1818 - On a cold Christmas Eve in the year 1818, the well-known Christmas carol “Silent Night” was first sung in the St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf, Austria.
The making of
Only days before Christmas Eve, Pastor Joseph Franz Mohr asked his good friend and choir organist, Franz Xaver Gruber, if he could turn his poem, which he had written two years earlier, into a song. The pastor was in desperate need of a Christmas Carol that they could sing for their midnight mass and therefore he asked Gruber to make the song on very short notice. Gruber accepted the challenge and composed a melody.
The growth in popularity
On that Christmas Eve, Pastor Mohr sang the tenor part of the song and played the guitar, while Gruber sang the bass vocals, served by a choir. They had no idea that their little song became the most famous Christmas song of all time. The popularity of the song can be thanked to two travelling folk families, Rainer and Strasser. They sang the song in performances in Leipzig and New York and introduced the song to the audience.
360 trivial fact
Did you know that Christmas carol “Silent Night” is translated into more than 300 languages all around the world? There are even over 26,000 different versions available on Spotify. However, the most popular version of the song in the US was sung by Bing Crosby in 1935. It became his best-selling single of all time.
The man who saved millions of lives
Whether you’re used to the British slogan ‘Click it or ticket’ or to the more American version ‘Buckle up. It’s the law’, everybody knows, seat belts must be worn. Seat belt legislation is relatively new. The three-point safety belt as we know it was invented in 1959 by Niels Ivar Bohlin. He died today in 2002 after suffering a heart attack. Read More >>
Buon compleanno Sophia Loren!
She starred on the big screen next to the greatest actors in history. Today is Sophia Loren’s birthday. She was born in Rome, Italy, as Sofia Villani Scicolone on September 20, 1934. Read More >>
Scrunching or folding?
Toilet paper. It’s one of those things that seem to have existed forever. But that’s not true of course. At least someone must have been the first to sell it. Those credits go to Joseph Gayetty. He introduced the first modern commercially available toilet paper in the United States, September 19, 1857. It was sold in packages of flat sheets and was called Gayetty’s Medicated Paper. It even had a watermark on every sheet with the inventor’s name. Read More >>
First picture of moon and earth
For lots of people it’s still a magical thing. Standing on earth, watching the moon. Some people might even see the man in the moon, or believe there will be werewolves walking around when the moon is full. However, the first picture ever taken with the moon and earth in one frame show no proof of anything paranormal. Voyager 1 captured this image, featuring both Earth and its moon in their entirety, on September 18, 1977. The space probe was ‘only’ 7.25 million miles away. Read More >>
We the people ...
The first three words of the Constitution in the USA make its intention very clear. ‘We the people…’ makes it obvious that this is the citizens speaking; the nation. Yet it did take quite some time and trials to get these rights... right. Read More >>
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1978: Outside the box
1955: Tutti Frutti, aw Rooty!
2004: And you get a car! And you get a car! And you ...
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2001: Where were you?
1981: A masterpiece coming home
1960: A romcom legend was born
1664: The city that never sleeps wakes up
1923: The international force of justice
1997: Goodbye England's rose
1980: The Gotthard tunnel opens
1882: Thomas Edison: parasite of technology
1965: The man with tiger blood
1952: Left-handed legend
1934: MGM's first animated cartoon
1997: Death of a princess
1930: Getting rich by reading a lot
1932: Beloved Hollywood star Ingrid Bergman was born on this day
1837: The famous fermented Worcestershire Sauce
1955: You might have never heard of these crazy world records
1916: Remembering Mother Teresa
1930: Happy birthday Scottish Knight Sean Connery
1954: The end of his presidency was the end of his life
1927: World’s most famous rabbit
1978: The burning spear of Kenya
1859: Great timing
1988: The great firestorm of Yellowstone
1883: Most influential woman; Coco Chanel
1940: Walter Chrysler the car doctor
1786: Davy Crockett, the true pioneer
1977: Elvis has left the building
1057: Was Macbeth really such a bad guy?
1951: Hearst Castle, a grown up’s Disney land
1926: Fidel Castro, liberator of Cuba
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1858: Without this man we might all be dead
1787: Mozart’s obsession with poop
1963: Happy birthday Whitney Houston!
1974: The White House Watergate Scandal
1876: Mata Hari, the exotic woman spy
1890: The first man killed by an electric chair
910: Vikings; peaceful farmers or cruel conquerors?
1875: Once upon a time there was a man called Hans Christian Andersen
1811: Don’t be afraid of riding an elevator
1922: Does this name ring a bell?
1981: I want my MTV
1965: We celebrate the birthday of Harry Potter and his creator
1947: Happy birthday Herr Schwarzenegger
1958: NASA, exploring space
1741: Antonio Vivaldi, one last bow
1980: The last Shah
1943: Congratulations to sir Michael Philip Jagger
1999: The most infamous rider: Lance Armstrong
1911: Finding the ‘Sacred City’ Machu Picchu
2011: Rest in peace, Amy Winehouse
2011: Norway’s darkest hour
1969: Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon
1976: Life on Mars, Viking 1
1814: Colt’s Revolver, the great equalizer?
1950: Happy birthday Richard Branson
1954: Congratulations to Angela Merkel
1661: At all costs, Europe’s first banknotes
1997: Gianni Versace, dressed to kill
1881: ($5,000.00) Billy the Kid, dead or alive
1942: Han Solo to Indiana Jones, congratulations Mr. Harrison Ford
1536: Erasmus, the one and only
1934: Happy birthday to Giorgio Armani
1830: Remembering French art master Camille Pissarro
1947: O.J. Simpson celebrates his birthday today
1997: 3 million men and women protect the world
1947: Did UFO’s crash near Roswell?
1971: Louis Armstrong painted a wonderful world
1996: Dolly’s special 'birthday'
1930: 'The Boss' of the world-famous Yankees
1863: The battle that made America what it is today
1566: The famous France physician Nostradamus died on this day
1997: United Kingdom gave Hong Kong back to China
1894: The opening of the London Tower Bridge
1976: The Seychelles became independent on this day
1971: We wish Elon Musk a happy birthday
1954: World’s first nuclear power station opened on this day
1909: The wonder of V&A
1950: Will Korea ever be one again?
1987: Happy birthday Lionel Messi!
1995: Jonas Salk and the amazing vaccine
1987: Footloose Fred Astaire
1982: William Arthur Philip Louis
2005: Microchips are taking over the world
1953: Looking back at the first Soviet spies
1928: Who was Roald Amundsen?
1882: Russian composer Igor Stravinsky was born on this day
1829: Apache leader Geronimo was born on this day
1991: How a volcanic eruption changed the global temperature
1968: The classical fire of Salvatore Quasimodo
1944: All Nations; unite!
1903: Niagara Falls, a drop of water
1910: The Undersea Adventures of Jacques Cousteau
2004: Hit the road Ray
1870: How Charles Dickens cured insomnia
1921: The second President of Indonesia was born on this day
1929: Vatican City officially became independent on this day
1523: How King Gustav ended the Kalmar Union
1947: How the Marshall plan started the cold war
1798: Who was Casanova?
1865: UK's big Five; George V
1989: Robin Williams, an amusing spark of madness
1980: The beginning of CNN
1930: Happy Birthday Clint Eastwood
1431: The national heroine of France was murdered on this day
1954: The first Bilderberg Conference was held on this day
1961: Amnesty International was founded on this day
1923: 'Power is the great aphrodisiac'
1907: Wild West Wayne
1939: Happy Birthday to Sir Ian McKellen
1941: The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
1937: Businessman John D. Rockefeller died on this day
1977: The Orient Express made its last voyage on this day
1527: On this day Spanish King Philip II was born
1506: Why Christopher Columbus wasn’t who you think he was
1881: Remembering Atatürk
1927: Ritz, guest at a palace
1886: John Deere and what he held most dear
1905: Congrats Henry Fonda!
1955: Cosmodrome, a glance under the dome
1984: Hooray for the man who changed our social lives
1950: Grand Prix, enter the circuit
1820: The bright Florence Nightingale
1981: Let’s get together and remember Bob Marley
1960: Happy birthday to Bono from U2
1967: The creation of a Fokker
1903: Paul Gauguin, who was he really?
1919: Eva Duarte aka Evita was born on this day
1961: George Clooney; an actor against all odds
1945: Let’s celebrate freedom!
1959: The first Grammy Awards were handed on this day
1933: The Godfather of Soul was born on this day
1519: Leonardo da Vinci died today
1994: Today we commemorate racing legend Ayrton Senna
1777: Gauss, the foremost of mathematicians
1980: Rest in Peace Alfred Hitchcock
1974: Penélope Cruz; cruising the world
1791: ?? ??? ·?· ··· ·, AKA Morse
1986: Chernobyl. A safety test turning into a disaster
1719: Crusoe's crusade
1942: Today we sing happy birthday to Barbra Streisand
1928: Today the famous actress Shirley Temple was born
1993: Civil rights activist Cesar Chavez died on this day
2016: Rest In Peace Prince
1912: The author of the famous horror novel Dracula died today
2005: On this day Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI
1955: Today we remember Albert Einstein
1790: A day to remember founding father Benjamin Franklin
1942: Today, 76 years ago, Frank Williams was born
1912: Today, 107 years ago, Titanic sank
1865: Abraham Lincoln was shot on this day
1860: 'You've got mail, partner'
1947: Happy birthday, talk show legend David Letterman
1960: We wish Jeremy Clarkson a Happy Birthday
1986: This is why everyone pointlessly looked up in 1986
2005: Is Prince Charles Prince Charming?
2013: The Iron Lady, in her prime
1947: Rest in peace, Henry Ford
1896: The Olympic flame that travelled to space
1950: One of the A’s of Abba celebrates today
1973: Love and hate for the most famous towers in the world
1924: Brando, sleep with the fishes
1914: 'Use the Force, Alec'
2018: ''You little bastard''
1685: Bach, the composer who went to prison
1945: Happy birthday to Eric Clapton!
1974: Secrets below our feet; the Terracotta Army
1986: The Princess of pop
1845: Mister X-ray
1827: Beethoven, a historic “rap” battle artist
1942: Respect for Aretha Franklin!
1905: Jules Verne, future seeing novelist
2011: Who's afraid of Elizabeth Taylor?
1948: Hymns of rock
1617: Pocahontas; uniting new worlds
1602: Harbouring our harbour
1813: Dr Livingstone I presume?
1956: A skiing legend was born today
1919: Do you remember Nat King Cole?
1940: The writer who gave away her Nobel Prize
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1932: The inventor of selfies
1979: The first steps to the Euro
1945: A young girl and her diary
1931: CEO of our knowledge
1988: The Bee Gee brother
1934: Aerospace pioneer
1983: The right dose of DOS
1872: How painting lines can put you on the Nazi blacklist
1899: Don’t do drugs, but this one is quite okay
1827: You use them everyday without thinking about it
1936: The first air ship travels the skies
1983: The Adventures of Tintin
1977: Viva la Vida
1810: ''Music has no fatherland''
1940: A racing legend raised in a refugee camp
1892: The designer of the Louis Vuitton bags died on this day
1932: Today we commemorate Johnny Cash
1841: Pierre Renoir, a struggling artist who found his place
1990: The Secret Gay Life of Malcolm Forbes
1965: Do you remember Stan Laurel?
1987: Who was Andy Warhol?
1965: Malcolm X’s life in a nutshell
1967: Kurt Cobain’s birthday
1473: Astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus was born on this day
1954: Let’s boogie on the birthday of John Travolta
1963: Happy birthday Michael Jordan!
1923: Archaeologist Howard Carter opens the tomb of King Tutankhamen
1564: Famous astronomer and scientist Galilei Galilei was born on this day
1962: A tour through the White House for everybody in the world
1920: Today we can celebrate the neutrality of Switzerland
1809: The inventor of the theory of evolution was born on this day
1929: How the Vatican City became the smallest country in the world
1996: World chess champion Garry Kasparov loses game to computer
2002: The sad story of Princess Margaret
1969: A large ball of fire hits Chihuahua
1940: The day Pinocchio came to life
1935: The day buying streets and houses became a game
1952: The first ‘don’t walk’ traffic lights were installed in New York
2019: The whole world is fighting cancer
1959: ''The day the music died''
1990: ''The day I ended apartheid''
2003: They reached for the stars
1797: The little mushroom's songs
1972: Sunday Bloody Sunday
1886: Taste the feeling ...
1958: Lego, the tool for your imagination
1973: Vietnam War in a nutshell
1925: “To be an actor you have to be a child.”
1981: Today we sing happy birthday to Alicia Keys
1965: The day Winston Churchill died
1989: Salvador Dali, designer of the Chupa Chups logo
1946: The States' biggest mystery
1924: 'Sometimes – history needs a push'
1993: Audrey's legacy to the world
1736: This man invented the copy machine (and some other interesting stuff)
1955: Today it is Kevin Costner’s birthday!
1773: Captain James Cook: from farmer to legend
1853: Never getting tired of tyres
2001: Wiki, we keep on learning
1957: ''The stuff that dreams are made of''
2000: William Henry Gates III steps down from the most powerful company in the world
2010: A massive earthquake strikes Haiti
1922: The discovery of the life-saving insulin treatment
2016: There’s a music legend waiting in the sky, David Bowie
2007: How Apple changed our phones and our lives
1942: A brief history of Hawking
1999: ‘I did
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1933: The start of building the Golden Gate Bridge
1936: The first hit parade was launched in Billboard Magazine
1969: The greatest Formula One driver in the world
1953: An iconic fashion designer died
2018: Happy New Year! And congrats to all South Koreans!
2018: Have yourself a blasting New Year’s Eve
1975: A golf-legend was born today
1800: Goodyear made rubber last
1908: Earthquake kills 80.000 people
1571: Head in the clouds
1982: Computer of the year
2016: Last Christmas
1888: Vincent van Gogh cuts a part of his left ear
2010: The end of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy in the US army
1988: Final destination
1946: The magic of Uri Geller
1932: BBC, see for yourself!
1963: Happy birthday, Brad Pitt!
1989: D’oh! Today is the day the Simpsons were launched
1770: World’s most famous composer was born
1840: Napoleon finally gets his grand finale
1989: Out of control
2003: Operation Red Dawn
1915: The Golden Voice
1913: The janitor who stole The Mona Lisa from the Louvre
1799: Meters, liters and kilograms are introduced
1916: The day famous actor Kirk Douglas was born
1934: The boy next Door
1912: Mistress of Upper and Lower Egypt
1768: The author of knowledge
2013: The troublemaker
1999: The slightly awkward prince
1948: The prince of darkness
1993: The end of a notorious drug lord
1953: The first copy of an iconic magazine
2013: Forever Fast and Furious
1972: World’s first successful video game!
1962: The death of princess Wilhelmina van Oranje-Nassau
1942: The day a guitar hero was born
1983: Thanks for the gold and merry Christmas
1990: The rebel of Poland