Today in 1913, industrialist Henry Ford introduced the first moving assembly line to the public. The idea was brought to Ford by William Klann after witnessing a similar “disassembly” line at a slaughterhouse. The idea was simple- if cars can be assembled in multiple stages simultaneously, production would increase. It certainly did, lowering the time […]
Today in 1971, ABC’s made-for-TV movie Brian’s Song premiered. Based on a true story, Brian’s Song is centered around two friends and NFL running backs (Billy Dee Williams as Gale Sayers and James Caan as the titular Brian Piccolo) whose lives and careers are complicated after one is diagnosed with cancer. The movie is regarded […]
Today in 1972, the newly-founded game developer Atari released their first video game, Pong. With its simple yet addictive gameplay, it became the first commercially successful video game. Along with the first home console, the Magnavox Odyssey, Pong is often cited as the catalyst for the emergence of the video game industry.
Today in 2001, NASA and the ESA’s Hubble Space Telescope detected sodium in the atmosphere surrounding HD 209458 b, nicknamed Osiris. This marked the first time that an atmosphere had been detected on an exoplanet (a planet outside of our Sun’s solar system). The find was predicted by award-winning exoplanet expert Sara Seager weeks before.
Today in 1977, an unidentified person hacked into a local English television broadcast. He identified himself as Vrillon, a representative of an “intergalactic association” called Ashtar Galactic Command. He claimed to be warning Earth of an impending intergalactic judgement, urging “All your weapons of evil must be removed” and “You have but a short time […]
Today in 1952, English author Agatha Christie’s murder-mystery play The Mousetrap opened at the Ambassadors Theatre. It featured a young Richard Attenborough in the role of Sergeant Trotter. The show is known for its highly secretive twist ending, which audiences are encouraged not to spoil after every show. The show continues to run today, making […]
Today in 1971, an unidentified man known only as “D.B. Cooper” hijacked a Boeing 727 that was carrying passengers from Portland, OR to Seattle, WA. Cooper calmly and discreetly informed a flight attendant that he had a bomb and demanded $200,000 (about $1.2 million today), several parachutes, and a refueling for the plane. Upon landing, […]
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 […]
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. […]