Today – July 3

Today’s Notable Foreign Birthday

Franz Kafka– Influential German-language novelist

Franz Kafka

Cover of Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka (3 July 1883 – 3 June 1924) was a culturally influential German-language novelist. Contemporary critics and academics, such as Vladimir Nabokov, regard Kafka as one of the best writers of the 20th century. The term “Kafkaesque” has become part of the English language.

Kafka was born to middle class German-speaking Jewish parents in Prague, Bohemia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The house in which he was born, on the Old Town Square next to Prague’s Church of St Nicholas, now contains a permanent exhibition devoted to the author.

Most of Kafka’s writing, a large fraction of which being unfinished at the time of his death, was published posthumously.

Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia

U. S. Contemporaries: World War Cycle – Lost Generation – Nomad (Reactive) (1883-1900)

Today – July 1

Notable Foreign Birthdays

Carl von Clausewitz – Influential writer on the philosophy and theory of War.

Carl von Clausewitz, painting by Karl Wilhelm ...

Carl von Clausewitz, painting by Karl Wilhelm Wach. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Carl Philipp Gottlieb von Clausewitz (July 1, 1780 – November 16, 1831) was a Prussian soldier, military historian and military theorist.

Cover of "On War"

Cover of On War

He is most famous for his military treatise Vom Kriege, translated into English as On War, which influenced the thinking of world leaders prior to WW I.

Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia

U. S. Contemporaries: Revolutionary War Cycle – Compromise Generation – Artist (Adaptive) (1767-1791)

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Today – June 28

Today’s Notable U. S. Birthday

Jean-Jacques Rousseau – Leading Enlightenment philosopher, writer.

Graeme Garrard traces the origin of the Counte...

Graeme Garrard traces the origin of the Counter-Enlightenment to Rousseau. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (28 June 1712  – 2 July 1778) was a major philosopher, writer, and composer of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, whose political philosophy influenced the French Revolution and the development of modern political and educational thought. His novel, Emile: or, On Education, which he considered his most important work, is a seminal treatise on the education of the whole person for citizenship.

Illustration of Julie, or the New Heloise by J...

Illustration of Julie, or the New Heloise by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

His sentimental novel, Julie, ou la nouvelle Héloïse, was of great importance to the development of pre-Romanticism and romanticism in fiction. Rousseau’s autobiographical writings: his Confessions, which initiated the modern autobiography, and his Reveries of a Solitary Walker (along with the works of Lessing and Goethe in Germany, and Richardson and Sterne in England), were among the pre-eminent examples of the late eighteenth-century movement known as the “Age of Sensibility“, featuring an increasing focus on subjectivity and introspection that has characterized the modern age. Rousseau also wrote a play and two operas, and made important contributions to music as a theorist. During the period of the French Revolution, Rousseau was the most popular of the philosophes among members of the Jacobin Club. He was interred as a national hero in the Panthéon in Paris, in 1794, sixteen years after his death.

Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia

U. S. Contemporaries: Revolutionary War Cycle – Awakening Generation – Prophet (Idealist) (1701-1723)

Today – June 26

Today’s Notable Foreign Birthday

William Thomson (Lord Kelvin) – British physicist who developed the Kelvin scale for absolute temperatures.

English: Photograph of William Thomson, Lord K...

English: Photograph of William Thomson, Lord Kelvin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin (or Lord Kelvin) (26 June 1824 – 17 December 1907) was an Irish-born British mathematical physicist and engineer. At Glasgow University he did important work in the mathematical analysis of electricity and thermodynamics, and did much to unify the emerging discipline of physics in its modern form. He is widely known for developing the Kelvin scale of absolute temperature measurement. He was given the title Baron Kelvin in honour of his achievements and is therefore often described as Lord Kelvin. The title refers to the River Kelvin, which flows past his university in Glasgow, Scotland.

Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia

U. S. Contemporaries: Civil War Cycle – Gilded Generation – Nomad (Reactive) (1822-1842)

Today – June 21

Today’s Memorable U. S. Event

June 21 1788 – New Hampshire was admitted to the Union and became the 9th United State, ratifying the U. S. Constitution and making it the law of the land.

The order in which the original 13 states rati...

The order in which the original 13 states ratified the constitution, then the order in which the others were admitted to the union – click map to view. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today – June 19

Today’s Notable Foreign Birthday

Blaise Pascal – Early French prodigy in science and mathematics

Portrait of Pascal

Portrait of Pascal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Blaise Pascal (June 19, 1623 – August 19, 1662) was a French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher. He was a child prodigy who was educated by his father, a civil servant. Pascal’s earliest work was in the natural and applied sciences where he made important contributions to the construction of mechanical calculators, the study of fluids, and clarified the concepts of pressure and vacuum by generalizing the work of Evangelista Torricelli. Pascal also wrote in defense of the scientific method.

Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia

U. S. Contemporaries: Colonial Cycle – Cavalier Generation – Nomad (Reactive) (1615-1647)

Today – June 17

Today’s Notable Foreign Birthday

Igor StravinskyLeading composer of modern classical music

English: russian Composer Igor Stravinsky ????...

Russian Composer Igor Stravinsky  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky (17 June 1882 – 6 April 1971) was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor, widely acknowledged as one of the most important and influential composers of 20th century music. He was a quintessentially cosmopolitan Russian who was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the century.  In addition to the recognition he received for his compositions, he also achieved fame as a pianist and a conductor, often at the premieres of his works.

Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia

U. S. Contemporaries: World War Cycle – Missionary Generation – Prophet (Idealist) (1860-1882)

Today – June 16

Today’s Notable Foreign Birthday

Adam Smith – Father of modern economics.

Profile of Adam Smith

Profile of Adam Smith (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Adam Smith (baptised 16 June 1723 – 17 July 1790 ) was a Scottish moral philosopher and a pioneer of political economy. One of the key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, Smith is the author of The Theory of Moral Sentiments and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. The latter, usually abbreviated as The Wealth of Nations, is considered his magnum opus and the first modern work of economics. Adam Smith is widely cited as the father of modern economics.

Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia

U. S. Contemporaries: Revolutionary War Cycle – Awakening Generation – Prophet (Idealist) (1701-1723)

Today – June 14

Today’s Notable Foreign Birthday

Nikolaus Otto – Inventor of the internal combustion engine.

Nikolaus Otto

Nikolaus Otto (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nikolaus August Otto (14 June 1832 – 26 January 1891) was the German inventor of the first internal-combustion engine to efficiently burn fuel directly in a piston chamber. Although other internal combustion engines had been invented (e.g. by Étienne Lenoir) these were not based on four separate strokes. The concept of four strokes is likely to have been around at the time of Otto’s invention but he was the first to make it practical.

Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia

U. S. Contemporaries: Civil War Cycle – Gilded Generation – Nomad (Reactive) (1822-1842)