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November 23, 1963: Doctor… Who?

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Today in 1963, the BBC aired the first part of An Unearthly Child, the first Doctor Who serial. It starred William Hartnell as the First Doctor. Although initial reception was mixed, it didn’t stop Doctor Who from becoming the longest-running science-fiction television series in history. It originally ran from 1963-1989 and was picked up again […]

November 22, 1995: Toy Story Surprises Everyone

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Today in 1995, Disney and Pixar’s first collaboration, Toy Story, was released. The film was a massive critical and commercial success, much to the surprise of those involved with its production, including Steve Jobs. The film went through several massive rewrites, most notably is the fact that Woody was originally a tyrannical, villainous ventriloquist dummy. […]

November 21, 1953: “Piltdown Man” Discovered To Be A Hoax

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Today in 1953, the supposed “missing link” between humans and apes was revealed to be a hoax. In 1912, anthropologist Charles Dawson claimed to have discovered unusual skull fragments in a gravel pit in Piltdown, East Sussex. After reconstructing his findings, he claimed that it was the missing link in the evolution between man and […]

November 20, 1985: Microsoft Launches Windows 1.0

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Today in 1985, Microsoft released the first version of their Windows operating system, Windows 1.0. Founder Bill Gates was inspired to create a graphical user interface after seeing a demonstration of VisiCorp’s Visi On GUI. Initial reactions were lukewarm, but many saw the potential of Windows to become what it is today. In November 1987, […]

November 19, 2006: Nintendo Launches The Wii

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Today in 2006, Nintendo officially released their Wii gaming console. Meant to compete with Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s X-Box 360, the Wii eventually went on to surpass both and become the clear-cut winner of the seventh-generation console war. The Wii aimed to appeal to a wider demographic of consumers than just gamers. Advertisements and […]

November 18, 1963: The First Push-Button Telephone Enters Service

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Today in 1963, the first push-button telephone went into service. Although the technology was newer, it wasn’t until the 1970’s that push-button phones would begin gaining popularity. Even then, it was mostly businesses that adopted the new model. It wasn’t until the late 80’s/early 90’s that push button phones became the overwhelming majority.

November 17, 1978: The Notoriously Bad Star Wars Holiday Special Airs

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Today in 1978, CBS aired The Star Wars Holiday Special. With a “plot” concerning Chewbacca and his family and a writing staff comprised primarily of variety TV scribes, the special was panned by just about every manner of folk. Star Wars fans hated it. The general public hated it. Critics hated it. George Lucas hated […]

November 16, 1904: The Vacuum Tube Is Patented

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Today in 1904, English engineer John Ambrose Fleming received a patent for his thermionic valve invention. More commonly known as a vacuum tube, the thermionic valve operates by using thermionic emission (the creation of electrons through heat) within a high vacuum. The invention of the thermionic valve is generally seen as the beginning of the […]

November 15, 1966: Gemini 12 Safely Lands, Concluding Project Gemini

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Today in 1966, the capsule containing astronauts James A. Lovell, Jr. and Buzz Aldrin splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean. This marked the end of the Gemini 12 mission and also the conclusion of Project Gemini as a whole. Project Gemini was a series of experiments performed in space in conjunction with the Apollo program, […]

November 14, 1952: The UK’s First Singles Chart

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Today in 1952, Percy Dickins of the magazine New Musical Express (NME) published the United Kingdom’s first music singles chart. He collected data from 52 music stores to find out what the top selling singles were. Topping the first list was “Here In My Heart” by Al Martino.