70 years ago today, the innovative electronics company, Sony, first began operations as Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering. With 20 employees, co-founders Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka built Japan’s first tape recorder. In 1955, Sony’s transistor radio cracked open the U.S. market, launching the new industry of consumer microelectronics, with teens being the biggest users. (1946)
Sony’s genius also set the industry-wide standard for professional video cameras and recording with its Betacam format in 1982, which is still in use today, particularly in television news gathering.
MORE Good News on this Day:
- The city of New Orleans was founded by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville (1718)
- Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (the Chorale), one of his greatest masterpieces, composed while he was completely deaf, premiered in Vienna* (1824)
- The Russian composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, famous for his ballets–like The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, and The Sleeping Beauty– and popular classical works, including the 1812 Overture, was born (1840)
- The American Medical Association (AMA) was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1847)
- General Alfred Jodl, assistant to Hitler’s successor, signed Germany’s unconditional surrender at Reims, France, ending the Nazi’s aggression in World War II (1945)
- The concept of the integrated circuit, the basis for all modern computers, was first published by Geoffrey W.A. Dummer (1952)
- Pope John Paul II traveled to Romania becoming the first pope to visit a predominantly Eastern Orthodox country since the Great Schism in 1054 (1999)
* “This was the composer’s first on-stage appearance in twelve years; the hall was packed. Beethoven was several measures off and still conducting when the orchestra finished. The contralto Caroline Unger walked over and forcibly turned Beethoven around to accept the audience’s cheers and applause. According to one witness, ‘the public listened to his wonderful, gigantic creations with the most absorbed attention and broke out in jubilant applause, often during sections, and repeatedly at the end of them.’ The whole audience acclaimed him through standing ovations five times; there were handkerchiefs in the air, hats, raised hands, so that Beethoven, who could not hear the applause, could at least see the ovation gestures. The theater house had never seen such enthusiasm in applause.” It includes part of the poem, An die Freude (Ode To Joy) by Friedrich Schiller . . .
Glad, as his suns fly Through the Heavens’ glorious plan,
Run, brothers, your race, Joyful, as a hero to victory.
Be embraced, you millions! This kiss for the whole world!
Modern Day Odes to Beethoven’s Ninth
- The symphony is used as the official anthem of the European Union
- Students in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square broadcast the symphony through loudspeakers during their 1989 protest as a statement against tyranny
- A famous performance conducted by Leonard Bernstein on December 25, 1989 celebrated the fall of the Berlin Wall