100 YEARS AGO: “BUTTERFLY EFFECT” CREATOR WAS BORN
Edward Lorenz, American mathematician and meteorologist, was born on May 23 in 1917 in West Hartford, Connecticut. While he is noted for his work on chaos theory, his first studies and professional experience was in meteorology. Unsatisfied with the linear statistical models used for weather forecasts, his research led him to the foundation of chaos theory, which states that even in the random nature of the most complex chaotic systems, there are underlying patterns and repetitions. He also coined the term “butterfly effect” in 1969, meaning that — as an example — a hurricane (exact time of formation, exact path taken) can be influenced by minor disturbances such as the flapping of the wings of a distant butterfly several weeks earlier.
80 YEARS AGO: A LANDMARK BRIDGE
It is the most photographed bridge in the world: on May 27, 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge was officially opened. It links San Francisco and Marin County in California. The beautiful construction is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate strait, the 1 mile wide and 1.7-mile long channel between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. It has been declared one of the wonders of the modern world by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The construction began on January 5, 1933. The project cost more than $35 million, and — also a wonder — was completed ahead of schedule and $1.3 million under budget.
60 YEARS AGO: THE GRAMMY GOES TO ...
On May 18, 1957, The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences was established in Hollywood. It is best known for the Grammy Awards, but only a few know that their origins are in the Hollywood Walk of Fame project in the 1950s. Compiling a list of important recording industry people who might qualify for a Walk of Fame star, they realized there were many more people who were leaders in their business who would never earn a star on Hollywood Boulevard. The music executives decided to rectify this by creating an award similar to the Oscars and the Emmys. The first Grammy Awards ceremony was held on May 4, 1959.
— Susanne Janssen