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Nikola Tesla Day 2024: How to Celebrate

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

July 10 is Nikola Tesla Day, commemorating the birthday of the visionary inventor and engineer who has become a patron saint of steampunk.

Nikola Tesla was born on July 10, 1856, in Smiljan, a village in what is now Croatia. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1884 and later earned fame for his work on electrical devices.

Because the observance falls on a Wednesday this year, at least two celebrations are happening the following weekend.

Tesla Day at Niagara Falls

The city of Niagara Falls, Ontario, will present the Nikola Tesla Day International Festival, featuring educational exhibits, live music, dance shows, theatrical performances, and vendors.

Niagara Falls was the site of the first hydroelectric power station, which was designed by Tesla.

The festival takes place Saturday, July 13, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Queen Victoria Park. Learn more on the event’s website.

Tesla Expo at Wardenclyffe

The Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe in Shoreham, New York, will host the 2024 Tesla Expo, featuring robots, maker spaces, history exhibits, a Tesla car showcase, and a drone light show.

It’s set for Saturday, July 13, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a rain date of July 20. Tickets cost $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $15 for kids and college students. Family passes (two adults, two children) cost $65.

The Science Center is a non-profit that’s seeking to transform Tesla’s Wardenclyffe laboratory complex into a museum and educational center. That effort suffered a big setback in November when a fire devastated the main laboratory building, but the organization has vowed to continue the restoration project. Learn more on the website.

Tesla in Popular Culture

Tesla has frequently appeared as a character in novels, comic books, TV shows, movies, and video games, suggesting lots of ways to observe this unofficial holiday on your own.

David Bowie offered the most memorable portrayal in The Prestige, a drama about two rival magicians in 19th century London. The movie occasionally makes the rounds of streaming services, and is also available on rental platforms such as Amazon Video, Apple TV, and Google Play.

Nicholas Hoult portrayed Tesla in The Current War, a 2017 period drama about the battle between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse over electrical power transmission. Ethan Hawke took the title role in Michael Almereyda’s Tesla, an unconventional biopic.

Notable TV appearances include “Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror,” a 2020 Doctor Who episode in which Goran Višnjić portrayed the inventor opposite Robert Glenister as Edison.

Ukrainian actor Dmitry Chepovetsky made four appearances as Tesla in Murdoch Mysteries, including the series’ first episode, where the character assists Toronto detective William Murdoch in solving a murder.

And no Tesla Day observance would be complete without revisiting Tesla’s bout with Edison in “Epic Rap Battles of History.”

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