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1888

National Geographic Society founded

On this day in 1888, the National Geographic Society is founded in Washington, D.C., for "the increase and diffusion of geographical knowledge." The 33 men who originally met and formed the National Geographic Society were a diverse group of geographers, explorers, teachers, lawyers, cartographers, military officers and financiers. All shared an interest in scientific and geographical knowledge... Read more >

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1926

Baird demonstrates TV

John Logie Baird, a Scottish inventor, gives the first public demonstration of a pictorial-transmission machine he calls a televisor. Baird's invention used mechanical rotating disks to scan moving images into electronic impulses. This information was then transmitted by cable to a screen where it showed up as a low-resolution pattern of light and dark. Baird's first television program showed t... Read more >

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1302

Dante is exiled from Florence

On this day, poet and politician Dante Alighieri is exiled from Florence, where he served as one of six priors governing the city. Dante's political activities, including the banishing of several rivals, led to his own banishment, and he wrote his masterpiece, 'The Divine Comedy', as a virtual wanderer, seeking protection for his family in town after town. Although Dante called the work simply ... Read more >

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1991

Somali dictator flees

Muhammad Siyad Barre, the dictator of the Somali Democratic Republic since 1969, flees Mogadishu as rebels overrun his palace and capture the Somali capital. In 1969, Somalian President Abd-i-rashid Ali Shermarke was assassinated, and a few days later Major General Barre seized power in a military coup. Barre's government developed strong ties with the USSR and other Soviet-bloc nations during ... Read more >