This Day In History
Saturday, December 15, 2018
On This Day


in 1880

Thomas Edison observes the...
Thomas Edison observes the Edison effect. Thermionic emission (Edison effect) is the heat-induced flow of charge carriers from a surface or over a potential-energy barrier. This occurs because the thermal energy given to the carrier overcomes the binding potential, also known as work function of the metal. The charge carriers can be electrons or ions, and in older literature are sometimes referred to as "thermions". After emission, a charge will initially be left behind in the emitting region that is equal in magnitude and opposite in sign to the total charge emitted. But if the emitter is connected to a battery, then this charge left behind will be neutralized by charge supplied by the battery, as the emitted charge carriers move away from the emitter, and finally the emitter will be in the same state as it was before emission. The thermionic emission of electrons is also known as thermal electron emission.
Edison, thermionic emission

in 1934

The Soviet steamship <i>Cheliuskin</i>...
The Soviet steamship Cheliuskin sinks in the Arctic Ocean. Cheliuskin was a Soviet steamship reinforced to navigate through polar ice that became ice-bound in Arctic waters during navigation along the Northern Maritime Route from Murmansk to Vladivostok. The expedition's task was to determine the possibility to travel by non-icebreaker through the Northern Maritime Route in a single navigation season. After leaving Murmansk on August 2, 1933, the steamship managed to get through most of the Northern Route before it was caught in the ice fields in September. After that it drifted in the ice pack before sinking on February 13, 1934, crushed by the icepacks near Kolyuchin Island in the Chukchi Sea. The crew managed to escape onto the ice and built a makeshift airstrip using only a few spades, ice shovels and two crowbars. They had to rebuild the airstrip thirteen times, until they were rescued in April of the same year and flown to the village of Vankarem on the coast of the sea. From there, some of the Chelyuskintsy were flown further to the village of Uelen, while fifty-three men walked over 300 miles to get there.
steamship, Cheliuskin, Arctic Ocean, Northern Route

in 1960

With the success of a nuclear test codenamed "Gerboise Bleue", France becomes the fourth country to possess nuclear weapons. Gerboise Bleue ("blue jerboa") was the name of the first French nuclear test. It was an atomic bomb detonated in the middle of the Algerian Sahara desert on 13 February 1960, during the Algerian War (1954–62). General Pierre Marie Gallois was instrumental in the endeavour, and earned the nickname of père de la bombe A ("father of the A-bomb"). Gerboise is the French word for jerboa, a desert rodent found in the Sahara, while blue is the first color of the French tricolor flag. So the second and third bombs were named respectively "white" (Gerboise Blanche) and "red" (Gerboise Rouge), the remaining colors of the flag.
Gerboise Bleue, nuclear weapons, nuclear test, France, Sahara


in 1769
Ivan Krylov

Ivan Andreyevich Krylov is Russia's best known fabulist. While many of his earlier fables were loosely based on Aesop and Jean de La Fontaine, later fables were original work, often satirizing the incompetent bureaucracy that was stifling social progress in his time.
in 1873
Feodor Chaliapin

Feodor Ivanovich Chaliapin was a Russian opera singer. The possessor of a large and expressive bass voice, he enjoyed an important international career at major opera houses and is often credited with establishing the tradition of naturalistic acting in his chosen art form.
in 1903
Georges Simenon

Georges Joseph Christian Simenon was a Belgian writer. A prolific author who published nearly 200 novels and numerous short works, Simenon is best known for the creation of the fictional detective Maigret.


in 1571
Benvenuto Cellini

Benvenuto Cellini was an Italian goldsmith, sculptor, painter, soldier and musician, who also wrote a famous autobiography. He was one of the most important artists of Mannerism.
in 1883
Richard Wagner

Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, conductor, theatre director and polemicist primarily known for his operas (or "music dramas", as they were later called).
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