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1889 – The Eiffel Tower is officially opened

31 March

The Eiffel Tower is a wrought iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Constructed in 1889 as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair, it was initially criticized by some of France’s leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but has become a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognisable structures in the world. The tower is the tallest structure in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world: 6.98 million people ascended it in 2011. The tower received its 250 millionth visitor in 2010.

Continue reading “1889 – The Eiffel Tower is officially opened”

1964 – Jeopardy!, hosted by Art Fleming, debuts

30 March

Jeopardy! is an American television game show created by Merv Griffin. The show features a quiz competition in which contestants are presented with general knowledge clues in the form of answers, and must phrase their responses in the form of questions. Continue reading “1964 – Jeopardy!, hosted by Art Fleming, debuts”

1961 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers a televised farewell address, in which he warns against the accumulation of power by the “military–industrial complex”

17 January

The military–industrial complex, or military–industrial–congressional complex, comprises the policy and monetary relationships which exist between legislators, national armed forces, and the arms industry that supports them. Continue reading “1961 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers a televised farewell address, in which he warns against the accumulation of power by the “military–industrial complex””

537 – The Hagia Sophia is completed

27 December

Hagia Sophia (from the Greek: “Holy Wisdom”; Latin: Sancta Sophia or Sancta Sapientia) is a former Christian patriarchal basilica (church), later an imperial mosque, and now a museum (Ayasofya Müzesi) in Istanbul, Turkey. Continue reading “537 – The Hagia Sophia is completed”

336 – First documentary sign of Christmas celebrations in Rome

25 December

The Christian ecclesiastical calendar contains many remnants of pre-Christian festivals. Christmas includes elements of the Roman feast of the Saturnalia and the birthday of Mithra. The Chronography of 354 AD contains early evidence of the celebration on December 25 of a Christian liturgical feast of the birth of Jesus. This was in Rome, while in Eastern Christianity the birth of Jesus was already celebrated in connection with the Epiphany on January 6. The December 25 celebration was imported into the East later: in Antioch by John Chrysostom towards the end of the 4th century, probably in 388, and in Alexandria only in the following century. Even in the West, the January 6 celebration of the nativity of Jesus seems to have continued until after 380.

497 BC – The first Saturnalia festival was celebrated in ancient Rome

17 December

Saturnalia was an ancient Roman festival in honour of the deity Saturn, held on 17 December of the Julian calendar and later expanded with festivities through to 23 December. Continue reading “497 BC – The first Saturnalia festival was celebrated in ancient Rome”

757 – Du Fu returns to Chang’an as a member of Emperor Xuanzong’s court

8 December

Du Fu (712 – 770) was a prominent Chinese poet of the Tang dynasty. Along with Li Bai (Li Po), he is frequently called the greatest of the Chinese poets. His greatest ambition was to serve his country as a successful civil servant, but he proved unable to make the necessary accommodations. His life, like the whole country, was devastated by the An Lushan Rebellion of 755, and his last 15 years were a time of almost constant unrest. Continue reading “757 – Du Fu returns to Chang’an as a member of Emperor Xuanzong’s court”

1953 – Vladimir Nabokov completes his controversial novel Lolita

6 December

Lolita is a novel by Vladimir Nabokov, written in English and published in 1955 in Paris, in 1958 in New York City, and in 1959 in London. It was later translated by its Russian-native author into Russian. Continue reading “1953 – Vladimir Nabokov completes his controversial novel Lolita”

1985 – Microsoft Windows 1.0 is released

Windows 1.0 is a graphical personal computer operating environment developed by Microsoft. Microsoft had worked with Apple Computer to develop applications for Apple’s January 1984 original Macintosh, the first mass-produced personal computer with a graphical user interface. Continue reading “1985 – Microsoft Windows 1.0 is released”

1783 – Mozart’s Symphony No. 36 is performed for the first time in Linz, Austria.

4 November

The Symphony No. 36 in C major,(known as the Linz Symphony) was written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart during a stopover in the Austrian town of Linz Continue reading “1783 – Mozart’s Symphony No. 36 is performed for the first time in Linz, Austria.”

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