Today's Birthday

  • Alistair Cooke (1908)
    Alistair Cooke (1908)

    Cooke was a British-American journalist and broadcaster. To British audiences, he was famous for his lively and insightful interpretations of American life and culture. His weekly Letter from America, which aired for 58 years, was one of the longest-running programs in radio. To American television audiences, he was the epitome of the elegant English gentleman, hosting public television's Masterpiece Theater for 20 years. After he died, his bones were stolen and used for what?

  • Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov (1711)
    Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov (1711)

    With an extraordinarily broad education, Lomonosov became a prominent figure of 18th-century Russia in many capacities. He was a poet, a language reformer, a chemistry professor, and founder of Moscow State University. He created the first colored-glass mosaics in Russia. He designed a telescope and hypothesized the presence of an atmosphere on Venus. He cataloged more than 3,000 minerals and explained the origin of icebergs. His experiments in physics contradicted what commonly accepted theory?

  • Asa Gray (1810)
    Asa Gray (1810)

    Considered one of the most important botanists in American history, Gray laid the foundation for the study of plants in North America. He made botanical expeditions to the western US, established Harvard University's botany department, and wrote prodigiously on the subject of plants, producing several classic, still-valued textbooks. Charles Darwin was such an admirer of Gray's work that he shared his theory of natural selection with Gray before publishing it. What toxin was named for Gray?