.m., in next-to-last paragraph.

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    Oct. 5, 1986: Israel’s Secret Nuke Arsenal Exposed

    1986: The existence of Israel’s secret nuclear weapons program is revealed by a former nuclear-plant technician, whose story is published by The Sunday Times of...

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    Oct. 4, 1957: Soviets Put Man-Made Moon in Orbit!

    1957: The Space Age dawns a little sooner than expected with the successful launch of Sputnik 1 by the Soviet Union. It’s a pivotal moment, the kind of event that —...

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    Oct. 3, 1947: Birth of Palomar’s ‘Giant Eye’

    1947: After 13 years of grinding and polishing, the Palomar Observatory mirror is completed at Caltech.

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    Sept. 27, 1941: First Liberty Ship Launched, More...

    1941: SS Patrick Henry, the first Liberty ship, is launched at the Bethlehem-Fairfield shipyard near Baltimore.

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    Sept. 26, 1960: JFK, Nixon Open the Era of TV Debates

    1960: In the first televised U.S. presidential debate in history, John F. Kennedy comes off well. His opponent, Richard Nixon, does not. Television instantly emerges as the...

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    Sept. 23, 1846: Neptune Right Where They Said It...

    1846: German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle, knowing exactly where to look, confirms the existence of an eighth planet in the solar system, Neptune.

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    Sept. 22, 1792: Day One of Revolutionary Calendar

    1792: It’s 1 Vendémiaire of An I in the French Revolutionary Calendar, the first day of fall and the first day of the first month of the first year of the First Republic of...

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    Sept. 21, 1937: The Hobbit Opens Up a Brave New World

    1937: Before there is The Lord of the Rings trilogy, there is The Hobbit. J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel is first published on this date.

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    Sept. 20, 1952: Kitchen Blender Pegs DNA as Stuff...

    1952: Geneticists Alfred Hershey and Martha Chase publish the findings of their so-called blender experiments, which conclude that DNA is where life’s hereditary data is found.

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    Sept. 19, 1982: Can’t You Take a Joke? :-)

    1982: At precisely 11:44 a.m., Scott Fahlman posts the following electronic message to a computer-science department bulletin board at Carnegie Mellon University:

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    Sept. 15, 1916: All Disquiet on the Western Front

    1916: The tank makes its debut as a battlefield weapon, attacking the Germans as part of a British assault near Bois d’Elville, or Delville Wood, on the Western Front.

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    Sept. 14, 1959: Moon Feels First Cold Touch of Humans

    1959: Luna 2 becomes the first artifact of humanity to strike the moon.

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    Sept. 13, 1899: New Yorker Becomes First U.S....

    1899: Henry Bliss becomes the first pedestrian known to be killed by an automobile in North America.

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    Sept. 12, 1958: Kilby Chips In, Integrates Circuit

    1958: New hire Jack Kilby shows his Texas Instruments colleagues a little something he’s built. A very little something: a working integrated circuit on a piece of...

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    Sept. 9, 1999: 9/9/99 No Big Deal for Computers

    1999: Some people fear massive computer problems, but does 9/9/99 create headaches? Nein, nein, nein.

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    Sept. 8, 1966: Liftoff for the Starship Enterprise

    1966: Star Trek makes its network television debut.

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    Sept. 7, 1998: If the Check Says ‘Google Inc.,’...

    1998: Handed a check for $100,000 made out to “Google Inc.,” Sergey Brin and Larry Page figure they better incorporate their fledgling search engine. So they do.

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    Sept. 6, 1891: Risky Heart Surgery Saves Stabbing...

    1891: The victim of a stab wound becomes the first person to undergo heart surgery involving the suturing of the pericardium, or heart sac.

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    Sept. 2, 1859: Telegraphs Run on Electric Air in...

    1859: A magnetic explosion on the sun causes bright auroras on Earth and upends the the fledgling telegraph network.

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    Sept. 1, 1939: Wehrmacht Puts the Blitz in Krieg

    1939: Germany invades Poland, starting the second European war in a generation and introducing the world to a new kind of warfare: blitzkrieg.

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    Aug. 31, 1968: One Donor + Four Patients = Medical...

    1968: Dr. Michael DeBakey supervises five teams of surgeons in the first simultaneous, multi-organ transplant.

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    Aug. 30, 1885: Daimler Gives World First ‘True’...

    Daimler, the automotive pioneer usually associated with building the world’s first successful internal combustion engine (and, subsequently, the first automobile), staked his