Little Bits of History

August 29

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 29, 2017

708: Wadōkaichin becomes legal tender. It is the oldest official Japanese coinage and came into being during the reign of Empress Genmei. Wadōkaichin is the transliteration of the four symbols found on the face of the round coin. They are placed around a square cut into the center of the coin. Genmei was only one of eight ruling empresses of Japan. There were three prior to her ascending to the Chrysanthemum throne and four following her, including her daughter who ruled immediately after Genmei abdicated in her daughter’s favor.

Genmei was the consort of Crown Prince Kusakabe no Miko, son of Emperor Tenmu. Her husband died when their son, Monmu, was only six years old. When Tenmu died, Monmu became emperor, a post he held for ten years until he died in 707. He had ruled from the age of 15 to the age of 25. Although he left behind two young children, Genmei felt the pressures of ruling Japan would be too much for her six-year-old grandson. So she took over the Chrysanthemum Throne in his place. Very shortly after taking over the rule of the land, a copper mine was found in Chichibu in Musashi Province, an area today which includes Tokyo.

The nengō, or calendar designation for eras of reigning monarchs, had to change with the new monarch’s rule and the copper became the identifying mark of the times. The ““ part of the coin is the Japanese word for copper and the “wa” part refers to the ancient Chinese name for Japan. So “wadō” means “Japanese copper”. In May of 708 the copper was examined at Genmei’s Court and a mint was established in Omi Province. Wadōkaichin went into circulation on this day and remained currency for 250 years. It was made in the same way older Chinese coins had been made with a diameter of slightly less than an inch and weighing just over an ounce. China had been minting coins for over a millennium by this time so their system was copied in Japan.

Genmai ruled for eight years. During that time, she also moved the official residence to Nara. This move had been planned by her son but he was unable to complete the move before he died. Moving residences was also a customary part of each new reign, but Mommu had not moved at the beginning of his tenure. The new Empress was set up in her new house and had the Kojiki, a three volume history of Japan, published. This was also started by her own father and not finished in his lifetime. Genmei was the only Empress to abdicate, not in favor of a male heir, but instead, retired to allow her daughter to reign. Empress Gensho held the Throne until her nephew could take control in 724.

Peace and justice are two sides of the same coin. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Success comes to those who dedicate everything to their passion in life. To be successful, it is also very important to be humble and never let fame or money travel to your head. – A. R. Rahman

Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will. – Nelson Mandela

A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money. – W. C. Fields

 

 

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Selling Air (Time)

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 29, 2015
NYC's Jackson Heights

NYC’s Jackson Heights*

August 29, 1922: The first paid radio commercial is aired. In the early 1900s, radio programs began broadcasting, but they were irregular. By 1919, the airwaves were kept in continuous use as all day broadcasts began. In the US, on November 2, 1920 KDKA began the first commercial broadcast. More radio stations began the process of regular all day broadcasting. With the increase came the need to pay for the maintenance of the stations since they were becoming significantly costly. In February 1922, AT&T announced their intention to sell “toll broadcasting” to advertisers. The idea was that businesses would underwrite or finance broadcasts in exchange for their businesses to be mentioned on the radio.

Queensboro Corporation was the first to take advantage of this concept when on this day, they advertised their new apartment complex in the expanding neighborhood of Jackson Heights. There is some dispute about this being the first paid ad on radio as there was an amateur radio broadcaster who leased out his “station”. In exchange for $35 per week, he permitted others to use the facility twice a week back in May 1920. In Seattle, Washington in March 1922, Remick’s Music Store took out a large ad in the local paper advertising the radio station KFC and for their efforts were given a weekly show to sponsor. On April 4, 1922, Alvin T. Fuller, a car dealer in Medford Hillside, Massachusetts purchased time at WGI in order to secure mention of his dealership. Queensboro was the first to use the system we know today on commercial radio stations.

During radio’s Golden Age, advertisers would sponsor an entire program which usually lasted between 15 and 30 minutes. Their product would be mentioned at the beginning and end of the show with a message acknowledging their sponsorship. Radio, by its nature, is limited to just sound, but some of the larger stations began to experiment with different formats. Advertising became a commodity and there was money to be made by creating great ads. The advertising director of Shell Oil Co. urged station managers to deal with relevant advertisers and sell tie-in commercials in established radio shows. It was hoped that like with newspapers, both the medium and the advertisers would benefit.

Even though radio was an already established entity before this time, it was seen as the industry “growing up” in terms of a business venture and how advertising could best be utilized. The use of sound effects was essential to the success of programming – and advertising. There are, even today, two types of radio commercials. There are “live reads” and produced spots. Some DJs will ad-lib or improvise when doing a live read while others stick strictly to the script. Some give a personal salute to the product, then making it an endorsement. Produced spots are far more common and are the prerecorded ads made via the station itself or an advertising agency. Today, different times of the day demand different rates for airtime and ads can run from ten seconds to sixty seconds.

Advertising treats all products with the reverence and the seriousness due to sacraments. – Thomas Merton

A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself. – David Ogilvy

There is no advertisement as powerful as a positive reputation traveling fast. – Brian Koslow

Law Number IV: If you can afford to advertise, you don’t need to. – Norman R. Augustine

Also on this day: Have You Hugged Your Hog Today? – In 1885, Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler patented the motorcycle.
Last Man Standing – In 1911, Ishi was found.
The Ashes – In 1882, The Ashes rivalry began.
Day Tripper – In 1966, The Beatles gave their last paid concert.
Quebec Bridge Collapse – In 1907, the bridge collapsed before construction was finished.

* “NYC Jackson Heights 3” by The original uploader was Jleon at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NYC_Jackson_Heights_3.jpg#/media/File:NYC_Jackson_Heights_3.jpg

Quebec Bridge Collapse

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 29, 2014
Quebec Bridge collapse

Quebec Bridge collapse

August 29, 1907: The Quebec Bridge collapses. The bridge was part of the National Transcontinental Railway project. The Canadian government was in charge of the entire project. The Quebec Bridge Company was incorporated by an Act of Parliament in 1887 and revived in 1891 under John Macdonald and again in 1897 under Wilfrid Laurier. He also granted an extension of time in 1900. In 1903, the bond issue was increased to $6 million and at that time the name changed to the Quebec Bridge and Railway Company (QBRC). Another Act of Parliament was needed to guarantee the bond fund. Laurier was MP for Quebec East and Simon-Napoleon Parent was Premier of Quebec as well as the mayor and also the president of QBRC.

Edward Hoare was chief engineer for the Company even though he had never worked on a cantilever bridge structure longer than 300 feet. The total length of the bride is 3,239 feet with the longest span (today) measuring 1,800 feet. Collingwood Schreiber was the Chief Engineer of the Department of Railways and Canals in Ottawa. RC Douglas worked with Schreiber until July 1903 when he was deposed because he opposed the calculations that were submitted by contractors. Schreiber asked for more help and was denied. Contractor Theodore Cooper was completely in charge of the works.

By 1904, the construction was moving along. The preliminary calculations made during the early planning stages were never checked when the design was finalized. The span had been lengthened and no recalculations were done. The actual weight was much greater than the carrying capacity. By the summer of 1907, with construction nearing completion, distortions in key structural members was already in evidence. Norman McLure wrote repeatedly to Cooper who claimed the distortions were minor. The Phoenix Bridge Company officials claimed the beams must have been bent prior to construction. McLure wrote again and then on this day went to New York to meet with Cooper. An urgent telegraph was sent to the building site telling them not to add more load to the bridge.

The message was not passed on. Just before quitting time, after four years of construction work, the south arm and part of the central span collapsed into the St. Lawrence River in just 15 seconds. There were 86 workers on the bridge that day and 75 of them were killed while the remaining 11 were injured. It was the world’s worst bridge construction disaster. The bridge was rebuilt and collapsed again in 1911. Finally, in August 1919 the bridge was completed at a cost $25 million and 89 bridge workers’ lives. After nearly two decades of construction, the completed bridge was the longest cantilevered bridge span in the world and remains so today.

The hardest thing in life to learn is which bridge to cross and which to burn. – David Russell

Every decently-made object, from a house to a lamp post to a bridge, spoon or egg cup, is not just a piece of ‘stuff’ but a physical embodiment of human energy, testimony to the magical ability of our species to take raw materials and turn them into things of use, value and beauty. – Kevin McCloud

But which is the stone that supports the bridge? – Kublai Khan

Sometimes you get the best light from a burning bridge. – Don Henley

Also on this day: Have You Hugged Your Hog Today? – In 1885, Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler patents the motorcycle.
Last Man Standing – In 1911, Ishi was found.
The Ashes – In 1882, The Ashes rivalry begins.
Day Tripper – In 1966, The Beatles gave their last paid concert.

Last Man Standing

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 29, 2013
Ishi

Ishi

August 29, 1911: Ishi is found near Oroville, California. Ishi was the last survivor of the Yahi People. He was said to be the last Native American who lived most of his life outside European American culture. “Ishi” means “man” in the Yahi dialect. It was forbidden in Yahi society for one to say his or her own name and no other Yahis survived to utter this last man’s true name. It remains a mystery.

Before European contact, it was estimated that 3,000 Yahi lived in what is now Northern California. In 1865, when Ishi was five-years-old, the Three Knolls Massacre took place. After the attack, only 30 Yahi survived. Cattlemen then killed about half of the survivors, driving the remaining Yahi into hiding for 40 years.

Ishi’s mother and companions died and he was found, emaciated and ill, near Oroville. He was taken into custody by the local sheriff for his own protection. He moved to the Museum of Anthropology at the University of California in San Francisco where he lived until he died of tuberculosis in 1916. While there he was studied by anthropologists Alfred L. Kroeber and Thomas Talbot Waterman who documented the Yahi life style. Edward Sapir studied the native language.

Steven Shackley of the University of California, Berkeley, has done intensive study of Ishi’s arrowhead and posits that Ishi may not have been full-blooded Yahi. Rather, the manufacturing technique used by Ishi may have been influenced by other Northern California tribes, either Wintu or Nomlaki. Regardless of how he learned to make the arrows, he was a very skilled archer. Ishi taught Saxton Pope, a doctor at the University, how to make both the bows and arrows and the two would often hunt in the Northern California woods. Today, there is an Ishi Tournament held yearly to match the skills of current enthusiasts against the skills of the Native American. Very few can match his accuracy.

“The most common trait of all primitive peoples is a reverence for the life-giving earth, and the Native American shared this elemental ethic: The land was alive to his loving touch, and he, its son, was brother to all creatures.” – Stewart L. Udall

“No longer will Native American culture be bottled up in collections and hidden from so many people in the world who wish to share them.” – Ben Nighthorse Campbell

“The art of Native Americans is integrated into the functional. Many times the designs have symbolic or even magical meanings.” – Peter Jacobs

“Despite good intentions and best efforts, the stereotyping of Native Americans into narrow images is an undeniable consequence of choosing such names and symbols.” – Bernard Franklin

This article first appeared at examiner.com in 2009. Editor’s update: The Three Knolls Massacre took place in 1866 on the Mill Creek in California. The term massacre refers to the mass killing of one group by another where the defeated group is considered to be innocent or victimized by the winners. “Indian massacres” refers to the confrontations between European colonists and eventually US citizens against the indigenous tribes. There is archeological evidence that massacres located in North America did not begin in 1492. There is a site in Chamberlain, South Dakota where the Crow Creek massacre took place around 1325 with 486 known dead. What is referred to as the Last Massacre took place in January 1911 when a group of Shoshone killed four ranchers in Nevada and then in February an American posse killed eight of the Shoshone suspects and captured four children from the group.

Also on this day: Have You Hugged Your Hog Today? – In 1885, Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler patents the motorcycle.
The Ashes – In 1882, The Ashes rivalry begins.
Day Tripper – In 1966, The Beatles gave their last paid concert.

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Day Tripper

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 29, 2012

August 29, 1966: The Beatles give their last paid full concert. The performance was held at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. They performed eleven songs in front of an appreciative audience. A rough recording of the concert was not released, however much of the audio has found its way online. The audio cuts out during the last few minutes, leaving “Long Tall Sally” a little short. Film of the concert was taken by a 15-year-old in attendance and has been seen in a documentary called The Unseen Beatles. Other official footage from news teams from San Francisco and Sacramento are also included.

The Beatles were a British rock band made up of four people. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey) became one of the most popular rock bands in history. The band was formed with five members early on and through shifting personnel changes, came to us in America as the Fab Four and led the second British Invasion. They began to gain popularity in 1962 with the release in the UK of their first single, “Love Me Do”. By the time they got to the US shores in 1964, Beatlemania was an international phenomenon.

The Beatles are the best-selling band in history with record sales of over 1 billion units. They also hold the record for #1 album spots in the UK and have held that spot for the longest time. They have won numerous awards both during their tenure and after their breakup in 1970. They were listed as the #1 artists in Billboard’s 2008 listing. As a group, they were listed as one of the top 100 most influential people of the last century. John was murdered in 1980 and George died in 2001. Paul continues to perform and is one of the wealthiest people in England. Ringo also continues to perform, both musically and as an actor.

Candlestick Park is in the Bayview Heights area of San Francisco. Ground breaking took place on August 12, 1958 and the stadium opened two years later. Construction costs ran to $15 million ($111 million in today’s dollars). The name has changed over time and now is once again back to being Candlestick Park. It is the home stadium of the San Francisco 49ers, a National Football League team. It has also been home to the San Francisco Giants, a Major League Baseball team and for one year (1961) was home to the Oakland Raiders, another NFL team. Owned and operated by the city and county, it seats 69,732 fans today.

Gene Autry was the most. It may sound like a joke – Go and have a look in my bedroom, It’s covered with Gene Autry posters. He was my first musical influence. – Ringo Starr

I wanted to be successful, not famous. – George Harrison

Buy, buy, says the sign in the shop window; Why, why, says the junk in the yard. – Paul McCartney

If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace. – John Lennon

Also on this day:

Have You Hugged Your Hog Today? – In 1885, Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler patents the motorcycle.
Last Man Standing – In 1911, Ishi was found.
The Ashes – In 1882, The Ashes rivalry begins.

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The Ashes

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 29, 2011

The Ashes urn

August 29, 1882: According to The Sporting Match, English cricket dies. The Ashes is a Test cricket series played by cricket’s greatest international rivalry – Australia and England. Cricket is a summer game and The Ashes is a biennial event. However, summer does not occur at the same time in the two countries. The Ashes is therefore played every 18 or 30 months in a bid to find the new home for the urn.

The Sporting Match published an obituary stating that English cricked had died when Australia beat England on their home field. “The body would be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia” according to the obit. The media played up the need to regain the ashes when England next played in Australia calling the 1882-1883 season the “quest to regain The Ashes.” And so began the tradition.

The first urn contained ashes from some piece of cricket equipment and was presented to English captain Ivo Bligh when they played their next match in Melbourne. It was made of terra cotta and he forever thought of it as a personal gift. Replicas are seen today holding the ashes. It is not a trophy, per se. Since 1998 there has been a trophy that is presented to the winner and it is made of Waterford crystal. Australia is the current title, trophy, and ash holder with the next match scheduled for 2009.

Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world. It is played on an oval field with two teams of eleven members each. In the center of the oval is a flat strip of ground 22 yards  long called a pitch. There is a wicket set up at each end. A bowler throws a ball to the man protecting his wicket who bats the ball into the playing field. If the ball remains in play and the wicket remains standing, the batsman and the non-striker (a second batsman at the opposing end of the pitch) run between the wickets to score runs. The highest score wins.

“By bringing the Ashes back after so long you have given cricket a huge boost and lit up the whole summer.” – Tony Blair

“My warmest congratulations to you, the England cricket team and all in the squad for the magnificent achievement of regaining the Ashes.” – Michael Vaughan

“It has brought cricket alive in Britain and even around the world. And what’s more the players have been great sporting role models for kids. The Ashes victory is great for the sport.” – David Folb

“Baseball has the great advantage over cricket of being ended sooner.” – George Bernard Shaw

Also on this day:
Have You Hugged Your Hog Today? – In 1885, Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler patents the motorcycle.
Last Man Standing – In 1911, Ishi was found.

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The Ashes

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 29, 2010

The Ashes urn

August 29, 1882: According to The Sporting Match, English cricket dies. The Ashes is a Test cricket series played by cricket’s greatest international rivalry – Australia and England. Cricket is a summer game and The Ashes is a biennial event. However, summer does not occur at the same time in the two countries. The Ashes is therefore played every 18 or 30 months in a bid to find the new home for the urn.

The Sporting Match published an obituary stating that English cricked had died when Australia beat England on their home field. “The body would be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia” according to the obit. The media played up the need to regain the ashes when England next played in Australia calling the 1882-1883 season the “quest to regain The Ashes.” And so began the tradition.

The first urn contained ashes from some piece of cricket equipment and was presented to English captain Ivo Bligh when they played their next match in Melbourne. It was made of terra cotta and he forever thought of it as a personal gift. Replicas are seen today holding the ashes. It is not a trophy, per se. Since 1998 there has been a trophy that is presented to the winner and it is made of Waterford crystal. Australia is the current title, trophy, and ash holder with the next match scheduled for 2009.

Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world. It is played on an oval field with two teams of eleven members each. In the center of the oval is a flat strip of ground 22 yards (20.12 m) long called a pitch. There is a wicket set up at each end. A bowler throws a ball to the man protecting his wicket who bats the ball into the playing field. If the ball remains in play and the wicket remains standing, the batsman and the non-striker (a second batsman at the opposing end of the pitch) run between the wickets to score runs. The highest score wins.

“By bringing the Ashes back after so long you have given cricket a huge boost and lit up the whole summer.” – Tony Blair

“My warmest congratulations to you, the England cricket team and all in the squad for the magnificent achievement of regaining the Ashes.” – Michael Vaughan

“It has brought cricket alive in Britain and even around the world. And what’s more the players have been great sporting role models for kids. The Ashes victory is great for the sport.” – David Folb

“Baseball has the great advantage over cricket of being ended sooner.” – George Bernard Shaw

Also on this day, in 1911 Ishi, last of the Yahi People, was found.
Bonus Link: In 1885, Daimler receives a patent for a motorcycle
.

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Have You Hugged Your Hog Today?

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 29, 2010

Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler's motorcycle

August 29, 1885: Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler, industrialist and engineer, gains a patent for an internal combustion engine two-wheeled vehicle, the first motorcycle. Unless you count the steam engine driven motorcycle that was powered by coal and available in 1867, developed by Howard Roper. The steam powered bike, like the steam powered car that Roper developed, never quite caught on.

Daimler’s motorcycle had a wooden chassis and an engine developed by Nicolaus August Otto. It was a 4-stroke combustion engine and wheels made of metal without any tires on them. The motorcycle was not for sale, but was a method for propulsion proving the engine was a viable power source.

The first motorcycle for sale was produced in 1894 by Hildebrand & Wolfmüller with weight of 60 km [132 lb] and a top speed of 40 km/h [25 mph]. In 1901, Indian motorcycles was founded in the US and became the largest manufacturer until after World War I. Harley-Davidson was founded in 1903 and was the next leading motorcycle manufacturer. Then in 1928 DKW took the lead. BMW motorcycles began production in 1923 and enclosed an opposed-twin engine along with the transmission into a single aluminum casing.

After World War II, the BSA Group led the pack. In the late 1960s and early 1970s Japan’s manufacturers – Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha took the lead. Today’s bikes are fuel efficient but not as safe as enclosed vehicles. The rate of fatalities from crashes is three times higher than for standard cars but has not kept entire subcultures from being built around motorcycles.

“That’s all the motorcycle is, a system of concepts worked out in steel.” – Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

“Most motorcycle problems are caused by the nut that connects the handlebars to the saddle.” –  Unknown

“Bikes don’t leak oil, they mark their territory.” –  Unknown

“What do you call a cyclist who doesn’t wear a helmet?  An organ donor.” – David Perry

Also on this day, in 1911 Ishi, last of the Yahi People, was found.
Bonus Link: In 1882, The Ashes
rivalry begins.

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