The Ford Motor Company ships its first car.
A pair of Polaris missiles are successfully launched for the first time from a submerged submarine, the USS George Washington off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida. The missile’s target was more than 1,100 miles away. The Polaris has a designed range of 1,500 nautical miles and is capable of being launched when the submarine is hidden far below the surface. The George Washington was the first Fleet Balistic Missile submarine. Fitted with sixteen tubes for Polaris A1 missiles, the submarine was commissioned on December 30th 1959 and will be decommissioned on January 24th 1985.
Sirimavo Bandaranaike is elected the Prime Minister of Ceylon, becoming the world’s first elected female head of state.
The USSR recovers two dogs, the first living organisms to successfully return from space alive.
Apollo 11 lands on the Moon at 09:18 GMT/4:18 EDT on the Sea of Tranquillity and transmits the message, “Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed…” Six and a half hours later, astronaut Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to walk on the Moon, followed by Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin. As Armstrong steps onto the lunar surface at 10:56 ET, he proclaims, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” Across the globe, nearly 700 million television viewers witness the event as it happens. The astronauts will spend 21.5 hours on the lunar surface, 2.5 hours of which was spent outside their lunar excursion module as millions watch from the Earth. Before returning to the command module, the astronauts leave behind a plaque inscribed with the words: “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon, July 1969 AD. We came in peace for all mankind.” The Apollo 11 was comprised of many technologies manufactured by Texas Instruments (TI) and the Hewlett-Packard Company (HP).
The NASA Viking 1 Lander, launched on August 20th 1975, makes its successful, first-ever landing on Mars at Chryse Planitia, and begins transmitting pictures. Later, a robot arm that can scoop up samples of material and deposit them into on-board experiments, will investigate hints of life on Mars. Both weathered top soil and deeper soil samples will be tested. Although the Viking probes will find no evidence of life on Mars, it will return detailed pictures of the planet and information about the soil’s composition
20th Century Fox releases the comedy film Revenge of the Nerds, directed by Jeff Kanew and starring Robert Carradine, Anthony Edwards, Timothy Busfield, Curtis Armstrong, Ted McGinley, Bernie Casey, and John Goodman, to 364 US theaters. The film chronicles the misadventures of a group of nerds trying to put an end to the harassment they endure at the hands of a fraternity of jocks, the Alpha Betas. Produced on a budget of US$8 million, the film will gross US$1,513,090 domestically in its opening weekend. IMDB listing (MPAA Rating: R) Running Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Warner Brothers releases the fantasy film The NeverEnding Story, directed by Wolfgang Petersen and starring Noah Hathaway, Barret Oliver, Tami Stronach, Patricia Hayes, Sydney Bromley, Gerald McRaney, and Moses Gunn, to 950 US theaters. The film is based on the bestselling German fantasy novel of the same title by Michael Ende. Produced on a budget of US$27 million, the film will gross US$4,325,823 domestically in its opening weekend. IMDB listing (MPAA Rating: PG) Running Time: 1 hr 32 mins
John O’Neill, the CFO of Hasbro Inc. announces that they have “scrapped” their work on a Virtual Reality game. After three years and US$59 million in R&D, the firm determined that the costs to the consumer would be far more than the target price of US$300. O’Neil states that Hasbro believes in the product, but could not move forward “unless something else happens…” Hasbro stock drops by US$.50 to US$30.25.
Inventure Place, the home of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, is dedicated in Akron, Ohio, though it won’t open to the public for another three days. The National Inventors Hall of Fame was established in 1973 by the US Patent and Trademark Office. According to their literature, “Inventure Place is dedicated to the creative process. We want to inspire you: through hands-on exhibits, interactive programs, special events, and every other fantastic experience we can dream up. At Inventure Place you are an artist, scientist, inventor, musician, tinkerer, film maker, discoverer, and creative genius. Discover the Inventor in You!” Visit Inverture Place’s official website.
Anim8or, a freeware OpenGL based 3D modeling and animation program by R. Steven Glanville, is first introduced to the public in a newsgroup message posted to comp.graphics.packages.3dstudio. In its first week, the original version is downloaded nearly one hundred times. Visit the application’s official website.
DreamWorks releases the horror film The Haunting, directed by Jan de Bont and starring Lili Taylor, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Owen Wilson, and Liam Neeson, to 2,808 US theaters. The film is based on the 1959 novel The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Produced on a budget of US$80 million, the film will gross US$33,435,140 domestically in its opening weekend. IMDB listing (MPAA Rating: PG-13) Running Time: 1 hr 53 mins
In New York City, New York, the MacWorld Expo trade show is held, over four days.
To commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing and just one day shy of the 38th anniversary of the suborbital flight of Mercury 4, a team led by Curt Newport and financed by the Discovery Channel, lifts the Liberty Bell 7 space capsule off the floor of the Atlantic ocean and onto the deck of a recovery ship. The capsule was discovered after a fourteen year effort by Newport and his team at a depth of nearly 15,000 feet (4.5km), 300 nautical miles (550km) southeast of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
US President William Jefferson Clinton signs legislation into law to protect companies against possible lawsuits related to year 2000 (Y2K) computer breakdowns. Some experts had predicted that litigation costs could exceed US$1 trillion if controls and limitations were not enacted.
Universal Studios releases the sci-fi film Virus, directed by John Bruno and starring Jamie Lee Curtis, William Baldwin, Donald Sutherland, Joanna Pacula, Marshall Bell, Sherman Augustus, and Cliff Curtis, to 2,018 US theaters. The film is based on a Dark Horse comic book of the same name by Chuck Pfarrer. In the film, the crew of a salvage ship take refuge from a typhoon in a seemingly abandoned Russian science vessel. The crew soon discovers that the ship, which first appeared to be abandoned, has been inhabited by an extraterrestrial presence spread through electromagnetic signals that believes humans are a virus that must be exterminated. Produced on a budget of US$75 million, the film will gross US$6,013,640 domestically in its opening weekend. IMDB listing (MPAA Rating: R) Running Time: 1 hr 40 mins
Yahoo! completes the acquisition of Broadcast.com, a web radio company founded as “AudioNet” in 1992 by Chris Jaeb, Todd Wagner, and Mark Cuban. Audionet was the first regular audio broadcast on the Internet. It all started when Jaeb began soliciting the rights to broadcast radio live on the Internet. KLIF in Dallas, KFI Los Angleles, KOA Denver, and KPLX in Dallas were among the first stations broadcast, followed by college sportscasts, and finally, the NBA and NFL. As the company grew, AudioNet expanded from mainly broadcasting sporting events to broadcasting presidential conventions and other popular events. With the support of his father, Tom Jaeb, he incorporated, formed a board, and sold stock. Todd Wagner, an attorney at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Fel was hired a few years later. When it was time to go public they brought on Mark Cuban, Wagner’s college roommate. In January 1998, just prior to the IPO, the name was changed from AudioNet to Broadcast.com.
International Business Machines (IBM) announces plans to build a supercomputer that is capable of 4.24 trillion calculations per second for the Korea Institute of Science, Technology, and Information. The computer is based on IBM’s forthcomng Power4 processor which is manufactured using two 1 Gigahertz (GHz) (or greater) processor cores in the same chip. The US$27 million deal outlines plans for installation to commence late in the year and to be completed in 2003.
Microsoft makes the source code for the Windows CE 3.0 operating system available to developers under a Shared Source License, allowing developers to view and modify the source code, but not to release it commercially. Visit the official Windows CE website.
Reuters news service reports that personal computer sales have fallen throughout the world for the first time in fifteen years, and that, of all the major brands available in the US, only Dell has shown sales growth in the past year.
The Sam Goody Center hosts the Twin Galaxies‘ Videogame Festival July 20 through Sunday, July 22 at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The Shanghai Daily newspaper reports that China, in the second major crackdown in a year, has shut down nearly two thousand Internet cafes and ordered another six thousand to suspend operation to make major changes.
The Symantec Corporation announces the discovery of a new virus nicknamed W32.Sircam that is spread as an email attachment, then proceeds to delete valuable files when opened.
The European Union approves a merger between Sony Music Entertainment and BMG. The new company will be named Sony BMG Music Entertainment and, by 2005, the company will hold a 21.5% share in the global music market, only lagging only slightly behind the worldwide leader, Universal Music Group with its 25.5% share.
After coming under heavy fire from many politicians, most notably from Hillary Clinton, the Entertainment Software Rating Board re-rates Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Adults Only 18+ (AO) due to the sexually explicit minigame mod “Hot Coffee.” The game was previously only rated Mature (M), and the re-rating makes this the only mass-released AO console game in the US. Rockstar will give distributors the option of applying an Adults Only ESRB rating sticker to copies of the game, or of returning them to be replaced by versions without the Hot Coffee content. Additionally, Rockstar Games ceases production of the game and announces plans to offer a new version of the game that can’t be affected by the mod as well as plans to patch the PC version of the game.
In honor of the thirty-sixth anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, Google makes public domain imagery from NASA of the Moon available in the Google Maps interface, as a tool called Google Moon. By default, this tool displays the points of landing of all Apollo spacecraft to land on the Moon. This tool also includes an easter egg, displaying a Swiss cheese design at the highest zoom level. Visit the site.
After a nation-wide outcry was raised in response to seventeen blogs being blocked on the orders of the federal Computer Emergency Response Team, the government of India releases a public statement claiming that the occurrence was only a “technological error” and reassuring the public that the issue was being addressed.
In Entropia, the MMORPG with a real cash economy, Jon “NEVERDIE” Jacobs, the owner of the Virtual Space Resort Club NEVERDIE, purchases a unique virtual egg for the equivalent of US$10,000 real world dollars. The “Unique Green Atrox Queen Egg” was the final prize in a multi-part story quest, in which tens of thousands of gamers participated. The actual function of the Egg is a mystery, but there is a great deal of speculation as to its true purpose and value. “The absurdity of paying $10,000 USD for a virtual egg is not lost on me,” said NEVERDIE, “but in fact I’m confident it will prove to be a great investment. Club NEVERDIE is already the #1 privately owned entertainment venue in virtual reality. Whatever hatches out of this thing is sure to prove a big draw to the Club.” Visit the official Entropia website.
Tesla Motors, a Silicon Valley startup company that manufactures electric cars, unveils its first model, the 185 kW (248 hp) Tesla Roadster in California at an invitation-only event held in the Barker Hangar of the Santa Monica Airport. The event is attended by three hundred fifty guests, including: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, actor Ed Begley Jr., film producer Richard Donner, former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, Elon Musk, Jeff Skoll, and actor Bradley Whitford. The fully electric sports car is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 miles per hour (100 km/h) in roughly four seconds and of reaching speeds of over 130mph (210 km/h). Visit the official Tesla Motors website.