On this date in 1936, Alan Turing submits On Computable Numbers for publication. Turing, considered to be the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, developed the Turing machine, a model for the modern computer. He is also the subject of the recent film The Imitation Game.
American poet Julia Ward Howe born on this date in 1819. Howe wrote the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
One this date in 1896, Charles Dow publishes the first edition of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
American essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson born this day in 1803. Emerson was a lecturer, poet, and essayist who led the Transcendentalist movement in the mid-19th century.
On this date in 1830, Sarah Josepha Hale publishes Mary Had a Little Lamb.
On this date in 1995, the first version of the Java programming language was release.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who created the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes, was born on this date in 1859. Doyle, who was an ophthalmologist, patterned his famous detective after his professor, Joseph Bell. Doyle wrote to him, saying, “It is most certainly to you that I owe Sherlock Holmes … [r]ound the centre of deduction and inference and observation which I have heard you inculcate I have tried to build up a man.” Convinced that Holmes kept him from more important matters, Doyle “killed” him off in 1893. However, the public demanded more tales with the famous sleuth, and Doyle was eventually persuaded to bring the character back in 1901 in The Hound of the Baskervilles. You can read that story here:
John Clare died this date in 1864. Clare was the son of a farm laborer; he came to be known for his poems, which elevated the English countryside and for his lamentation of its disruption. Clare’s biographer, Jonathan Bate, says that Clare was “the greatest laboring-class poet that England has ever produced. No one has ever written more powerfully of nature, of a rural childhood, and of the alienated and unstable self.” Clare’s mental health was fragile, and he eventually committed himself to an asylum. Clare’s time in the asylum is the subject of Adam Foulds’s novel, The Quickening Maze, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2009. You can read Clare’s poems here:
Vietnamese poet Tản Đà was born on this date in 1889. He used both European influences and traditional Sino-Vietnamese forms; he was a transitional figure between the 1890s and the “New Poetry” movement of the 1930s.