1916 Italian industrialist Ferruccio Lamborghini was born in Renazzo di Cento, a city in the province of Ferrara. He served as an aircraft mechanic in World War 2, and after the war he founded Lamborghini Trattori, a manufacturer of tractors and agricultural equipment. In 1959, he started Lamborghini Bruciatori to manufacture oil heaters and air conditioning equipment. Most famously, in 1963, he created Automobili Lamborghini, a maker of high-end sports cars.
1906 Dutch-American astronomer Bart J. Bok was born in Hoorn. He was the first to investigate the dark clouds of dense gas and dust visible against a background of bright nebulae, which became known as “Bok globules”. Bok’s other important work was on the structure and evolution of the Milky Way Galaxy. In 1975 Bok coauthored the statement Objections to Astrology, which was endorsed by 186 professional astronomers, astrophysicists, and other scientists and led to the formation of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal.
1900 Dutch astronomer Jan Oort was born in Franeker. He was a pioneer in the field of radio astronomy, having made systematic studies of radio waves in the universe. In 1950, he created a hypothesis about the origin of comets, which proved to be mostly correct. In 1927, he was the first to calculate the distance from the Earth to the center of the Milky Way galaxy, and to calculate the entire mass of the galaxy. The Oort cloud of comets in our solar system is named after him.
1753 Prussian chemist, physicist and biologist Franz Karl Achard was born in Berlin. He invented a process for the large-scale extraction of table sugar (sucrose) from beets, and in 1801, opened the first sugar-beet factory, in Silesia (now Poland). He also discovered a method for working platinum and was the first to prepare a platinum crucible in 1784.