history

The Bridge of Spies and the biggest Agent Swap in History

The Bridge of Spies and the biggest Agent Swap in History

Glienicke Bridge Image: Tabea Tietz On June 11, 1985, the biggest agent swap known in history occurred at the Glienicke Bridge in Potsdam. The Glienicke Bridge became very famous during the Cold War, not only for its beauty, but for its function as an agent swapping location for the eastern and western governments. The bridge itself was built in the 17th century in order to guarantee the nobility a connection to Potsdam’s…
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Orson Welles  and the 1938 Radio Show Panic

Orson Welles and the 1938 Radio Show Panic

Headline of the New York Times from Oct, 31, 1938 about Orson Welles’ ‘War of the Worlds’ On October 30, 1938, a Saturday night at 8 pm, H.G. Wells‘ ‘The War of the Worlds‘ was broadcasted at CBS radio in an adaption presented and narrated by future famous film director and actor Orson Welles.The first two thirds of the 60-minute broadcast were presented as a series of simulated news bulletins, which suggested to…
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The Days That Never Happened – The Gregorian Calendar

The Days That Never Happened – The Gregorian Calendar

Inscription on the grave of Gregory XIII, St. Peter’s Basilica honoring the Gregorian Calendar © Rsuessbr By a papal decree signed on 24 February 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII. the days from October 5, 1582 to October 14, 1582 never happened. This was, because the actually used calendar was out of tune with the mechanics of the heavens. The Julian calendar, named after Iulius Caesar, did not provide sufficient precision to keep…
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The Mona Lisa is Missing….!

The Mona Lisa is Missing….!

Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa (ca. 1503-1505) On August 21, 1911 during intensive repair and renovation work the Louvre Museum realized that Leonardo Da Vinci’s most famous painting, the Mona Lisa, was stolen. I guess, the Mona Lisa must be the most famous painting in the world. The painting’s title Mona Lisa stems from a description by Giorgio Vasari, who wrote biographies of famous contemporary Renaissance men: “Leonardo undertook to paint, for…
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Cracking the Code – Champollion and the Rosetta Stone

Cracking the Code – Champollion and the Rosetta Stone

On July 15, 1799 in the Egyptian village of Rosetta  Pierre-François Bouchard, Captain of the French expedition army on Napoleon‘s Egyptian Campaign discovered an unimpressive black stone with some written inscriptions on it. But this black stone, later referred to as the Rosetta Stone, should become the central key to deciphering the long lost secret of the Egyptian hieroglyphics. By the end of the 6th century AD, by the time of the fall…
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The Case of the Last Condemned Witch – Anna Göldi

The Case of the Last Condemned Witch – Anna Göldi

Recreated Portrait of Anna Göldi by Patrick Lo Giudice(via http://www.walter-hauser.ch/) On June 13th 1782, the maidservant Anna Göldi from the tiny Swiss canton Glarus was executed by the sword as being one of the very last women in Europe condemned for witchcraft. Concerning her case also for the very first time the term ‘judicial murder’ has been coined. Anna Göldi came from a poor background and for seventeen years, she worked as…
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The Mechanical Telegraph – a French Invention

The Mechanical Telegraph – a French Invention

Claude Chappe’s Optical Telegraph (Museée des Arts et Metiers) On May 23, 1813, the first (modern) optical telegraph line following the mechanical telegraphy system of the French inventor Claude Chappe between Metz and Mainz was established. No, this wasn’t the first of its kind, but it was the first to connect the former already in France established telegraphy system with a (now) German city. Long before the days of Morse Code or…
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Amazing lecture about Computer History

Check out our new amazing lecture ‘Computer History’ by the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. For one thing the series covers stories from the pre-World War II electronic computing program hosted by Microsoft researcher Gordon Bell. It provides information about the first computer machines like the Atanasoff-Berry Computer and proceeds with the flash memory technology of the late 1980’s. Next to technological backgrounds, the impact of the WWW on today’s…
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