Chewing gum patented …

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Chewing gum is a soft, cohesive substance designed to be chewed without being swallowed. Humans have used chewing gum in some form for at least 100,000 years. Most chewing gums are considered polymers. Longer polymers can produce larger bubbles due to increased intermolecular forces.

Chewing gum in many forms has existed since the Neolithic period. 6,000-year-old chewing gum made from birch bark tar, with tooth imprints, has been found in Finland. The tar from which the gums were made is believed to have had antiseptic properties and other medicinal benefits. The ancient Aztecs used chicle, a natural tree gum, as a base for making a gum-like substance and to stick objects together in everyday use. Forms of chewing gums were also chewed in Ancient Greece: mastic gum made from the resin of the mastic tree. Many other cultures have chewed gum-like substances made from plants, grasses and resins.

The American Indians chewed resin made from the sap of spruce trees. The New England settlers picked up this practice and, in 1848, John B. Curtis developed the first commercial chewing gum called The State of Maine Pure Spruce Gum. Around 1850, a gum made from paraffin wax was developed and soon exceeded the spruce gum in popularity. William Semple filed an early patent on chewing gum this date in 1869.

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The first flavored chewing gum was created in the 1860s by John Colgan, a Louisville, Kentucky pharmacist. Colgan mixed with powdered sugar the aromatic flavoring tolu, a powder obtained from an extract of the balsam tree, creating small sticks of flavored chewing gum. He licensed a patent for automatically cutting chips of chewing gum from larger sticks and a patent for automatically cutting wrappers for sticks of chewing gum.

The Wrigley Company is an American chewing gum founded in 1891. William Wrigley Jr. began packaging chewing gum with each can of baking powder. The chewing gum eventually became more popular than the baking powder, and Wrigley’s reoriented the company to produce the gum. The company currently sells its products in more than 180 countries and districts, maintains operations in over 50 countries, and has 21 production facilities in 14 countries including the United States, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom, France, the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, China, India, Japan, Kenya, Taiwan, and Australia.

Synthetic gums were first introduced to the U.S. after chicle no longer satisfied the needs of making good chewing gum. By the 1960s, US manufacturers had switched to butadiene-based synthetic rubber as it was cheaper to manufacture. (from Wikipedia and cute-calendar.com) 

 

 

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Radio Music Hall opens ….

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Radio City Music Hall is an entertainment venue located in Rockefeller Center in New York City. Its nickname is the Showplace of the Nation, and for a time it was the leading tourist destination in the city. Its interior was declared a city landmark in 1978.

The 12-acre complex in Midtown Manhattan known as Rockefeller Center was developed between 1929 and 1940 by John D. Rockefeller on land leased from Columbia University. The Radio City Music Hall was designed in the Art Deco style.

The name comes from one of the complex’s first tenants, The Radio Corporation of America. The Music Hall opened to the public this day in 1932 with a lavish stage show. The opening was meant to be a return to high-class variety entertainment; the new format was not a success. The program was very long, and individual acts were lost in the cavernous hall. On January 11, 1933, the Music Hall converted to the then-familiar format of a feature film theater and music hall. The first film shown on the giant screen was Frank Capra’s The Bitter Tea of General Yen starring Barbara Stanwyck, and the Music Hall became the premiere showcase for films from RKO-Radio Studio. The film-plus-stage-spectacle format continued at the Music Hall until 1979, with four complete performances presented every day.

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By the 1970s, changes in film distribution made it difficult for Radio City to secure exclusive bookings of many films; furthermore, the theater preferred to show only G-rated movies, which further limited their film choices as the decade wore on. Regular film showings at Radio City ended in 1979. Plans were made to convert the theater into office space, but a combination of preservation and commercial interests resulted in the preservation of Radio City and in 1980, after a renovation, it reopened to the public.

Radio City Music Hall is currently leased to and managed by The Madison Square Garden Company. Movie premieres and feature runs have occasionally taken place there, such as the Harry Potter film series, but the focus of the theater throughout the year is now on concerts and live stage shows. The Radio City Christmas Spectacular continues to be an important annual event. The Music Hall has presented most of the leading pop and rock performers of the last 30 years, as well as televised events including the Grammy Awards, the Tony Awards, the MTV Video Music Awards and the NFL Draft. Starting in 2013, however, the Tony Awards was the only major televised awards ceremony at Radio City, as the other award shows had relocated. (from Wikipedia and cute-calendar.com)

William the Conqueror

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A segment of the Bayeux Tapestry depicting Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, rally Duke William’s troops during the Battle of Hastings.

William, usually known as William the Conqueror, was the first Norman King of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. A descendant of Rollo, he was Duke of Normandy from 1035 onward. After his hold on Normandy was secure, William launched the Norman conquest of England six years later.

In the 1050s and early 1060s William became a contender for the throne of England, then held by the childless Edward the Confessor, his first cousin once removed. There other potential claimants, including the powerful English earl Harold Godwinson. William built a large fleet and invaded England in September 1066, decisively defeating and killing Harold at the Battle of Hastings on October 1066. After further military efforts, William was crowned king on Christmas Day, in London.

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His reign in England was marked by the construction of castles and churches, the settling of a new Norman nobility on the land, and change in the composition of the English clergy. He did not try to integrate his various domains into one empire, but instead continued to administer each part separately. William’s lands were divided after his death: Normandy went to his eldest son, Robert, and his second surviving son, William, received England. (from Wikipedia and cute-calendar.com)

(Obviously this should have run yesterday, but I didn’t want it to interfere with Christmas Day; William was crowned on Christmas Day, 1066.)

Silent Night ….

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Silent Night (German Stille Nacht) is a popular Christmas carol composed by Franz Xaver Gruber to lyrics by Joseph Mohr in a small town in Austria. It was declared an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2011. The song was first performed on Christmas Eve in 1818 at St. Nicholas parish church in Oberndorf, a village in the Austrian Empire in present day Austria. A young priest, Father Joseph Mohr, had come to Oberndorf the year before. He had already written the lyrics of the song Stille Nacht in 1816. The melody was composed by Gruber, schoolmaster and organist in a nearby village. Before Christmas Eve, Mohr brought the words to Gruber and asked him to compose a melody and guitar accompaniment for the church service. Both performed the carol during mass on the night of December 24th.

In 1859, an Episcopal priest, John Freeman Young, published the English translation that is most frequently sung today. The song has been translated into about 140 languages. The song was sung simultaneously in English and German by troops during the Christmas truce of 1914 during World War I as it was one carol that soldiers on both sides of the front line knew. The song has been recorded by singers from every music genre, and the version sung by Bing Crosby is the third best-selling single of all time. (from Wikipedia and cute-calendar.com)

The transistor was invented…

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A point-contact transistor was the first type of solid-state electronic transistor ever constructed, using germanium (a semiconductor) and gold for point-contacts. It was developed by research scientists at Bell Laboratories this date in 1947. The group had been working together on experiments and theories of electric field effects in solid-state materials, with the aim of replacing vacuum tubes with a smaller, less power-consuming device.

The point-contact transistor was commercialized and sold by Western Electric and others, but was soon superseded by the bipolar junction transistor, which was easier to manufacture and more rugged. Germanium was employed extensively for two decades in the manufacture of transistors, but was then almost totally replaced by silicon and other alloyed materials for circuit boards. (from Wikipedia)

Snow White

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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is an animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Productions, originally released by RKO Radio Pictures. Based on the German fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, it was the first full-length cel-animated feature film and the earliest Disney animated feature film.

Snow White premiered at the Cathay Circle Theatre this date in 1937, followed later by a nation-wide release. It was a critical and commercial success and, with international earnings of $8 million during its initial release, it briefly assumed the record of the highest grossing sound film at the time. The popularity of the film has led to it being re-released theatrically many times until its home video release in the 1990s. Adjusted for inflation, it is one of the top ten performers at the North American box office.

 

At the 11th Academy Awards, Walt Disney was awarded an honorary Oscar, and the film was nominated for Best Musical Score. In 1989, the United States Library of Congress deemed the film “culturally, historically or esthetically significant” and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry. It is also ranked in the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest American films; they also named the film as the greatest American animated film of all time in 2008. Disney’s take on the fairy tale has had a huge cultural impact, resulting in popular theme park attractions, a video game and a Broadway musical. (from Wikipedia and cute-calendar.com)

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, commonly known as A Christmas Carol, is a novella by Charles Dickens, first published in London this date in 1843. The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim. A Christmas Carol tells the story of a bitter old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation into a gentler, kindlier man after visitations by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.

 

The book was written at a time when the British were examining and exploring Christmas traditions from the past, as well as new customs such as Christmas cards and Christmas trees. Carol singing took a new lease of life during this time. Dicken’s sources for the tale appear to be many and varied, but are, principally, the humiliating experiences of his childhood, his sympathy for the poor, and various Christmas stories and fairy tales.

Dickens was not the very first author to celebrate the Christmas season in literature, but it was he who superimposed his humanitarian vision of the holiday upon the public. Dickens believed the best way to reach the broadest segment of the population regarding his concerns about poverty and social injustice was to write a deeply felt Christmas story rather than polemical pamphlets and essays. Dickens’s career as a best-selling author was on the wane, and the writer felt he needed to produce a tale that would prove both profitable and popular. Dickens’s visit to the work-worn industrial city of Manchester was the “spark” that fired the author to produce a story about the poor, a repentant miser, and redemption that would become A Christmas Carol.

A Christmas Carol remains popular—having never been out of print—and has been adapted many times to film, stage, opera, and other media.  (from Wikipedia and www.cute-calendar.com)