400 years ago today, Johannes Kepler conceived of his ‘Third Law of planetary motion’, which came to him in a vision. Later, he described that moment, and the many calculations that followed: They “stormed the darkness” of his mind—and “so strong was the support” on paper… that at first he believed he “was dreaming”. WATCH a mini-bio… (1618)

The German mathematician and astronomer wrote the book ‘Harmony of the World’ which laid the fundamentals of his three scientific laws describing the motion of planets around the Sun. His work corrected Copernicus by revealing that the planets’ speeds actually varied, and their orbits were elliptical rather than circular. Kepler’s laws of planetary motion were also foundational for Isaac Newton’s theory of universal gravitation.

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • An anonymous writer, thought by some to be Thomas Paine, published “African Slavery in America”, the first article in the American colonies calling for the emancipation of slaves and the abolition of slavery (1775)
  • Susan B. Anthony testified before the US House Judiciary Committee arguing for a Constitutional amendment granting women the right to vote (1884)
  • French aviatrix Raymonde de Laroche became the first woman to receive a pilot’s license (1910)
  • 70 years ago, the US Supreme Court agreed that promoting one religion through religious instruction in public schools violated the Constitution (1948)
  • Philips demonstrated the compact disc publicly for the first time (1979)
  • The first festival of rock music ever held in the Soviet Union kicked off, featuring 8 days of Russian rock music (1980)
  • Iraq‘s Governing Council signed a new constitution (2004)

And, on this date in 1911, International Women’s Day was first celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

25 countries later recognized the holiday officially, including Afghanistan, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam and Zambia. The U.S. even designated the entire month of March as Women’s History Month, proclaimed by President Obama in 2011. (It’s also Mother’s Day in Albania, Romania and Bulgaria.)

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