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Flashback calendar

Computers across Britain hit by Jerusalem virus

The virus infected EXE files each time they were loaded and caused them to grow in size until they were too large to load into memory. On Friday the 13th, all years but 1987, the virus deleted every program file that was executed. It also changed the well-known message “Bad command or file name” to “Bad Command or file name” which was an easy way to detect it.

Henry Ford patents a plastic automobile

Henry Ford was a man obsessed with eschewing the status quo, one driven to continually improve any product or process he could. The Ford soybean car was named because its body panels were said to be constructed from a soy-based plastic. Henry hoped his new plastic material might replace the traditional metals used in cars.

The first use of aircraft ejection seat

The ejection seat vas patented in 1916 by British inventor Everard Calthrop. Later it was improved by Romanian inventor Anastase Dragomir in the 1920s. It was however not used until World War 2. The first aircraft equipped with the seat was German experimental jet Heinkel He 280. Test pilot Helmut Schenk was first who used it to save himself after his control surfaces iced up and became inoperative.

The first public radio broadcast

American inventor Lee de Forest performed the first public radio broadcast. It featured the voices of Enrico Caruso, Emmy Destinn and other Metropolitan Opera stars. The conductor was Egisto Tango. Members of the public and the press used earphones to listen to the broadcast in several locations throughout the city.

National Geographic Society is founded

It is a non-profit scientific and educational organization. Its main areas of interest are geography, archaeology, natural science, natural conservation, a study of world culture and history. The society publishes several magazines. The most important is called simply National Geographic. National Geographic also has a film and TV divisions.

Anniversaries of the (in)famous