June 29, 2020
Day 181 of 366
June 29th is the 181st day of the year. It is Engineer’s Day in Ecuador and Veterans’ Day in the Netherlands.
Historical items of note:
- In 1613, the Globe Theatre in London burned to the ground. A second Globe Theatre was built on the same site by June 1614 and closed by an Ordinance issued on September 6, 1642. A modern reconstruction of the Globe, named “Shakespeare’s Globe”, opened in 1997 approximately 750 feet from the site of the original.
- In 1786, Alexander Macdonell and over five hundred Roman Catholic highlanders left Scotland to settle in Glengarry County, Ontario.
- In 1888, George Edward Gouraud recorded Handel’s Israel in Egypt onto a phonograph cylinder, thought for many years to be the oldest known recording of music.
- In 1889, Hyde Park and several other Illinois townships voted to be annexed by Chicago, forming the largest United States city in area and second largest in population at the time.
- In 1919, actor and rodeo performer Slim Pickens was born.
- In 1920, animator and producer Ray Harryhausen was born.
- In 1927, the Bird of Paradise, a United States Army Air Corps Fokker tri-motor, completes the first transpacific flight, from the mainland United States to Hawaii.
- In 1940, in the Batman comic series, mobsters murdered a circus highwire team known as the Flying Graysons. The lone survivor, an orphan named Dick Grayson, would later become Batman’s sidekick Robin.
- In 1956, the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 was signed by United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower, officially creating the United States Interstate Highway System.
- In 1961, actress, singer, and dancer Sharon Lawrence was born.
- In 1964, the first Star Trek pilot, “The Cage”, premiered.
- In 1968, actress and educator Judith Hoag was born.
- In 1974, Vice President Isabel Perón assumed powers and duties as Acting President of Argentina, while her husband President Juan Perón was terminally ill.
- Also in 1974, Mikhail Baryshnikov defected from the Soviet Union to Canada while on tour with the Kirov Ballet.
- In 1995, Space Shuttle Atlantis docked with Russian space station Mir during Mission STS-71, marking the first time the docking was completed.
- In 2001, A.I. Artificial Intelligence was released.
- In 2006, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld that President George W. Bush’s plan to try Guantanamo Bay detainees in military tribunals violated American and international law.
- In 2007, Apple Inc. released its first mobile phone, the iPhone.
In 1975, Steve Wozniak tested his first prototype of Apple I computer.
The Apple I was Apple’s first product, and to finance its creation, Steve Jobs sold his only motorized means of transportation, a VW Microbus, for a few hundred dollars, and Wozniak sold his HP-65 calculator for $500.
It was initially released on April 11, 1976, for an introductory price of $666.66. It was discontinued on September 30, 1977, after the June 10, 1977 introduction of its successor, the Apple II. The Apple I’s built-in computer terminal circuitry was distinctive, and all that was needed was a keyboard and a television set. Competing machines such as the Altair 8800 generally were programmed with front-mounted toggle switches and used indicator lights for output, and had to be extended with separate hardware to allow connection to a computer terminal or a teletypewriter machine.
The computer housed a 1 MHz processor with 4 kilobytes of onboard memory. The memory could be expanded to 8 kilobytes, or up to 48 kilobytes with expansion cards. The computer is now a collectors’ item, with sixty-three in confirmed existence and only six verified to be in working order. The machines have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The Thing About Today is an effort to look at each day of 2020 with respect to its historical context.
For more creativity with a critical eye, visit Creative Criticality.