San Francisco, California (JFK+50) One hundred and one years ago today, July 29, 1914, the first transcontinental telephone call was made from New York City to San Francisco although AT&T would delay making transcontinental telephone service available to the public for six months.*
The test call was made by the president of AT&T.
The final splice on the line, which was started in 1913, was made at Wendover, Nevada on the border with Utah on June 17, 1914. According to Ernest D. Holly III, his grandfather, Ralph E. "Knute" Knudsen, was the lineman who made the last splice.
Mr. Holly possesses a poster that was presented to his grandfather upon his retirement from Pac Bell in 1955. The poster, which reads "The Man Who Linked East to West," bears the signatures of one hundred of Mr. Knudsen's co-workers.
American Telephone & Telegraph purchased Alexander Graham Bell's company in 1899 and began an investigation of the feasibility of building a transcontinental line in 1908. The initial problem encountered was that as voice signals passed along the line they would become inaudible after long distances.
According to the Learning Network, a solution was found by Lee De Forrest who invented a "high-vacuum tube that amplified the sound of the voice." De Forrest's invention was improved by Harold Arnold of AT&T.
*The first transcontinental telephone service went into operation on January 25, 1915.
"Alexander Graham Bell Demonstrates AT&T's Transcontinental Telephone Line," The Learning Network, January 25, 2012, www.learning.blogs.nytimes.com/
"The First Transcontinental Phone Call," This Day in Tech History, The History of Technology in a Daily Blog, www.thisdayintechhistory.com/
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Fifty-four years ago today, July 29, 1961, President John F. Kennedy placed a call by radio telephone from the White House to the USS Randolph to congratulate Air Force Captain Virgil "Gus" Grissom on his successful spaceflight.
101st AIRBORNE ARRIVES IN SOUTH VIETNAM
Cam Ranh Bay, South Vietnam (JFK+50) Fifty years ago today, July 29, 1965, 4000 paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army arrived here in Southeast Asia.
Most of the operations conducted by the 101st were to be in the Central Highlands and the A Shau Valley.
During its time of service in Vietnam, the 101st earned 17 Medals of Honor for bravery in combat.