On this day: Nuclear tests during the Cold War

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7th August 1957: The tail of an airship sticks up in the air after it was brought down by a nuclear test in Nevada, USA.

The downing of the (unmanned) ship came at the height of tensions during the Cold War, at a time Russian/Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, infamous for carrying out Stalinist purges in Ukraine, was repeatedly threatening the West with nuclear annihilation.

928 nuclear tests were held at the site in Nevada. The frequent mushroom clouds, seen for miles, became Las Vegas tourist attractions.

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On this day: a US air display in Germany

The United States Third Army Air Service, an organisation based in France and Germany immediately after the First World War, is shown here demonstrating Caquot Observation balloons at an

The United States Third Army Air Service, an organisation based in France and Germany immediately after the First World War, is shown here demonstrating Salmson 2A.2 of the 1st Aero Squa

The United States’ Third Army Air Service, an organisation based in France and Germany immediately after the First World War, is shown here demonstrating Caquot Observation balloons and planes at an air show in Coblenz, Germany on the 26th of April 1919.

The area was occupied by France in the aftermath of the war, and in a sign of defiance of the occupation, the Germans living in the region began using the alternative spelling of “Koblenz” – which is the name used today.

The American organisation was disbanded in July of the same year.

On this day: waiting for news on the Titanic

This photograph is stamped as being taken at 7am on the 19th of April, 1912. People form a crowd at Cunard’s Pier 54 in New York, possibly waiting for more news on what happened to the Titanic.

RMS Carpathia had arrived the evening before carrying the survivors of Titanic’s sinking. It is said around 40 000 people were waiting to see the ship arrive.

Crowds_at_Cunard_Pier 54_New_York_April_1912 taken at 7AM April 19. Since the Carpathia arrived the evening before, it's possible these people stayed around trying to get more news about

 

On this day: a warning in Nazi Germany

Warning_sign_in_cologneA Cpl. of 82nd Airborne Division reads a warning sign in the street Cologne, Germany, 4 April 1945. Second World War Two

4th April 1945: A corporal of the US 82nd Airborne Division reads a warning sign in Cologne, Germany as the Second World War draws to an end. Cologne came under Allied control the previous month.

61% of Cologne was destroyed by bombing during the war, and most of the city’s centre was devastated.

On this day: the birth of Robert Cornelius

American photography pioneer Robert Cornelius was born in Philadelphia on the 1st of March, 1809.

Cornelius, born to a Dutch immigrant father and a lamp manufacturer by profession, is credited as having taken the first photographic self-portrait, in 1839. He was required to sit still for more than ten minutes to capture the image.

Today he is sometimes called the inventor of the “selfie”.

Here is his portrait:

Robert Cornelius was an American pioneer of photography and a lamp manufacturer. World's first selfie 1839.