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Fedora 20 (Heisenberg)
Released: 20 Dec 2013

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Today in History :: Saturday, 24 February 2018

1500Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (1519 - 56), King of Spain (as Charles I, 1516 - 56). Son of Philip I of Castile and grandson of Ferdinand V and of Emperor Maximilian I, he succeeded to his grandfathers' kingdoms on their deaths in 1516 and 1519 respectively. He presided over the beginning of the Reformation, the Council of Trent, and his defeat of Francis I assured Spanish supremacy in Italy. He struggled to hold his vast Spanish and Habsburg empire together against the growing forces of Protestantism, Turkish and French pressure, and the hostility of Pope Adrian VI. In 1555 - 56 he abdicated his claims to the Netherlands and Spain in favour of his son Philip II, and the title of emperor to his brother Ferdinand I, and in 1557 he retired to a monastery in Spain. Born in Ghent, Belgium.
1697Bernard Siegfried Albinus, anatomist. First to show the connection of the vascular systems of the mother and the foetus. Born in Frankfurt an der Oder, Brandenburg, Germany.
1709Jacques de Vaucanson, engineer. Inventor of the automated loom in which he used perforated cards that guided hooks connected to the warp yarns. The device was ignored for several decades but was later reconstructed and improved by Joseph-Marie Jacquard, and it became one of the most important inventions of the Industrial Revolution. The idea of punch-cards was later used to program the first electronic calculators and computers. Born in Grenoble, France.
1786Wilhelm Karl Grimm, author, story teller (Grimm's Fairy Tales). Author, with his brother Jakob, of such children's classics as "Hansel and Gretel", "Snow White", "Little Red Riding Hood", "Sleeping Beauty", and others. Born in Hanau, Germany.
1804Heinrich Lenz, physicist. Best known for his research into electrical conduction and electromagnetism, and especially for his fundamental law of electromagnetism known as Lenz's Law, used to describe the direction of the flow of electric current generated by a wire moving through a magnetic field. The law, which states that an induced electric current flows in a direction such that the current opposes the change that induced it, stems from investigations carried out in 1833 which showed that an increase in temperature of a conductor increases its resistance. Born in Dorpat, Russia (now Tartu, Estonia).
1898Kurt Tank, pilot, aircraft designer. Chief designer and test pilot at Focke-Wulf. He designed the Fw 190, or "Butcher Bird", a replacement for the Messerschmidt Me 109 that was able to significantly outperform Britain's Spitfire. Born in Germany (exact place unknown).
1917William Fairbank, physicist. Made major contributions to studies of low-temperature superconductivity, and in 1977 was first to provide experimental evidence of the existence of quarks. Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
1943George Harrison, musician (The Beatles). Guitarist with The Beatles, he was known for his ability to play many instruments including various guitars and keyboards, violin, harmonica, and various percussion instruments. Born in Liverpool, England.
1945Alain Prost, motor racing driver. Formula one world champion (1985, 86, 89, 93). A very consistent driver, he won 44 races from 184 starts, and scored a record 699.5 championship points. Born in Saint Chamond, France.
1955Steve Jobs, computer scientist. Co-founder, with Steve Wozniak, of Apple Computer Corporation. Born in Los Altos, California, USA.
1810Henry Cavendish, French-born English physicist, chemist. Known for his work in a wide range of scientific studies, he discovered phenomena such as the composition of air, the nature and properties of hydrogen, the specific heat of certain substances, the composition of water (H2O), and various properties of electricity. He also devised an ingenious means of measuring the density and mass of the Earth. A very shy and introverted man, he rarely spoke to anybody. Died in London, England, aged 78.
1815Robert Fulton, American engineer, inventor, artist. Built the first commercially successful steamboat, including the New Orleans, and constructed a steam-powered warship to defend New York harbour during the War of 1812. Died in New York City, USA, aged 50.
1856Nikolay Lobachevsky, Russian mathematician. Widely considered to be co-founder, with Hungarian mathematician János Bolyai, of non-Euclidean geometry. He determined mathematically that the geometry of space is not described by Euclid's geometry, which was later proved experimentally by Albert Einstein. Died in Kazan, Russia, aged 63.
1875Marc Séguin, the Elder, French engineer. Nephew of pioneer French balloonist Joseph Montgolfier, and inventor of the wire-cable suspension bridge. He built the first such bridge, suspended from cables of parallel wire strands, over the Rhône River at Tournon, France. He also invented the tubular steam-engine boiler, the first multiple fire-tube boiler, which greatly improved locomotive efficiency. Died in Annonay, France, aged 88.
1983Tennessee Williams (b. Thomas Lanier Williams), American playwright. Winner of many awards, including Pulitzer Prizes for "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", in a writing career spanning more than four decades. Died in New York City, USA after choking on a bottle cap while intoxicated, aged 71.
1993Bobby Moore (b. Robert Frederick Chelsea Moore), English football player (England, West Ham). Captained the England team to their world cup win in 1966. He was awarded the OBE in 1993. Died of cancer at his home in Putney, London, England, aged 51.
1994Dinah Shore (b. Frances Rose Shore), American singer, talk show host. Died of ovarian cancer in Beverly Hills, California, USA, aged 76.
Events on this day:
303 CERoman emperor Diocletian issues an edict initiating the 'Great Persecution' against Christians.
1541The city of Santiago, Chile is founded by Pedro de Valvidia.
1582The Gregorian calendar, a modification of the Julian calendar first proposed by Neapolitan doctor Aloysius Lilius, is decreed by Pope Gregory XIII.
1804The Drury Lane Theatre in London, England burns to the ground.
1807More than 40 people, in a crowd estimated to be near 40,000, are trampled to death attempting to witness the executions of convicted murderers Holloway, Heggerty, and Elizabeth Godfrey in London, England.
1821Mexico gains independence from Spain.
1836Around 3,000 Mexicans attack 182 Texans at the Alamo. The battle lasted for 13 days.
1836Samuel Colt receives a patent for the Colt revolver, a revolving barrel, multishot pistol.
1839A steam shovel is patented by William Otis of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
1848King Louis-Philippe of France abdicates the throne. Fearful of what had happened to Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, he disguised himself and fled Paris to England.
1848The massively-influential 'Communist Manifesto' by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels is published in London.
1863The US Territory of Arizona is created.
1868The US House of Representatives vote to impeach President Andrew Johnson by 126 votes to 47, for violation of the Tenure of Office act. He was later acquitted.
1871Charles Darwin's "Descent of Man" is published in London, England.
1881The De Lesseps' Company begins work on the Panama Canal.
1895The Cuban war of independence begins.
1896Henri Bequerel tells the French Academy of Sciences of his investigation of the phosphorescent rays of some "double sulphate of uranium and potassium" crystals. He later learns that he has accidentally discovered radioactivity.
1909The Hudson Motor Car Company is founded.
1917The Russian revolution begins.
1918Estonia declares independence from Russia.
1924The Greek parliament proclaims itself a republic.
1924Mahatma Gandhi is released from jail.
1932Malcolm Campbell breaks the world land speed record (253.96 mph) at Daytona, Florida, USA.
1938A nylon bristle toothbrush, manufactured by DuPont, becomes the first commercial product to be made with nylon yarn.
1945Egypt and Syria declare war on Nazi-Germany.
1946Argentinian minister of war Juan Perón is elected President of Argentina following a military coup.
1948The Soviet Communist Party seizes control of Czechoslovakia.
1949A NASA V-2 rocket, the first rocket to reach space, is launched from White Sands, New Mexico, USA, reaching an altitude of 400 km.
1961Explorer 10 is launched but fails to reach Earth orbit.
1964Cassius Clay beats Sonny Liston in a 7th round TKO to win the world heavyweight boxing championship.
1968The scientific journal Nature announces the discovery of pulsars - pulsating radio sources. The first pulsar was discovered the previous year by graduate student Jocelyn Bell, working under the direction of Professor Hewish at the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory at Cambridge University, England.
1981Buckingham Palace announces the engagement of Prince Charles, Prince of Wales to Lady Diana Spencer.
1986The Voyager 2 space craft makes its first fly-by of Uranus.
1989A 50-million-year-old fossil egg discovered in Utah, USA, is found by CAT scan to contain the oldest dinosaur embryo ever found.
1989A United Airlines Boeing 747 bound from Honolulu, Hawaii to New Zealand rips open during flight, sucking out 9 passengers and crew. It landed later in Honolulu without further loss of life.
2002The 19th Winter Olympic Games close in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.
2007"Basic Instinct 2" wins the Worst Picture award at the 27th annual Golden Raspberry Awards. Sharon Stone wins Worst Actress for the same film and the Worst Actor award goes jointly to Marlon Wayans and Shawn Wayans for "Little Man". "Basic Instinct 2" also wins the Worst Sequel and Worst Screenplay awards.
2009NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite crashes into the ocean near Antarctica shortly after take-off following a malfunction in the rocket used to launch it into orbit. The satellite's mission was to help pinpoint the key locations on Earth's surface where CO2 is being emitted and absorbed.
2011The Discovery space shuttle is launched for the last time from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Discovery is best known for launching the Hubble Space Telescope.
Quote of the day:
A new randomly-selected quote each day.

"This guy, any other way but his bullying and intimidation wrapped up in this great cloak, the great cancer martyr ... this is what he hides behind all the time. The great man who conquered cancer. Well he is the cancer in this sport. And for two years this sport has been in remission. And now the cancer's back."
~ Paul Kimmage (referring to Lance Armstrong's come-back to cycling in 2008 after 2 years in retirement)

Daily Trivia
A new (mostly science-related) question each day.
Q. What can an analemma track?
show answer

Site of the Day:
A random site to visit each day, some of which I've found interesting, useful, humourous, provocative, etc...
The Best Web Page in the Universe
In the author's words: "This page is about me and why everything I like is great. If you disagree with anything you find on this page, you are wrong." If you're easily offended look elsewhere.
Astronomy Picture of the Day
Marking 2009 as the International Year of Astronomy. Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

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