This Day In History

This Day In History

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

On This Day

Events

in 1847

The first group of rescuers reaches the Donner Party. The Donner Party was an 87-member group of American pioneers who set out in a wagon train going westward, until getting bound in by snow in the Sierra Nevada. Casualties were extremely high and many of the survivors cannibalized members of the party who had already died. The wagons left Missouri for California in May of 1846. Encouraged to try a new, faster route across Utah and Nevada, they opted to take the Hastings Cutoff, proposed by Lansford Hastings who had never taken the journey with wagons. The Cutoff required the wagons to traverse Utah's Wasatch Mountains and the Great Salt Lake Desert, and slowed the party considerably, leading to the loss of wagons, horses, and cattle. It also forced them to engage in heavy labor by clearing the path ahead of them, and created deep divisions between members of the party. They had planned to be in California by September, but found themselves trapped in the Sierra Nevada by early November.
Donner Party, American pioneers

in 1878

Thomas Edison patents the...
Thomas Edison patents the phonograph. The phonograph record player, or gramophone, is a device introduced in 1877 that has had continued common use for reproducing (playing) sound recordings; although when first developed, the phonograph was used to both record and reproduce sounds. The recordings played on such a device generally consist of wavy lines that are either scratched, engraved, or grooved onto a rotating cylinder or disc. As the cylinder or disc rotates, a stylus or needle traces the wavy lines and vibrates to reproduce the recorded sound waves. The phonograph was invented in 1877 by Thomas Alva Edison at his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey, USA. On February 19, 1878, Edison was issued the first patent (U.S. patent #200,521) for the phonograph.
Edison, phonograph

in 1986

Space station «Mir»
Space station «Mir»
The Soviet Union launches its «Mir» spacecraft. Mir was a space station operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001, at first by the Soviet Union and then by Russia. Assembled in orbit from 1986 to 1996, Mir was the first modular space station and had a greater mass than that of any previous spacecraft, holding the record for the largest artificial satellite orbiting the Earth until its deorbit on 21 March 2001 (a record now surpassed by the International Space Station). Mir served as a microgravity research laboratory in which crews conducted experiments in biology, human biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology and spacecraft systems in order to develop technologies required for the permanent occupation of space.
Mir, space station, space

Births

in 1473
Nicolaus Copernicus

Nicolaus Copernicus was a Renaissance astronomer and the first person to formulate a comprehensive heliocentric cosmology which displaced the Earth from the center of the universe.
in 1743
Luigi Boccherini

Luigi Rodolfo Boccherini was an Italian classical era composer and cellist whose music retained a courtly and galante style while he matured somewhat apart from the major European musical centers.

Deaths

in 197
Clodius Albinus

Clodius Albinus was a Roman usurper proclaimed emperor by the legions in Britain and Hispania (the Iberian Peninsula, comprising modern Spain and Portugal) upon the murder of Pertinax in 193.
in 1997
Deng Xiaoping

Deng Xiaoping was a Chinese politician, statesman, and diplomat. As leader of the Communist Party of China, Deng was a reformer who led China towards a market economy. While Deng never held office as the head of state, head of government or General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, he nonetheless served as the paramount leader of the People's Republic of China from 1978 to 1992.

Why to study History?

Why to study History? It is a very popular question. Really, why should we learn by heart plenty of dates, names of historical personalities and so on? Especially nowadays when we are surrounded by modern technologies, when science makes much progress day after day and the whole those stories from our past seem to be just unpleasant fairy tales.

One of the Russian historians once said: “History doesn’t teach. It punishes for unlearned lessons”. It isn’t a secret that all the being of human society from ancient times to our days looks like a snake biting its own tale. History is cyclical and every event, every person and every mistake took place one day in the past. The thing is that we should use this knowledge as а diligent student uses his draft. There is no sense in doing the same mistakes our ancestors did. For instance, everyone in the world knows what is hidden beyond Victory Day. Blood, tears and millions of deaths. On this day we must remember not only the fallen in battles of the Second World War soldiers, but the reasons and results of that war. Not a very single person feels happier on this day if he isn’t insane. Because everyone understands that wars don’t bring anything besides grief and death. This is a simple idea that should be driven into the heads of persons who dared to give a Nobel Peace Prize to a man bombing other countries “for the love of global happiness”. And if you didn’t sleep at your History lessons you can easy name a dozen of characters of this kind.

Scientists say that we shouldn’t think of History as of something global only. It seems ridiculous but the History of the world is similar to a life of a man. And it helps us to understand ourselves better. The main lesson of History is to remember that we can’t change our past but we can change our future. This day in history, in history of a man, is for sure a repetition of that day in history of his father or grandfather. Characters of science fiction used to wish a book with the description of the events in future. However, we have such a book. It is a book of History. If you look it through from a different point of view you will understand what a treasure you have got. There is no fate and no magic balls. But a book of History for a sensible person can substitute a camp of soothsayers. Just a little bit of logic and tactic to turn an obscurity into a well-planned future.

Studying History is necessary for everybody. It helps politicians to avoid repeating global misdoings, it teaches businessmen to build their companies hanging upon the experience of their forerunners, it inspires people of art who know better than others how fleeting this day in history is. Even scientists being the most advanced people whose lives depend on their view not upon only this day but upon the whole future can’t work without realizing the most primitive and basic knowledge of yore. Because if you don’t know primitives it’s easy to come down to it.

Studying History isn’t just a mechanic learning by rote what has happened on this day in history or that one. It is rethinking of the whole volume of people’s activity. Without this we would stay mammoth hunters who don’t perceive why their lives goes worse and worse.

They say that those who will throw a stone at the past will be shot with a gun by the future. We live in a technical world, we are surrounded by ultramodern devices and history of ancient days seems to be a too far and insignificant thing to worry about. But when “that day in history” turns suddenly into “this day in history” people understand that it was a mistake to escape from our bygone heritage and leave mistakes behind.

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