The present time has one advantage over every other – it is our own. ~ Charles Caleb Colton
1863 – A group of citizens of Geneva founded an International Committee for Relief to the Wounded, which later became known as the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is a humanitarian institution based in Geneva, Switzerland and a three-time Nobel Prize Laureate. State parties (signatories) to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977 (Protocol I, Protocol II) and 2005 have given the ICRC a mandate to protect victims of international and internal armed conflicts. Such victims include war wounded, prisoners, refugees, civilians, and other non-combatants.
The ICRC is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement along with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and 189 National Societies. It is the oldest and most honoured organization within the Movement and one of the most widely recognized organizations in the world, having won three Nobel Peace Prizes in 1917, 1944, and 1963.
1913 – The Armory Show opens in New York City, displaying works of artists who are to become some of the most influential painters of the early 20th century.
Many exhibitions have been held in the vast spaces of U.S. National Guard armories, but the Armory Show refers to the 1913 International Exhibition of Modern Art that was organized by the Association of American Painters and Sculptors, the first large exhibition of modern art in America. The three-city exhibition started in New York City’s 69th Regiment Armory, on Lexington Avenue between 25th and 26th Streets, from February 17 until March 15, 1913. The exhibition went on to show at the Art Institute of Chicago and then to The Copley Society of Art in Boston, where, due to a lack of space, all the work by American artists was removed. The show became an important event in the history of American art, introducing astonished Americans, who were accustomed to realistic art, to the experimental styles of the European avant garde, including Fauvism, Cubism, and Futurism. The show served as a catalyst for American artists, who became more independent and created their own “artistic language.”
1959 – Project Vanguard: Vanguard 2 – The first weather satellite is launched to measure cloud-cover distribution.
Vanguard 2 or Vanguard II is an Earth-orbiting satellite launched February 17, 1959 aboard a Vanguard SLV 4 rocket as part of the United States Navy’s Project Vanguard. The satellite was designed to measure cloud-cover distribution over the daylight portion of its orbit, for a period of 19 days, and to provide information on the density of the atmosphere for the lifetime of its orbit (~300 years).
As of April 4, 2012, Vanguard 2 was still in orbit.
1963 – Alison Hargreaves, English mountaineer is born.
Alison Jane Hargreaves was an English mountain climber from Derbyshire. Her accomplishments included scaling Mount Everest alone without supplementary oxygen in 1995. She soloed all the great north faces of the Alps in a single season—a first for any climber. This feat included climbing the difficult north face of the Eiger in the Alps in 1993. Hargreaves also climbed 6,812-metre (22,349 ft) Ama Dablam in Nepal.
In 1995 Alison Hargreaves intended to climb the three highest mountains in the world—Mount Everest, K2 and Kangchenjunga—unaided. On 13 May 1995 she reached the summit of Everest without the aid of Sherpas or bottled oxygen. On August 13, she was killed while descending from the summit of K2.
1965 – Project Ranger: The Ranger 8 probe launches on its mission to photograph the Mare Tranquillitatis region of the Moon in preparation for the manned Apollo missions. Mare Tranquillitatis or the “Sea of Tranquility” would become the site chosen for the Apollo 11 lunar landing.
The Ranger program was a series of unmanned space missions by the United States in the 1960s whose objective was to obtain the first close-up images of the surface of the Moon. The Ranger spacecraft were designed to take images of the lunar surface, transmitting those images to Earth until the spacecraft were destroyed upon impact. A series of mishaps, however, led to the failure of the first six flights. At one point, the program was called “shoot and hope”. Congress launched an investigation into “problems of management” at NASA Headquarters and Jet Propulsion Laboratory. After two reorganizations of the agencies, Ranger 7 successfully returned images in July 1964, followed by two more successful missions.
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2013 – In a Fireside Hangout on Google+, Obama says we need more patent reform and computer education
In President Obama’s inaugural Fireside Hangout on Google+, he faced the public and answered a bevy of questions along a wide range of topics, including immigration, gun violence, and even technology.
One of the five Americans selected to speak with the President happened to be Limor Fried, an entrepreneur and CEO of Adafruit, an electronics manufacturing and education company in New York City. What was interesting was the topic of her questions, specifically relating to entrepreneurship, patent reform, and computer programming in schools.