" A whale ship was my Yale College and my Harvard. "
Herman Melville

Back in the day


Steamboat Willie Released

In 1928, Walt Disney created cartoon icon Mickey Mouse, who made his debut in the silent film Plane Crazy. That same year, Mickey also appeared in Steamboat Willie, written and directed by Disney and animator Ub Iwerks. An immediate hit, the film was Disney's first attempt to use sound and the first fully synchronized sound cartoon. Today, The Walt Disney Company rarely shows the seven-minute short in its entirety, having cut several of the original scenes for what reason?



James Reavis, Owner of Arizona

Styling himself as the Baron of Arizona, Reavis was an imposter who claimed to own much of Arizona in the late 19th century. Backed by financiers who stood to gain from lands to which Reavis held fake deeds, he forged documents that would lend credibility to his claims and even went so far as to marry a woman that he falsely claimed was an heir to these lands. Government investigators reviewed his claims on several occasions and denied them each time. How did they know that the deeds were fakes?

Born on a day like today


Louis Daguerre

Originally a scene painter for the opera, Daguerre was a French inventor who devised one of the first practical photographic processes—the daguerreotype. He, in collaboration with Nicéphore Niépce, found that a permanent image could be formed on a silver iodide-coated copper plate if it was exposed to light, then fumed with mercury vapor and fixed by a solution of common salt. His daguerreotype process was announced in 1839 at the Academy of Sciences. Who acquired the patent for the invention?

Last updated on Thursday, 18th November 2010

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