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On this day: February 5

POSTED: 10:36 PM PST Feb 04, 2013    UPDATED: 11:00 PM PST Feb 04, 2014 

The U.S. military scores its first aerial victory, Reader's Digest is first published, Disney's "Peter Pan" premieres, and Manuel Noriega is indicted, all on this day.

OTD February 5 - Leo Baekeland
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Public domain

1909: Belgian chemist Leo Baekeland announces the creation of Bakelite, the world's first synthetic thermosetting plastic. The discovery marked the beginning of the modern plastics industry and the material would be used in a myriad of products, including radio and telephone casings, kitchenware, jewelry, pipe stems, toys, cameras and more. Today it is mostly used for wire insulation, brake pads and related automotive components, and industrial electrical-related applications.

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