1492 – The Ensisheim meteorite falls in a wheat field in the Alsace region of France (then Austria).
The fall of the meteorite through the Earth’s atmosphere was observed as a fireball for a distance of up to 150 kilometres from where it eventually landed.
Sebastian Brant (1458–1521), satirist and author of “Das Narrenschiff” described the meteorite and its fall in the poem, “Loose Leaves Concerning the Fall of the Meteorite”.
Residents of the walled town and nearby farms and villages gathered at the location to raise the meteorite from its impact hole and began removing pieces of the meteorite.
1631 – French astronomer Pierre Gassendi observes the transit of mercury, which was predicted by Johannes Kepler.
The problem is that, even under ideal conditions, the disk of Mercury would be only 10 to12 seconds of arc in diameter, which is 10 times smaller than the finest detail discernable by the human eye under the best of conditions. Actual confirmed sightings had to await the invention of the telescope after ca 1605.
The first confirmed transit of Mercury occurred on November 7, 1631 and was sighted telescopically by the French astronomer Pierre Gassendi (1592-1655). This transit had been predicted by Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), however, Kepler never lived to see this vindication of his precise Rudolphine Tables based on his new theory of planetary motion.
1916 – Jeannette Rankin becomes the first woman in the United States elected to office at the National level.
Rankin’s campaign for one of Montana’s two at-large House seats in the congressional election of 1916 was financed and managed by her brother Wellington, an influential member of the Montana Republican Party. The campaign involved traveling long distances to reach the state’s widely scattered population. Rankin rallied support at train stations, street corners, potluck suppers on ranches, and remote one-room schoolhouses. She was elected on November 7, by a margin of over 7,500 votes, to become the first female member of Congress.
Shortly after her term began, Congress was called into an extraordinary April session in response to Germany’s declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare on all Atlantic shipping. On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson, addressing a joint session, asked Congress to “make the world safe for democracy” by declaring war on Germany. After intense debate, the war resolution came to a vote in the House at 3 o’clock in the morning on April 6; Rankin cast one of fifty votes in opposition. “I wish to stand for my country,” she said, “but I cannot vote for war.” Years later, she would add, “I felt the first time the first woman had a chance to say no to war, she should say it.” Although 49 male Representatives—and six Senators—joined her in voting against the declaration, Rankin was singled out for criticism. Some considered her vote to be a discredit to the suffragist movement and to her authority in Congress, but others applauded it, including Alice Paul of the National Woman’s Party and Representative Fiorello LaGuardia of New York.
1929 – MoMA opens to the public.
The idea for The Museum of Modern Art was developed in 1929 primarily by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller (wife of John D. Rockefeller, Jr.) and two of her friends, Lillie P. Bliss and Mary Quinn Sullivan. They became known variously as “the Ladies”, “the daring ladies” and “the adamantine ladies”. They rented modest quarters for the new museum in the Heckscher Building at 730 Fifth Avenue (corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street) in Manhattan, and it opened to the public on November 7, 1929, nine days after the Wall Street Crash. Abby had invited A. Conger Goodyear, the former president of the board of trustees of the Albright Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, to become president of the new museum. Abby became treasurer. At the time, it was America’s premier museum devoted exclusively to modern art, and the first of its kind in Manhattan to exhibit European modernism. One of Abby’s early recruits for the museum staff was the noted Japanese-American photographer Soichi Sunami (at that time best known for his portraits of modern dance pioneer Martha Graham), who served the museum as its official documentary photographer from 1930 until 1968.
2016 – Adafruit releases AdaBox001 as a standalone product for purchase.
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