1792 Swedish chemist Johan August Arfwedson was born. He discovered the chemical element lithium in 1817. The rare mineral arfvedsonite was named after him.
1777 Mission Santa Clara de Asís, in modern Santa Clara, California, was founded by Father Junipero Serra. The mission was originally named La Misión Santa Clara de Thamien, but was rebuilt and renamed after being destroyed by an earthquake.
1579 Flemish chemist, physiologist, and physician Jan Baptist van Helmont was born in Brussels. He is the the founder of pneumatic chemistry, due to the fact that he was the first to understand that there are gases distinct in kind from atmospheric air, and his introduction of the word “gas” (from the Greek word chaos) into the vocabulary of scientists.
1597 French sculptor François Duquesnoy was born in Brussels. His most famous sculpture is the statue of Saint Andrew at the crossing of St Peter’s Basilica.
1528 Gustav I was crowned king of Sweden. He is considered the founder of modern Sweden, and the “father of the nation”, having liberated Sweden from the Danes.