A Brief History On January 13, 1942, German test pilot Helmut Schenk successfully used an ejection seat in a Heinkel He 280 jet fighter that was being developed for the German Luftwaffe, becoming the first pilot in history to eject from a plane in such a manner.  Thus, the ejection seat became one more of the many technological innovations produced by Nazi engineers during World War II in Germany’s failed effort to conquer much of the world. Digging Deeper The He 280 was never put into service as it came in second to the Messerschmitt Me 262 in the race to become the first…

From the Series Lil’ History Chips On January 12, 2004, the RMS Queen Mary 2, flagship of the Cunard Line, left port on its maiden voyage after having been christened 4 days earlier by Queen Elizabeth II.  Built at a cost of $900 million (£460 million) to eventually replace the aging RMS Queen Elizabeth 2, that equated to approximately $300,000 for every one of the 2,620 passenger berths.  The luxury liner also carries over 1,200 crew members.  The second ocean liner to be named after the wife of King George V, the QM2 is massive at 1,132 feet long by about 147 feet wide. …

A Brief History On January 11, 1973, the American League of Major League Baseball voted to accept a rule change allowing for the position of “designated hitter” (DH) so that pitchers would not have to bat, something which they, with a few exceptions such as Babe Ruth, were generally weak at.  Before then, there was only the option of using a pinch hitter, but that meant that that particular pitcher would have had to be pulled from the game.  H&H Notes:  The National League still has their pitchers bat.  When teams from the two leagues meet, such as in a World Series, the…

A Brief History On January 10, 49 B.C., Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon River as he marched toward the city of Rome with his legions.  Since it was forbidden to cross the Rubicon with an army, it was seen as a threat to the Republic, and by doing so, Caesar made a bold statement about his intentions to seize power.  Ever since, when we say someone has “crossed the Rubicon,” we are talking about someone who has taken a fateful and irreversible step, such as when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Digging Deeper The Romans also gave us the Latin jacta alia est which translates into “the…

In our lists of infamous cults and most evil people, we include book burners of every ilk, including electronic book burners known to assault famous websites such as Wikipedia.  These individuals, typically called “deletionists” have a peculiar history of trying to remove articles from Wikipedia for downright dishonest and sometimes baffling non-reasons.  This week’s most infamous deletion discussion can be found here in which a vocal minority has spent the past few days battling against an overwhelming majority consensus that the article, concerning a phrase used internationally and covered in the world’s media, should be kept on this particular site.  In…

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