Sarah Bernhardt (October 22, 1844 – March 26, 1923) was a legendary French stage actress, and has been referred to as “the most famous actress in the history of the world”. Bernhardt made her fame on the stages of Europe in the 1870s, and was soon in demand in Europe and the Americas. She developed a reputation as a serious dramatic actress, earning the nickname “The Divine Sarah.”
Alfred Nobel – Inventor of dynamite and founder of the Nobel Prizes.
Alfred Bernard Nobel (21 October 1833 – 10 December 1896) was a Swedish chemist, engineer, innovator, and armaments manufacturer. He is the the inventor of dynamite. Nobel also owned Bofors, which he had redirected from its previous role as primarily an iron and steel producer to a major manufacturer of cannon and other armaments. Nobel held 355 different patents, dynamite being the most famous. In his last will, he used his enormous fortune to institute the Nobel Prizes. The synthetic elementnobelium was named after him.
In the early modern period, the voyages of Columbus initiated Europeanexploration and colonization of the American continents, and are thus of great significance in world history. Christopher Columbus was a navigator and an admiral for Castile, a country that later founded modern Spain. He made four voyages to the Americas, with his first in 1492*, which resulted in what is widely referred to as the Discovery of America or Discovery of the Americas. He did not actually reach the mainland until his third voyage, in 1498, when he reached South America, and the fourth voyage, when he reached Central America.
* …After 29 days out of sight of land, on October 7, 1492, the crew spotted “[i]mmense flocks of birds”, some of which his sailors trapped and determined to be “field” birds (probably Eskimo curlews and American golden plovers). Columbus changed course to follow their flight.
Land was sighted at 2 a.m. on October 12, by a sailor named Rodrigo de Triana (also known as Juan Rodriguez Bermejo) aboard La Pinta. Columbus would later assert that he had first seen the land and, thus, earned the reward of 10,000 maravedís. Columbus called the island San Salvador, in present day the Bahamas or the Turks and Caicos, although the indigenous residents had already named it Guanahani. Exactly which island in the Bahamas or Turks and Caicos this corresponds to is an unresolved topic; prime candidates are Samana Cay, Plana Cays, Grand Turk, or San Salvador Island (named San Salvador in 1925 in the belief that it was Columbus’ San Salvador).
During a stay in Norway, Leif converted to Christianity, like many Norse of that time, at the behest of the King of Norway, Olaf I. When he returned to Greenland, he bought Bjarni Herjólfsson‘s boat and set out with 35 men to explore the land that Bjarni had seen to the west of Greenland, which was likely coastal Canada.
The Saga of the Greenlanders tells that Leif set out in the year 1002 or 1003 to follow Bjarni’s route with 35 crew members, but going north.
The first land he went to was covered with flat rocks (Old Norse hella). He therefore called it Helluland (“Land of the Flat Stones”). This was possibly Baffin Island. Next he came to a land that was flat and wooded, with white sandy beaches. He called this Markland (“Wood-land”), which is possibly Labrador.
Leif and his crew left Markland and again found land, which they named Vinland. They landed and built a small settlement which they called Leifsbúdir, meaning Leif’s storage houses, suggesting the settlement was temporary. They found the area pleasant as there were wild grapes and plenty of salmon in the river. The climate was mild, with little frost in the winter and green grass year-round. They remained in the region over the winter and returned to Greenland in spring carrying a cargo of timber.