TweetShareShare Nobody knew it at the time, but the Hindenberg disaster was the beginning of the end for air travel by blimp. For decades, the rich used blimps to travel to new locales, still somewhat faster than the automobile of that day. But as the airplane–a new air tech–found its wings, old-school blimps no longer…

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TweetShareShare It was one of the most influential, transformative court cases of the 20th century. The Scopes Trial–or “Monkey Trial” as some called it–focused on a Tennessee high school teacher named John Scopes. He was charged with teaching evolution. The only problem? He didn’t know if he actually taught the origins theory. Nevertheless, to force…

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TweetShareShareIf your over 40, you remember a day when the three big networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) dominated the television news landscape. Indeed, the 1960s and 1970s were the “golden age” of network news, featuring personalities like Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley and Howard K. Smith. There were also new emerging (and future) stars like Dan Rather…

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TweetShareShare In the course of human history, there are few technologies that significantly reimagine everything and move culture forward exponentially. Fire. Gunpowder. The Printing Press. The Internet. And television. The world before television–the projection of visuals into the private home–reimagined how we lived. It proved, in the end, more than just an entertainment evolution. In…

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TweetShareShare You’ve probably heard of the radio shows “The Shadow,” “Abbott and Costello,” “Amos ‘n Andy” or “Ozzy and Harriet,” but what about One Man’s Family? This popular American radio soap opera broadcasted from 1932 to 1959. Developed by Carlton E. Morse, One Man’s Family was the longest-running uninterrupted dramatic serial in the history of…

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TweetShareShare On April 27, 1981, I was a senior in high school. In six weeks I would graduate and leave home for good. At the time I was typing my papers on an electric typewriter. In graduate school I bought my first desktop computer and learned the misery of early MS-DOS computing. In the mid-1990s…

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TweetShareShare Polio was a feared disease in the early and mid-1900s. The crippling disease had disabled Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s. But, even more so, polio was epidemic among children (who saw the lion share of the cases). In 1952 there were 58,000 new cases of poliomyelitis (with 3000 deaths). The worst part was…

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TweetShareShare It was either the worst move in soda history or a brilliant marketing ploy. But on this day 35 years ago, Coca-Cola announced they were changing the formula for its historic drink. The move made sense as a new “Pepsi Generation” was slowly eating into profits (helped by clever, targeted advertisements to younger generations).…

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TweetShareShare In the mid-1970s, television news was largely a man’s sport. And then Barbara Walters joined the ABC News anchor desk with Harry Reasoner to shatter the glass ceiling. The women’s liberation movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s–including the Equal Rights Amendment for women in America–was reimagining the workplace. Barbara Walters was a…

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TweetShareShare America tuned in, by the millions, for this true “reality television” moment. It was unscripted made-for-ratings television. Geraldo Rivera had made a name for himself as a no-nonsense commentator on American culture and politics for ABC News. He had his own talk show that drew modestly good ratings. On this date, Rivera’s image was…

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