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Today in Geek History Trifecta

July 20, 2012

If you’re a space nerd, you already know the significance of July 20th. It was on this day in 1969 that Apollo 11 touched down on the surface of the moon. At 10:39pm EDT, six hours after landing, the hatch of the lunar module Eagle opened. Neil Armstrong, followed by Buzz Aldrin, became the first human beings to walk on the moon. It was and remains a huge triumph for science and ingenuity.

Exactly 7 years later, Viking 1 successfully touched down on the planet Mars, the first spacecraft to do so. The lander began a six year long mission of transmitting images of the planet’s surface, analyzing soil and searching for signs of life.

And finally, it was today in 1977 that the US Government released documents under the Freedom of Information Act that revealed they had attempted mind control experiments. Known as Project MKUltra, the covert human experimentation program into behavior modification was in operation by the CIA from 1953 to 1973. The experiments employed a number of techniques on unwitting test subjects, including  hypnosis, sensory deprivation, isolation, verbal and sexual abuse, various forms of torture, and drugs, including (most infamously) LSD. If you’re unfamiliar with MKUltra, give the Wikipedia article a read. Chilling stuff.

Of course, the US Government swears they’re no longer conducting such experiments. I’ll be over here in my tin foil hat.

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