This Day in Geek History: August 2
The first mail boxes in the United States, which are already in use in Belgium, are installed in New York and Boston.
Tower Subway, the first tube railway in the world, is opened under the River Thames in London, England. The six foot diameter tunnel was created by engineer James Henry near the Tower of London. The first shuttles operated in the tunnel were twelve seat carriages moved by wires drawn by steam engines. It will be closed within three months due to frequent breakdowns.
The Army Air Corps purchases its first aircraft from the Wright Brothers for US$25,000. The aircraft, designed to Army specifications, is capable of carrying two people at speeds of up to 40mph. The plane, designated “Signal Corps Airplane No. 1,” is the first military airplane in history.
The first Vitaphone sound-on-disc film is debuted by Warner Bros at the Warner Theatre in New York. The sound is recorded on a sixteen inch disc, playing at 33rpm. It’s thought that the films will eventually replace live theatrical entertainment. The demonstration film features Mary Astor and John Barrymore.
Albert Einstein urges all scientists to refuse military work.
Albert Einstein and Leó Szilárd, representing fellow physicists who have discovered that an atomic bomb could be built from Uranium, write a letter to Franklin D. Roosevelt explaining the dangers of Germany developing Atomic Bomb capabilities before the United States. The letter comes just before the beginning of World War II. The scientists warn Roosevelt of efforts in Nazi Germany to purify Uranium-235. Soon after the letter, the United States Government begins “The Manhattan Project.”
According to Twin Galaxies, Leo Daniels scores a record-setting 3,086,355 points playing the Atari arcade game Tempest at the Light Years Amuse arcade in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Visit the official Twin Galaxies website.
According to Twin Galaxies, Roogie Elliot scores a record-setting 6,792,480 points playing the Rock-ola maze arcade game Eyes at the Fun Center arcade in Lake Odessa, Michigan. Visit the official Twin Galaxies website.
Universal Pictures releases the sci-fi comedy film Weird Science, directed by John Hughes and starring Anthony Michael Hall, Kelly LeBrock, and Ilan Mitchell-Smith, to 1,158 U.S. theaters. In the film, two social misfits, Gary and Wyatt, decide to use a computer to create the perfect woman after repeatedly striking out with girls their own age. The result is a mysterious, supernatural woman named Lisa who gives the two boys the time of their lives, just not in the way they expected. The film will gross US$4,895,421 domestically in its opening weekend. IMDB listing (MPAA Rating: PG-13) Running Time: 1 hr 34 mins
Michael Elansky (known by the web handle “Ionizer”), a twenty-one year old University of Hartford student, is arrested for two “anarchy” files containing bomb-making instructions that had been published on his “Ware House BBS.” Unable to post the US$500,000 bail, Elansky will await trial in jail for nearly four months, and after pleading guilty, he will receive twenty-eight month sentence out of a possible ten years possible. The case receives a lot of attention for its perceived first amendment issues. Read more at Textfiles.com.
Donald A. Thomas, Jr., Director of Customer Services for the Atari Corporation, completes a report on registered Jaguar owners. Of the 14,099 registered owners, 99% are male, 82% of the respondents are between the ages of 12 to 34 with 40% are between the ages of 18-24. 56% of customers returning legible warranty cards also own a Sega Genesis and roughly the same number report that they also own a Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). Approximately 25% also own either an Atari Lynx or Nintendo Game Boy.
20th Century Fox releases the sci-fi action film Chain Reaction, directed by Andrew Davis and starring Keanu Reeves, Rachel Weisz, Morgan Freeman, and Fred Ward, to 2,255 U.S. theaters. Two researchers who have created a process to produce energy from water go on the run when they are framed for murder and treason by a government conspiracy to conceal the technology. Produced on a budget of US$55 million, the film will gross US$7,545,944 in its opening weekend. IMDB listing (MPAA Rating: PG-13) Running Time: 1 hr 46 mins
Version 1.2.13 of the Linux operating system is released.
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