The ESP Timeline (one of the site's most popular features) has been completely updated to allow the user to select (using the timeline controls above each column) different topics for the left and right sides of the display.
New Left Column
New Left Column
New Right Column
New Right Column
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(no entry for this year)
Six months after taking office, Garfield becomes the second US President to be assassinated, when he was shot by Charles J. Guiteau — a disgruntled and impoverished would-be office holder. When he purchased the pistol used in the assassination, he chose to buy one with an ivory handle because he thought it would look good as a museum exhibit after the assassination.
In January, the Tennessee State Legislature votes to segregate railroad passenger cars.
On the Fourth of July, Booker T. Washington opens Tuskegee Institute in central Alabama.
Clara Barton founds the American Red Cross.
Painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir: The Umbrellas (French: Les Parapluies) is an oil-on-canvas painting, painted in two phases in the 1880s. It is owned by the National Gallery in London as part of the Lane Bequest, but is displayed alternately in London and at the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane. In May 2013, it returned to Dublin for a six-year period. Renoir began the painting in about 1880-81, using the loose brushwork with dark and bright tones typical of the Impressionist movement. In about 1885-6, after losing his attachment to Impressionism and drawing inspiration from classical art he had seen in Italy and the works of Ingres and Cézanne, he reworked parts of the painting, particularly the principal female figure to the left of the frame, in a more classical linear style using more muted colours, and added the background and the umbrellas themselves. X-ray photography has shown that the clothing of the female figure was originally different: she wore a hat and her dress had horizontal rows of frills, with white lace at its cuffs and collar, suggesting that she was middle class, whereas the simpler clothes in the revised painting mark her out as a member of the working class, a grisette not a bourgeoise. The x-ray analysis and then the changing fashions allow the periods of work to be dated with reasonable accuracy.
The first hydro-electric plant opens, in Wisconsin.
Britain Invades Egypt The British invaded Egypt in response to anti foreign riots. The British defeated the army of Arabi Pasha at Al Tell. On September 15th they captured Cairo. Arabi pasha the nationalist leader was deported to Ceylon.
Painting by Édouard Manet: A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (French: Un bar aux Folies Bergère), is considered Manet's last major work. It depicts a scene in the Folies Bergère nightclub in Paris. It originally belonged to the composer Emmanuel Chabrier, who was Manet's neighbor, and hung over his piano. The painting exemplifies Manet's commitment to Realism in its detailed representation of a contemporary scene. Many features have puzzled critics but almost all of them have been shown to have a rationale, and the painting has been the subject of numerous popular and scholarly articles. The central figure stands before a mirror, although critics — accusing Manet of ignorance of perspective and alleging various impossibilities in the painting — have debated this point since the earliest reviews were published. In 2000, however, a photograph taken from a suitable point of view of a staged reconstruction was shown to reproduce the scene as painted by Manet.
Painting by John Singer Sargent: Lady with the Rose (Charlotte Louise Burckhardt). The subject of this portrait was the twenty-year-old daughter of a Swiss merchant and his American wife, members of the artists cosmopolitan circle in Paris. Did she enjoy the experience? Look at her expression.
Sculpture by Auguste Rodin: The sculpture, The Kiss, was originally titled Francesca da Rimini, as it depicts the 13th-century Italian noblewoman immortalised in Dante's Inferno (Circle 2, Canto 5) who falls in love with her husband Giovanni Malatesta's younger brother Paolo. Having fallen in love while reading the story of Lancelot and Guinevere, the couple are discovered and killed by Francesca's husband. In the sculpture, the book can be seen in Paolo's hand. The lovers' lips do not actually touch in the sculpture, suggesting that they were interrupted and met their demise without their lips ever having touched. When critics first saw the sculpture in 1887, they suggested the less specific title Le Baiser (The Kiss).
On October 16, the United States Supreme Court declares invalid the Civil Rights Act of 1875, stating that the federal government cannot bar corporations or individuals from discriminating on the basis of race.
Scheutz invents the first printing calculator
German engineer Gottlieb Daimler creates a portable engine that leads to the age of the automobile.
On May 25, the New York boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn were linked with the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge. The bridge was the first steel suspension bridge erected in the United States. It was built at a cost of $16 million and 26 lives. When it opened, the Brooklyn Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world.
(no entry for this year)
(no entry for this year)
James Dewar invents a thermos bottle in which heat is prevented from leaking via vacuum between two glass walls. The model becomes known as the Dewar Flask.
The world's first skyscraper, the Home Insurance Company Building, is erected in Chicago.
Painting by Vincent van Gogh: The Potato Eaters (Dutch: De Aardappeleters). Van Gogh said he wanted to depict peasants as they really were. He deliberately chose coarse and ugly models, thinking that they would be natural and unspoiled in his finished work: "You see, I really have wanted to make it so that people get the idea that these folk, who are eating their potatoes by the light of their little lamp, have tilled the earth themselves with these hands they are putting in the dish, and so it speaks of manual labor and — that they have thus honestly earned their food. I wanted it to give the idea of a wholly different way of life from ours — civilized people. So I certainly don't want everyone just to admire it or approve of it without knowing why."
Slavery is abolished in Cuba.
Daimler produces his first car.
Painting by Georges Seurat: A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (French: Un dimanche après-midi à l'Île de la Grande Jatte) is one of the artist's most famous works. It is a leading example of pointillism technique, executed on a large canvas. Seurat's composition includes a number of Parisians at a park on the banks of the River Seine. Inspired by optical effects and perception inherent in the color theories of Michel Eugène Chevreul, Ogden Rood and others, Seurat adapted this scientific research to his painting. Seurat contrasted miniature dots or small brushstrokes of colors that when unified optically in the human eye were perceived as a single shade or hue. He believed that this form of painting, called divisionism at the time but now known as pointillism, would make the colors more brilliant and powerful than standard brushstrokes.
African-American players are banned from major league baseball.
Slavery is abolished in Brazil
Dorr E. Felt was granted a patent for the Comptometer.
Introduction of the Comptometer by Felt & Tarrant Co
Celluloid film base introduced.
Interstate Commerce Act Passed On February 4, President Cleveland signed into law the first bill regulating the railroads. The act, which called for just and equal rates, also limited pooling (secret pacts between railroads). This measure received broad support in the Congress.
The United States acquires Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, as a coaling station and future naval base.
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Babbage's Analytical Engine Operates For The First Time
Burroughs Receives Patent for Calculating Machine
Introduction of its adder-lister by William Seward Burroughs
Louis Le Prince makes Roundhay Garden Scene. It is believed to be the first-ever motion picture on film.
John Boyd Dunlop, trained as a veterinary surgeon, devises the first practical pneumatic tire in response to a request from his son for a more comfortable tricycle. His first effort involved an inflated section of garden hose, fitted to the rear wheels of the tricycle. Although born in Scotland, Dunlop spent most of his life in Northern Ireland, where his image occurs on the current £10 note, issued by the Northern Bank.
George Eastman Patents Camera George Eastman patents the hand held camera.
Slavery is abolished in Brazil, bringing to an end of the legal sanction of slavery in the Americas.
Painting by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema: The Roses of Heliogabalus shows a group of Roman diners at a banquet, being swamped by drifts of pink rose petals falling from a false ceiling above. The Roman emperor Elagabalus reclines on a platform behind them, wearing a golden robe and a tiara, watching the spectacle with other garlanded guests. A woman plays the double pipes beside a marble pillar in the background, wearing the leopard skin of a maenad, with a bronze statue of Dionysus, based on the Ludovisi Dionysus, in front of a view of distant hills. The painting depicts a (probably invented) episode in the life of the Roman emperor Elagabalus, also known as Heliogabalus, (204–222), taken from the Augustan History. Although the Latin refers to "violets and other flowers", Alma-Tadema depicts Elagabalus smothering his unsuspecting guests with rose petals released from a false ceiling.
Painting by Vincent van Gogh: Sunflowers (original title, in French: Tournesols). Sunflowers are the subject of two series of still life paintings by the Dutch painter . The earlier series, executed in Paris in 1887, depicts the flowers lying on the ground, while the second set, executed a year later in Arles, shows bouquets of sunflowers in a vase. In the artist's mind both sets were linked by the name of his friend Paul Gauguin, who acquired two of the Paris versions. About eight months later van Gogh hoped to welcome and to impress Gauguin again with Sunflowers, now part of the painted Décoration for the Yellow House that he prepared for the guestroom of his home in Arles, where Gauguin was supposed to stay. After Gauguin's departure, van Gogh imagined the two major versions as wings of the Berceuse Triptych, and finally he included them in his Les XX in Bruxelles exhibit
Florida becomes the first state to use the poll tax to disenfranchise black voters.
Frederick Douglass is appointed minister to Haiti.
Herman Hollerith lodges patent for Punch Card technology
Nintendo is founded
The first commercially available transparent celluloid roll film is introduced by the Eastman Company, later renamed the Eastman Kodak Company and commonly known as Kodak.
Oklahoma Land Rush The last major unsettled territory in the United States (which had been exclusively Indian) is opened for settlement. Over 200,000 settlers gather at the borders of the territory awaiting the opportunity to seize land. On the first day the territory was opened, 12,000 settlers arrived in Guthrie, Oklahoma.
Painting by Vincent van Gogh: The Starry Night depicts the view from the east-facing window of his asylum room at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, just before sunrise, with the addition of an idealized village. It is regarded as among Van Gogh's finest works, and is one of the most recognized paintings in the history of Western culture. In the aftermath of the 23 December 1888 breakdown that resulted in the self-mutilation of his left ear, Van Gogh voluntarily admitted himself to the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole lunatic asylum on 8 May 1889. Housed in a former monastery, Saint-Paul-de-Mausole catered to the wealthy and was less than half full when Van Gogh arrived, allowing him to occupy not only a second-story bedroom but also a ground-floor room for use as a painting studio.
In the early 1990's, Robert Robbins was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, where he directed the informatics core of GDB — the human gene-mapping database of the international human genome project. To share papers with colleagues around the world, he set up a small paper-sharing section on his personal web page. This small project evolved into The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.
In 1995, Robbins became the VP/IT of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Soon after arriving in Seattle, Robbins secured funding, through the ELSI component of the US Human Genome Project, to create the original ESP.ORG web site, with the formal goal of providing free, world-wide access to the literature of classical genetics.
Although the methods of molecular biology can seem almost magical to the uninitiated, the original techniques of classical genetics are readily appreciated by one and all: cross individuals that differ in some inherited trait, collect all of the progeny, score their attributes, and propose mechanisms to explain the patterns of inheritance observed.
In reading the early works of classical genetics, one is drawn, almost inexorably, into ever more complex models, until molecular explanations begin to seem both necessary and natural. At that point, the tools for understanding genome research are at hand. Assisting readers reach this point was the original goal of The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.
Usage of the site grew rapidly and has remained high. Faculty began to use the site for their assigned readings. Other on-line publishers, ranging from The New York Times to Nature referenced ESP materials in their own publications. Nobel laureates (e.g., Joshua Lederberg) regularly used the site and even wrote to suggest changes and improvements.
When the site began, no journals were making their early content available in digital format. As a result, ESP was obliged to digitize classic literature before it could be made available. For many important papers — such as Mendel's original paper or the first genetic map — ESP had to produce entirely new typeset versions of the works, if they were to be available in a high-quality format.
Early support from the DOE component of the Human Genome Project was critically important for getting the ESP project on a firm foundation. Since that funding ended (nearly 20 years ago), the project has been operated as a purely volunteer effort. Anyone wishing to assist in these efforts should send an email to Robbins.
With the development of methods for adding typeset side notes to PDF files, the ESP project now plans to add annotated versions of some classical papers to its holdings. We also plan to add new reference and pedagogical material. We have already started providing regularly updated, comprehensive bibliographies to the ESP.ORG site.
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