This Day in Pop Culture for January 11
1935: First to Fly Solo from Hawaii to California
It was on this day in 1935 that Amelia Earhart became the first person to successfully fly from Honolulu, Hawaii to Oakland, California. It had been attempted numerous times before by other pilots who face mechanical trouble, Earhart had none. In fact, it is said that during the final hours, she felt relaxed and listened to the broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera from New York. Sadly is was just two year later when she went missing while attempting to fly from Lae Airfield in Papua New Guinea to Howland Island which is about 1,700 nautical miles southwest of Honolulu. She was never seen again.
1949: First “Networked” Television Station Airs
WDTV (“W DuMont TeleVision”) in Pittsburgh aired for the first time on January 11, 1949 making it the 51st television station in the U.S. and the 5th in Pennsylvania. It was owned and operated by the DuMont Television Network and was the first “network” of 14 stations bridging the gap between the East and Midwest networks. Until this time, Midwest stations could not carry live programs from New York City. The station was considered the “Golden Spike” of network television.
1938: Morse Code is Put on Display
It was on this day in 1938 when Morse Code was first demonstrated by Alfred Vail and Samuel Morse. (Can you imagine if they called it Vail Code instead?) It became a common communication system used by the military and aviation industry worldwide. The distress signal known as “SOS” was used until 1999 when it was replaced by the Global Maritime Distress Safety System. Believe it or not, though popularly believed to stand for “Save Our Ship” or “Save Our Souls,” the three letters do not stand for anything. Today is also knowns as “Learn Your Name In Morse Code Day.” Who knew?
- 1755: Alexander Hamiliton (politican)
- 1946: Naomi Judd (singer)
- 1946: John Piper (theologian)
- 1971: Mary J. Blige (singer)
- 1972: Amanda Peet (actress)
- 1994: Lindsay Arnold (dancer)
- 1997: Cody Simpson (singer)
1908: The Grand Canyon National Monument was created.
1927: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was created.