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27-Aug-1883: Krakatu explodes

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The most powerful volcanic eruption in recorded history occurs on Krakatau (also called Krakatoa), a small, uninhabited volcanic island located west of Sumatra in Indonesia, on this day in 1883. Heard 3,000 miles away, the explosions threw five cubic miles of earth 50 miles into the air, created 120-foot tsunamis and killed 36,000 people. Krakatau exhibited its first stirrings in more than 200 years on May 20, 1883. A German warship passing by reported a seven-mile high cloud of ash […]

20-Aug-1911: First around-the-word telegram sent

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On this day in 1911, a dispatcher in the New York Times office sends the first telegram around the world via commercial service. Exactly 66 years later, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sends a different kind of message–a phonograph record containing information about Earth for extraterrestrial beings–shooting into space aboard the unmanned spacecraft Voyager II. The Times decided to send its 1911 telegram in order to determine how fast a commercial message could be sent around the world […]

13-Aug-1961: Berlin is divided

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Shortly after midnight on this day in 1961, East German soldiers begin laying down barbed wire and bricks as a barrier between Soviet-controlled East Berlin and the democratic western section of the city. After World War II, defeated Germany was divided into Soviet, American, British and French zones of occupation. The city of Berlin, though technically part of the Soviet zone, was also split, with the Soviets taking the eastern part of the city. After a massive Allied airlift in […]

06-Aug-1945: American bomber drops atomic bomb

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On this day in 1945, at 8:16 a.m. Japanese time, an American B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay, drops the world’s first atom bomb, over the city of Hiroshima. Approximately 80,000 people are killed as a direct result of the blast, and another 35,000 are injured. At least another 60,000 would be dead by the end of the year from the effects of the fallout. U.S. President Harry S. Truman, discouraged by the Japanese response to the Potsdam Conference’s demand for […]

Aug 2016 Wallpapers

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Each month Smashing Magazine releases free desktop wallpapers for use. Give your desktop some variety, and visit their website to learn more about web development. You can find them here.

30-Jul-1965: Johnson signs Medicare into law

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On this day in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signs Medicare, a health insurance program for elderly Americans, into law. At the bill-signing ceremony, which took place at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, former President Harry S. Truman was enrolled as Medicare’s first beneficiary and received the first Medicare card. Johnson wanted to recognize Truman, who, in 1945,had becomethe first president to propose national health insurance, an initiative that was opposed at the time by Congress. The Medicare program, […]

23-Jul-1984: Miss America resigns

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On this day in 1984, 21-year-old Vanessa Williams gives up her Miss America title, the first resignation in the pageant’s history, after Penthouse magazine announces plans to publish nude photos of the beauty queen in its September issue. Williams originally made history on September 17, 1983, when she became the first black woman to win the Miss America crown. Miss New Jersey, Suzette Charles, the first runner-up and also an African American, assumed Williams’ tiara for the two months that […]

16-Jul-1946: Atom bomb successfully tested

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On this day in 1945, at 5:29:45 a.m., the Manhattan Project comes to an explosive end as the first atom bomb is successfully tested in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Plans for the creation of a uranium bomb by the Allies were established as early as 1939, when Italian emigre physicist Enrico Fermi met with U.S. Navy department officials at Columbia University to discuss the use of fissionable materials for military purposes. That same year, Albert Einstein wrote to President Franklin Roosevelt […]