1965 NASA launched the Gemini 7 spacecraft, with astronauts Frank F. Borman II and Edward H. White II on board. The objective of the flight was to study the effects of a fortnight in space on the human body. The nearly fourteen days in space would double the length of time that anyone had been in space and for 5 years would stand as the record for the single longest spaceflight duration.
1816 American chemist Benjamin Silliman Jr. was born. He investigated the potential uses of crude oil products and gave impetus to plans for drilling the first producing oil well in 1859. He pioneered the practice of separating the crude oil into its component parts, or its fractions, and observed the characteristics of each fraction.
1791 The first edition of The Observer was published in London. It was the world’s first Sunday newspaper.
1619 38 English settlers arrived at Berkeley Hundred, 20 miles upstream from Jamestown. The group’s charter required that the day of arrival be observed yearly as a “day of thanksgiving” to God, and this is considered to be the first Thanksgiving celebration in America.
1973 NASA’s Pioneer 10 space probe sent back the very first close-up images of Jupiter. This was also the first flyby of an outer planet.
1967 South African surgeon Dr. Christiaan Barnard performed the world’s first human heart transplant. The operation lasted nine hours and used a team of thirty people.
1919 The Quebec Bridge officially opened. It crosses the lower St. Lawrence River to the west of Quebec City, and Lévis, Quebec, Canada.
1904 American-Argentine astronomer Charles Dillon Perrine discovered Himalia, a moon of Jupiter. It is the largest irregular satellite of Jupiter, the sixth largest overall in size, and the fifth largest in mass.
1838 American meteorologist Cleveland Abbe was born in New York City. He developed a system of telegraphic weather reports, daily weather maps, and weather forecasts which were later adopted by the U.S. Weather Bureau. He also invented the 4 standard time zones in the U.S., which were later put in use by the railroads and the government.
1974 NASA’s Pioneer 11 spacecraft made its closest approach to Jupiter. It passed to within 34,000 km of Jupiter’s cloud tops, obtained dramatic images of the Great Red Spot, made the first observation of the immense polar regions, and determined the mass of Jupiter’s moon Callisto.
1927 The Ford Motor Company sold the first Model A. 4,849,340 were produced between 1927 and 1931, and prices ranged from $385 for a roadster to $1400 for the top-of-the-line Town Car.
1881 German physicist Heinrich Barkhausen was born in Bremen. He discovered the Barkhausen effect in 1919, a principle concerning changes in the magnetic properties of metal. With Karl Kurz, he developed the Barkhausen- Kurz oscillator in 1920 for ultrahigh frequencies (forerunner of the microwave tube), leading to understanding of the principle of velocity modulation. He is also known for experiments on shortwave radio transmissions.
1845 Manifest Destiny: US President James K. Polk, during his First Annual Message to Congress, announced that the United States should aggressively expand into the West. The phrase, first coined by journalist John L. O’Sullivan earlier in the year, described the general belief that the United States was destined, even divinely ordained, to expand across the North American continent.
1409 The University of Leipzig, one of the oldest universities in Europe and the second-oldest university (by consecutive years of existence) in Germany, was founded by Frederick I, Elector of Saxony and his brother William II, Margrave of Meissen.
1918 Iceland became a fully sovereign state under the Danish king, after signing The Act of Union with Denmark.
1896 The Iaşi National Theatre, in Iaşi, Romania, was inaugurated. The inauguration festivities took place with Flechtenmacher’s National Overture, the vaudevilles Muza de la Burdujeni (The Muse from Burdujeni) by Costache Negruzzi and Cinel-cinel (The Riddle) by Vasile Alecsandri, as well as the verse comedy Poetul romantic (The Romantic Poet) by Matei Millo.
The theatre is the oldest national theatre and one of the most prestigious theatrical institutions in Romania. With its neoclassic exterior and a richly decorated interior in Rococo and Baroque styles, the building is also considered one of the most elegant in Romania.
1792 Russian mathematician Nikolai Lobachevsky was born in Nizhny Novgorod. His main achievement was the development (independently from János Bolyai) of a non-Euclidean geometry, also referred to as Lobachevskian geometry. Because of this, he is often called the “Copernicus of Geometry”.
1743 German chemist Martin Heinrich Klaproth was born in Wernigerode. His life’s work did much to improve and systematize the processes of analytical chemistry and mineralogy. He was the first to discover uranium and zirconium, and to characterize them as distinct elements. He wrote over 200 scientific papers and was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1804. The lunar crater Klaproth is named in his honor.
1580 French astronomer Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc was born in Belgentier, in southeastern France. His research included a determination of the difference in longitude of various locations in Europe, around the Mediterranean, and in North Africa. He also maintained a wide correspondence with scientists and was a successful organizer of scientific inquiry.
1525 Czech physician and astronomer Tadeáš Hájek was born in Prague. He was the personal physician of Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II. His voluminous writings in Latin were mostly concerned with astronomy and many regarded him as the greatest astronomer of his time. The lunar crater Hagecius and the asteroid 1995 Hajek are named in his honor.
2009 The European Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest particle accelerator, successfully accelerated the machine’s twin beams of protons to a record 1.18 trillion electron volts.
1934 The “Flying Scotsman” locomotive became the first locomotive to reach a speed of 100 miles per hour.
1924 The first photographs sent by radio across the Atlantic were received in New York, and published the next day in the New York Herald Tribune.
1889 British electrophysiologist Edgar Adrian was born in London. He is one of the founders of modern neurophysiology. He shared (with Sir Charles Sherrington) the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1932 for “for their discoveries regarding the functions of neurons.”
1869 Swedish industrialist Gustaf Dalén was born in Stenstorp. He founded the AGA company and invented the AGA cooker and the Dalén light (the predominant form of light source in lighthouses from the 1900s through the 1960s). In 1912 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his “invention of automatic regulators for use in conjunction with gas accumulators for illuminating lighthouses and buoys”.