The Year in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics History


7 Jan – The first trans-Atlantic telephone service, from New York to London, was established (1927).

7 Jan – Japan launched the Sakigake, the first non-US and non-Soviet deep space probe and interplanetary spacecraft (1985).

16 Jan – The Space Shuttle Columbia takes off for mission STS-107 which would be its final one. Columbia disintegrated 16 days later on re-entry (2003).

21 Jan – The first nuclear powered submarine, the USS Nautilus (SSN 571), was launched at Groton, CT (1954).

19 Feb – Thomas Edison patented the phonograph, US Patent 200,521 (1878).

21 Feb – The first steam locomotive self-propelled in Wales at the Pen-y-Darren Ironworks (1804).

4 Mar – The Forth Bridge crossing the Firth of Forth, the longest (until 1917) cantilever bridge in the world (spanning 8,296 feet) opened in Scotland (1890).

8 Mar – The Philips Company first publicly demonstrated the Compact Disc (1979).

10 Mar – The American John Stone patented the pile driver (1792).

10 Mar – The American inventor Alexander Graham Bell made the first telephone call, saying “Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you (1876).”

16 Mar – Gemini VIII completed the first successful docking of two spacecraft while in orbit (1966).

25 Mar – Dutch mathematician, scientist and astronomer Christiaan Huygens discovered Saturn’s largest moon, Titan (1655).

25 Mar – The Oystermouth Railway, now called the Swansea and Mumbles Railway, became the first passenger carrying railway in the world (1807).

25 Mar – The first successful tornado forecast predicted that a tornado would strike Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma (1948).

26 Mar – In Auburn, Massachussets, Robert Goddard launched the first successful liquid fueled rocket (1926).

12 Apr – The Soviet Comonaut Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin (1934-1968) became the first human in space and the first to orbit the earth aboard Vostok 3KA-3 (1961).

12 Apr – First launch (STS-1) of the first US Space Shuttle, Columbia, from Cape Canaveral (1981). John W. Young was Mission Commander and Robert L. Crippen was the pilot.

19 Apr – In Springfield, MA, Charles Duryea claimed to the first American to drive a car (1892).

24 Apr – Sigmund Freud published his famous paper, Das Ich und das Es, outlining his concept of the Id, the Ego, and the Super-Ego (1923).

1 May – Swedish Botanist Carl Linnaeus published Plant Taxonomy, thus birthing the field of plant taxonomy (1753).

2 May – The first jet airliner in history, the De Haviland Comet 1, made its maiden voyage from London to Johannesburg (1952).

5 May – Having discovered a better way to weave straw with silk and thread, Mary Kies became the first woman to be awarded a US patent (1809).

21 Aug – William Seward Burroughs patented the first practical adding machine in the United States (1888).

30 Aug – The maiden voyage of the Space Shuttle Discovery (STS 41D) began (1984).

31 Aug – The radio station 8MK in Detroit, MI, broadcast the first radio news program (1920).

4 Sep – The first commercial electric power plant in history began operations in New York City, inaugurating the electrical age (1882).

13 Sep – Henry Bliss was the first person in the US killed in an automobile accident (1899).

1 Oct – The Ford Motor Company launched the Model T for $825, making cars available to the middle class and revolutionizing transportation in American (1908).

24 Oct – The first Transcontinental Telegraph was completed with lines from St Louis and Carson City meeting in Salt Lake City and making the Pony Express obsolete (1861).

11 Nov – Searching for a way to find the area under the curve Y=f(x), Gottfried Liebnitz introduced integral calculus (1675).

24 Nov – Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species, the book that ushered in the Theory of Evolution and gave a biological basis to modern naturalism (1859).

1 Dec – Henry Ford’s Ford Motor Company introduced the moving assembly line, cutting time and costs in producing cars (1913).

13 Dec – Apollo 17 astronauts Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan performed the third and final moon walk of the program. As of 2014 they were still the last humans to walk on the moon (1972).

27 Dec – Japan commissioned the first purpose built aircraft carrier in the world, Hōshō (1922).

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