This Day in Geek History: March 21
The first Zoological Society is incorporated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Following the disruption of the Civil War, the society will establish the country’s first Zoo.
Wolfgang Pauli publishes his “exclusion principle” at the young age of twenty-four, in an article in the journal Zeitschrift für Physik. The Pauli exclusion principle states that two fermions, such as electrons, cannot be in the same quantum state at the same time. In 1945, Pauli will be awarded a Nobel Prize for this fundamental contribution to the science of quantum mechanics.
Charles Lindbergh is awarded the Medal of Honor for his first trans-Atlantic flight. Read more about Charles Lindbergh.
Arthur C. Wahl and Glenn Seaborg submit a secret report suggesting the name “Plutonium” for artificial element 94, since it follows Uranium (element 92) and Neptunium (element 93) on the periodic table of elements. The paper will be remain secret until 1948, following World War II, when it will be published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
A bear becomes the first creature to be ejected from a vehicle at supersonic speeds.
NASA launches the Ranger 9 Lunar Lander on a mission to photograph the surface of the Moon. It will return 5,814 pictures before impacting the surface of the lunar surface. Browse photographs returned by Ranger 9.
The Konami Company is founded as a jukebox rental and repair firm in Osaka, Japan. Konami will eventually grow into a leading developer and publisher of numerous anime series, tokusatsu, trading cards, and video games. Visit the official Konami website.
In a San Francisco Federal District Court, Judge William Schwarzer rules that Microsoft’s Windows 2.03 is not covered in the 1985 Apple Computer/Microsoft technology licensing agreement. The judge rules that only Windows 1.0 is included in the agreement,and that Windows 2.03 is fundamentally different. The ruling allows the issue to proceed to trial, in Apple Computer v. Microsoft, which was filed in March 1988.
A hacker leaves a message on the computer of astronomer Cliff Stoll.
The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Genesis” first airs. (No. 719) In it, a medical treatment required by Lieutenant Barclay unleashes a virus that begins to rapidly de-evolve members of the crew. Memory Alpha entry
Vice President Al Gore delivers a speech at the International Telecommunications Union in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In the speech, Gore discusses the potential benefits of the Global Information Infrastructure (GII) and possible means of achieving universal access. Gore also mentions the five fundamental principles of implementing GII, and the proposed the creation of a Global Digital Library. Read a transcript of the speech at the Interesting People website.
Atari announces a new reduced price for the 64-bit Jaguar video game system of US$159.99. The new price for the system is without the game CyberMorph, which was previously bundled with the system. The bundle was previously sold at prices between US$189 and US$249.