Monday, May 26, 2008

Today in History: May 26

  • 1667 French mathematician Abraham de Moivre born; a founder of Analytic Trigonometry and Probability Theory; De Moivre's formula: (cos x + i sin x)^n = cos(nx) + i sin(xn); published The Doctrine of Chance (1718), a hit with gamblers.
  • 1676 Dutch scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek discovers "animacules", using one of his microscopes looking in rainwater runoff from his roof -- making him the first microbiologist.
  • 1826 English astronomer Richard Carrington born; discovered that during the solar cycle the zone of sunspots moves from the upper latitudes towards the equator; first to map sunspot motion, discovering that the sun rotates faster at the equator; first to record a solar flare. We are currently at solar minimum, awaiting the onset of Carrington Solar Cycle #24.
  • 1907 American actor John Wayne (Marion Robert Morrison) born; Stagecoach (1939), They Were Expendable (1944), Red River (1948), Fort Apache (1948), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), Sands of Iwo Jima (1949), The Quiet Man (1952), The High and the Mighty (1954), The Searchers (1956), The Wings of Eagles (1957), Rio Bravo (1959), The Alamo (1960), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), Hatari! (1962), The Longest Day (1962), Donovan's Reef (1963), McLintock! (1963), In Harm's Way (1965), El Dorado (1967), The Green Berets (1968), True Grit (1969, Oscar Best Actor), Big Jake (1971), McQ (1974), The Shootist (1976).
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