This Day in Geek History: March 5
Copernican theory is declared “false and erroneous” in a decree written by Cardinal Robert Bellarmine and issued by the Catholic Church. Further, no person is to be permitted to hold or teach the theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun. When Galileo later violates the decree, he will be put on trial and held under house arrest for the final eight years of his life.
C.H. Gould of Birmingham, England, receives a patent for the first stapling device.
In Electrical World and Engineer, Nikola Tesla describes the process of ball lightning formation. Read more about Tesla’s theories on ball lightning at Bibliotecapleyades.
The first Gloster Meteor, the first British jet, makes its maiden flight. Britain will be the only Allied nation to put a squadron of jets into operation before Germany’s surrender on May 8, 1945.
The classic 1933 monster movie King Kong film first airs on television.
The Explorer 2 spacecraft is launched on a mission to detect cosmic rays, but it fails to reach Earth orbit.
The United States launches Solar Explorer B, also known as Explorer 37, from Wallops Island to study the Sun.
A nuclear non-proliferation treaty goes into effect after ratification by forty-three nations.
The Homebrew Computer Club, founded by Gordon French and activist Fred Moore, holds its first meeting at the in Menlo Park, California. The organization’s purpose to bring together computer hobbyist to exchange ideas and share their experience tinkering with electronics at a time when microcomputers are largely available only as kits requiring assembly and very few companies provide documentation or support for commercially available computer hardware or software. The first meeting is held in French’s garage in Menlo Park to review the first Altair microcomputer, the 8800. Later meetings will be held at “The Oasis” bar and grill on El Camino Real or Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. The Club will play a critical role in the development of early computers and will widely be credited with establishing the underlying culture of Silicon Valley. Almost a year to the day after the club’s founding, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, the later co-founder of Apple Computer, will meet at a Homebrew Computer Club meeting.
Detection equipment picks up a gamma ray burst originating from the Large Magellanic Cloud, leading to the discovery of soft gamma repeaters, astronomical objects which emit large bursts of gamma-rays and X-rays at irregular intervals.
Principal photography begins on the film Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.
Earth satellites record gamma rays from remnants of supernova N-49.