Friday 29 June 2012

1975, News: Rembrandt’s The Night Watch Attacked With Bread Knife

On 14 September 1975, an unemployed schoolteacher named Wilhelmus de Rijk walked into Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum and headed straight for Rembrandt’s The Night Watch. He stood in front of the painting, looking creepy, until the guards asked him to leave. At which point De Rijk walked out of the room, walked back in, and attacked the painting with a bread knife that he had stolen from his hotel’s room service. De Rijk managed to hold the museum guards off long enough to slash the painting more than twelve times. The guards finally wrestled De Rijk to the ground.

After a four-year restoration process, the painting went back up, this time under permanent guard. Which was lucky, because in 1990 another attacker sprayed acid on the painting, but the guards were able to douse the painting with water quickly enough to avoid permanent damage.
Damage to the painting
Restoration by I. Kuyper
The masterpiece was finished by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn in 1642 and is officially titled “The Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch”.
Documentary (Dutch)

Wednesday 27 June 2012

1974, Television: Father Brown

Father Brown, a British television series, aired on ITV in 1974. It featured Kenneth More as Father Brown, a Catholic Priest who solved crime mysteries. Each episodes was based on a short story by G.K. Chesterton.

Main Cast
  • Kenneth More as Father Brown
  • Dennis Burgess as Flambeau
  • Graham Crowden as Colonel James Bohun
  • Geraldine Moffat as Elizabeth Barnes
  • William Russell as Reverend Wilfred Bohun
  • John Forgeham as Simeon Barnes
  • Alun Armstrong as Joe
  • Robert James as Doctor Wynn
  • Roger Hume as Inspector Palmer
  • Anna Steele as Mrs. James Bohun
Kenneth More as Father Brown
A total of 13 episodes were produced.

Opening Credits

Sunday 24 June 2012

1973, Music: Tubular Bells

Tubular Bells, the début record album of English musician Mike Oldfield, was released on 25 May 1973. Oldfield approached (and was rejected by) many established record labels. Richard Branson, decided to give Oldfield a chance and Virgin Records released Tubular Bells as its first album.

Mike Oldfield played most of the instruments on the album, recording them one at a time and layering the recordings to create the finished work. Many of his subsequent albums feature this technique. Though fairly common in the music industry now, at the time of the production of Tubular Bells not many musicians made use of it, preferring multi-musician "session" recordings.
Mike Oldfield in 1973
The opening piano solo was used as a soundtrack to the film The Exorcist, released the same year.

Friday 22 June 2012

1972, Science & Technology: HP-35

Hewlett Packard (HP) launched in early 1972 the first scientific pocket calculator. It was unlike the other basic four-function pocket calculators then available in that it was the first pocket calculator with scientific functions that could replace a slide rule. The HP-35, along with nearly all later HP engineering calculators, used reverse Polish notation (RPN). A calculation like "7 plus 3" is, using RPN, performed by pressing "7", "Enter↑", "3", and "+"; instead of the algebraic infix notation: "7", "+", "3", "=").

The HP-35 and similar scientific calculators by Texas Instruments soon thereafter signalled the demise of the slide rule among science and engineering students. 100,000 HP-35 calculators were sold in the first year, and over 300,000 by the time it was discontinued in 1975. Introduction price in the US was $395, in Belgium €328 (13.231 BF).
HP-35 Advert
HP-35 Advert
HP-35 documentary

Death of a Slide Rule

Wednesday 20 June 2012

1971, Film: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

'Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory' was released on June 30, 1971. The film is a musical film adaptation of the 1964 novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. Directed by Mel Stuart, and starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, the film tells the story of Charlie Bucket as he receives a golden ticket and visits Willy Wonka's chocolate factory with four other children from around the world.

Willy Wonka, for years a recluse in his factory, announces that five lucky people will be given a tour of the factory, shown all the secrets of his amazing candy, and one will win a lifetime supply of Wonka chocolate. Nobody wants the prize more than young Charlie, but as his family is so poor that buying even one bar of chocolate is a treat, buying enough bars to find one of the five golden tickets is unlikely in the extreme...
The Cast
Gene Wilder
Julie Dawn Cole
Roy Kinnear, Leonard Stone & Ursula Reit

Main Cast
  • Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka
  • Jack Albertson as Grandpa Joe
  • Peter Ostrum as Charlie Bucket
  • Julie Dawn Cole as Veruca Salt
  • Paris Themmen as Mike Teevee
  • Denise Nickerson as Violet Beauregarde
  • Michael Bollner as Augustus Gloop
  • Diana Sowle as Mrs. Bucket
  • Roy Kinnear as Mr. Salt
  • Dodo Denney as Mrs. Teevee
  • Leonard Stone as Mr. Beauregarde
  • Ursula Reit as Mrs. Gloop
  • Günter Meisner as Arthur Slugworth/Mr. Wilkinson
  • Aubrey Woods as Bill the Candy Man
  • David Battley as Mr. Turkentine
  • Peter Capell as The Tinker
  • Werner Heyking as Mr. Jopeck
  • Peter Stuart as Winkelmann
Denise Nickerson
Peter Ostrum, Jack Albertson & Gene Wilder


Tuesday 19 June 2012

1970, Cars: Triumph Stag

The Triumph Stag was launched in June 1970 by the Triumph Motor Company (British Leyland). All cars were fitted with the new designed Triumph V8 2997 cc engine.
Triumph Stag Softtop
The car started as a styling experiment by Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti from a 1963 Triumph 2000 pre-production saloon, which had also been styled by Michelotti, and loaned to him by Harry Webster, Director of Engineering at Triumph from the early to late 1960s. Their agreement was that if Webster liked the design, Triumph could use the prototype as the basis of a new Triumph model. Michelotti design won over Webster – and the project was taken over by Triumph for a full in-house development programme. In 1966 work on the car began at Triumph’s headquarters under the project name “Stag”.
Triumph Stag Hardtop
 In total 25,939 cars were produced (1970-1977).
Triumph Stag Press Photo
Triumph Stag Advert
Triumph Stag Top Gear

Triumph Stag Clarkson's Car Years 2000

Saturday 16 June 2012

1969, News: Golda Meir

Golda Meir (Golda Meyerson) was elected Prime Minister of Israel on March 17, 1969, after serving as Minister of Labour and Foreign Minister.

Golda Meir, born Golda Mabovich (May 3, 1898 – December 8, 1978) was a teacher, kibbutznik (a kibbutz is a collective community in Israel that was traditionally based on agriculture) and politician who became the fourth Prime Minister of Israel.

Golda Mabovitch was born in Kiev, Russian Empire (now Ukraine). In 1906 she moved with her family to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. Golda attended the Fourth Street Grade School (now Golda Meir School) from 1906 to 1912. At 14, she studied at North Division High School and worked part-time. She became an active member of Young Poale Zion, which later became Habonim, the Labor Zionist youth movement.
Golda Meir feeding chickens in the kibbutz
She attended the teachers college Milwaukee State Normal School (now University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee), in 1916. After graduating from Milwaukee Normal, she taught in Milwaukee public schools. In 1917, she married Morris Meyerson. Together, they left their jobs to join a kibbutz in the British Mandate of Palestine in 1921. In 1924, she and her husband left the kibbutz and resided briefly in Tel Aviv before settling in Jerusalem. There they had two children, a son Menachem (born 1924) and a daughter Sarah (born 1926). In 1928, she was elected secretary of Moetzet HaPoalot (Working Women's Council), which required her to spend two years (1932–1934) as an emissary in the United States. The children went with her, but Morris stayed in Jerusalem. Morris and Golda grew apart, but never divorced. Morris died in 1951.
Golda Meir with husband Morris Meyerson
In 1934, when Meir returned from the United States, she joined the Executive Committee of the Histadrut and moved up the ranks to become head of its Political Department. This appointment was important training for her future role in Israeli leadership. In July 1938, Meir was the Jewish observer from Palestine at the Évian Conference, called by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt to discuss the question of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution.

In June 1946 Golda became the principal negotiator between the Jews in Palestine and the British Mandatory authorities. In January 1948, the treasurer of the Jewish Agency was convinced that Israel would not be able to raise more than $7–8 million from the American Jewish community. Meir travelled to the United States and managed to raise $50 million, which was used to purchase arms in Europe for the nascent state. Meir was one of 24 signatories (two of them women) of the Israeli Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948. Meir was appointed Israel's ambassador to the Soviet Union (1948-1949).
Golda Meir at the Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948
 In 1949, Meir was elected to the Knesset and served continuously until 1974. From 1949 to 1956, she served as Minister of Labour, introducing major housing and road construction projects. In 1956, she became Foreign Minister under Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion.
Golda Meir with President Kennedy in 1962
 After Levi Eshkol's sudden death on February 26, 1969, the party elected Meir as his successor. In 1974, after the conclusion of the Yom Kippur War, Meir resigned as prime minister. She died in 1978.
Golda Meir with President Nixon and Henry Kissinger in 1973


Tuesday 12 June 2012

1968, Sport: Summer Olympics, Games of the XIX Olympiad

From 12 October till 27 October the 1968 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XIX Olympiad, were held in Mexico City. It was the first time the Games were held in Latin America. The selection process for the 1968 Summer Olympics consisted of four bids, and saw Mexico City be selected ahead of Detroit (USA), Lyon (France) and Buenos Aires (Argentina) at the 60th IOC Session in Baden-Baden, West Germany, on 18 October 1963.

The 1968 Olympic logo was designed by American graphic designer Lance Wyman.

  • In the medal award ceremony for the men's 200 meter race, American athletes Tommie Smith (gold) and John Carlos (bronze) took a stand for human rights by raising their black-gloved fists (Black Power salute) and wearing black socks. The Australian Peter Norman (silver) wore an American "civil rights" badge as support to them on the podium. As punishment, the IOC banned Smith and Carlos from the Olympic Games for life, and Norman was left off of Australia's Olympic team in 1972.
  • Peter Norman, Tommie Smith and John Carlos
  • The high elevation of Mexico City, 2240 m above sea level, influenced many of the events.
  • For the first time, East and West Germany competed as separate teams, after being forced by the IOC to compete as a combined German team in 1956, 1960, and 1964.
  • On October 2, 1968, ten days before the start of the 1968 Summer Olympics the Plaza de las Tres Culturas was the scene of the Tlatelolco massacre. Avery Brundage, president of the IOC, decided not to cancel the games. In the immediate aftermath of the massacre most prominent Mexicans, with the exception of Octavio Paz and Carlos Fuentes, condemned the violence but blamed the students for the massacre. As a response, during the opening ceremony, students flew a bird-shaped kite over the presidential box to shape a black dove as a silent protest for the repression.
  • While standing on the medal podium after the balance beam event final, Czechoslovakian gymnast Věra Čáslavská quietly turned her head down and away during the playing of the Soviet national anthem. The action was Čáslavská's silent protest against the recent Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, and was repeated when she accepted her medal for her floor exercise routine. The regime responded by banning her from sporting events and international travel for many years.
  • The admittance of the South African team brought the issue of Apartheid to the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. After more than 40 teams threatened to boycott, the IOC reconsidered and banned the South African team.

  • Bob Beamon (USA) jumped 8,90 m in the long jump, an 55 cm improvement over the previous world record. It remained the Olympic record and stood as the world record for 23 years.
  • Bob Beamon
  • Dick Fosbury (USA) won the gold medal in the high jump using his unconventional Fosbury flop technique, which quickly became the dominant technique in the event.
  • Dick Fosbury
  • Věra Čáslavská (Czechoslovakia) won four gold medals in gymnastics.
  • Věra Čáslavská
  • Debbie Meyer (USA) became the first swimmer to win three individual gold medals, in the 200, 400 and 800 m freestyle events.
  • Swimmer Charles Hickcox (USA) won three gold medals (200m IM, 400m IM, 4x100m medley relay) and one silver medal (100m backstroke).
  • The introduction of doping tests resulted in the first disqualification because of doping: pentathlete Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall (Sweden) was disqualified for alcohol use (he drank several beers just prior to competing).
  • Norma Enriqueta Basilio de Sotelo (Mexico) became the first woman to light the Olympic flame.
  • Norma Enriqueta Basilio de Sotelo

Bob Beamon

Dick Fosbury

Sunday 10 June 2012

1967, Television: The High Chaparral

The High Chaparral, a Western television series, premièred on September 10, 1967. The series starred Leif Erickson and Cameron Mitchell and was made by Xanadu Productions in association with NBC Productions. It was created by David Dortort, who had previously created the hit series Bonanza. The theme song was written and conducted by Bonanza composer David Rose. A total of 98 episodes were produces during a 4 seasons run from 1967 to 1971.

The Cannon family runs the High Chaparral Ranch in Arizona in the 1870s. Big John (Leif Erickson) wants to establish his cattle empire despite Indian hostility. He's aided by brother Buck (Cameron Mitchell) and son Billy Blue (Mark Slade). When Blue's mother (Joan Caulfield) is killed John united his family with the powerful Montoyas by marrying their daughter Victoria (Linda Cristal), whose brother Manolito (Henry Darrow) now lives with them as well...
The Main Cast

Main Cast
  • Leif Erickson as “Big” John Cannon
  • Cameron Mitchell as Buck Cannon
  • Henry Darrow as Manolito Montoya
  • Linda Cristal as Victoria Cannon
  • Mark Slade as Billy Blue Cannon
  • Don Collier as Sam Butler
  • Robert F. Hoy as Joe Butler
  • Roberto Contreras as Pedro
  • Ted Markland as Reno
Linda Cristal

  • Golden Globe (USA) for Best TV Actress – Drama: Linda Cristal (1970)
  • Bambi (Germany) for TV Series International: Henry Darrow, Leif Erickson, Cameron Mitchell, Mark Slade, Linda Cristal

Opening Credits

Saturday 9 June 2012

1966, Fashion: Twiggy, The Face of 1966

In 1966, Lesley Hornby was about to change her name and experienced her first taste of fame which all began on a January afternoon and a trip to Leonard's hair salon in Mayfair.

Young Lesley had her hair coloured and cut by celebrity hairdresser Leonard. The hair stylist was looking for models on whom to try out his new crop haircut and he styled her hair in preparation for a few test head shots. Professional photographer Barry Lategan took several photos for Leonard, which the hairdresser hung in his salon. Deidre McSharry, a fashion journalist from the Daily Express, saw the images and asked to meet the young girl. McSharry arranged to have more photos taken. A few weeks later the publication featured an article and images of Hornby, declaring her "The Face of ’66." In it, the copy read: "The Cockney Kid with a face to launch a thousand shapes ... and she's only 16!" - The Daily Express, 23 February 1966.

And so the Twiggy phenomenon begun. She will always be remembered as the first international supermodel and a fashion icon of the 1960s.
Patrick Macnee & Twiggy

Wednesday 6 June 2012

1965, Cars: Peugeot 204

In 1965 French manufacturer Peugeot introduced the 204. The 204 (Project D12) was available in many body styles including a sedan, cabriolet, coupé, estate, and a van (fourgonette). It was launched in Paris, France on 23 April 1965 and became the best-selling car in France from 1969 to 1971.

The car was designed by Italian designer Battista Pininfarina. It used a front-wheel drive layout and was launched with a 1130 cc gasoline engine. The 204 was the first Peugeot to be equipped with disc brakes.
Peugeot 204 Sedan
Peugeot 204 Cabriolet
Peugeot 204 Coupé
Peugeot 204 Break

Peugeot 204 Advert

From 1965 till 1976, 1,604,296 units were produced.

Brochure 1967 (French)

Monday 4 June 2012

1964, Science and Technology: Compact Cassette

In 1962 Philips Hasselt invented the compact audio cassette medium for audio storage, introducing it in Europe in August 1963 and in the United States in November 1964, with the trademark name Compact Cassette.

Although there were other magnetic tape cartridge systems (RCA cartridge (1958-1964), Fidelipac (1959), DC International (1965) by Grundig, Telefunken and Blaupunkt, 8-track (1965) by Lear Jet Corporation), the Compact Cassette became dominant as a result of Philips' decision to license the format free of charge. The mass production of compact audio cassettes began in 1964 in Hanover, Germany. Pre-recorded music cassettes (also known as Musicassettes or MC) were launched in Europe in late 1965.
Philips Compact Cassettes from the 1970s
First Compact Cassette Player the Philips EL3300
In the early years, sound quality was average, but it improved during the 1970s. The Compact Cassette went on to become a popular (and re-recordable) alternative to the 12 inch vinyl LP during the late 1970s and early 1980s.
BASF C90 Compact Cassette from the 1970s