Today in History: Rembrandt’s Birthday

The Nightwatch, Rembrandt, 1642

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, “Rembrandt” was born this day in 1606.  He was a Dutch painter and etcher and is considered one of the greatest painters in European history and the most important in Dutch history.

Rembrandt, Self Portrait, 1660


Today in History – October 7


Niels Henrik David Bohr, born October 7, 1885, was a Danish physicist who made foundational contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922.  He developed the model of the atom with the nucleus at the center and electrons spinning around it, which he compared to the planets spinning around the sun.



Today in History: Last Space Shuttle Landing

After 30-years of space travel, the NASA Space Shuttle program ended today.  The space shuttle Atlantis touched down just after dawn this morning at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, a former shuttle commander, said NASA would continue its “grand tradition of exploration….Children who dream of being astronauts today may not fly on the space shuttle, but, one day, they may walk on Mars”.

Atlantis Landing, July 21, 2011

Today in History: First Man on the Moon

On July, 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon.  As he stepped out of the lunar landing module, 240,000 miles from earth, he spoke these words that would become enshrined in our nation’s history: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind“.

(On a side note, I watched the lunar landing with my good friend, David Garrett!)

Neil Armstrong on the moon.

Today in History: Bastille Day

Storming the Bastille, July 14, 1789

Bastille Day, Paris

On July 14, 1789, French Revolutionaries stormed the Bastille, a royal fortress that had come to symbolize the tyranny of the British monarchy.  The revolution resulted in King Louis  XVI being overthrown and eventually executed.  The French celebrate July 14 each year in an extravaganza that resembles our own Independence Day celebrations.