Jun 06 2011

On This Day In History June 6

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

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June 6 is the 157th day of the year (158th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 208 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1933, eager motorists park their automobiles on the grounds of Park-In Theaters, the first-ever drive-in movie theater, located on Crescent Boulevard in Camden, New Jersey.


The drive-in theater was the creation of Camden, New Jersey, chemical company magnate Richard M. Hollingshead, Jr., whose family owned and operated the R.M. Hollingshead Corporation chemical plant in Camden. In 1932, Hollingshead conducted outdoor theater tests in his driveway at 212 Thomas Avenue in Riverton. After nailing a screen to trees in his backyard, he set a 1928 Kodak projector on the hood of his car and put a radio behind the screen, testing different sound levels with his car windows down and up. Blocks under vehicles in the driveway enabled him to determine the size and spacing of ramps so all automobiles could have a clear view of the screen. Following these experiments, he applied August 6, 1932, for a patent of his invention, and he was given U.S. Patent 1,909,537 on May 16, 1933. That patent was declared invalid 17 years later by the Delaware District Court.

Hollingshead’s drive-in opened in New Jersey June 6, 1933, on Admiral Wilson Boulevard at the Airport Circle in Pennsauken, a short distance from Cooper River Park. It offered 500 slots and a 40 by 50 ft (12 by 15 m) screen. He advertised his drive-in theater with the slogan, “The whole family is welcome, regardless of how noisy the children are.” (The first film shown was the Adolphe Menjou film Wife Beware.) The facility only operated three years, but during that time the concept caught on in other states. The April 15, 1934, opening of Shankweiler’s Auto Park in Orefield, Pennsylvania, was followed by Galveston’s Drive-In Short Reel Theater (July 5, 1934), the Pico in Los Angeles (September 9, 1934) and the Weymouth Drive-In Theatre in Weymouth, Massachusetts (May 6, 1936). In 1937, three more opened in Ohio, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, with another 12 during 1938 and 1939 in California, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Texas and Virginia. Michigan’s first drive-in was the Eastside, which opened May 26, 1938, in Harper Woods near Detroit.

Early drive-in theaters had to deal with noise pollution issues. The original Hollingshead drive-in had speakers installed on the tower itself which caused a sound delay affecting patrons at the rear of the drive-in’s field. Attempts at outdoor speakers next to the vehicle did not produce satisfactory results. In 1941, RCA introduced in-car speakers with individual volume controls which solved the noise pollution issue and provided satisfactory sound to drive-in patrons.

 1513 – Italian Wars: Battle of Novara. Swiss troops defeat the French under Louis de la Tremoille, forcing the French to abandon Milan. Duke Massimiliano Sforza is restored.

1523 – Gustav Vasa is elected King of Sweden, marking the end of the Kalmar Union.

1644 – The Qing Dynasty Manchu forces led by the Shunzhi Emperor capture Beijing during the collapse of the Ming Dynasty. The Manchus would rule China until 1912 when the Republic of China is established.

1654 – Charles X succeeds his abdicated cousin Queen Christina to the Swedish throne.

1674 – Shivaji, founder of the Maratha empire is coronated.

1683 – The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England, opens as the world’s first university museum.

1752 – A devastating fire destroys one-third of Moscow, including 18,000 homes.

1808 – Napoleon’s brother, Joseph Bonaparte is crowned King of Spain.

1809 – Sweden promulgates a new Constitution, which restores political power to the Riksdag of the Estates after 20 years of Enlightened absolutism.

1813 – War of 1812: Battle of Stoney Creek – A British force of 700 under John Vincent defeats an American force three times its size under William Winder and John Chandler.

1832 – The June Rebellion of Paris is put down by the National Guard.

1833 – U.S. President Andrew Jackson becomes the first President to ride on a train.

1844 – The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) is founded in London.

1859 – Australia: Queensland is established as a separate colony from New South Wales (Queensland Day).

1862 – American Civil War: Battle of Memphis – Union forces capture Memphis, Tennessee, from the Confederates.

1889 – The Great Seattle Fire destroys the entirety of downtown Seattle, Washington.

1892 – Chicago El begins operation

1894 – Governor Davis H. Waite orders the Colorado state militia to protect and support the miners engaged in the Cripple Creek miners’ strike.

1906 – Paris Métro Line 5 is inaugurated with a first section from Place d’Italie to the Gare d’Orléans (today known as Gare d’Austerlitz).

1912 – The eruption of Novarupta in Alaska begins. It is the second largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century.

1918 – World War I: Battle of Belleau Wood – The U.S. Marine Corps suffers its worst single day’s casualties while attempting to recapture the wood at Chateau-Thierry.

1919 – The Republic of Prekmurje ends.

1921 – The Southwark Bridge in London, is opened for traffic by King George V and Queen Mary.

1925 – The Chrysler Corporation is founded by Walter Percy Chrysler.

1932 – The Revenue Act of 1932 is enacted, creating the first gas tax in the United States, at a rate of 1 cent per US gallon (1/4 ¢/L) sold.

1933 – The first drive-in theater opens, in Camden, New Jersey, United States.

1934 – New Deal: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Securities Act of 1933 into law, establishing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

1939 – German dictator Adolf Hitler gives a public address to returning German volunteers who fought as Legion Kondor during the Spanish Civil War.

1939 – Judge Joseph Force Crater is declared legally dead.

1942 – World War II: Battle of Midway. U.S. Navy dive bombers sink the Japanese cruiser Mikuma and four Japanese carriers.

1944 – World War II: Battle of Normandy begins. D-Day, code named Operation Overlord, commences with the landing of 155,000 Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy in France. The allied soldiers quickly break through the Atlantic Wall and push inland in the largest amphibious military operation in history.

1944 – Alaska Airlines commences operations.

1946 – The Basketball Association of America is formed in New York City.

1946 – Soviet Union established diplomatic relations with Argentina.

1964 – Under a temporary order, the rocket launches at Cuxhaven, Germany, are terminated, though they never resume.

1966 – James Meredith, civil rights activist, is shot while trying to march across Mississippi.

1968 – Don Drysdale of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws his record 58th consecutive scoreless inning, a major league record until 1988.

1971 – Soyuz program: Soyuz 11 launches.

   1971 – A midair collision between a Hughes Airwest Douglas DC-9 jetliner and a United States Marine Corps McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II jet fighter near Duarte, California claims 50 lives.

1971 – Vietnam War: The Battle of Long Khanh between Australian and Vietnamese communist forces begins.

1974 – A new Instrument of Government is promulgated making Sweden a parliamentary monarchy.

1982 – 1982 Lebanon War begins: Forces under Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon invade southern Lebanon in their “Operation Peace for the Galilee”, eventually reaching as far north as the capital Beirut.

1984 – Tetris, one of the best-selling video games of all-time, is released.

1985 – The grave of “Wolfgang Gerhard” is exhumed in Embu, Brazil; the remains found are later proven to be those of Josef Mengele, Auschwitz’s “Angel of Death”. Mengele is thought to have drowned while swimming in February, 1979.

1990 – U.S. District court judge Jose Alejandro Gonzalez, Jr. rules that the rap album As Nasty As They Wanna Be by 2 Live Crew violates Florida’s obscenity law; he declares that the predominant subject matter of the record is “directed to the ‘dirty’ thoughts and the loins, not to the intellect and the mind.”

1993 – Mongolia holds its first direct presidential elections.

1999 – In Australian Rules Football, Tony Lockett breaks the record for career goals, previously 1299 by Gordon Coventry and which had stood since 1937.

2002 – Eastern Mediterranean Event. A near-Earth asteroid estimated at 10 metres diameter explodes over the Mediterranean Sea between Greece and Libya. The resulting explosion is estimated to have a force of 26 kilotons, slightly more powerful than the Nagasaki atomic bomb.

2004 – Tamil is established as a Classical language by the President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in a joint sitting of the two houses of the Indian Parliament.

2005 – The United States Supreme Court upholds a federal law banning cannabis, including medical marijuana, in Gonzales v. Raich.

Holidays and observances

   * Christian Feast Day:

       * Claude the Thaumaturge

       * Marcellin Champagnat

       * Norbert of Xanten

       * June 6 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)

   * Memorial Day (South Korea)

   * National Day, marks the end of the Danish-ruled Kalmar Union. (Sweden)

   * National Huntington’s Disease Awareness Day (United States)

   * Teacher’s Day (Bolivia)

   * Queensland Day (Queensland)

1 comment

  1. TMC

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