Copernicus born — History.com This Day in History — 2/19 …
On February 19, 1473, Nicolaus Copernicus is born in Torun, a city in north-central Poland on the Vistula River. The father of modern astronomy, he was the first modern European scientist to propose that Earth and other planets revolve around the sun.
Nicolaus Copernicus was a Polish astronomer who put forth the theory that the Sun is at rest near the center of the Universe, and that the Earth, spinning on its axis once daily, revolves annually around the Sun.
This is called the heliocentric, or Sun-centered, system. He shook up the scientific community by completing and publishing his ideas on a heliocentric solar system, Copernicus changed science forever
Photo by theravenspoke.hubpages.com
Donner Party rescued – History Channel
On this day in 1847, the first rescuers reach surviving members of the Donner Party, a group of California-bound emigrants stranded by snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
In the summer of 1846, in the midst of a Western-bound fever sweeping the United States, 89 people–including 31 members of the Donner and Reed families–set out in a wagon train from Springfield, Illinois.
After arriving at Fort Bridger, Wyoming, the emigrants decided to avoid the usual route and try a new trail recently blazed by California promoter Lansford Hastings, the so-called “Hastings Cutoff.”
After electing George Donner as their captain, the party departed Fort Bridger in mid-July. The shortcut was nothing of the sort: It set the Donner Party back nearly three weeks and cost them much-needed supplies.
After suffering great hardships in the Wasatch Mountains, the Great Salt Lake Desert and along the Humboldt River, they finally reached the Sierra Nevada Mountains in early October.
Despite the lateness of the season, the emigrants continued to press on, and on October 28 they camped at Truckee Lake, located in the high mountains 21 kilometers northwest of Lake Tahoe.
Overnight, an early winter storm blanketed the ground with snow, blocking the mountain pass and trapping the Donner Party.
Marines invade Iwo Jima – History Channel
On this day, Operation Detachment, the U.S. Marines’ invasion of Iwo Jima, is launched. Iwo Jima was a barren Pacific island guarded by Japanese artillery, but to American military minds, it was prime real estate on which to build airfields to launch bombing raids against Japan, only 660 miles away.
Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Amy Tan’s birthday – History Channel
Novelist Amy Tan is born on this day in 1952 to Chinese immigrants who came to Oakland in 1949.
Tan studied English at San Jose State and Berkeley. Although she planned an academic career, she grew bored with university life and turned to technical writing, business writing, and publishing.
At age 26, she learned that her mother had three daughters from a previous marriage and journeyed to China to meet them.
The experience helped inspire her first novel, The Joy Luck Club (1989), a collection of stories about three generations of Chinese and Chinese-American women. The book became a bestseller and was made into a movie in 1993.
Amy Tan – Cultivating Thought
Huaynaputina explodes in the most violent eruption in the recorded history
On 19 February 1600, it exploded catastrophically, in the largest volcanic explosion in South America in historic times. The eruption continued with a series of events into March.