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The History of Multimedia

  • Period: Apr 10, 1018 to Apr 10, 1019

    Semitic alphabet in Egypt

  • Apr 10, 1020

    Phoenician Alphabet

    Phoenician Alphabet
    The Phoenician Alphabet was developed from the Proto-Canaanite alphabet, during the 15th century BC. Before then the Phoenicians wrote with a cuneiform script. The earliest known inscriptions in the Phoenician alphabet come from Byblos and date back to 1000 BC. FOUND AT
  • Apr 10, 1031

    Sumerian word system on clay like slabs

    Sumerian word system on clay like slabs
    The earliest known records show the presence of some village people in the north of Mesopotamia around 7000 BC. The Sumerians developed a form of pictographic writing that used word pictures like bird, fish, ox or grain etc., around 4000 - 3500 BC. In 3000 BC, it developed into a cursive form of cuneiform style of writing which was a wedge shaped linear impression on a clay-like slab. FOUND ON
  • Apr 10, 1040

    Sumerian stamp seals

    Sumerian stamp seals
    The seals were used to "sign" clay tablet documents with the unique seal of an individual such as the seller. The impression gave visual proof of the genuineness of the object. They could also be used on the clay "envelope" containing the receipt or letter to prove no one had tried to open it since it had left the merchant’s hand. FOUND ON
  • Apr 10, 1060

    Egyptian papyrus scrolls

    Egyptian papyrus scrolls
    Our English word "paper", is derived from the word "papyrus", an Egyptian word. At about the same time as the ancient Egyptians moved from prehistory to history by developing a written language, they discovered the need for something other than stone to write on. They found this in their papyrus plant, which symbolized ancient lower Egypt. It was light, strong, thin, durable and easy to carry.
  • Apr 10, 1450

    Gutenberg press

    Gutenberg press
    Leads to Protestant Revolution, among other things.
    Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press with replaceable/moveable wooden or metal letters in 1436 (completed by 1440). This method of printing can be credited not only for a revolution in the production of books, but also for fostering rapid development in the sciences, arts and religion through the transmission of texts. FOUND AT
  • Apr 10, 1517

    Martin Luther nails “Ninety Five Theses” to church door in Wittenberg, Germany

    Martin Luther nails “Ninety Five Theses” to church door in Wittenberg, Germany
    On Oct. 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed a list to a Catholic Church onto the door of a chapel in Wittenberg, Germany; his “Ninety-five Theses” became the catalyst for the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther became became disillusioned with the greed he saw within the Church, and began to lose faith that the Church would lead him to salvation. FOUND ON
  • Apr 10, 1534

    First Press in Spanish America

    First Press in Spanish America
    The Spanish-American War of 1898 marked a turning point in American history. Within a few years of the war's end, the United States was a world power, exercising control or influence over islands in the Caribbean Sea, the mid-Pacific Ocean and close to the Asian mainland. The conflict has sometimes been called "The Newspaper War," largely because the influence of a sensationalist press supposedly brought on the fighting. FOUND AT
  • First press in what would become U.S. (Harvard College)

    First press in what would become U.S. (Harvard College)
    In 1638, Mrs. Glover set up America's first press at the Massachusetts Colony's new college, Harvard. Mrs. Glover and her husband, the Rev. Jose Glover, had sailed from England with five children, a few technicians, and a printing press. Jose Glover was a noncomforming minister who meant to provide religious books and tracts for the Colony, but he died on the ship across. So Mrs. Glover went right to work setting up the printing shop. FOUND AT
  • John Milton denounces licensing of the press in Areopagitica

    John Milton denounces licensing of the press in Areopagitica
    In 1644 the English poet and man of letters, John Milton, published the Areopagitica as an appeal to Parliament to rescind their Licensing Order of June 16th, 1643. This order was designed to bring publishing under government control by creating a number of official censors to whom authors would submit their work for approval prior to having it published. FOUND AT
  • Oxford Gazette (first English-language newspaper) in England

    Oxford Gazette (first English-language newspaper) in England
    The Gazette was first printed in Oxford, England, as King Charles II held Court in that city sixty miles west of London in order to “avoid the Plague.” In February, 1666, the King decided that the Plague had subsided enough to take his Court back to London, and he brought the Oxford Gazette along–with issue no. 24, it became the legendary London Gazette, an official paper still published today. FOUND AT
  • First successful American newspaper: The Boston News-Letter

    First successful American newspaper: The Boston News-Letter
    America's first continuously-published newspaper, the Boston News-Letter published its first issue on April 24, 1704. John Campbell, a bookseller and postmaster of Boston, was its first editor, printing the newspaper on what was then referred to as a half-sheet. It originally appeared on a single page, printed on both sides and issued weekly. FOUND AT
  • First American magazines

    First American magazines
    The first magazine to be published in the American colonies was called The American Magazine. It began publication on February 13, 1741 in Philadelphia and covered proceedings of colonial government, in addition to moral, political and historical topics. Andrew Bedford was the publisher. The magazine lasted for three months. FOUND AT
  • Period: to

    Rise of Party (politics) Press

  • Bill of Rights (including First Amendment) ratified

  • Saturday Evening Post founded

  • First African-American newspaper in U.S.: Freedom’s Journal

  • First Native American newspaper in U.S.: Cherokee Phoenix

  • Noah Webster publishes first dictionary

  • Samuel Morse granted patent for telegraph

    First message, May 24: “What hath God wrought?” Second message: “Have you any news?”
  • Associated Press founded

  • Period: to

    Civil War brings home “necessity” of news

  • Thomas Edison invents the “talking machine”

  • Edison lab develops movie camera

  • George Eastman introduces the Kodak camera

  • Period: to

    first “New Journalism” period; “Yellow Journalism”

  • Period: to

    Edison develops mass market phonograph

  • Edison patents Kinetoscope – first parlor opens 1894 in New York

  • Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World starts daily women’s page

  • Stunt girl” Nellie Bly circles the world

  • Muckraking magazines

  • Guglielmo Marconi sends and receives radio message across the Atlantic (Morse code, point to point)

  • First “nickelodeon” theater

  • Reginald Fessenden broadcasts voice

  • Newsreels begin; continue into 1960s

  • Titanic sinks; leads to Federal Radio Act of 1912

  • Period: to

    World War I propaganda, censorship, technology

  • D.W. Griffith releases Birth of a Nation, first full-length film to significantly impact culture

  • Charlie Chaplin becomes the first entertainer to earn $1 million

  • RCA founded

  • First radio stations in U.S. and Canada

  • Reader’s Digest magazine founded

  • Lee de Forest shows first “talkie”

  • Time magazine debuts

  • A.C. Nielsen company begin ratings

  • AT&T links two radio stations for first “network”

  • Federal Radio Act sets up commission to regulate airwaves

  • Academy Awards given for the first time (Wings wins Best Picture)

  • Period: to

    “Golden Age of Movies”

  • Eleanor Roosevelt insists on women-only press conferences (“the Roosevelt Rule”)

  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established

  • Life magazine debuts

  • Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds” broadcast

  • TV is a hit at the World’s Fair

  • First FM radio station started in New Jersey

  • First TV commercial advertises a Bulova clock

  • Welles’s Citizen Kane released; sometimes called the best movie of all time

  • John H. Johnson starts Negro Digest; would later found Ebony and Jet

  • Red Scare leads to congressional investigation of Hollywood

  • Period: to

    “Golden Age of Television”

  • “I Love Lucy” debuts; uses film and three cameras

  • FCC lifts “the Freeze” imposed in 1948

  • Eisenhower runs 20-second campaign spot

  • TV Guide magazine debuts; Lucille Ball and her newborn son on first cover

  • Edward R. Murrow’s “See It Now” focuses on Joseph McCarthy

  • Elvis Presley discovered by Sam Phillips of Sun Records

  • Videotape introduced

  • Quiz show scandal rocks television industry

  • Kennedy-Nixon debate

  • Network news expands from 15 minutes to 30 minutes

  • Betty Friedan writes The Feminine Mystique

  • New York Times v. Sullivan gives press new right to criticize public officials

  • The Beatles first tour America

  • Period: to

    Second “New Journalism” period; literary journalism; underground newspapers

  • Congress passes Public Broadcasting Act; PBS formed

  • Internet formed for exchange of ideas, not available to general public

  • Neal Armstrong walks on moon; we see it on TV

  • ABC introduces made-for-TV movies

  • Feminists stage sit-in at Ladies Home Journal

  • Ms. magazine launched

  • Life magazine died; came back as monthly from 1978 to 2000

  • Boylan v. New York Times sex discrimination lawsuit filed

  • Cigarette advertising banned from TV

  • Richard Nixon resigns, a result of Watergate coverage

  • People magazine introduced

  • Home Box Office (formed by Time, Inc. in 1972) begins satellite distribution of TV; Ted Turner starts first “superstation”

  • Sony Betamax home videocassette recorder introduced

  • Matsushita introduces VHS

  • laser disc player introduced; largely a failure, but opened door for CDs

  • Sony Walkman appears in Japan

  • Iranian hostage crisis leads to “Nightline” and loss by Jimmy Carter to a former radio broadcaster and movie actor

  • Who Shot J.R.?” on “Dallas” is first TV season-ending cliff-hanger

  • MTV (Music Television) first airs; first video is “Video Killed the Radio Star”

  • Home shopping network debuts

  • Sony introduces CD player

  • Period: to

    Internet access opened to general public; changes everything

  • Telecommunications Act of 1996 brings V-chip, deregulation, and dramatic increase in mergers and takeovers

  • Muckraking magazines