1846 – Wilhelm Maybach, German businessman, founded Maybach, is born.
Wilhelm Maybach was an early German engine designer and industrialist. During the 1890s he was hailed in France, then the world centre for car production, as the “King of constructors”.
From the late 19th century Wilhelm Maybach, together with Gottlieb Daimler, developed light, high-speed internal combustion engines suitable for land, water, and air use. These were fitted to the world’s first motorcycle, motorboat, and after Daimler’s death, to a new automobile introduced in late 1902, the Mercedes model, built to the specifications of Emil Jellinek.
Maybach rose to become technical director of the Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft, or DMG, (and never known by the English name of the quite separate English business, The Daimler Motor Company) but he did not get on well with its chairmen. As a result, Maybach left DMG in 1907 to found Maybach-Motorenbau GmbH together with his son Karl in 1909; they manufactured Zeppelin engines. After the signing of the Versailles Treaty in 1919 the company started producing large luxury vehicles, branded as “Maybach”. The company joined the German war effort in 1940, ceasing automotive production in favour of tank engines, including those for Tiger tanks.
In 1998 Daimler-Benz merged with Chrysler Corporation to become DaimlerChrysler. The new company revived the Maybach brand name as a luxury make in 2002. On November 25, 2011, Daimler-Benz announced they would cease producing automobiles under the Maybach brand name in 2013. Daimler currently produces an ultra luxury edition of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class under the Maybach brand.
1870 – US president Ulysses S. Grant signs a joint resolution of Congress establishing the U.S. Weather Bureau.
In 1870, the Weather Bureau of the United States was established through a joint resolution of Congress signed by President Ulysses S. Grant with a mission to “provide for taking meteorological observations at the military stations in the interior of the continent and at other points in the States and Territories…and for giving notice on the northern (Great) Lakes and on the seacoast by magnetic telegraph and marine signals, of the approach and force of storms.” The agency was placed under the Secretary of War as Congress felt “military discipline would probably secure the greatest promptness, regularity, and accuracy in the required observations.” Within the Department of War, it was assigned to the U.S. Army Signal Service under Brigadier General Albert J. Myer. General Myer gave the National Weather Service its first name: The Division of Telegrams and Reports for the Benefit of Commerce.
1942 – Year-round Daylight saving time is re-instated in the United States as a wartime measure to help conserve energy resources.
Year-round DST was reinstated in the United States on February 9, 1942, again as a wartime measure to conserve energy resources. This remained in effect until after the end of the war. The Amendment to the War Time Act (59 Stat. 537), enacted September 25, 1945, ended DST as of September 30, 1945. During this period, the official designation War Time was used for year-round DST. For example, Eastern War Time (EWT) would be the equivalent of Eastern Daylight Time during this period.
1960 – Peggy Whitson, American biochemist and astronaut is born.
Peggy Annette Whitson is an American biochemistry researcher, NASA astronaut, and former NASA Chief Astronaut. Her first space mission was in 2002, with an extended stay aboard the International Space Station as a member of Expedition 5. Her second mission launched October 10, 2007, as the first female commander of the ISS with Expedition 16. With her two long-duration stays abroad the ISS, Whitson is NASA’s most experienced female astronaut, with just over 376 days in space. This also places her twenty-fifth among all space flyers. She has been selected for the crew of Expedition 50.
The flight of Space Shuttle mission STS-120, commanded by female astronaut Pam Melroy, was the first time that two female mission commanders have been in orbit at the same time.
On December 18, 2007, during the fourth spacewalk of Expedition 16 to inspect the S4 starboard Solar Alpha Rotary Joint (SARJ), the ground team in Mission Control informed Whitson that she had become the female astronaut with the most cumulative EVA time in NASA history, as well as the most EVAs, with her fifth EVA. Three hours and 37 minutes into the spacewalk, Whitson surpassed NASA astronaut Sunita Williams with a total time at that point of 29 hours and 18 minutes. At the completion of Whitson’s fifth EVA, the 100th in support of ISS assembly and maintenance, Whitson’s cumulative EVA time became 32 hours, and 36 minutes, which placed her in 20th place for total EVA time. Her sixth spacewalk, also during Expedition 16, brought her cumulative EVA time to 39 hours, 46 minutes, which ranked her 23rd for total EVA time as of November 2009.
1964 – The Beatles make their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, performing before a “record-busting” audience of 73 million viewers across the USA.
On 7 February 1964, the Beatles left the United Kingdom with an estimated 4000 fans gathered at Heathrow, waving and screaming as the aircraft took off. Upon landing at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, an uproarious crowd estimated at 3000 greeted them. They gave their first live US television performance two days later on The Ed Sullivan Show, watched by approximately 73 million viewers in over 23 million households, or 34 per cent of the American population. Biographer Jonathan Gould writes that, according to the Nielsen rating service, it was “the largest audience that had ever been recorded for an American television program”. The next morning, the Beatles awoke to a negative critical consensus in the US, but a day later their first US concert saw Beatlemania erupt at Washington Coliseum. Back in New York the following day, the Beatles met with another strong reception during two shows at Carnegie Hall. The band then flew to Florida and appeared on the weekly Ed Sullivan Show a second time, before another 70 million viewers, before returning to the UK on 22 February.
1969 – First test flight of the Boeing 747.
The Boeing 747 is a wide-body commercial jet airliner and cargo aircraft, often referred to by its original nickname, Jumbo Jet, or Queen of the Skies. Its distinctive “hump” upper deck along the forward part of the aircraft makes it among the world’s most recognizable aircraft, and it was the first wide-body produced. Manufactured by Boeing’s Commercial Airplane unit in the United States, the original version of the 747 had two and a half times greater capacity than the Boeing 707, one of the common large commercial aircraft of the 1960s. First flown commercially in 1970, the 747 held the passenger capacity record for 37 years.
1971 – Satchel Paige becomes the first Negro League player to be voted into the USA’s Baseball Hall of Fame.
Leroy Robert “Satchel” Paige was an American Negro league baseball and Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher who became a legend in his own lifetime by attracting record crowds wherever he pitched.
Paige was a right-handed pitcher, and at age 42 in 1948, he was the oldest major league rookie while playing for the Cleveland Indians. He played with the St. Louis Browns until age 47, and represented them in the All-Star Game in 1952 and 1953. He was the first player who had played in the Negro leagues to pitch in the World Series, in 1948, and was the first first electee of the Committee on Negro Baseball Leagues to be inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, in 1971.
1971 – Apollo program: Apollo 14 returns to Earth after the third manned Moon landing.
Apollo 14 was the eighth manned mission in the United States Apollo program, and the third to land on the Moon. It was the last of the “H missions,” targeted landings with two-day stays on the Moon with two lunar EVAs, or moonwalks.
Commander Alan Shepard, Command Module Pilot Stuart Roosa, and Lunar Module Pilot Edgar Mitchell launched on their nine-day mission on January 31, 1971 at 4:04:02 p.m. local time after a 40-minute, 2 second delay due to launch site weather restrictions, the first such delay in the Apollo program. Shepard and Mitchell made their lunar landing on February 5 in the Fra Mauro formation – originally the target of the aborted Apollo 13 mission. During the two lunar EVAs, 42.80 kilograms (94.35 lb) of Moon rocks were collected, and several scientific experiments were performed. Shepard hit two golf balls on the lunar surface with a makeshift club he had brought from Earth. Shepard and Mitchell spent 33½ hours on the Moon, with almost 9½ hours of EVA.
In the aftermath of Apollo 13, several modifications were made to the Service Module electrical power system to prevent a repeat of that accident, including redesign of the oxygen tanks and addition of a third tank.
While Shepard and Mitchell were on the surface, Roosa remained in lunar orbit aboard the Command/Service Module Kitty Hawk, performing scientific experiments and photographing the Moon, including the landing site of the future Apollo 16 mission. He took several hundred seeds on the mission, many of which were germinated on return, resulting in the so-called Moon trees. Shepard, Roosa, and Mitchell landed in the Pacific Ocean on February 9.
1986 – Halley’s Comet last appeared in the inner Solar System.
Halley’s Comet or Comet Halley, officially designated 1P/Halley, is a short-period comet visible from Earth every 75–76 years. Halley is the only known short-period comet that is clearly visible to the naked eye from Earth, and the only naked-eye comet that might appear twice in a human lifetime. Halley last appeared in the inner parts of the Solar System in 1986 and will next appear in mid-2061.
Halley’s returns to the inner Solar System have been observed and recorded by astronomers since at least 240 BC. Clear records of the comet’s appearances were made by Chinese, Babylonian, and medieval European chroniclers, but were not recognized as reappearances of the same object at the time. The comet’s periodicity was first determined in 1705 by English astronomer Edmond Halley, after whom it is now named.
During its 1986 apparition, Halley’s Comet became the first comet to be observed in detail by spacecraft, providing the first observational data on the structure of a comet nucleus and the mechanism of coma and tail formation. These observations supported a number of longstanding hypotheses about comet construction, particularly Fred Whipple’s “dirty snowball” model, which correctly predicted that Halley would be composed of a mixture of volatile ices – such as water, carbon dioxide, and ammonia – and dust. The missions also provided data that substantially reformed and reconfigured these ideas; for instance, now it is understood that the surface of Halley is largely composed of dusty, non-volatile materials, and that only a small portion of it is icy.
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