History of Arts and Science:
- Galileo Galilei arrives in Rome for his trial before the Inquisition (1633) – Galileo was a Renaissance scientist whose discoveries in astronomy and mathematics led to his permanent house arrest under the Roman Inquisition. An advocate of heliocentrism, Galileo also discovered Jupiter’s moons, named them after the Medici family, and published “The Starry Messenger”. He died near Florence in 1642.
- Isaac Newton publishes his “Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica” (1687) – Isaac Newton’s discovery of gravity revolutionized modern science. While at home due to a plague at Cambridge University, Newton observed an apple falling, wrote his “Principia Mathematica”, and condensed physics into three laws of motion. Newton developed calculus alongside Gottfried Leibniz and published a second book, “Opticks”. In his later life, Newton served as a Cambridge mathematics professor, a member of Parliament, and the master of the English Royal Mint. He died in 1727.
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composes The Magic Flute (1791) – Mozart is regarded as one of the greatest composers in modern music history. He was born in Austria in 1756 into a family of musicians and exhibited his musical talents early in childhood. After moving to Vienna and composing The Magic Flute, Mozart achieved European fame; he was later appointed the “chamber composer” of Emperor Joseph II. He died at age 35 in 1791, but left behind a legacy of over 600 pieces, including the Requiem Lacrimosa and the Marriage of Figaro.
- Ludwig van Beethoven performs his Fifth Symphony (1808) – Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer whose worked defined the transition from the Classical to the Romantic era. Taught by Christian Gottlob Neefe in his hometown of Bonn, Beethoven was not a child prodigy like Mozart. He received several court appointments and later studied under Joseph Haydn. Around the time he debuted his popular ballet The Creatures of Prometheus in 1801, Beethoven began suffering hearing problems. Almost deaf, he lamented his life in the Heiligenstadt Testament and composed the Moonlight Sonata. Some of his other notable works include Fur Elise, Ode to Joy, and Missa Solemnis. Beethoven died in 1827.
- Charles Darwin publishes “On the Origin of Species” (1859) – After his visit to the Galapagos Islands on the HMS Beagle, Charles Darwin formulated his theory of evolution. Darwin, who had a passion for natural history, studied medicine at Edinburgh University, and was employed as a naturalist on the Beagle’s journey. Influenced by Charles Lyell and Thomas Malthus, Darwin shaped his observations of the South American coastline and the Galapagos into “On the Origin of Species”. He died in 1882.
- Albert Einstein publishes his formulation of relativity (1905) – Albert Einstein’s scientific revelations defined modern physics. He was born in Germany in 1879, studied in an oppressive Prussian-style ‘gymnasium’, and was influenced by his friend and tutor Max Talmud. His educational career disrupted by his father’s failure in business, Einstein managed to graduate university in Switzerland in 1900. After suffering financial hardship, Einstein had his “miracle year”, during which he published four era-defining physics papers, including his theory of relativity. Einstein received acclaim from renowned scientist Max Planck, began lecturing worldwide, and won a Nobel Prize. Einstein left Germany during the rise of the Nazi Party to America, where he worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II. When he died in 1955, his brain was removed and studied.
- Jonas Salk develops the first effective polio vaccine (1952) – Jonas Salk was born to Russian-Jewish immigrants in New York City in 1914, and studied medicine at New York University. His development of the first polio vaccine was challenged by fellow researcher Albert Sabin, and was funded by Franklin D Roosevelt’s March of Dimes movement. Randy Kerr was the first to receive his vaccine, which began a nationwide vaccination movement.