This Day in Geek History: April 29
Electric arc lamps are used for the first time in the United States, as street lights in Cleveland, Ohio.
An episode of the science fiction series Space Patrol becomes the first experimental three-dimensional television broadcast in the U.S. when it is broadcast by ABC affiliate KECA-TV in Los Angeles, California.
The first military nuclear power plant is dedicated at Fort Belvoir in Virginia.
The UNIVAC picks four out of six winners at the Churchill Downs races in Louisville, Kentucky, setting a record for the correct choices in a horse race.
The monster movie Mothra vs. Godzilla is released.
The last episode of the classic sci-fi television series Battlestar Galactica, “The Hand of God,” first airs on the ABC network. (No. 24) In the eight months following the release of the Battlestar Galactica movie, seventeen new episodes of the series were aired, five of which were two-parters, for a grand total of twenty-four hours of programming, but ABC canceled the series in early April, citing declining ratings and repeated cost overruns. In the final episode, the Galactica receives a mysterious radio signal that may have originated at Earth. Adama is hopeful but afraid that the signal may be yet another Cylon trap, so the crew turns the tables on the Cylons by preemptively attacking them aboard a stolen Cylon Raider. In the series’ final scene, Apollo and Starbuck narrowly miss receiving the historic transmission of the Apollo 11 lunar landing.
At the Roosevelt Hotel in New York, New York, Data General, one of the earliest microcomputer manufacturers, announces the Eagle computer. The system, which will be critically acclaimed, features a 4MHz Zilog Z80 A processor, 64KB RAM, and the CP/M 2.2 operating system.
Walt Disney Pictures releases the fantasy film Something Wicked This Way Comes, directed by Jack Clayton and starring Jason Robards and Jonathan Pryce, to 817 U.S. theaters. It is based on the Ray Bradbury novel Something Wicked This Way Comes. Produced on a budget of US$19 million, it will gross US$2,423,555 domestically in its opening weekend. IMDB listing (MPAA Rating: PG) Running Time: 1 hr 36 mins
Apple Computer discontinues the Macintosh XL line of computers. The Macintosh XL is a modified version of the Apple Lisa personal computer that features a 5MHz Motorola 68000, a 400K 3.5″ floppy drive, and an optional external 10MB hard drive. Visit the official Apple website for the Macintosh XL.
A fire at the Central library of the City of Los Angeles Public Library destroys nearly four hundred thousand books.
The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Drumhead” first airs. (No. 421) In it, a zealous Starfleet admiral comes aboard following a major mechanical breakdown in order to find the saboteur responsible. When it turns out that the incident was an accident, the admiral refuses to stop her inquiries. Memory Alpha entry
The Legion of Net. Heroes, the first Usenet superhero shared universe, is formed on rec.arts.comics. The newsgroup becomes a popular center of fan fiction based on existing comic book universe and parodies of popular comic tropes. By 2006, over 450 stories will have been posted to the thread.