This Day in History

Karl Benz Unveils His Patent Motorwagen (1886)
Six months after applying for a patent for a three-wheeled horseless carriage driven by an internal combustion engine, Benz staged a public demonstration of the contraption in Mannheim, Germany. Widely regarded as the first automobile, the Benz Patent Motorwagen resembled a park bench on a giant tricycle and had a steering handle instead of the now-familiar wheel. It was only used for short jaunts until 1888, when Benz's wife took it for its first long-distance road trip. What was its top speed? Discuss

First Wal-Mart Store Opens in Rogers, Arkansas (1962)
Today the world's largest corporation, the Walmart chain of superstores was founded by Sam Walton, a former US Army Captain with an economics degree. Walton owned and ran a chain of five-and-dime stores in Arkansas before he opened his first Wal-Mart store in 1962. In the 50 years since, the company, which sells brand-name goods in high volume at low prices, has flourished. It now has 8,500 stores operating in over a dozen countries. What percent of the US population visits a Walmart each week?

Sony Introduces the Walkman (1979)
Sony's first truly portable cassette player, the Walkman, was originally developed for a company chairman who wanted to be able to listen to music on long plane rides. He was impressed, and less than a year later, the revolutionary device hit the market. Sales soon exploded, cementing the Walkman's place in pop culture. It remained popular throughout the 1990s, before CDs and mp3s supplanted cassettes. Who invented the portable personal stereo cassette player years before the Walkman's debut?

Quote of the Day

Beatrix Potter
Believe there is a great power silently working all things for good, behave yourself and never mind the rest. Discuss

Ralph Waldo Emerson
All violence, all that is dreary and repels, is not power, but the absence of power.

Daniel Defoe
A rich man is an honest man—no thanks to him; for he would be a double knave to cheat mankind when he had no need of it.