On this day 110 years ago, Roger Tory Peterson, the inventor of the modern field guide, was born. The American naturalist, ornithologist, artist, and educator published his groundbreaking Guide to the Birds in 1934, at age 25, and its first printing sold out in one week. The Peterson Field Guide series eventually included topics ranging from rocks and seashells, to reptiles and edible or medicinal plants. He won numerous awards, like the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, after igniting in our hearts a curiosity and love for the natural world. WATCH a short biography… (1908)
His guides utilized what became known as the Peterson Identification System, a practical method for field identification which highlights readily noticed visual features (field marks, as he called them) rather than focusing on scientific details. It was called the greatest invention for naturalists since the binoculars—and Peterson created the guides, unlike Audubon, without shooting the birds.
MORE Good News On This Day:
- Scientific American magazine published its first issue (1845)
- Motown released what would be its first number one hit, “Please Mr. Postman” by The Marvelettes (1961)
- Florence Welch, the English indie rock leader of Florence + the Machine, was born (1986)
- Ukraine declared its independence from the Soviet Union (1991)
- Pakistan‘s legislative house, the National Assembly, passed a constitutional amendment to make the “Qur’an and Sunnah” the “supreme law” but the bill was defeated in the Senate (1998)
And on this day in 1837, pharmacists John Lea and William Perrins manufactured Worcestershire Sauce for the first time. They devised the complex recipe in Worcester, England after a nobleman of the area was eager to recreate an exciting taste he had acquired in India.
From that day forward, the ingredients used to manufacture the Lea & Perrins condiment were required to mature for 18 months before being blended and bottled into the famous sauce. The ingredient is often used in Welsh rarebit, Caesar salad, Oysters Kirkpatrick, deviled eggs, and chili or beef dishes. The sauce is also used to flavor cocktails such as the Bloody Mary.
On this date in 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech envisioning racial harmony.
During the March on Washington D.C. for Jobs and Freedom, he called on people to judge each other by the “content of their character.” 250,000 attended the rally and watched him on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. King described his dreams for freedom and equality which arose in a nation of slavery and hatred. With a single phrase, Martin Luther King Jr. propelled forward the Civil Rights Movement that was fighting for equality in a nation that tolerated hatred… WATCH this famous portion of the speech.