This week in history we celebrate the anniversary of several important events from the past century that have tremendously affected both American and international pop culture.
On Feb. 4, 1938, 82 years ago, Disney released “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” in theaters nationwide. Despite objections from close advisors and even his wife, Lillian, Walt Disney borrowed the $1.5 million necessary to produce his first full-length animated film, “Snow White.” His gamble paid off when the film grossed a whopping $8 million, a profit virtually unheard of in the dark days of the Great Depression. The movie was an instant classic, even amongst Hollywood elite, with Charlie Chaplin admitting that the film, “surpassed our high expectations.” The success of “Snow White” put the Walt Disney Company on the path to become the cultural phenomenon that it is today. Where would we be without the wonderful world of Disney always reminding us that you are never to old to believe in magic, fairies and happily ever after?
Also on Feb. 4, 2004, 16 years ago, Harvard sophomore Mark Zuckerberg launched his fledgling social media website, Facebook. Zuckerberg had initially intended for his creation to be used by Harvard students, as a way to stay connected and in contact with classmates both during their college years and after graduation. Within one day of its release, The Facebook, as it was first named, had over one thousand registered users. Today, Facebook is by far the most popular social media platform worldwide, with over 2.4 billion monthly users. It is regarded as one of the most significant institutions of the 21st century, epitomizing the high speed and interconnected culture of the modern world.
On Feb. 6, 1952, 68 years ago, Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the British throne, following the death of her father King George VI. Elizabeth had learned of her father’s passing while traveling in Kenya with her husband, Philip Mountbatten, acting as a diplomat in her father’s place. It was in Kenya where she learned that she was to be the Queen of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth Nations, which at the time included much of Africa, the Caribbean, Indonesia, as well as Australia, Canada and Pakistan. She was only 25 years old. Elizabeth was officially crowned Queen Elizabeth II in the summer of 1953, in the first televised coronation in British history. Now at the age of 93, Queen Elizabeth’s 68-year reign is the longest in the history of the British monarchy, surpassing her great-great-grandmother Victoria, in September 2015. While the Queen’s role in government has remained small, she is undoubtedly a cultural icon, whose fame only grows with every year on the throne.
Gino Giansanti is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.