210 years ago today, Louis Braille, the inventor of a reading and writing system for the blind, was born in France. Losing his sight at an early age, the precocious boy perfected his system of dots by the time he was 15-years-old. Now known as Braille, it went unused for years after his death, but eventually was recognized as a revolutionary invention, and adapted for use in languages worldwide. The simple tactile code has remained virtually unchanged to this day. WATCH how he started with an Army code for communicating in silence and darkness… (1809)

“We do not need pity, nor do we need to be reminded we are vulnerable,” said Mr. Braille. “We must be treated as equals – and communication is the way this can be brought about.” (Photo by Diego Molano, CC license)

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Burma gained its independence from the UK (1948)
  • US President Lyndon Johnson laid out his plans for “The Great Society” which included broad tax cuts, civil rights reforms and major spending for education, medical care, urban problems, and transportation (1965)
  • The Doors released their self-titled debut album “The Doors”, one of the most acclaimed LPs in all of popular music, which featured their breakthrough million-selling single, Light My Fire (1967)
  • Afghans approved a new constitution (2004)
  • The United States Congress elected Nancy Pelosi as the first female Speaker of the House in U.S. history (2007)
  • The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention removed a ban on persons with HIV from entering the country (2010)

On this day 375 years ago, perhaps the greatest physicist the world has known, Isaac Newton, was born. Widely recognized as one of the most influential scientists of all time, he invented his own calculus when he was 26 years old.

An English mathematician, astronomer, and theologian, his book Principia, “Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy”, formulated our understanding of the mechanics of motion and gravity, which dominated scientists’ view of the physical universe for the next three centuries. This farmer’s son also built the first practical reflecting telescope, and made pathbreaking observations in optics, figuring out that white light is really made of multiple colors. WATCH a cool video… (1543)

And, Happy Birthday to Michael Stipe, the visual artist and former lead singer of R.E.M, who turns 59 years old today. Since the band dissolved in 2011, the singer, songwriter, and visual artist has rarely appeared on stage. (1960)Michael-Stipe-2015-on-stage-youtube

Also, Happy Birthday to the author/historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, who turns 76 years old today. (1943)


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