This Week in History: February 15-21

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Brian Adam
Professional Blogger, V logger, traveler and explorer of new horizons.
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Happy Monday, readers! We hope you are having an amazing start to the week. So today we come to bring you our usual knowledge capsule with our article on the events of the week. Read on to learn more!

February 15, 1946: the ENIAC, the first electronic computer, is introduced in the United States

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In the context of World War II, the use of special shooting boards was quite common. These contained the trajectories that the missiles could follow depending on other factors such as the type of weapon, the zone, the direction or the wind speed, so each trajectory required at least 750 calculations.

At the beginning, these calculations were done manually by women dedicated to this, called computers . Later, due to the large number of calculations, the ENIAC, the first electronic computer, was developed. It covered 167 m², weighed 27 tons, and measured about 2.5 meters high and 24 meters long. A thousand times faster than other computers, it was capable of calculating more than 5,000 additions and 360 multiplications per second, and it was programmed by six female computer experts from the Moore School, who laid the foundation for computer programming.

February 15, 1954 – Matt Groening, American cartoonist, television producer and writer, creator of the Simpsons is born

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One of the most important characters on American television, responsible for creating one of the largest animated series in the United States and in the world, was born on this day in history. Matt Groening stands out for being the creator of several important animated series, such as The Simpsons, Futurama and (Dis) charm, his latest production.

It could be said that the series The Simpsons changed television, starting with the fact that they created the formula for success related to hyperreferentiality, which was later applied in other series of the same nature.

February 15, 1945: Anna Frank presumably dies on this date

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One of the most important and crude accounts of World War II was written by a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl who had to hide from the Nazis in Amsterdam.

Her name was Anne Frank, who along with her family kept living in the famous “back room” in an annex to the Prinsengracht 263 building after the Germans occupied the country. Shortly afterwards, they were discovered and taken to different concentration camps. Ana died of typhus two months after the British troops liberated the concentration camp.

Although the dates have not been confirmed, according to several historians the date of Anne Frank’s death was probably February 15, 1945.

February 16, 1953: Roberta Williams, video game designer, is born

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The co-founder of the video game developer and distributor, Sierra On-Line, now known as Sierra Entertainment, was born on this day in history. Williams is known as one of the pioneers in adventure-style video games for her work on titles such as ‘Mystery House’, ‘King’s Quest’ and ‘Phantasmagoria’.

Currently, after more than 20 years working with videogames, he has left the industry and is dedicated to traveling and writing.

February 17, 1965: Michael Bay, American filmmaker, producer and actor is born

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One of the most recognized filmmakers in the action genre is Michael Bay. This director has been dedicated to big budget films and is characterized by the excessive use of special and visual effects, such as explosions. His fast cut makes the films quite dynamic and attractive to the audience, achieving a formula that has led to the success of his great productions, such as ‘Armageddon’ (1998), ‘Pearl Harbor’ (2001) and the entire ‘Transformers franchise’ ‘.

February 18, 1881: Cuban doctor Carlos Juan Finlay makes public his discovery about the transmission of yellow fever

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Thanks to the hard work of Dr. Finlay in discovering the importance of the biological vector through the theory of disease transmission by intermediate biological agents, today we know how is the method of transmission of yellow fever through the Aedes aegypti mosquito. It is said that he decided to investigate these insects after one night, while praying, he realized that there was a mosquito buzzing around him, so at that moment he made the decision to learn more about them.

His studies led him to conclude that it was the fertilized female who was responsible for transmitting yellow fever, and despite the fact that initially his hypothesis was not so accepted, it gained strength with the passage of time. More than 20 years later, they finally took it into account.

February 18, 1898: Enzo Ferrari, Italian car entrepreneur, is born

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Despite the fact that his birth certificate says that Enzo Ferrari came into the world on February 20, this great Italian driver and businessman was truly born on this day in history. His surname is one of the most recognized in the world due to the brand he built based on it, which is one of the most important in the automotive world.

When creating the Ferrari company, this businessman was based on the idea of ​​creating passenger cars but with luxurious and sporty features. This marked a milestone in history, and more than a hundred years later this company continues to produce luxury cars.

February 18, 1906: Hans Asperger, Austrian pediatrician and psychiatrist, is born

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The Austrian pediatrician, researcher, psychiatrist and professor of medicine Hans Asperger was one of the most recognized professionals in his field, standing out for his studies regarding mental disorders in children. One of his most important contributions today bears his name, Asperger’s Syndrome, one of the most common manifestations of the autism spectrum in the world.

However, there is a controversy regarding this professional and his political tendencies, as it is speculated that he cooperated with the Nazi regime by participating in the extermination program, although there is no evidence that he was part of the party. This issue has been debated for many years, as some say it had nothing to do with the Germans at the time, and others argue that the very fact that it does not appear in the records guarantees their complicity.

February 18, 1967: Robert Oppenheimer, American physicist, dies

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Openheimer was an American theoretical physicist who is recognized for his participation in the Manhattan Project, which was destined to develop the first nuclear weapons during World War II. He is called the father of the atomic bomb, which brought grief to his life, as he always regretted that his invention was used against innocent people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

Because of this, and after he was appointed chief advisor to the United States Atomic Energy Commission, he dedicated his life to advocating for international control over nuclear power, so that the distribution of this type of weapon could be prevented. , thus stopping the arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union.

February 19, 1986 – Soviet Union launches Mir space station

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The Mir space station was the first to be permanently inhabited, and its launch also marks the end of the Soviet space program. Although it had been planned to operate for five years, it remained inhabited and operational for a total of thirteen years. Had it not been for a fire that occurred there in February 1997, it would have functioned as a laboratory for even longer.

It was assembled in orbit from 1986 to 1996 and served as a laboratory for various scientific and astronomical experiments and research. He set the first record for the permanence of human beings in space.

February 19, 1962: Georgios Papanicolaou, Greek doctor, inventor of the Pap test, dies

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Papanicolaou was a Greek physician who pioneered cytopathology, which studies and diagnoses diseases at the cellular level, and also in the early detection of cancer. His greatest contribution to science was the development of the test that bears his name, the Papanicolaou test, which is used to detect cervical cancer.

Because of this, he received the Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research in 1950.

February 19, 1990: Edris Rice-Wray, American physician, pioneer of the contraceptive pill, dies

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The mother of the contraceptive pill, Edris Rice-Wray, was an American scientist and activist who was noted for her contributions to parental control and her research on the contraceptive injection. Her hard work earned her her nomination as one of the 75 Most Important Women in America in 1971 according to the American newspaper The Wall Street Journal.

However, he always stressed that the pill “gives one hundred percent protection against pregnancy but causes some side reactions and that does not allow them to be acceptable”, thus seeking to create increasingly effective methods for birth control.

February 20, 1987: A bomb exploded in Salt Lake City by Theodore Kaczynski, better known as Unabomber

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Unabomber was an American terrorist who was known for sending letter bombs and specifically for the attack in Salt Lake City. Their attacks were aimed at executing a plan against industrial society.

This man, despite everything, was a genius. Since he was little he excelled in mathematics and in various subjects, showing great intelligence. However, after his arrest and observing his erratic behavior at trial, he was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and locked up in jail for life.

February 21, 1431: the English begin the trial against the French soldier Joan of Arc

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Joan of Arc was one of the most interesting characters of the Middle Ages, as she is considered a hero in France for her role in the Hundred Years War, after supporting Charles VII, who had not yet been crowned King of France. .

Juana had assured that she had visions of the Archangel Michael, of Saint Margaret and of Catherine of Alexandria, which told her to support this monarch to achieve the liberation of France from English rule, which culminated in his co-ronation. However, this woman was captured, charged with various charges, and eventually burned at the stake by a group of French nobles who had allied themselves with the English.

February 21, 1965: African-American activist Malcolm X is assassinated in New York

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One of the greatest defenders of the rights of African Americans was the speaker, religious minister and activist Malcom X. This man has been described as one of the most influential African Americans in the country, who also stood out for his harsh accusations against racist white Americans from The time.

However, its end was terrible. Just like his father, Malcom X was assassinated while giving a speech at the Organization of African American Unity meeting at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan. The culprits of the crime were Thomas Hagan and two of his companions, who were members of the Nation of Islam.

February 21, 1980: video game developer HAL Laboratory is inaugurated

HAL Laboratory Logo
HAL Laboratory Logo

One of the most important Japanese video game developers in the world opened its doors on this day in history. HAL Laboratory has been responsible for creating video games for the Nintendo brand platforms, of which the Kirby and Super Smash Bros. sagas stand out, as well as several video games from the Pokémon series.

February 21, 1986: The video game “The Legend Of Zelda” is released in Japan

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Surely many of the readers have enjoyed this video game, which is one of the most famous action-adventure games in the world. It narrates the adventures of the hero Link, who must rescue Princess Zelda and save his home from the kingdom of Hyrule.

Since its success in 1986, several video game sequels have been released that take place in three different timelines. The latest video game to come out of the saga is ‘Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity’.

That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading!

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