This Day In History
Sunday, May 20, 2018
On This Day

Events

Births

in 1811
Theophile Gautier

Pierre Jules Théophile Gautier was a French poet, dramatist, novelist, journalist, art critic and literary critic. While Gautier was an ardent defender of Romanticism, his work is difficult to classify and remains a point of reference for many subsequent literary traditions such as Parnassianism, Symbolism, Decadence and Modernism. He was widely esteemed by writers as diverse as Balzac, Baudelaire, the Goncourt brothers, Flaubert, Proust and Oscar Wilde.
in 1871
Ernest Rutherford

Ernest Rutherford was a New Zealand-born British chemist and physicist who became known as the father of nuclear physics. In early work he discovered the concept of radioactive half-life, proved that radioactivity involved the transmutation of one chemical element to another, and also differentiated and named alpha and beta radiation. This work was done at McGill University in Canada. It is the basis for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry he was awarded in 1908 "for his investigations into the disintegration of the elements, and the chemistry of radioactive substances".

Deaths

in 1928
Wilhelm Wien

Wilhelm Carl Werner Otto Fritz Franz Wien was a German physicist who, in 1893, used theories about heat and electromagnetism to deduce Wien's displacement law, which calculates the emission of a blackbody at any temperature from the emission at any one reference temperature.
in 2004
Fred Whipple

Fred Lawrence Whipple was an American astronomer, who worked at the Harvard College Observatory for over 70 years. Amongst his achievements, he discovered some asteroids and comets, came up with the "dirty snowball" cometary hypothesis, and designed the Whipple shield.
in 2006
Glenn Ford

Glenn Ford was a Canadian-born American actor from Hollywood's Golden Era with a career that spanned seven decades. Despite his versatility, Ford was best known for playing ordinary men in unusual circumstances.
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