Sunday, August 15, 2010

POPnews (US) - August 15th

[In addition to one of the most accomplished inventors in history, the so-called 'Wizard of Menlo Park' was a master showman.]

1877 - Legend has it Thomas Edison made the first sound recording, of himself reading Mary Had A Little Lamb; then again, it may have been made on August 12th, or in December of that year. Despite keeping careful diaries, Edison was as notoriously cagey when it came to relating the facts surrounding his discoveries as he was ruthless in the elimination of his competitors.

1914 - Julian Carlton - the handyman of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright - set fire to the living quarters of Wright's Wisconsin home, Taliesin, then murdered seven people on the property with an axe - including Wright's lover Mamah Borthwick Cheney, her two children John and Martha, the foreman Thomas Brunker, a draftsman named Emil Brodelle, landscape gardener David Lindblom, and Ernest Weston, the son of Wright's carpenter William Weston. Two victims survived the spree - William Weston and another draftsman named Herb Fritz. While the elder Weston helped to put out the fire that almost completely consumed the residential wing of the house, Carlton hid in the unlit furnace. He would survive the fire but died in jail six weeks later; his wife Gertrude (hired as Wright's cook) also survived, having escaped the burning building through the basement. She later denied having any foreknowledge of her husband's murderous intent. Wright was spared because he was at work on the Midway Gardens project in Chicago (an innovative apartment building which was demolished in 1929).

1965 - The Beatles played to nearly 60,000 fans at New York City's Shea Stadium, marking the birth of stadium rock.

1977 - The Big Ear - a radio telescope operated by The Ohio State University as part of the SETI project - received a radio signal from deep space; the event was named the 'Wow! signal' for a notation made by a volunteer on the project.

1995 - Shannon Faulkner became the first female cadet matriculated at The Citadel military academy in South Carolina, but dropped out in less than a week due to the savagery of the misogyny she encountered there. Many pundits at the time had the nerve to be shocked that the US military seemed to be harbouring violent men with dangerous attitudes about women which were then hastily covered by the claim that their opposition to Faulkner's attendance was based on 'tradition'.
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1 comment:

Seumas Gagne said...

I haven't read much about the Wow! signal before. That was nifty.