This Day in Geek History: June 24
The first radar detection of an aircraft takes place in Anacostia, DC.
Scores of eyewitnesses observe the explosive roar of a huge fireball streaking over Butler County, Pennsylvania. A cow is struck and injured by a falling stone, which turns out to be an olivine-hypersthene chondrite (amphoterite). Two pieces of the stone meteorite, named the Chicora for the region in which it fell, are found. The two halves have masses of 242g and 61g and are discovered several miles short of the calculated point of impact of the main mass, which isn’t found. The original total mass is an estimated 519 tons before it explodes about twelve miles up.
The first known sighting of an unidentified flying object, or UFO, is recorded when pilot Kenneth Arnold reports noticing nine luminous disks he describes as “saucers” as he flies near Mount Rainier, Washington.
Home video recorder technology is first demonstrated at the BBC News Studios in London by Norman Rutherford and Michael Turner of Nottingham Electronic Valve Company (NEVC). The recorder is a Telcan fixed-head longitudinal videotape recorder. The machine uses quarter-inch tape running at 120 ips (10 feet/sec) past fixed heads, carrying two low-resolution black and white 15-minute tracks. The open-reel machine is mounted on the top of a television cabinet. The machine will never go on sale, as both will the Telcan and NEVC corporations will collapse. Price: £61 19s (£61.90)
The Picturephone video telephone system is first demonstrated in U.S.
The very first Consumer Electronics Show is held in New York City from June 24 to 28 at the Hilton and Americana hotels as a spin-off of the popular Chicago Music Show. The event features two hundred exhibitors. An estimated 17,500 people will attend the event. The event will become a staple of the industry. Visit the official Consumer Electronics Show website.
A moon tremor, caused by Taurid meteors, is detected by the seismometer network left on the Moon’s surface by American astronauts. The major series of lunar impacts between the June 22nd and 26th of 1975 represents five percent of the total number of impacts detected during the eight years of the network’s operation, and includes numerous one ton meteorites. The impacts are detected only when the nearside of the Moon (where the astronauts landed) is facing the Beta Taurid radiant. At the same time, there is a lot of activity detected in Earth’s ionosphere which is linked with meteor activity. The Taurid meteor storm crosses the Earth’s orbit twice a year, during the period between June 24th and July 6th and the between November 3rd to November 15th.
Commodore International announces that James Finke will leave the company as president at the expiration of his contract on June 30th.
Warner Bros. releases the sci-fi film Twilight Zone: The Movie, directed by Joe Dante, John Landis, George Miller, and Steven Spielberg and starring Dan Aykroyd, Albert Brooks, Vic Morrow, Scatman Crothers, Kathleen Quinlan, John Lithgow, and Burgess Meredith to 1,275 U.S. theaters. The film remakes three classic episodes of the original Twilight Zone television series and includes one original story. The film is perhaps made headlines when a helicopter accident took the lives of actor Vic Morrow and two child actors during the film’s production. Produced on a budget of US$10 million, the film will gross US$6,614,366 domestically in its opening weekend. IMDB listing (MPAA Rating: PG) Running Time: 1 hr 41 mins