Edited by Gerald Boerner
Today in History features one major international and three major domestic events. The international event was the discovery, in 1972, an Imperial Japanese soldier, Sgt. Shoichi Yokoi, in a jungle cave on the island of Guam. Our U.S. Marines took the island of Guam during the summer of 1944 after a hard fought battle during the Pacific island-hopping campaign on our way to the home islands of Japan during World War II. These Japanese soldiers were known for their tenacity, hard fighting, and resistance to surrendering to the American troops. Sgt. Yokoi was found living in a cave using weapons and tools that he had crafted himself during this period of time.
On the domestic front, the major event associated with this day in history took place in a small town in the Sierra Nevada foothills, Coloma, California, in 1848. While building a sawmill for John A. Sutter, the contractor, James W. Marshall, discovered flakes of gold in the American River. Why is this event so important? It triggered one of the biggest migrations to the west coast of our country into the former Mexican territory of (Alta) California. This event, the California Gold Rush of 1848; these “Forty-Niners,” flocked to the gold fields seeking their fortunes. They came via almost every possible mode of transportation — by steamship, wagon train, horseback, and even by foot. They traveled through Indian territory or around the treacherous cape of South America. But most failed to make their fortunes and many died as a result of the elements or lawlessness of the boom towns built at the gold fields and then abandoned to the elements when the gold ran out to become another ghost town. Who were the winners? The merchants who sold supplies to these hopeful miners and to the new cities of Sacramento and San Francisco. The population of the territory swelled, the former Mexican inhabitants were replaced by the new settlers, and the territory finally became the 31st state in 1850.
On a sadder note, this day in 1956 witnessed the acquittal of the two men accused of kidnapping and murdering of an African American teenager visiting Mississippi from the Chicago area in 1955. This teen, Emmett Till, was accused of flirting with a white woman working in her husband’s store. They took him from the home of the relatives that he was visiting, transported him into the woods, and murdered him after torturing him as punishment for “not knowing his place.” Till was the victim of the cultural differences between the North (Chicago area) and the South (rural Mississippi) during the waning days of the reign of Jim Crow. The men, J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant were accused of the crime and brought to trial. He was tried in Mississippi by an all-white jury who readily acquitted them of the crime. Only through extensive activity by civil rights activists did the facts arise; these men confessed to the crimes in a Look Magazine interview, but due to double jeopardy limitations they could not be retried using the confession. But this incident was an early skirmish in the Civil Rights Movement that reached its fruition in the 1960s under the leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Yesterday, we shared the famous Apple Computer commercial at the Super Bowl in 1984 that introduced the Macintosh Computer. Today saw the first opportunity of the people of America to purchase this cute little computer with its 128K of memory, 9” black and white high-resolution screen, a mouse (pointing device) and preinstalled software for word processing (MacWrite) and graphics (MacPaint). This computer was the first wide-distribution computer to use a Graphic User Interface (GUI) and was relatively expensive, especially compared to the IBM-PC. It was the darling of the creative and artistic types then and has continued to be to this day. It sold like hotcakes and started the phenomenon that is Apple. These computers blossomed and remains innovative as do its “little brothers,” the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. They all reflected the free-thinking of their developer, Steve Jobs.
On the lighter side, several important events that were not as earthshaking but probably impacted more people than the above events occurred on this day. A school teacher, Christian K. Nelson, received a patent on this day in 1922 for combining a block of ice cream and chocolate coating into the iconic snack food, the Eskimo Pie ice cream bar. In 1935, a small brewing company in Virginia was the first to package their beer and ale in the first beer cans. And, an inventor, Percy Spencer, who lacked even a grammar school education, received a patent for the microwave oven in 1950. These small items have been helpful to more people than any of the other events discussed above.
We now will proceed to examine some of the events that are associated with day in history... GLB
These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved
[ 1416 Words ]
Quotations Related to Macintosh:
“I think the Macintosh proves that everyone can have a bitmapped display.”
— Bill Joy
“My first Macintosh was a 128k machine which I upgraded to 512k the minute it became possible.”
— Buffy Sainte-Marie
“Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple Inc, which set the computing world on its ear with the Macintosh in 1984.”
— Kevin Mitnick
“The Macintosh having shipped, his next agenda was to turn the rest of Apple into the Mac group. He had perceived the rest of Apple wasn’t as creative or motivated as the Mac team, and what you need to take over the company are managers, not innovators or technical people.”
— Andy Hertzfeld
“Most people have no concept of how an automatic transmission works, yet they know how to drive a car. You don’t have to study physics to understand the laws of motion to drive a car. You don’t have to understand any of this stuff to use Macintosh.”
— Steve Jobs
Notable Events of the Day: January 24th…
Noteworthy Events on this Day:
James W. Marshall discovers flakes of gold in the American River while constructing a sawmill on the property of John A. Sutter in Coloma, California. His discovery sparks the California gold rush and a swell of westward migration, particularly after President James K. Polk confirms the existence of gold in California to the U.S. Congress in December 1848.
Schoolteacher and candy store owner Christian K. Nelson receives a patent for the Eskimo Pie, a block of ice cream covered in chocolate. Nelson was a Danish immigrant inspired by a local boy who wanted to buy both ice cream and a chocolate bar at Nelson’s store in Onawa, Iowa, but only had a nickel to spend.
This can’s for you. The Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company of Richmond, Va., begins selling Krueger Cream Ale and Krueger Finest Beer, the first ever canned beers.
Percy Spencer, who never graduated from grammar school, receives a patent for the microwave oven.
In an exclusive interview with Look magazine, J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant admit to the kidnapping and brutal murder of African American teenager Emmett Till, who had reportedly flirted with a white woman and paid for it with his life in August 1955. Milam and Bryant had been acquitted of kidnapping and murder charges after a five-day trial with an all-white jury in Sumner, Mississippi.
Sgt. Shoichi Yokoi, a Japanese soldier who fought in World War II, is discovered hiding in the jungles of Guam, after being left behind 28 years earlier when the Japanese army retreated from the island during the war. Yokoi is surprised to learn that the war is over, as he had survived since 1944 by making his own tools and living in a jungle cave while awaiting further military orders.
The first Apple Macintosh computers go on sale — and revolutionize the personal computer industry. It was the first commercially successful personal computer to feature a mouse and a graphical user interface rather than a command-line interface.
California Gold Rush 1848… (9:48)
Previously Posted Topics:
Prof. Boerner’s Exploration: Apple Macintosh Computer Goes On Sale (1984)…
Prof. Boerner’s Exploration: Forty-Niners: The California Gold Rush…
Prof. Boerner’s Exploration: Emmett Till: Victim of Racism in Mississippi…
Prof. Boerner’s Exploration: Sgt. Shoichi Yokoi: Still Defending Guam in 1972…