August 11th in nerd history: Two turntables and a microphone

Happy Shop Online for Groceries Day! Enjoy using your favorite grocery delivery app to buy some paper towels and try not to think about why there’s such a specific holiday.

This is The Reset Button from Classic Nerd, resetting your day.

August 11th in Nerd History

Here are 5 things that happened on August 11th for those of us who ride bikes with playing cards in the spokes.


Birthdays of honor: Steve Wozniak (1950), Chris Hemsworth (1983), Hulk Hogan (1953), Ian McDiarmid (1944), Phil Liggett (1943).


In 1973, 50 years ago to the day, DJ Kool Herc played at a dance party in the Bronx. He used two turntables to play only instrumental breaks from various songs, while his friend emceed over the music — often considered the birth of hip-hop.

While I’m dubious of attributing broad movements to a single event (Herc deserves a TON of credit, but music history doesn’t change all at once) it was an iconic moment that makes it well worth jamming your favorite hip-hop tunes today.


It started to finally look like this George Lucas kid might turn out alright when American Graffiti was released in 1973 — yep, also 50 years ago. The movie stirred up just the right amount of nostalgia and was way less weird than THX 1138 (although, I’m sure you know which film I prefer).

American Graffiti broke the doors open so Lucas could make the movies he really wanted to — and he even already had his Han Solo in Harrison Ford.

What if he had cast Ron Howard as Luke?

And in 1995, we were all just living in a “Gangsta’s Paradise” when Dangerous Minds hit theaters, starring Michelle Pfeifer and featuring Coolio’s hit song — which went on to become the top-selling song of the year.


Malls kick ass — well, good malls, anyway. And today in 1992 one of the best and still the biggest (in the U.S. at least) opened its doors: The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.

It features an indoor amusement park, an aquarium, and over 500 stores.


I mean, at some point you’d think they’d run out of ideas for Mario games. But in 2000 they proved me wrong yet again when Paper Mario was released for the Nintendo 64.

Mixing elements of RPGs with classic Mario stuff, it proved to be an inventive and highly successful game. You win this time, Nintendo.