Today in History: April 2

Sir Robert Watson-Watt was awarded a patent on this date in 1935 for a radio device to detect and locate a flying aircraft. The term RADAR was not coined until five years later by the U.S. Navy as the acronym for “RAdio Detection And Ranging,” but this was the first patent for a radar device.

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“2001: A Space Odyssey,” the film directed by Stanley Kubrick and written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, made its world premiere at the Uptown Theater in Washington, DC, on this date in 1968. The title sequence (below the fold):

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Ludwig van Beethoven organized a concert to debut his First Symphony on this date in 1800 at the Burgtheater in Vienna. Christian Thielemannconducts the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra:

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Pope Saint John Paul II died on this date in 2005.

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Giacomo Casanova was born 291 years ago today. Hans Christian Andersen was born on this date in 1805. William Holman Hunt was born on this date in 1827. Émile Zola was born on this date in 1840. Charles “Honi” Coles was born on this date in 1911. Sir Alec Guinness was born April 2, 1914. Marvin Gaye was born 77 years ago today.

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Leon Russell is 74 today. Larry Coryell is 73. Anne Waldman, Don Sutton, and Linda Hunt are each 71 today. Both Camille Paglia and Emmylou Harris are 69 today.

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