This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
December 28 is the 362nd day of the year (363rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are three days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1895, the first commercial movie is screened in Paris.
On this day in 1895, the world’s first commercial movie screening takes place at the Grand Cafe in Paris. The film was made by Louis and Auguste Lumiere, two French brothers who developed a camera-projector called the Cinematographe. The Lumiere brothers unveiled their invention to the public in March 1895 with a brief film showing workers leaving the Lumiere factory. On December 28, the entrepreneurial siblings screened a series of short scenes from everyday French life and charged admission for the first time.
Movie technology has its roots in the early 1830s, when Joseph Plateau of Belgium and Simon Stampfer of Austria simultaneously developed a device called the phenakistoscope, which incorporated a spinning disc with slots through which a series of drawings could be viewed, creating the effect of a single moving image. The phenakistoscope, considered the precursor of modern motion pictures, was followed by decades of advances and in 1890, Thomas Edison and his assistant William Dickson developed the first motion-picture camera, called the Kinetograph. The next year, 1891, Edison invented the Kinetoscope, a machine with a peephole viewer that allowed one person to watch a strip of film as it moved past a light.
In 1894, Antoine Lumiere, the father of Auguste (1862-1954) and Louis (1864-1948), saw a demonstration of Edison’s Kinetoscope. The elder Lumiere was impressed, but reportedly told his sons, who ran a successful photographic plate factory in Lyon, France, that they could come up with something better. Louis Lumiere’s Cinematographe, which was patented in 1895, was a combination movie camera and projector that could display moving images on a screen for an audience. The Cinematographe was also smaller, lighter and used less film than Edison’s technology
The Lumière brothers, Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas (19 October 1862, Besancon, France – 10 April 1954, Lyon) and Louis Jean (5 October 1864, Besancon, France – 6 June 1948, Bandol), were among the earliest filmmakers in history. (Appropriately, “lumière” translates as “light” in English.)
(In) 1862 and 1864, and moved to Lyon in 1870, where both attended La Martiniere, the largest technical school in Lyon. Their father, Claude-Antoine Lumière (1840-1911), ran a photographic firm and both brothers worked for him: Louis as a physicist and Auguste as a manager. Louis had made some improvements to the still-photograph process, the most notable being the dry-plate process, which was a major step towards moving images.
It was not until their father retired in 1892 that the brothers began to create moving pictures. They patented a number of significant processes leading up to their film camera – most notably film perforations (originally implemented by Emile Reynaud) as a means of advancing the film through the camera and projector. The cinèmatographe itself was patented on 13 February 1895 and the first footage ever to be recorded using it was recorded on March 19, 1895.
Their first public screening of films at which admission was charged was held on December 28, 1895, at Salon Indien du Grand Cafè in Paris. This history-making presentation featured ten short films, including their first film, Sortie des Usines Lumière a Lyon (Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory). Each film is 17 meters long, which, when hand cranked through a projector, runs approximately 50 seconds.
457 – Majorian is crowned emperor of the Western Roman Empire and recognized by Pope Leo I.
484 – Alaric II succeeds his father Euric and becomes king of the Visigoths. He establishes his capital at Aire-sur-l’Adour (Southern Gaul).
893 – An earthquake destroys the city of Dvin, Armenia.
1065 – Westminster Abbey is consecrated.
1308 – The reign of Emperor Hanazono, emperor of Japan, begins.
1612 – Galileo Galilei becomes the first astronomer to observe the planet Neptune, although he mistakenly catalogued it as a fixed star.
1768 – King Taksin’s coronation achieved through conquest as a king of Thailand and established Thonburi as a capital.
1795 – Construction of Yonge Street, formerly recognized as the longest street in the world, begins in York, Upper Canada (present-day Toronto, Ontario).
1832 – John C. Calhoun becomes the first Vice President of the United States to resign.
1835 – Osceola leads his Seminole warriors in Florida into the Second Seminole War against the United States Army.
1836 – South Australia and Adelaide are founded.
1836 – Spain recognizes the independence of Mexico.
1846 – Iowa is admitted as the 29th U.S. state.
1867 – United States claims Midway Atoll, the first territory annexed outside Continental limits.
1879 – The Tay Bridge Disaster: The central part of the Tay Rail Bridge in Dundee, Scotland collapses as a train passes over it, killing 75.
1885 – Indian National Congress a political party of India is founded in Bombay, British India.
1895 – The Lumiere brothers perform for their first paying audience at the Grand Cafe in Boulevard des Capucines, marking the debut of the cinema.
1908 – A magnitude 7.2 earthquake rocks Messina, Sicily killing over 75,000.
1912 – The first municipally owned streetcars take to the streets in San Francisco, California.
1918 – Constance Markiewicz while detained in Holloway prison, became the first woman to be elected MP to the British House of Commons.
1935 – Pravda publishes a letter by Pavel Postyshev, who revives New Year tree tradition in the Soviet Union.
1943 – World War II – After eight days of brutal house-to-house fighting, the battle of Ortona concludes with the victory of the1st Canadian Infantry Division over the German 1st Parachute Division and the capture of the Italian town of Ortona.
1944 – Maurice Richard becomes the first player to score 8 points in one game of NHL ice hockey.
1945 – The United States Congress officially recognizes the Pledge of Allegiance.
1948 – The DC-3 airliner NC16002 disappears 50 miles south of Miami, Florida.
1950 – The Peak District becomes the United Kingdom’s first National Park.
1958 – “Greatest Game Ever Played” – Baltimore Colts defeat the New York Giants in the first ever National Football League sudden death overtime game at New York’s Yankee Stadium.
1973 – The Endangered Species Act is passed in the United States.
1974 – Senegalese marxist group Reenu-Rew founds the political movement And-Jef at a clandestine congress.
1978 – With the crew investigating a problem with the landing gear, United Airlines Flight 173 runs out of fuel and crashes in Portland, Oregon, killing 10. As a result, United Airlines instituted the industry’s first crew resource management program.
1989 – A magnitude 5.6 earthquake hits Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, killing 13 people.
2000 – U.S. retail giant Montgomery Ward announces it is going out of business after 128 years.
2009 – 43 people die in a suicide bombing in Karachi, Pakistan, where Shia Muslims were observing the Day of Ashura.
2010 – Arab Spring: Popular protests begin in Algeria against the government.
2011 – Uludere airstrike: Turkish warplanes bomb 34 Kurds of Turkish nationality in the district of Uludere.
* Christian Feast Day:
o Abel (Coptic Church)
o Feast of the Holy Innocents or Childermas. In Spain and Latin American countries the festival is celebrated with pranks (inocentadas), similar to April Fools’ Day. (Roman Catholic Church, Church of England, Lutheran Church)
* King Taksin Memorial Day (Thailand)
* Proclamation Day, celebration started on the day following Christmas. (South Australia)
* The fourth day of Christmas. (Western Christianity)