Video encyclopedia

Flashback archive

Gemini 1 takes off

Gemini 1 was the first unmanned test flight of the Gemini spacecraft in NASA's Gemini program. Its main objectives were to test the structural integrity of the new spacecraft and modified Titan II launch vehicle. It was also the first test of the new tracking and communication systems for the Gemini program and provided ground support crews with training for the first manned missions. It is often considered a bridge between the first manned American spaceflight program, Project Mercury, and the Apollo program which took humans to the moon.

English broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough is born

Attenborough is best known as an author and presenter of BBC natural history documentaries. His first such series was called Zoo Quest. It began in 1952 and ran for ten years. He created countless other TV and radio programs and documentaries. The last of them is David Attenborough's Blue Planet II from 2017.

English photographer Eadweard Muybridge dies

Eadweard Muybridge was an English photographer important for his pioneering work in photographic studies of motion, and early work in motion-picture projection. In 1878, he was hired by industrialist Leland Stanford to determine whether a galloping horse ever lifts all four feet completely off the ground. Muybridge took 24 photographs of a running horse in rapid succession and projected them on a device he had designed for displaying moving images.

Coca-Cola hits the market

Originally intended as a patent medicine, Coca-Cola was invented in the late 19th century by John Pemberton who first mixed it in a brass kettle hung over a backyard fire. It was first sold at Jacob's Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia, for five cents a glass. Pemberton claimed Coca-Cola cured many diseases including morphine addiction, indigestion, nerve disorders, headaches, and impotence.

French chemist Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier dies at age 50

Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier was a French nobleman and chemist who was central to the 18th-century chemical revolution and who had a large influence on both the history of chemistry and the history of biology. He was also a powerful member of a number of aristocratic councils and an administrator of the Ferme générale, one of the most hated components of the Ancien Régime, the monarchy and feudal system of France up to 1789. At the height of the French Revolution, he was charged with tax fraud and selling adulterated tobacco, and was subsequently guillotined.

Anniversaries of famous