history

“Because it’s there” – George Mallory and Mount Everest

“Because it’s there” – George Mallory and Mount Everest

“Why would you want to climb Mount Everest?” George Mallory was asked this question in 1924 and gave the most obvious answer: “Because it’s there“. The famous mountaineer was born on June 18, 1886, and is best known for his expeditions to the highest mountain on earth. “One comes to bless the absolute bareness, feeling that here is a pure beauty of form, a kind of ultimate harmony.” – George Mallory, Letter to…
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Behold the First Commercial Computer (in the US) – the UNIVAC I

Behold the First Commercial Computer (in the US) – the UNIVAC I

On June 14, 1951 the very first electronic computer produced in series (and in the United States), the UNIVAC I (Universal Automatic Computer) was delivered to the US States Census Bureau at the price of $1.6 Mio. It was designed principally by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly,[1,2] the inventors of the first general-purpose electronic computer, the ENIAC.[2] Design work was begun by their company, Eckert–Mauchly Computer Corporation, and was completed after the company…
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The Legendary Annual Boat Race of Oxford and Cambridge

The Legendary Annual Boat Race of Oxford and Cambridge

On June 10th 1829 the very first of now legendary annual boat races of Oxford and Cambridge on the river Thames took place. The race came about because two friends from Harrow School, Charles Wordsworth (nephew of the poet William Wordsworth and later bishop of St Andrews), of Christ Church College, Oxford, and Charles Merrivale of St. John’s, Cambridge, met during the vacation in Cambridge, where Wordsworth’s father was master of Trinity.[1] Wordsworth went…
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Only the Good Die Young – the Very Short Life of Évariste Galois

Only the Good Die Young – the Very Short Life of Évariste Galois

On June 1st, 1832, French mathematician Évariste Galois was killed in a duel. He was only 20 years of age. He left an elaborate manuscript three years earlier, in which he established that an algebraic equation is solvable by radicals, if and only if the group of permutations of its roots has a certain structure, thereby solving a problem standing for 350 years. But why did he have to die so young? Just because…
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Health advocate John Harvey Kellogg and the Invention of Flaked Cereals

Health advocate John Harvey Kellogg and the Invention of Flaked Cereals

On May 31, 1884, the health-food fanatic John Harvey Kellogg patented his ‘flaked cereal‘ during his time as the superintendent of the ‘Battle Creek Sanitarium‘ in Michigan. “A dead cow or sheep lying in a pasture is recognized as carrion. The same sort of a carcass dressed and hung up in a butcher’s stall passes as food. “ – John Harvey Kellogg John Harvey Kellogg and the Battle Creek Sanitarium John Harvey…
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Oswald Spengler and the Decline of the West

Oswald Spengler and the Decline of the West

On May 29, 1880, German historian and philosopher Oswald Arnold Gottfried Spengler was born. He is best known for his book The Decline of the West (Der Untergang des Abendlandes), published in 1918 and 1922, covering all of world history. He proposed a new theory, according to which the lifespan of civilizations is limited and ultimately they decay. Oswald Spengler – Early Years Already in his early life Oswald Spengler was highly interested in…
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Louis Agassiz and the Ice Ages

Louis Agassiz and the Ice Ages

On May 28, 1807, Swiss paleontologist, glaciologist, and geologist Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz was born, who is considered a prominent innovator in the study of the Earth‘s natural history. He was the first to scientifically propose that the Earth had been subject to a past ice age. “The time has come when scientific truth must cease to be the property of the few, when it must be woven into the common life…
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Kaspar Hauser, the Mysterious Story of a Foundling

Kaspar Hauser, the Mysterious Story of a Foundling

On 26 May 1828, a teenage boy appeared in the streets of Nuremberg, Germany. The boy, who answered to the name Kaspar Hauser, claimed to have grown up in the total isolation of a darkened cell. Hauser’s claims, and his subsequent death by stabbing, sparked much debate and controversy. Some theories about him at the time linked him with the grand ducal House of Baden to be the hereditary “Prince of Baden”.…
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Dit dit dit da dit – The first Morse Telegram

Dit dit dit da dit – The first Morse Telegram

On May 24th 1844 the first Morse telegram went over the line. Samuel Morse and his colleague Alfred Vail knew that the very first phrase to be sent with the new telecommunication medium was to be remembered. So what should they transmit? Morse came up with a quote from the bible, certainly well chosen for an historic occasion like this: “What God had wrought” sent by Morse in Washington to Alfred Vail at…
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The Famous Prophecies of Nostradamus

The Famous Prophecies of Nostradamus

On May 4, 1555, The first edition of Michel de Nostredame‘s (usually Latinised as Nostradamus) ‘Les Propheties‘, a famous collection of long-term predictions that have since become famous worldwide, was published. “Perfect knowledge of such things cannot be acquired without divine inspiration, given that all prophetic inspiration derives its initial origin from God Almighty, then from chance and nature.” — Michel de Nostredame, Les Propheties (1555) Very little is known about Michel de…
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