On this day in 1776, Thomas Paine published Common Sense, a 50-page pamphlet that sold more than 500,000 copies within a few months and called for a war of independence that would become the American Revolution.
First successful form of photography, named for Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre of France, who invented the technique in collaboration with Nicéphore Niépce in the 1830s. Daguerre and Niépce found that if a copper plate coated with silver iodide was exposed to light in a camera, then fumed with mercury vapour and fixed (made permanent) by a solution of common salt, a permanent image would be formed. A great number of daguerreotypes, especially portraits, were made in the mid-19th century; the technique was supplanted by the wet collodion process.
On this day in 1997, the principality of Monaco began a yearlong celebration in honour of the 700th anniversary of the rule of the Grimaldi family, who seized power in 1297 and gained firm possession of Monaco in 1419.
During this month in 1610, Italian astronomer Galileo made the earthshaking discoveries that four moons revolve around Jupiter and that the telescope reveals many more stars than are visible to the naked eye.
in full Galileo Galilei Italian natural philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician who made fundamental contributions to the sciences of motion, astronomy, and strength of materials and to the development of the scientific method. His formulation of (circular) inertia, the law of falling bodies, and parabolic trajectories marked the beginning of a fundamental change in the study of motion. His insistence that the book of nature was written in the language of mathematics changed natural philosophy from a verbal, qualitative account to a mathematical one in which experimentation became a recognized method for discovering the facts of nature. Finally, his discoveries with the telescope revolutionized astronomy and paved the way for the acceptance of the Copernican heliocentric system, but his advocacy of that system eventually resulted in an Inquisition process against him.
The telescope is undoubtedly the most important investigative tool in astronomy. It provides a means of collecting and analyzing radiation from celestial objects, even those in the far reaches of the universe.
Galileo revolutionized astronomy when he applied the telescope to the study of extraterrestrial bodies in the early 17th century. Until then, magnification instruments had never been used for this purpose. Since Galileo’s pioneering work, increasingly more powerful optical telescopes have been developed, as has a wide array of instruments capable of detecting and measuring invisible forms of radiation, such as radio, X-ray, and gamma-ray telescopes. Observational capability has been further enhanced by the invention of various kinds of auxiliary instruments (e.g., the camera, spectrograph, and charge-coupled device) and by the use of electronic computers, rockets, and spacecraft in conjunction with telescope systems. These developments have contributed dramatically to advances in scientific knowledge about the solar system, the Milky Way Galaxy, and the universe as a whole.
Fourth wife of King Henry VIII of England. Henry married Anne because he believed that he needed to form a political alliance with her brother William, duke of Cleves, who was a leader of the Protestants of western Germany. He thought the alliance was necessary because in 1539 it appeared that the two major Roman Catholic powers, France and the Holy Roman Empire, were about to join together to attack Protestant England. That threat prompted Henry’s chief minister, Thomas Cromwell, to arrange the marriage to establish ties between England and the Lutheran enemies of the Holy Roman emperor, Charles V.
On Jan. 1, 1540, Anne arrived in England to meet her fiancé for the first time. Five days later the wedding took place. Henry was keenly disappointed, Anne being less attractive than he had been led to expect, and he soon came to resent her lack of sophistication and limited command of the English language.
When the alliance between the Catholic powers failed to materialize, the marriage became a political embarrassment and was annulled by an Anglican convocation (July 9, 1540). Anne acquiesced and was rewarded with a large income, on the condition that she remain in England. She lived at Richmond or Bletchingley, with occasional visits to court, until her death.
In San Francisco on this day in 1933, construction began on the Golden Gate Bridge, a suspension bridge that once boasted the longest main span in the world and that has been celebrated for the magnificence of its setting.
Suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, in California, U.S. From its completion in 1937 to the completion of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City in 1964, it had the longest main span in the world, and it remains incomparable in the magnificence of its setting. Its construction, under the supervision of Joseph B. Strauss (q.v.), involved many difficulties: rapidly running tides, frequent storms and fogs (during one of which a cargo vessel collided with the access trestle, causing serious damage), and the problem of blasting rock under deep water to plant earthquake-proof foundations. The main span, 4,200 feet (1,280 m) long, is suspended from two cables hung from towers 746 feet (227 m) high; at midpoint the roadway is 265 feet (81 m) above mean high water.
American professional boxer, first to hold the world heavyweight championship twice.
Born into poverty in North Carolina, Patterson grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He learned to box while in a school for emotionally disturbed children and soon began training with Constantine (“Cus”) D’Amato, who later worked with Mike Tyson. Patterson won New York Golden Gloves titles in 1951 and 1952 and earned the gold medal as a middleweight at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, Fin. His first professional fight took place on Sept. 12, 1952. Over the next four years, he lost only one bout (1954), a disputed decision in favour of the clever and far more experienced Joey Maxim, a former light-heavyweight champion.
Patterson was undersize for a heavyweight, typically weighing about 185 pounds (84 kg), and had a short reach (71 inches [180 cm]). In the ring, he relied on his speed and a peekaboo boxing style, in which he held his gloves close to his face. On Nov. 30, 1956, he knocked out Archie Moore in five rounds in Chicago to capture the heavyweight title vacated by the retired Rocky Marciano. At the time, Patterson was the youngest person to hold the championship. He defended his title in four subsequent fights before facing Ingemar Johansson of Sweden on June 26, 1959. Although heavily favoured to win, Patterson was knocked out in the third round. On June 20, 1960, he regained the title with a fifth-round knockout of Johansson. Patterson remained heavyweight champion until Sept. 25, 1962, when he was knocked out in the first round by Sonny Liston in Chicago. He later was defeated by Liston and Muhammad Ali in his attempts to recapture the world championship. In 1968 Patterson lost to Jimmy Ellis, World Boxing Association heavyweight champion, in a match for that version of the disputed world title. He retired from the ring in 1972, having won 55 of 64 fights. Forty of his wins were by knockout.
Patterson, who was noted for his shyness and gentle manner, later ran an amateur boxing club and was athletic commissioner for the state of New York. In 1991 he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.