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Mark Pennell sits at the helm of his time machine.Mark's Almanac is a 90-second time travel that highlights the world's history from the very serious to the sometimes sublime.

Mark's Almanac for July 1, 2021

A radio operator on a sinking ship, with the captain behind him.
THOMAS H. WHITE
/
THE CENTURY COMPANY
SOS is a Morse code distress signal that was originally used for maritime use only.

It was on this date in 1859, a balloon voyage made history. John Wise began his journey in St. Louis and travelled for nineteen hours and landed in Henderson, NY. And it was on this date in 1908 that the SOS distress signal became the official worldwide standard for help.