Recently in Today in History Category

Peace Out Old Napster

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lars ulrich

Today in history, back on April 14th, 2000 Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich got a stick up his ass and sued file sharing site Napster, pissing off peeps everywhere. Ruining the fun of P2P file sharing, Lars and the rest of Metallica even went so far as to submit Napster usernames to the court of people who were sharing their music. Eventually Napster was found guilty of copyright infringement and shut down. Boo! Hiss!

Fast forward 9 years. Album 'leaks' are pretty common and most of the time done on purpose. You can now get 30 second samples of Metallica's music over on or you can just push the play button below. But you wanna be a fan? You better pay!

Sending out our S.O.S

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Morse Code

January 6, 1838 Samuel Morse successfully tests his Electrical Telegraph. This simple device would become the basis for the near-light speed communication that we take for granted today.

Morse Code was developed by Samuel Morse's assistant, Alfred Vail.  Since its creation, it has embedded itself into history, finding its way into movies, music, and art.

 An SOS is a distress signal in Morse Code, and is probably the most well known symbolic transmission in Mose Code. Here is a playlist of songs referencing the S.O.S. signal.

USSR was formed

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Flag of the Soviet Union Here in the United States, we grew up worrying that the Russians would set up us the bomb. Today in 1922 Vladimir Lenin unified the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic,  Ukrainian National Republic, Belarus National Republic, and Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic into the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics (Say that three times fast).

In memory of this one time superpower, here's Paul McCartney live singing Back in the USSR.

Soviet Union Coat of Arms

The Grand Ole Opry is Born

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The Grand Ole Opry Logo

On December 10, 1927 the popular radio Announcer George D. Hay closed a segment of Grand Opera with, "From now on we will present the 'Grand Ole Opry'".  Thus, the longest continuous running radio program and a piece of american culture was born.

Here is a playlist of selections from the "Live at the Grand Ole Opry" album.  The album features many selections from Hank Williams and Carrie Underwood among others.

Live at the Grand Ole Opry

Pearl Harbor

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Attack on Pearl Harbor

 67 years ago, Hawaii's Pearl Harbor was attacked by Imperial Japan.  This action trumped the isolationist attitude held by the United States since World War I; forcing a formal declaration of war against Japan.

 In May 2001, The movie Pearl Harbor, directed by Michael Bay was released.  The historical fiction was the story of two best friends who find love and tragedy in the dramatic backdrop of the US entering World War II.

 Here is the movie soundtrack in playlist form. 

Pearl Harbor Soundtrack

The Trial of Rosa Parks

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Rosa Parks

December 5th 2008 is exactly 53 years since the trial of Rosa Parks for not giving up her seat on a bus.  Looking back at it today, we all wonder how Jim Crow laws seemed possible.  Hopefully we'll continue to mature and reverse remaining laws of oppression.

In 1999, the estate of Rosa Parks sued Outkast for the use of Rosa Parks's name in one of their songs.  After a bitter uphill battle of trials and appeals, a settlement for some undisclosed dollar amount was reached.


Do They Know It's Christmas?

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24 years ago today, some of the most talented musicians came together to write a song to spread awareness of the famine in Ethiopia. The catchy tune not only tried to rally aid for the victims of the famine, but also ominously implied that suffering like this might happen anywhere. "thank god its them instead of you."

Do They Know Its Christmas? - Band Aid (Bono & Adam Clayton)

13 years ago today, Pixar released Toy Story; the world's first totally computer generated feature length film.

One day short of the 13th anniversary of that great movie, I sat down in the Westfield Mall Century Theatre in downtown San Francisco with a group of folks who were probably part of Pixar's Rendering team to see Bolt All i can say is... you guys are AAAWWWEEESOME!!


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