Fascinating Facts

  • Happy Birthday Amelia Earhart

    Amelia Mary Earhart (July 24, 1897 – disappeared July 2, 1937) was an American aviation pioneer and author. The first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, she received the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross for this accomplishment. She set many other records, wrote best-selling books about her flying experiences and was instrumental in the formation of The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots. (more…)

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  • Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela

    Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (July 18 , 1918 – December 5, 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist, who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country’s first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. (more…)

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  • Happy Birthday to essayist, poet, philosopher, and abolitionist Henry David Thoreau, born today in 1817

    Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) was an American essayist, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, and historian.

    A leading transcendentalist, Thoreau is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay “Civil Disobedience” (originally published as “Resistance to Civil Government”), an argument for disobedience to an unjust state. (more…)

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  • Happy Birthday to American Author E.B. White

    Elwyn Brooks “E. B.” White (July 11, 1899 – October 1, 1985) was an American writer. He was a contributor to The New Yorker magazine and a co-author of the English language style guide The Elements of Style, which is commonly known as “Strunk & White.” He also wrote books for children, including Stuart Little (1945), Charlotte’s Web (1952), and The Trumpet of the Swan (1970). Charlotte’s Web was voted the top children’s novel in a 2012 survey of School Library Journal readers, an accomplishment repeated from earlier surveys. (more…)

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  • Madam Marie Curie Dies Today in 1934

    Marie SkĹ‚odowska Curie (November 7, 1867 – July 4, 1934), born Maria Salome SkĹ‚odowska, was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to win twice, the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences, and was part of the Curie family legacy of five Nobel Prizes. She was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris, and in 1995 became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the PanthĂ©on in Paris. (more…)

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  • Happy Birthday Calvin Coolidge

    John Calvin Coolidge Jr. (July 4, 1872 – January 5, 1933) made the first president political speech on the radio today. The 30th President of the United States (1923–29) was a Republican lawyer from Vermont who worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, and eventually becoming governor of that state. His response to the Boston Police Strike of 1919 thrust him into the national spotlight and gave him a reputation as a man of decisive action. Soon after, he was elected as the 29th vice president in 1920 and succeeded to the presidency upon the sudden death of Warren G. Harding in 1923. (more…)

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  • John Adams Dies Today in 1826

    John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was an American patriot who served as the second President of the United States (1797–1801) and the first Vice President (1789–97). He was a lawyer, diplomat, statesman, political theorist, and, as a Founding Father, a leader of the movement for American independence from Great Britain. He was also a dedicated diarist and correspondent, particularly with his wife and closest advisor Abigail. (more…)

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  • Thomas Jefferson dies today in 1826

    July 4, 1826 — Thomas Jefferson died today (born April 13, 1743). An American Founding Father, he was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and later served as the third President of the United States from 1801 to 1809. Previously, he was elected the second Vice President of the United States, serving under John Adams from 1797 to 1801. (more…)

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  • Amelia Earhart Disappears Today in 1937

    Amelia Mary Earhart (July 24, 1897 – disappeared July 2, 1937) was an American aviation pioneer and author. The first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, she received the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross for this accomplishment. She set many other records, wrote best-selling books about her flying experiences and was instrumental in the formation of The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots. (more…)

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  • Jonas Salk Dies Today in 1995

    Jonas Edward Salk (October 28, 1914 – June 23, 1995) was an American medical researcher and virologist. He discovered and developed one of the first successful polio vaccines. Born in New York City, he attended New York University School of Medicine, later choosing to do medical research instead of becoming a practicing physician. In 1939, after earning his medical degree, Salk began an internship as a scientist physician at Mount Sinai Hospital.

    Two years later he was granted a fellowship at the University of Michigan, where he would study flu viruses with his mentor Thomas Francis, Jr. (more…)

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  • Happy Birthday to Geronimo, a prominent leader and medicine man from the Bedonkohe band of the Chiricahua Apache tribe

    June 16, 1829 — Geronimo “the one who yawns” (died February 17, 1909) was a prominent leader and medicine man from the Bedonkohe band of the Chiricahua Apache tribe. From 1850 to 1886 Geronimo joined with members of three other Chiricahua Apache bands—the Tchihende, the Tsokanende and the Nednhi—to carry out numerous raids as well as resistance to US and Mexican military campaigns in the northern Mexico states of Chihuahua and Sonora, and in the southwestern American territories of New Mexico and Arizona. (more…)

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  • Happy Birthday to American football coach Vince Lombardi

    Vincent Thomas “Vince” Lombardi (June 11, 1913 – September 3, 1970) was an American football player, coach, and executive in the National Football League (NFL). He is best known as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers during the 1960s, where he led the team to three straight and five total NFL Championships in seven years, in addition to winning the first two Super Bowls following the 1966 and 1967 NFL seasons. The NFL’s Super Bowl trophy is named in his honor.  (more…)

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