Day in Engineering History Archive - December 3

December 3

Happy Birthday John Backus!  Please click here to visit RF Cafe.Day in Engineering History December 3 Archive - RF Cafe1838: Cleveland Abbe, known as "the father of the U.S. Weather Bureau," was born. 1888: German optician Carl Zeiss, of precision optics fame, died. 1924: American computer scientist John Backus, inventor of the FORTRAN language (FORmula TRANslation), was born. 1942: American physicist Peter Schultz, who is credited for inventing the first commercially viable optical fiber, was born. 1956: The USS Gyatt was recommissioned as the first guided missile destroyer. 1967: Dr. Christiaan Barnard performed the first human heart transplant on Louis Washkansky, who lived 18 days with the new heart. 1973: Pioneer 10 passed Jupiter in the first fly-by of an outer planet. 1983: Over 40 tons of highly poisonous methyl isocyanate gas leaked out of the Union Carbide pesticide factory in Bhopal, India, killing thousands of souls. 1992: British engineer Neil Papworth sent the world's first text message (SMS). 1999: NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) lost communications with the Mars Polar Lander moments before impact.

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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. Many 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. Images used in the logos are often from open source websites like Wikipedia, and are specifically credited with a hyperlink back to the source where possible. Fair Use laws permit small samples of copyrighted content.