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February 20, 1844
Joshua Slocum was the first man to sail single-handedly around the world. He was a Canadian born, naturalised American seaman and adventurer, and a noted writer. In 1900 he told the story of this in Sailing Alone Around the World
. He disappeared in November 1909 while aboard his boat, the Spray
May 21, 1844
Henri Julien Félix Rousseau was a French Post-Impressionist painter in the Naïve or Primitive manner. He was also known as Le Douanier
(the customs officer), a humorous description of his occupation as a toll collector. Ridiculed during his life, he came to be recognized as a self-taught genius whose works are of high artistic quality.
July 1, 1844
Verney Lovett Cameron was an English traveller in Central Africa and the first European to cross equatorial Africa from sea to sea.
July 28, 1844
Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. was an English poet, Roman Catholic convert, and Jesuit priest, whose posthumous fame established him among the leading Victorian poets. His experimental explorations in prosody (especially sprung rhythm) and his use of imagery established him as a daring innovator in a period of largely traditional verse.
November 25, 1844
Karl Friedrich Benz was a German engine designer and car engineer, generally regarded as the inventor of the gasoline-powered car, and together with Bertha Benz pioneering founder of the automobile manufacturer Mercedes-Benz.
December 8, 1844
Charles-Émile Reynaud was a French science teacher, responsible for the first projected animated cartoon films. Reynaud created the Praxinoscope in 1877 and the Théâtre Optique in December 1888, and on 28 October 1892 he projected the first animated film in public, Pauvre Pierrot, at the Musée Grévin in Paris. This film is also notable as the first known instance of film perforations being used.
March 8, 1844
Charles XIV & III John, also Carl John, Swedish and Norwegian: Karl Johan was King of Sweden (as Charles XIV John) and King of Norway (as Charles III John) from 1818 until his death. Before he became king, he was also the Sovereign Prince of Pontecorvo, in Southern Italy, between 1806 and 1810.
November 21, 1844
Ivan Andreyevich Krylov is Russia's best known fabulist. While many of his earlier fables were loosely based on Aesop and Jean de La Fontaine, later fables were original work, often satirizing the incompetent bureaucracy that was stifling social progress in his time.