Monthly Archives: December 2012

Henri Matisse in the Rush of Colors

Henri Matisse in the Rush of Colors

Henri Matisse(1869 – 1954) On December 31, 1869, Henri-Émile-Benoît Matisse, French draughtsman, sculptor and writer artist, known for his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship, was born. Henri Matisse grew up in a wealthy merchant family in France and began his law studies in Paris in 1887. He started gaining his interest in painting rather late at age 18 and made the decision to become a professional…
Rudyard Kipling and his Tales of India

Rudyard Kipling and his Tales of India

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)Portrait by John Collier On December 30, 1865, English short-story writer, poet, and novelist Joseph Rudyard Kipling was born, remembered for his tales and poems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children, was born in Bombay, India. Rudyard Kipling was born at Bombay, India, to John Lockwood Kipling, himself an artist and principal of the Jeejeebyhoy Art School, and Alice Kipling. Family ties from his…
The Assassination of Thomas Becket

The Assassination of Thomas Becket

Thomas Becket (1120-1170 AD), stained glass window at Canterbury Cathedral On December 29, 1170 AD, Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, who engaged in conflict with Henry II of England over the rights and privileges of the Church, was assassinated by followers of the King in Canterbury Cathedral. The very last hours of Thomas Becket’s life are the reason why we remember him at all. If the four knights sent for…
The Lumière Brothers invented the Cinema

The Lumière Brothers invented the Cinema

Auguste and Louis Lumiére On December 28, 1895, the Lumière Brothers performed 10 movies for their first paying audience at the Grand Cafe in Boulevard des Capucines, marking the debut of the cinema. The Lumière brothers attended a famous technical school in Lyon and their father owned a photography business both sons were employed in, which were in the 19th century probably the best conditions for a major success in…
Louis Pasteur – the Father of Medical Microbiology

Louis Pasteur – the Father of Medical Microbiology

Louis Pasteur (1822 – 1895) On December 27, 1822, French chemist Louis Pasteur was born, who is considered one of the most important founders of medical microbiology. He is remembered for his remarkable breakthroughs in the causes and preventions of diseases. Louis Pasteur was born into a poor family as the son of a tanner in France. In his school years the young patriot was an average student, favoring drawing…
Heinrich Schliemann and his Dream of Troy

Heinrich Schliemann and his Dream of Troy

Heinrich Schliemann (1822-1890) On December 26, 1890, Heinrich Schliemann, German businessman and amateur archaeologist, and livelong advocate of the historical reality of places mentioned in the works of ancient Greek poet Homer passed away. His dreams came true when he succeeded in excavating Hissarlik, now presumed to be the site of Troy, along with the Mycenaean sites Mycenae and Tiryns. Without Schliemann, the world of ancient Greek history and the…
Charlemagne and the Birth of Europe

Charlemagne and the Birth of Europe

Obverse of a Charlemagne denier coined in Frankfurt from 812 to 814 On December 25, 800 AD, Charlemagne also known as Karl the Great was crowned Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire by Pope Leo III in Rome. Thereby, he was the very first emperor of western Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire. Back in the 6th century, the West Germanic Franks had been christianised and Francia, ruled by…
Vasco da Gama and the Route to India

Vasco da Gama and the Route to India

Vasco da Gama (1469 – 1524) On December 24, 1524, Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira, passed away. He was one of the most successful explorers in the Age of Discovery and the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India. Vasco da Gama was born into a family of noblemen, his father belonged to the Order of Santiago and was occupied with…
Giovanni Cassini and the Saturn Moon Rhea

Giovanni Cassini and the Saturn Moon Rhea

Giovanni Domenico Cassini (1625 – 1712) On December 23, 1672, Italian astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini discovered Rhea, the 2nd largest of the 62 Saturn moons that are known by today. Giovanni Domenico Cassini studied in Genoa as well as Bologna and was occupied with a professorship at the University of Bologna for studies in astronomy and mathematics. There he taught euclidean geometry and due to the church’s restrictions, ptolemy astronomy.…
The Birth of the Transistor

The Birth of the Transistor

John Bardeen, William Shockley and Walter Brattain, the inventors of the transistor, 1948 On December 22, 1947, John Bardeen, Walter Brattain and William Shockley at ATT‘s Bell Labs developed the first transistor, the key active component in practically all modern electronics. The transistor is a three terminal, solid state electronic device. In a three terminal device one can control electric current or voltage between two of the terminals by applying…
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