December 18

TODAY IN HISTORY

1958 – Project SCORE, the world’s first communications satellite, was launched.
Project SCORE (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment) was the world’s first communications satellite. Launched aboard an American Atlas rocket on December 18, 1958, SCORE provided a first test of a communications relay system in space, as well as the first successful use of the Atlas as a launch vehicle. It captured world attention by broadcasting a Christmas message via short wave radio from U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower through an on-board tape recorder. SCORE, as a geopolitical strategy, placed the United States at an even technological par with the Soviet Union as a highly functional response to the Sputnik 1 and Sputnik 2 satellites.


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1971 – Capitol Reef National Park was established in Utah.
Capitol Reef National Park is a United States National Park, in south-central Utah. It is 100 miles (160 km) long but fairly narrow. The park, established in 1971, on December 18, preserves 241,904 acres (377.98 sq mi; 97,895.08 ha; 978.95 km2) and is open all year, although May through September are the most popular months. About 75 mi (121 km) of the long up-thrust called the Waterpocket Fold, a rugged spine extending from Thousand Lake Mountain to Lake Powell, is preserved within the park. “Capitol Reef” is the name of an especially rugged and spectacular segment of the Waterpocket Fold near the Fremont River


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1973 – The Islamic Development Bank was founded.
The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) is a multilateral development financing institution located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It was founded in 1973 on December 18, by the Finance Ministers at the first Organisation of the Islamic Conference with the support of the king of Saudi Arabia at the time (Faisal), and began its activities on 20 October 1975. There are 56 shareholding member states. Mohammed bin Faisal is the former president of the IsDB


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1987 – Larry Wall released the first version of the Perl programming language.
Perl is a family of high-level, general-purpose, interpreted, dynamic programming languages. The languages in this family include Perl 5 and Perl 6. Larry Wall began work on Perl in 1987, while working as a programmer at Unisys, and released version 1.0 to the comp.sources.misc newsgroup on December 18, 1987. The language expanded rapidly over the next few years.


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BIRTHDAYS

1946 – Steven Spielberg, American director, producer, and screenwriter, co-founded DreamWorks
Steven Allan Spielberg KBE OMRI born on December 18, 1946 is an American director, producer and screenwriter. Spielberg is considered as one of the founding pioneers of the New Hollywood era, as well as being viewed as one of the most popular and influential directors and producers in film history. He is one of the co-founders of DreamWorks Studios. In a career spanning more than four decades, Spielberg’s films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg’s early science-fiction and adventure films were seen as archetypes of modern Hollywood blockbuster filmmaking. In later years, his films began addressing humanistic issues such as the Holocaust (in Schindler’s List), the transatlantic slave trade (in Amistad), war (in Empire of the Sun, Saving Private Ryan, and War Horse), and terrorism (in Munich). His other films include Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the Indiana Jones film series, and A.I. Artificial Intelligence.


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1955 – Vijay Mallya, Indian businessman and politician
Vijay Mallya born on December 18, 1955 is an Indian businessman and politician. The son of another businessman Vittal Mallya, he is the chairman of the UB Group, an Indian conglomerate with interests in beverage alcohol, aviation infrastructure, real estate and fertilizer among others. Mallya is also a member of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament of India. He also co-owns the Formula One team Sahara Force India. His companies own Indian Premier League team Royal Challengers Bangalore, the I-League teams Mohun Bagan A.C. and East Bengal F.C. He is also a member of the World Motor Sport Council representing India in the FIA. Mallya is the Chairman of public companies both in India and the US. He has been the Chairman of Sanofi India (previously Hoechst AG and Aventis) as well as the Chairman of Bayer CropScience in India for over 20 years, in addition to being the Chairman of several other companies.


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1963 – Brad Pitt, American actor and producer
William Bradley “Brad” Pitt born on December 18, 1963 is an American actor and producer. He has received a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and three Academy Award nominations in acting categories, and received two further Academy Award nominations, winning one, as producer under his own company Plan B Entertainment. Pitt first gained recognition as a cowboy hitchhiker in the road movie Thelma & Louise (1991). His first leading roles in big-budget productions came with the dramas A River Runs Through It (1992) and Legends of the Fall (1994), and Interview with the Vampire (1994). He gave critically acclaimed performances in the crime thriller Seven and the science fiction film 12 Monkeys (both 1995), the latter earning him a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor and an Academy Award nomination. Pitt starred in the cult film Fight Club (1999) and the major international hit Ocean’s Eleven (2001) and its sequels, Ocean’s Twelve (2004) and Ocean’s Thirteen (2007). His greatest commercial successes have been Troy (2004), Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), and World War Z (2013). Pitt received his second and third Academy Award nominations for his leading performances in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) and Moneyball (2011). He produced The Departed (2006) and 12 Years a Slave (2013), both of which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and also The Tree of Life and Moneyball, both of which garnered Best Picture nominations.


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1964 – Stone Cold Steve Austin, American wrestler, actor, and producer
Steve Austin born on December 18, 1964 better known by his ring name “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, is an American actor, producer, and retired professional wrestler who is signed to WWE under a legends contract. He gained significant mainstream popularity in the WWF in the late 1990s as “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, a disrespectful, beer-drinking antihero who routinely defied the establishment and his boss, company chairman Vince McMahon; this persona of Austin’s has been described as the “poster boy” of the Attitude Era, a boom period in WWF business in the late 1990s and early 2000s.


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1970 – Rob Van Dam, American wrestler and actor
Robert Alex “Rob” Szatkowski born on December 18, 1970 better known by his ring name Rob Van Dam is an American professional wrestler and occasional actor. He is best known for his appearances with Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) in the late 1990s, with the World Wrestling Federation/World Wrestling Entertainment (WWF/E) in the early to mid-2000s, and then with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) in the early 2010s.


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HOLIDAYS AND CELEBRATIONS

International Migrants Day (International)
International Migrants Day is an international day observed on 18 December as International Migrants Day appointed by the General Assembly of United Nations on 4 December 2000 taking into account the large and increasing number of migrants in the world. On 18 December 1990, the General Assembly adopted the international convention on the protection of the rights of migrant workers and members of their families (resolution 45/158). This day is observed in many countries, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations through the dissemination of information on human rights and fundamental political freedoms of migrants, and through sharing of experiences and the design of actions to ensure the protection of migrants.


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