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March 23, 1879
The Battle of Topáter, the first battle of the war is fought between Chile and the joint forces of Bolivia and Peru.
Eduardo Abaroa and the defenders of Topáter
The Battle of Topáter was fought on March 23, 1879 between Chile and Bolivia, and was the first of the War of the Pacific. The Chileans were taking possession of the Antofagasta (Litoral) province, at that time a part of Bolivia. The Bolivian troops, quite few in number, decided to make a stand in the town of Calama. On their way to occupy Calama, 554 Chilean troops, including cavalry and with two Krupp rifled guns, were opposed by 135 Bolivian soldiers and civilian residents led by Dr. Ladislao Cabrera, a civilian and a political authority in the region. The Bolivians presented battle next to the Topáter River, which runs outside the city. Cabrera dug in at two destroyed bridges; calls to surrender were rejected before and during the battle. Outnumbered and low in ammunition, most of the Bolivian force eventually withdrew, except for a small group of civilians led by Colonel Eduardo Abaroa that fought to the end. The Bolivian national hero, Coronel (Colonel) Abaroa, died in this battle. Further ground battles would not take place until the war at sea was resolved.
March 14, 1879
Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of general relativity, effecting a revolution in physics. For this achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics and one of the most prolific intellects in human history. He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect". The latter was pivotal in establishing quantum theory within physics.
April 26, 1879
Alfred Eric Campbell, known as Eric Campbell, was an English actor who for many years was wrongly believed to be Scottish. He was a key member of Charlie Chaplin's film ensemble, invariably playing an intimidating bully, and appeared in 11 of his films before he was killed in a car crash at 38 years old. He is the subject of a documentary by filmmaker Kevin Macdonald.
October 9, 1879
Max Theodor Felix von Laue was a German physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1914 for his discovery of the diffraction of X-rays by crystals. In addition to his scientific endeavors with contributions in optics, crystallography, quantum theory, superconductivity, and the theory of relativity, he had a number of administrative positions which advanced and guided German scientific research and development during four decades. A strong objector to National Socialism, he was instrumental in re-establishing and organizing German science after World War II.
November 7, 1879
Leon Trotsky, born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army.