history Archives

  1. This Election Is 1968 All Over Again, And That’s Not A Good Thing →

    After the return flight from our trip to Greece landed, we grabbed our luggage and hopped in a taxi to head home. I asked the driver (who happened to be an older friend of mine) what newsworthy events had happened regarding the democratic primary while we were gone. After filling us in on the 5/14 Nevada Democratic convention, he said this year would be as bad or worse than 1968.

    For those of us who weren’t around back then (or were sleeping in history class), this article is good summary of why this year is shaping up to resemble 1968.

    You may also want to read up on Wikipedia’s page for the 1968 Democratic Convention.

  2. The ‘Penn State Automatic Computer’ →

    Some local history on one of the first large-scale university computers.

    They secured $25,000 in University funds and $17,000 from the National Science Foundation for constructing PENNSTAC — Penn State Automatic Computer. The machine they envisioned would cost $300,000 on the commercial market. Yet building it from scratch, Tarpley said, would provide his team of faculty and graduate students invaluable hands-on experience.

    And this:

    According to a 1957 account in the Daily Collegian student newspaper, PENNSTAC could “perform 1,400 additions of 10-digit numbers in one second, and its magnetic drum can store 2.5 thousand 10-digit figures.”

  3. Century-Old Pennsylvania Relief Map Restored by PSU →

    Here are some excerpts of the story:

    In 2014, as Penn State’s Steidle Building was undergoing renovations, a large—7.5 feet x 17 feet, to be exact—map of Pennsylvania was discovered leaning against the wall of an office.

    It turned out to be a relief map, or a map that depicts land configuration and height of land surface, of the state. Made in the late 1800s, the map was displayed at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, also known as the Chicago World’s Fair.

    The fully restored 7.5 feet by 17 feet plaster relief map of Pennsylvania is displayed in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum and Art Gallery

    It’s great that they were able to restore it. I really want to go see this thing.

  4. Obama to Restore Mt. McKinley’s Name to Denali →

    It turns out that McKinley had nothing to do with Denali at all:

    The mountain was named for McKinley before he became president, by gold prospector William A. Dickey, who had just received word of McKinley’s nomination as a candidate in 1896. McKinley died without ever setting foot in Alaska, assassinated at the start of his second term in office.

    Can’t we all agree that the preservation of the National Park should have been indicative that Alaska was in favor of the mountain’s original name?

    The tallest mountain in North America has long been known to Alaskans as Denali, its Koyukon Athabascan name, but its official name was not changed with the creation of Denali National Park and Preserve in 1980, 6 million acres carved out for federal protection under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The state changed the name of the park’s tallest mountain to Denali at that time, but the federal government did not.

    Apparently not:

    Speaker of the House John Boehner R-Ohio said he is “deeply disappointed in this decision” to remove Ohio-native McKinley’s name from the mountain.

    According to this Huffington Post article, this battle has been going on for some time:

    Alaskans had been blocked in Congress by Ohio politicians, who wanted to stick with McKinley as a lasting tribute to the 25th U.S. president, who served from 1897 until his assassination in 1901.

    Great move, Obama!

  5. Trailer: Amazing Grace

    I can’t wait to see this:

    The late director Sydney Pollack’s behind-the-scenes documentary about the recording of Aretha Franklin’s best-selling album Amazing Grace finally sees the light of day more than four decades after the original footage was shot.

    (via Indiewire.com)