1665 – Henry Oldenburg, the first joint Secretary of the Royal Society, publishes the first issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, the world’s longest-running scientific journal.
The first issue, published in London on 6 March 1665, was edited and published by the Society’s first secretary, Henry Oldenburg, four-and-a-half years after the Royal Society was founded. The full title of the journal, as given by Oldenburg, was Philosophical Transactions, Giving some Account of the present Undertakings, Studies, and Labours of the Ingenious in many considerable parts of the World. The society’s council minutes dated 1 March 1664 (in the Julian calendar; equivalent to 11 March 1665 in the modern Gregorian system) ordered that “the Philosophical Transactions, to be composed by Mr Oldenburg, be printed the first Munday of every month, if he have sufficient matter for it, and that that tract be licensed by the Council of this Society, being first revised by some Members of the same”. Oldenburg published the journal at his own personal expense and seems to have entered into an agreement with the society’s council allowing him to keep any resulting profits. He was to be disappointed, however, since the journal performed poorly from a financial point of view during his lifetime, just about covering the rent on his house in Piccadilly. Oldenburg put out 136 issues of the Transactions before his death in 1677.
1869 – The first periodic table is presented to the Russian Chemical Society by Dmitri Mendeleev.
Importantly, the organization of the periodic table can be utilized to derive relationships between various element properties, but also predicted chemical properties and behaviours of undiscovered or newly synthesized elements. Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev was first to publish a recognizable periodic table in 1869, developed mainly to illustrate periodic trends of the then-known elements. He also predicted some properties of unidentified elements that were expected to fill gaps within this table. Most of his forecasts proved to be correct. Mendeleev’s idea has been slowly expanded and refined with the discovery or synthesis of further new elements and by developing new theoretical models to explain chemical behaviour. The modern periodic table now provides a useful framework for analyzing chemical reactions, and continues to be widely adopted in chemistry, nuclear physics and other sciences.
1888 – American author and feminist Louisa May Alcott dies.
As an adult, Alcott was an abolitionist and a feminist. In 1860, Alcott began writing for the Atlantic Monthly. When the American Civil War broke out, she served as a nurse in the Union Hospital at Georgetown, D.C., for six weeks in 1862–1863. She intended to serve three months as a nurse, but halfway through she contracted typhoid and became deathly ill, though she eventually recovered. Her letters home—revised and published in the Boston anti-slavery paper Commonwealth and collected as Hospital Sketches (1863, republished with additions in 1869)—brought her first critical recognition for her observations and humor.She wrote about the mismanagement of hospitals and the indifference and callousness of some of the surgeons she encountered. Her main character, Tribulation Periwinkle, showed a passage from innocence to maturity and is a “serious and eloquent witness”. Her novel Moods (1864), based on her own experience, was also promising.
Alcott became even more successful with the first part of Little Women: or Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy (1868), a semi-autobiographical account of her childhood with her sisters in Concord, Massachusetts, published by the Roberts Brothers. Part two, or Part Second, also known as Good Wives (1869), followed the March sisters into adulthood and marriage. Little Men (1871) detailed Jo’s life at the Plumfield School that she founded with her husband Professor Bhaer at the conclusion of Part Two of Little Women. Jo’s Boys (1886) completed the “March Family Saga”.
1953 – American planetary scientist Carolyn C. Porco is born.
She has co-authored more than 110 scientific papers on subjects ranging from the spectroscopy of Uranus and Neptune, the interstellar medium, the photometry of planetary rings, satellite/ring interactions, computer simulations of planetary rings, the thermal balance of Triton’s polar caps, heat flow in the interior of Jupiter, and a suite of results on the atmosphere, satellites, and rings of Saturn from the Cassini imaging experiment. In 2013, Cassini data confirmed a 1993 prediction by Porco and Mark Marley that acoustic oscillations within the body of Saturn are responsible for creating particular features in the rings of Saturn.
1992 – The Michelangelo computer virus begins to affect computers.
The Michelangelo virus is a computer virus first discovered on 4 February 1991 in Australia. The virus was designed to infect DOS systems, but did not engage the operating system or make any OS calls. Michelangelo, like all boot sector viruses, basically operated at the BIOS level. Each year, the virus remained dormant until March 6, the birthday of Renaissance artist Michelangelo. There is no reference to the artist in the virus, but due to the name and date of activation it is very likely that the virus writer intended Michelangelo to be referenced to the virus. Michelangelo is a variant of the already endemic Stoned virus.