This Day in History (9-Feb-1895) – The sport of volleyball is created in Massachusetts

William G. Morgan, joined as director of Physical Education at the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in Holyoke, Massachusetts, USA. In this role he had the opportunity to establish, develop and direct a vast programme of exercises and sport classes for male adults. He came to realise that he needed a certain type of competitive recreational game in order to vary his programme. Basketball, a sport that was beginning to develop, seemed to suit young people, but it was necessary to find a less violent and less intense alternative for the older members. He decided to blend elements of basketball, baseball, tennis, handball and German game of Faustball  to create a game for his classes of businessmen which would demand less physical contact than basketball. He created the game of mintonette. Morgan borrowed the net from tennis, and raised it 6 feet 6 inches above the floor, just above the average man’s head.

Early in 1896 a conference was organized at the YMCA College in Springfield, bringing together all the YMCA Directors of Physical Education where Morgan was invited to make a demonstration of his game in the new college stadium. Morgan explained that the new game was designed for gymnasia or exercise halls, but could also be played in open air. An unlimited number of players could participate, the object of the game being to keep the ball in movement over a high net, from one side to the other. The name Volleyball came when a spectator commented that the game involved much “volleying” the ball back and forth over the net and game was renamed Volleyball.

In 1964, Volleyball was introduced to the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The beach volleyball was introduced in 1996 Atlanta Olympics. As per the data was provided by each of the International Sports Federations; on the estimates of participants in the sport worldwide (based on 2002 figures) ; volleyball ranks no. 1 with almost 1 billion  players. Volleyball is one of the big five international sports, and the FIVB (Federation Internationale De Volleyball), with its 220 affiliated national federations, is the largest international sporting federation in the world.

 

Reference:

http://www.mapsofworld.com/on-this-day/february-9-1959-the-first-intercontinental-ballistic-missile-becomes-operational

http://inventors.about.com/od/uvstartinventions/a/Vollyball.htm

http://www.volleyball.org/history.html

http://www.topendsports.com/world/lists/popular-sport/final.htm

http://www.fivb.org/en/volleyball/History.asp

https://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/volleyball-training.html

 

This Day in History (6-Feb-1935) – “Monopoly” board game goes on sale for 1st time

The earliest known version of Monopoly, known as The Landlord’s Game, was designed by an American, Elizabeth Magie, and first patented in 1904.  A series of board games were developed from 1906 through the 1930s that involved the buying and selling of land and the development of that land.  In Indianapolis Ruth Hoskins learned the landlord’s  game, and took it back to Atlantic City.  She made a new board with Atlantic City street names, and taught it to a group of local Quakers. One of the Quakers took the game to Philadelphia where Charles Darrow learned the game. After learning the game, Darrow then began to distribute the game himself as Monopoly. Darrow initially made the sets of the Monopoly game by hand when drew the designs with a drafting pen on round pieces of oil cloth, and then his son and his wife helped fill in the spaces with colors and make the title deed cards and the Chance cards and Community Chest cards. After the demand increased, Darrow contacted a printing company.

Darrow’s game board designs included the famous black locomotives on the railroad spaces, the car on “Free Parking”, the red arrow for “Go”, the faucet on “Water Works”, the light bulb on “Electric Company”, and the question marks on the “Chance” spaces. Darrow received a copyright on his game in 1933. He brought the game to Parker Brothers at the height of the Great Depression. The game was rejected in 1934 citing it to be too complex. However Darrow returned to Parker Brothers in 1935, when he could no longer keep up with the growing demand for his game and this time they accepted Monopoly.

More than 275 million games have been sold worldwide and it’s available in 111 countries, in 43 languages. Since 1935, more than one billion people have played the game. The longest MONOPOLY game in history lasted for 70 straight days. The most expensive version of the game was produced by celebrated San Francisco jeweler Sidney Mobell. Valued at $2 million, the set features a 23-carat gold board and diamond-studded dice. Digital version of MONOPOLY has launches on seven platforms in 27 countries, and is localized into 20 languages with nearly 10 million worldwide mobile phone game downloads.

 

Reference:

http://www.searchamelia.com/monopoly-board-game-goes-on-sale

http://www.hasbro.com/monopoly/en_US/discover/about.cfm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_board_game_Monopoly

This Day in History (15-Dec-1939) – Gone with the Wind Premieres in Atlanta

Gone With The Wind (1939) is often considered the most beloved, enduring and popular film of all time. Sidney Howard’s script was derived from Margaret Mitchell’s first and only published, best-selling Civil War and Reconstruction Period novel of 1,037 pages that first appeared in 1936, but was mostly written in the late 1920s. Producer David O. Selznick had acquired the film rights to Mitchell’s novel in July, 1936 for $50,000 – a record amount at the time to an unknown author for her first novel, causing some to label the film “Selznick’s Folly.” At the time of the film’s release, the fictional book had surpassed 1.5 million copies sold.

The famous film, shot in three-strip Technicolor, is cinema’s greatest, star-studded, historical epic film of the Old US South during wartime that boasts an immortal cast in a timeless, classic tale of a love-hate romance. Authenticity is enhanced by the costuming, sets, and variations on Stephen Foster songs and other excerpts from Civil War martial airs. Its opening, only a few months after WWII began in Europe, helped American audiences to identify with the war story and its theme of survival.

With three years advance publicity and Hollywood myth-making, three and one-half hours running time (with one intermission), a gala premiere in Atlanta on December 15, 1939, highest-grossing film status (eventually reaching $200 million), and Max Steiner’s sweeping musical score, the exquisitely-photographed, Technicolor film was a blockbuster in its own time. A budgeted investment of over $4 million in production costs was required – an enormous, record-breaking sum. The film (originally rough-cut at 6 hours in length) was challenging in its making, due to its controversial subject matter (including rape, drunkenness, moral dissipation and adultery) and its epic qualities, with more than 50 speaking roles and 2,400 extras.

When the Oscars rolled around the following year, Gone with the Wind received a record ten Academy Awards — a mark that would stand for 20 years. Marked for preservation by the National Film Registry in 1989, when ticket sales are adjusted for inflation, it remains the highest-grossing movie to hit theaters in history.

Reference:

http://www.mapsofworld.com/on-this-day/december-15-1939-gone-with-the-wind-premieres-in-atlanta

http://www.filmsite.org/gone.html

This Day in History (29-Oct-1960) – Muhammad Ali’s (Cassius Clay) 1st professional fight, beats Tunney Hunsaker

Muhammad Ali is considered one of the greatest athletes in boxing history. In his first amateur bout in 1954, he won the fight by split decision. Ali went on to win the 1956 Golden Gloves tournament for novices in the light heavyweight class. Three years later, he won the National Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions, and the Amateur Athletic Union’s national title for the light-heavyweight division.

In 1960, at Rome Olympics, Ali defeated Zbigniew Pietrzkowski from Poland to win the gold medal for USA. He soon turned professional with the backing of the Louisville Sponsoring Group. During the 1960s Ali seemed unstoppable, winning all his bouts with majority of them being by knockouts. He took out British heavyweight champion Henry Cooper in 1963 and then knocked out Sonny Liston in 1964 to become the heavyweight champion of the world.

Ali was doing some spiritual searching and decided to join the black Muslim group, the Nation of Islam, in 1964. At first, he called himself “Cassius X,” eventually settling on the name Muhammad Ali. Two years later, Ali refused to acknowledge his military service in the name of religion. He later cleared his name after a lengthy court battle. However, the boxing association took away his title and suspended him from the sport for three and a half years.

Returning to the ring in 1970, Ali won his first bout after his forced hiatus. He knocked out Jerry Quarry in October in Atlanta. The following year, Ali took on Joe Frazier in what has been called the “Fight of the Century.” Frazier and Ali went for 15 rounds before Frazier briefly dropped Ali to the ground, before beating Ali by decision. Ali later beat Frazier in a 1974 rematch. Another legendary Ali fight took place in 1974. Billed as the “Rumble in the Jungle,”. Ali fought the reigning heavyweight champion George Foreman at Kinshasa, Zaire. Ali defeated Foreman and once again becoming the heavyweight champion of the world. Perhaps one of his toughest bouts took place in 1975 when he battled longtime rival Joe Frazier in the “Thrilla in Manila” fight. Held in Quezon City, Philippines, the match lasted for more than 14 rounds with each fighter giving it their all. Ali emerged victorious in the end. Since his retirement, Ali has devoted much of his time to philanthropy.

 

 Reference:

http://www.historyorb.com/day/october/29

http://www.biography.com/people/muhammad-ali-9181165#synopsis