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Day in Engineering History Archive - December 20

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Note: These historical tidbits have been collected from various sources, mostly on the Internet. As detailed in this article, there is a lot of wrong information that is repeated hundreds of times because most websites do not validate with authoritative sources. On RF Cafe, events with hyperlinks have been verified.
Please submit significant historical events and dates for inclusion in these lists. I will be glad to include your name and birthday. Please do not submit your death date ;-) A couple years ago, I began commemorating the birthdays of notable people and events with special RF Cafe logos. Where available, I like to use images from postage stamps from the country where the person or event occurred.

December 20

Robert Van de Graaff.  Please click here to visit RF Cafe.

1868: American industrialist Harvey Firestone, who founded the tire company that bears his name, was born. 1879: Thomas Edison privately demonstrated his incandescent light at Menlo Park, NJ. 1880: New York's Broadway was first lighted by electricity and became known as the "Great White Way." 1901: American physicist and high voltage experimenter Robert Van de Graaff was born. 1921: German physician Richard Petri, inventor of the Petri Dish, died. 1945: The Office of Price Administration announced the end of tire rationing. 1946: Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life," premiered. 1951: At 1:50 p.m., the first electricity ever generated by atomic power was produced by the EBR-1 turbine generator at the Argonne National Laboratory. 1952: Einsteinium (Es, 99) discovered. 1996: American astronomer and writer, producer of the "Cosmos" series, Carl Sagan died (see Butthead Astronomer).


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