Ida B. Wells' Birthday

Today is Ida B. Wells' 153rd Birthday. Ida Wells (July 16, 1862 - March 25, 1931) was an African-American journalist, newspaper editor, suffragist, sociologist and activist. After documenting lynchings throughout America, she determined they were often used to eliminate blacks who competed in white communities rather than as a punishment for crimes. Wells also established several notable woman's organizations.

On May 4, 1884, a train conductor ask her to give up her seat and move to a smoking car. After she was forcibly removed from her seat for refusing to move to a "colored car" on the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, she sued the railroad for violating her civil rights. She won her case on December 24, 1884, when the local circuit court granted her a settlement of $500. However, the case was then taken to the Tennessee Supreme Court where it was rejected in 1887. Events and legal struggles like these continued to encourage her to oppose racial injustice toward African-Americans. She died of uremia (kidney failure) in 1931, at the age of 68. 

Ida B. Wells (July 16, 1862 - March 25, 1931)

Ida B. Wells (July 16, 1862 - March 25, 1931)

Ida Wells, American Journalist.

Ida Wells, American Journalist.

Sufferagists postering

Sufferagists postering

Happy Birthday Ringo!

Today Science Source celebrates Ringo Starr's birthday. Ring Starr is a drummer, singer, songwriter and actor who rose to stardom as one of the four members of the rock group, The Beatles. He played on most of the band's albums and sang vocals for the songs: "With a Little Help from My Friends" and  "Yellow Submarine." He also wrote "Don't Pass Me By" and "Octopus's Garden" and co-wrote "What Goes On" and "Flying."

After the Beatles he embarked on a solo career with his band Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band. In 1988 he was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his work for the Beatles and in 2015 he received the same honor for his solo career.

Beatles in concert, 1964

Beatles in concert, 1964

Ring Starr, Beatles Concert, 1964

Ring Starr, Beatles Concert, 1964

Beatles fans at concert, 1964

Beatles fans at concert, 1964



Lady Liberty Lands

This week is the 130th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty's arrival in New York City. The Statue of Liberty is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, designed by Frédéric Bartholdi and dedicated on October 28, 1886. The statue, a gift to the United States from the people of France, is of a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom, who bears a torch and a tabula ansata (a tablet evoking the law) upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. A broken chain lies at her feet. The statue is 151 feet and 1 inch high, and the top of the torch is at an elevation of 305 feet 1 inch from mean low-water mark. It was the largest work of its kind that had ever been completed up to that time, and was the tallest structure in New York City until the Empire State building topped it in 1929. The statue is an icon of freedom and of the United States: a welcoming signal to immigrants arriving from abroad. Entitled: "Liberty enlightening the world". Published by Root & Tinker, January 2, 1884.

Statue of Liberty, Enlightening the World, 1884.

Statue of Liberty, Enlightening the World, 1884.

Torch of the Statue of Liberty

Torch of the Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty, Profile

Statue of Liberty, Profile

The Trojan War

According to calculations by the Greek polymath, Eratosthenes today is the anniversary of the Trojan War's beginning. In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged between the city of Troy and the Achaeans (the Greeks) after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband, Menelaus king of Sparta. The war is one of the most important events in Greek mythology and has been narrated through many works of Greek literature, most notably through Homer's Iliad and the Odyssey.

The Trojan Horse from a late 15th century illustration of the poet John Lydgate's Troy Book

The Trojan Horse from a late 15th century illustration of the poet John Lydgate's Troy Book

A Battle from the Trojan War

A Battle from the Trojan War

Trojan Horse

Trojan Horse

Charles R. Drew and His Blood Bank

Today is Charles Drew's Birthday. Charles Richard Drew (June 3, 1904-April 1, 1950) was an African-American physician, surgeon and medical researcher. He worked in the field of blood transfusions, developing techniques for blood storage, and applied his knowledge to developing large-scale blood banks early in World War II. This allowed medics to save thousands of lives of the Allied forces. As the most prominent African-American in the field, Drew protested against the practice of racial segregation in the donation of blood, as it lacked scientific foundation, an action which cost him his job. In 1943, Drew's distinction in his profession was recognized when he became the first black surgeon selected to serve as an examiner on the American Board of Surgery.

Charles R. Drew in his lab

Charles R. Drew in his lab

Charles Richard Drew (June 3, 1904-April 1, 1950)

Charles Richard Drew (June 3, 1904-April 1, 1950)

Sally Ride, American Astronaut

Today is Sally Ride's birthday. Sally Kristen Ride (May 26, 1951 - July 23, 2012) was an American physicist and astronaut. Ride joined NASA in 1978 and, at the age of 32, became the first American woman in space and still remains the youngest American astronaut to travel to space. After flying twice on the space shuttle Challenger, she left NASA in 1987. She worked for two years at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Arms Control, then the University of California, San Diego as a professor of physics, primarily researching non-linear optics and Thomson scattering. She served on the committees that investigated the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle disasters, the only person to participate on both. She died in 2012, at the age of 61, seventeen months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Sally Kristen Ride, American Physicist and astronaut.

Sally Kristen Ride, American Physicist and astronaut.

Astronaut Dr Sally Ride relaxing in a "sleep restraint device"

Astronaut Dr Sally Ride relaxing in a "sleep restraint device"

Astronaut Sally K. Ride, mission specialist on STS-7,

Astronaut Sally K. Ride, mission specialist on STS-7,

Amelia Earhart Takes Flight!

Today is the anniversary of Amelia Earhart's journey across the Atlantic Ocean.

After taking lessons from aviation pioneer Neta Snook in a Curtiss Jenny, Earhart set out to break flying records, breaking the women altitude records in 1922. She continually promoted women in aviation and in 1928 was invited to be the first woman to fly across the Atlantic. Accompanying pilots Wilmer Stultz and Louis Gordon as a passenger on the Fokker Friendship, she became an international celebrity after the completion of the flight. In May 1932 she became the first woman to fly solo across in the Atlantic. In 1935 she completed the first solo flight from Hawaii to California. In the meantime Earhart continued to promote aviation and helped found the group, the Ninety-Nines, an organization dedicated to female aviators. She was a member of the National Woman's Party, and an early supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment. On June 1, 1937, Earhart and navigator, Fred Noonan, left Miami, Florida on an around the world flight. Earhart, Noonan and their Lockheed Electra disappeared after a stop in Lae, New Guinea on June 29, 1937. Earhart had only 7,000 miles of her trip remaining when she disappeared. While a great deal of mystery surrounds the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, her contributions to aviation and womens issues have inspired people for over 80 years.

Earhart and the Lockheed Electra  in which she disappeared in July 1937.

Earhart and the Lockheed Electra  in which she disappeared in July 1937.

Amelia Mary Earhart (July 24, 1897 - disappeared July 2, 1937)

Amelia Mary Earhart (July 24, 1897 - disappeared July 2, 1937)

Amelia Earhart, American Aviatrix.

Amelia Earhart, American Aviatrix.


Harry S. Truman's Birthday

Today is Harry S. Truman's birthday. Harry Truman (May 8, 1884 - December 26, 1972) was the 33rd President of the United States (1945-1953). He succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his unprecedented fourth term. During World War I, Truman served in combat in France as an artillery officer in his National Guard unit. He gained national prominence as head of the wartime Truman Committee and was selected as Roosevelt's running mate in 1944. He used executive orders to end racial discrimination in the armed forces and created loyalty checks that dismissed thousands of communist supporters from office. Truman's presidency was also eventful in foreign affairs, with the defeat of Nazi Germany and his decision to use nuclear weapons against Japan, the founding of the United Nations, the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe and the Truman Doctrine to contain communism.

Potsdam Conference. Clement Attlee, Harry Truman, and Joseph Stalin, seated outdoors, August 1, 1945.

Potsdam Conference. Clement Attlee, Harry Truman, and Joseph Stalin, seated outdoors, August 1, 1945.

Undated portrait of Truman

Undated portrait of Truman

President Truman, 1945

President Truman, 1945

Aging sequence of Truman, shown here from left to right, circa 1884, at 13 years of age in 1897, and circa 1900

Aging sequence of Truman, shown here from left to right, circa 1884, at 13 years of age in 1897, and circa 1900

Google finds Lochness?

Google street view cameras may have discovered footage of the legendary Lochness Monster. The Telegraph reports. While you weigh the evidence, take a look at this reference material from Science Source.

Illustration of the Loch Ness Monster cruising past a castle on a cliff at Loch Ness in Scotland. SC2516.

Illustration of the Loch Ness Monster cruising past a castle on a cliff at Loch Ness in Scotland. SC2516.

Famous photograph claiming to represent the Loch Ness Monster, first published in the London Daily Mail in 1934

Famous photograph claiming to represent the Loch Ness Monster, first published in the London Daily Mail in 1934

llustration of the Loch Ness Monster swimming

llustration of the Loch Ness Monster swimming



Thomas Jefferson's Birthday

Today is Thomas Jefferson's Birthday. Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 - July 4, 1826) was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence (1776) and the third President of the United States (1801-1809). He was the first United States Secretary of State (1790-1793). As Vice-President opposed to John Adams, Jefferson with Madison secretly wrote the Kentucky and Virginia Resolution, which attempted to nullify the Alien and Sedition Acts and formed the basis of states rights. Elected president in 1800, he oversaw a peaceful transition in power, purchased the vast Louisiana Territory from France (1803), and sent the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806) to explore the new west. On July 4th, 1826 at ten minutes before one o'clock Jefferson died at the age of 83 , the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 - July 4, 1826) with the United States Declaration of Independence (1776)

Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 - July 4, 1826) with the United States Declaration of Independence (1776)

A Currier and Ives lithograph depicting the Declaration Committee, made in 1876.

A Currier and Ives lithograph depicting the Declaration Committee, made in 1876.

American Declaration of Independence. Newspaper article detailing the text of the Declaration of Independence, principally drafted by Thomas Jefferson.

American Declaration of Independence. Newspaper article detailing the text of the Declaration of Independence, principally drafted by Thomas Jefferson.

Artistic representation of Thomas Jefferson.

Artistic representation of Thomas Jefferson.

Color enhanced charcoal drawing of Thomas Jefferson.

Color enhanced charcoal drawing of Thomas Jefferson.

Billie Holiday's 100th Birthday

Today is the 100th Birthday of Blues /Jazz singer Billie Holiday. Nicknamed "Lady Day" by her friend and musical partner Lester Young, she had a seminal influence on jazz and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. She died on July 17, 1959  Metropolitan Hospital in New York.

Photographed by Carl Van Vechten March 23, 1949

Photographed by Carl Van Vechten March 23, 1949

The Cotton Club in Harlem NY. A white only Jazz club that played many of the best black entertainers of the era, including Billie Holiday.

The Cotton Club in Harlem NY. A white only Jazz club that played many of the best black entertainers of the era, including Billie Holiday.

Photographed by Carl Van Vechten March 23, 1949

Photographed by Carl Van Vechten March 23, 1949



The Eiffel Tower's 126th anniversary

Today is the 126th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower's opening. The tower was constructed by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel in 1889 as the entrance arch for the 1889 World's Fair. Although criticized by artists and intellectuals of the time, It soon become a cultural icon for France and the French people. Today, it is the most visited paid monument in the world, receiving, in 2010, its 250 millionth visitor .

Looking through the base of the Eiffel Tower toward the Central Dome of the Palais des industries at the Exposition universelle de 1889

Looking through the base of the Eiffel Tower toward the Central Dome of the Palais des industries at the Exposition universelle de 1889

The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.

The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.

Historical artwork of the French engineer, Eiffel, with his most famous work the Eiffel Tower in the background.

Historical artwork of the French engineer, Eiffel, with his most famous work the Eiffel Tower in the background.

Eiffel Tower and exposition buildings on the Champ de Mars as seen from the Trocadéro Palace, Paris Exposition, 1889

Eiffel Tower and exposition buildings on the Champ de Mars as seen from the Trocadéro Palace, Paris Exposition, 1889




Spring is in the Air

Last Friday marked the first day of spring. Although it might not seem like it yet, soon birds will be chirping, the sun will be shinning and all the beaches will be packed.  Take a look at these spring photos to get you in the mood!

Golden Delicious apple blossoms (Malus communis) on the tree in the Loire Valley, France.

Golden Delicious apple blossoms (Malus communis) on the tree in the Loire Valley, France.

Two lambs standing in pasture, Shetland Islands, Scotland, in June.

Two lambs standing in pasture, Shetland Islands, Scotland, in June.

Old, stunted white ash tree (Fraxinus americana) in spring

Old, stunted white ash tree (Fraxinus americana) in spring

Southern Magnolia Tree Blossom (Magnolia grandiflora)

Southern Magnolia Tree Blossom (Magnolia grandiflora)


St. Patrick's Day

Held on March 17, St. Patrick's day is a cultural and religious festival celebrating the life of St. Patrick and the culture of the Irish people. St. Patrick's day is an official feast day in the Catholic Church and many Protestant Churches, allowing followers a respite from Lenten commitments such as food and alcohol restrictions.  The holiday was founded in Ireland during the 1600s and has a long and rich history.

Lithograph entitled: Saint Patrick's Day In America

Lithograph entitled: Saint Patrick's Day In America


Four Leaf Clover, a mutation that is considered a lucky charm in Ireland.

Four Leaf Clover, a mutation that is considered a lucky charm in Ireland.

Signs hang outside Irish pubs

Signs hang outside Irish pubs

Lithograph entitled: Saint Patricks Day. Showing scenes such as the birth of St. Patrick, his arrival in Ireland, the "Evils of Intemperance," the sun rising over a new society embracing the values of temperance (dance and tea parties), and the typical processions that mark St. Patrick's Day.

Lithograph entitled: Saint Patricks Day. Showing scenes such as the birth of St. Patrick, his arrival in Ireland, the "Evils of Intemperance," the sun rising over a new society embracing the values of temperance (dance and tea parties), and the typical processions that mark St. Patrick's Day.

Portrait of an Irish girl living in Connemara, Ireland.

Portrait of an Irish girl living in Connemara, Ireland.

Black History Month

This month is Black History Month. In the coming weeks we look back on the African Americans who shaped the American story. From Fredrick Douglas and the Abolitionist Movement to Barack Obama being elected the first black president of the U.s the history of African American's is rich and resonant. 

Booker Washington, George W. Carver and Harriet Tubman. George Washington Carver (c. 1864 - c. 1943)

Booker Washington, George W. Carver and Harriet Tubman. George Washington Carver (c. 1864 - c. 1943)

James Baldwin (1924-1987), African-American novelist, essayist, and short story writer.  

James Baldwin (1924-1987), African-American novelist, essayist, and short story writer.

 

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was one of the largest political rallies for human rights in United States history

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was one of the largest political rallies for human rights in United States history

President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill on Tuesday

President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill on Tuesday



Elizabeth Taylor

Today is Elizabeth Taylor's Birthday. Taylor was an actress in Hollywood's Golden Age. Taylor rose to fame in 1944 with her depiction of Velvet Brown in "National Velvet" and went on to star in Hollywood classics such as "Father of the Bride", "A Place in the Sun" and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." In her later life she became a philanthropist, helping to raise more than $270 million for preventative HIV/AIDS research. She died in 2011 and was buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. She is survived by her four children.

Elizabeth Taylor in the 1950's.

Elizabeth Taylor in the 1950's.

James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor, photographed circa 1955, probably on the set of the film 'Giant.'

James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor, photographed circa 1955, probably on the set of the film 'Giant.'

Elizabeth Taylor (born 1932), a British-American actress of Hollywood's golden age.

Elizabeth Taylor (born 1932), a British-American actress of Hollywood's golden age.

Alessandro Volta

Yesterday was Alessandro Volta's 270th Birthday. Volta was an Italian physicist who invented the first electrical battery. The battery or the Voltaic Pile, as he called it proved that electricity could be generated by chemicals and helped develop Volta's theory that living beings were the sole conductors of electricity. Volta's invention inspired a number of similar experiments, which laid the foundation for the field of electrochemistry.

Portrait after an oil painting of Count Alessandro Volta (1745-1827)  

Portrait after an oil painting of Count Alessandro Volta (1745-1827)

 

Volta's battery. Historical illustration of the battery (or pile) made by the Italian physicist Alessandro Volta (1745-1827) in 1800

Volta's battery. Historical illustration of the battery (or pile) made by the Italian physicist Alessandro Volta (1745-1827) in 1800

Volta revealing his electric battery to Napoleon Bonaparte (seated) and fellow scientists, in 1800

Volta revealing his electric battery to Napoleon Bonaparte (seated) and fellow scientists, in 1800




Langston Hughes' Birthday

Last Sunday was Langston Hughes' Birthday. Hughes was an activist, novelist, playwright and poet in the Harlem Renaissance. An innovator and visionary, Hughes gave a voice to black communities in the 1920's, while helping to create jazz poetry.

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

Langston Hughes, 1902-1967

Hughes taken in 1943 by Gordon Parks

Hughes taken in 1943 by Gordon Parks

Pictured here are Langston Hughes (far left) with (left to right): Charles S. Johnson, E. Franklin Frazier, Rudolph Fisher and Hubert T. Delaney

Pictured here are Langston Hughes (far left) with (left to right): Charles S. Johnson, E. Franklin Frazier, Rudolph Fisher and Hubert T. Delaney

Pastel drawing of Hughes by Weinold Reiss, circa 1925

Pastel drawing of Hughes by Weinold Reiss, circa 1925

Martin Luther King Day

On Martin Luther King Day we remember one of America's great civil rights activists. A pastor, writer, and humanitarian, King devoted his life to racial equality and the common good. His commitment to peaceful protest and civil disobedience played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement and still inspires the fight for justice today.

Martin Luther King, Jr., standing with Robert Dosseh, then the Archbishop of Lome, Togo. June 1965 photograph.

Martin Luther King, Jr., standing with Robert Dosseh, then the Archbishop of Lome, Togo. June 1965 photograph.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement

MLK meeting Malcolm X, March 26, 1964.

MLK meeting Malcolm X, March 26, 1964.