This Day in Geek History: July 19
The first iron hulled, propeller driven steamship, the SS Great Britain, is launched.
A meteorite with an estimated mass of 190kg explodes over the town of Holbrook in Navajo County, Arizona causing approximately sixteen thousand pieces of debris to rain down on the town.
NASA attempts the first rocket launch from Cape Canaveral. The rocket is a German V-2 with a 320kg Army-JPL Wac Corporal sounding rocket. Launch is scrubbed first due to the emergency landing of an aircraft in the range. The second attempt is scrubbed when the rocket’s main chamber doesn’t ignite.
IBM debuts its IBM 1001 data transmission system, a computer that answers telephones and records messages using punch cards.
The NASA shuttle Apollo 11 enters lunar orbit with astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, and Michael Collins aboard. On July 20th, Armstrong and Aldrin will land on the Moon, and on July 21st, they will become the first people to walk on the Moon.
The British government formally announces its intention to privatize British Telecom (BT) with the sale of up fifty-one percent of the company’s shares to private investors.
Michael W. Vannier of the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology in St. Louis, J. Marsh of the St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and J. Warren of the McDonnell Aircraft Company publish the first three-dimensional reconstruction of a human head in single CT slices using computer-aided design techniques adapted from the aerospace engineering industry.
International Business Machines (IBM) announces that some PC AT computers shipped since the beginning of the year include a faulty Texas Instruments chip, affecting about ten percent of shipments. Circuit boards with the flawed chip will be replaced for free.
International Business Machines (IBM) president of entry systems, William Lowe, announces that the rumors of an upcoming PC II are untrue.
Universal Pictures re-releases the science fiction film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace, Robert MacNaughton, Drew Barrymore, and Peter Coyote to U.S. theaters. The film was first released three years earlier, on June 11, 1982. Produced on a budget of US$10.5 million, the film grosses another US$8.8 million within the first three days of its re-release. IMDB listing (MPAA Rating: PG) Running Time: 1 hr 57 mins
International Business Machines (IBM) ships version 4.00 of the PC-DOS operating system featuring a shell menu interface and support for hard disk partitions over 32MB. PC-DOC is one of three major operating systems that dominate the microcomputer market.