Archive for the 'Discovery' Category

LARGEST DIAMOND FOUND ON THIS DAY IN 1905

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On January 25, 1905, at the Premier Mine in Pretoria, South Africa, a 3,106-
carat diamond was discovered during a routine inspection by the mine’s superintendent. Weighing 1.33 pounds, and christened the “Cullinan,” it
was the largest rough diamond ever found.

Frederick Wells was 18 feet below the earth’s surface when he spotted a
flash of starlight embedded in the wall just above him. His discovery was
presented that same afternoon to Sir Thomas Cullinan, who owned the
mine. Cullinan then sold the diamond to the Transvaal provincial
government, which presented the stone to Britain’s King Edward VII as
a birthday gift. Worried that the diamond might be stolen in transit from
Africa to London, Edward arranged to send a phony diamond aboard a
steamer ship loaded with detectives as a diversionary tactic. While the
decoy slowly made its way from Africa on the ship, the Cullinan was
sent to England in a plain box.

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A photograph of the Cullinan Diamond being held by Frederick
Wells, who discovered it.

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THE PACIFIC REACHED ON THIS DAY IN 1520

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Ferdinand Magellan (1480 – April 27, 1521) 

After sailing through the dangerous straits below South America that now
bear his name, Portuguese navigator
Ferdinand Magellan entered  the Pacific Ocean with three ships, becoming the first European explorer to reach the
Pacific from the Atlantic.

On September 20, 1519, Magellan set sail from Spain in an effort to find a
western sea route to the rich Spice Islands of Indonesia. In command of
five ships and 270 men, Magellan sailed to West Africa and then to Brazil,
where he searched the South American coast for a strait that would take
him to the Pacific.

He searched the Rio de la Plata, a large estuary south of Brazil, for a way
through; failing, he continued south along the coast of Patagonia. At the
end of March 1520, the expedition set up winter quarters at Port St. Julian.

On Easter day at midnight, the Spanish captains mutinied against their
Portuguese captain, but Magellan crushed the revolt, executing one of the
captains and leaving another ashore when his ship left St. Julian in August.

On October 21, he finally discovered the strait he had been seeking. The
Strait of Magellan, as it became known, is located near the tip of South
America, separating Tierra del Fuego and the continental mainland. Only
three ships entered the passage; one had been wrecked and another
deserted. It took 38 days to navigate the treacherous strait, and when
ocean was sighted at the other end Magellan wept with joy.

pianting of Magellan's fleet , ships at sea (Getty Images/Hulton Archive)

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HISTORY WAS MADE ON THIS DAY

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Camille bohannon ap 1
CAMILLE
BOHANNON

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Zebulon Montgomery Pike
(January 5, 1779 – April 27, 1813)

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Approaching the Colorado foothills of the Rocky Mountains during his second exploratory expedition, Lieutenant Zebulon Pike spots a distant mountain peak
that looks “like a small blue cloud.” The mountain was later named Pike’s Peak
in his honor.

Pike’s explorations of the newly acquired Louisiana Territory of the U.S. began before the nation’s first western explorers, Lewis and Clark, had returned from
their own expedition up the
Missouri River. Pike was more of a professional
military man than either Lewis or Clark, and he was a smart man who had
taught himself Spanish, French, mathematics, and elementary science. When
the governor of Louisiana Territory requested a military expedition to explore
the headwaters of the
Mississippi, General James Wilkinson picked Pike to
lead it.


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posted by Bob Karm in Actors,ANNIVERSARY,BIRTHDAY,Civil war,CURRENT EVENTS,Discovery,Government,HISTORY,Protest and have No Comments

DISCOVERY MADE ON THIS DAY IN 1895

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Physicist Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen (above) (1845-1923) became the
first person to observe X-rays, a significant scientific advancement
that would ultimately benefit a variety of fields, most of all medicine,
by making the invisible visible. Rontgen’s discovery occurred
accidentally in his Wurzburg, Germany, lab, where he was testing
whether cathode rays could pass through glass when he noticed
a glow coming from a nearby chemically coated screen. He dubbed
the rays that caused this glow X-rays because of their because of
their unknown nature.

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One of the first X-ray photographs, taken by
Roentgen, showing his wife’s hand.

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VESSEL SUNK DURING WW II BATTLE FOUND

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Akagi Japanese aircraft carrier.

Deep-sea explorers and historians on Sunday announced they apparently
found a second
World War II-era Japanese aircraft carrier that sank during
the Battle of Midway.

Director of undersea operations for Vulcan Ind. Rob Kraft said a review of
sonar data captured Sunday showed either the Japanese carrier Akagi
or the Soryu resting in nearly 18,000 feet of water in the Pacific Ocean
more than 1,300 miles northwest of Pearl Harbor. Hawaii. 

The researchers used an autonomous underwater vehicle, or AUV,
equipped with sonar to find the ship. The vehicle had been out
overnight collecting data, and the image of a warship appeared in
the first set of readings on Sunday morning.

Officials said the crew planned to deploy the AUV for another eight-hour
mission where it will capture high-resolution sonar images of the site to
measure the ship and confirm its identity.  
     
The finding came on the heels of
last week’s discovery, another Japanese
aircraft carrier, the Kaga, which U.S. forces also sank during the Battle of
Midway in June 1942.

Until now, only one of the seven ships that went down in the air-and-sea
battle, five Japanese vessels and two American ships, had been found.

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