• Russia's dirty war in Chechnya... • Battle of the Somme... • Hyundai founder dies... • Flag raiser dies on Iwo Jima... • Blacks massacred in South Africa... • Napoleonic Code... • Civil rights march... • Car innovator's lawsuit against prosecutors... • Reward offered for identity of pamphlet author... • Lawsuit over Internet domain names... • North Vietnam rejects peace talks offer... • Khmer Rouge shell Phnom Penh... • Another plot to kill Hitler fails... • Fourier is born... • Mad Sheep disease in US?...
a 21 March:
2014 Asteroid 2003 QQ47, 1300 m wide, does not collide with Earth. It was first seen on 24 August 2003 and, on 02 September 2003 it was estimated to have 1 chance out of 909'000 of colliding with Earth on this date. On 03 September 2003, this was lowered to 1 out of 2.2 million.
2003 A US Marine replaces the Iraqi flag at the entrance to the new port at Umm Qasr, Iraq with the flags of the US and of its Marine Corps [photo >]. Soon afterwards someone remembers that the US claims that it is liberating, not conquering Iraq, and the US flags are removed.
[MAP OF IRAQ]
[all about Iraq, especially its military]
2003 Government and Baath Party buildings along the Tigris River in Baghdad are bombed by the US soon after midnight. [< photo]
|2001 A Bacia de Campos (Brasile) e' affondata la piattaforma
petrolifera della Petrobas, la piu' grande del mondo. La dispersione in
mare di un milione e mezzo di tonnellate di greggio e altrettante di gasolio,
nonostante tutte le precauzioni, sembra inevitabile. E tutto cio' mentre
la Francia assiste ancora una volta ad un naufragio velenoso al largo delle
sue coste. E' accaduto ieri nel golfo di Biscaglia, 200 km a NordEst del
porto iberico di La Coruña. La nave trasportava 8000 tonnellate di
acido solforico. E' ancora impossibile valutare il danno provocato.
2001 Poll: US drug war a failure, must be continued. ^top^
The Pew Research Institute for the People and the Press releases the results of a poll, according to which the US's drug war is viewed as a failure by most Americans, and there is scant hope it will ever succeed. Nearly three-quarters of people in the US say that we are losing the drug war, and just as many say that insatiable demand will perpetuate the nation's drug habit. Yet this deep sense of futility has not generated more momentum for alternative anti-drug strategies, like establishing more treatment programs for drug users or decriminalizing the use of some drugs. The public still gives higher priority to traditional get-tough approaches, such as interdicting drugs at the border and arresting dealers in this country, although declining numbers regard those tactics as effective.
2001 Italian luxury sportscar maker Ferrari opens a dealership in Indonesia, one of the world's poorest countries and home to some of its most impenetrable traffic jams. Its Ferraris will sell for about $288'000 each. For the penurious there will also be Maseratis at $96'000 price tag. Indonesia's average monthly income is about $25. So the average Indonesian just has to get 364 others to agree to live on only $12.50 a month, and in a little over 5 years, between all of them, they can buy one Ferrari and each have it for one day in the year.
2001 El ex general golpista y presidente del Parlamento guatemalteco, José Efraín Ríos Montt, pierde su cargo al frente de la Cámara de Diputados por su presunta implicación en la manipulación de una ley.
2001 US expels Russian spy-diplomats. ^top^
The US State Department notifies Russia that 50 Russian diplomats in the US will have to leave, four of them immediately. These four are what intelligence officers with senior FBI official Robert Hanssen, who is awaiting trial on charges of spying for the former Soviet Union and for Russia over a period of 15 years. The news of the expulsion would be made public on 22 March, and on 23 March Russia would announce that it is expelling an equal number of US diplomats.
Two other diplomats accused in the Hanssen matter -- including Vladimir Frolov, the Russian Embassy press attaché who was Hanssen's handler -- have already precipitously left the US.
Among other things, investigators believe Hanssen, who was in the FBI for 25 years, may have told Russians about a secret surveillance tunnel under the then-Soviet Embassy -- now the Russian Embassy -- in Washington. Hanssen is to appear at a preliminary hearing on 21 May 2001. If convicted, he could face the death penalty or life in prison.
US sheep seized in Mad Cow scare ^top^
Federal officials seize a flock of sheep [< photo] feared infected with a version of mad cow disease, the first such seizure of any US. farm animals. It is in Montpelier, Vermont, Houghton Freeman's flock of 233 sheep.
The sheep, imported from Belgium and the Netherlands in 1996, were placed under certain federal restrictions when they entered the country as part of USDA's scrapie control efforts. In 1998, USDA learned that it was likely that sheep from Europe were exposed to feed contaminated with bovine spongiform encephalopathy. At that time, the state of Vermont, at the request of USDA, imposed a quarantine on these flocks, which prohibited slaughter or sale for breeding purposes. On 10 July 2000, four sheep from the flock tested positive for a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE).
TSE is a class of degenerative neurological diseases that is characterized by a very long incubation period and a 100% mortality rate. Two of the better known varieties of TSE are BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease) in cattle and scrapie in sheep. Unlike BSE, there is no evidence that scrapie poses a risk to human health. Based on current testing methodology, there is no way to determine whether the sheep have BSE or scrapie.
On July 14, 2000, USDA issued a declaration of extraordinary emergency to acquire the sheep. This action was contested by the flock owners. A federal district court judge ruled in favor of USDA based on the merits of the case. The flock owners appealed to the Second Circuit Court requesting a stay, which was denied. The sheep will be transported to USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, where they will be humanely euthanized. Tissue samples will be collected from the sheep for diagnostic testing. The owners will be compensated for the fair market value of the sheep.
The second suspect flock, of 126 East Friesian milking sheep, is owned by Larry and Linda Faillace of East Warren. Those animals would to be seized two days later
Another flock of 21 sheep from the same family of sheep was voluntarily turned over to government officials in the summer of 2000 by their Lyndonville owner. The sheep were destroyed.
The human version of BSE, which like the animal version has a lengthy incubation period, has killed almost 100 people in Great Britain since 1995, when it nearly wiped out the British beef industry (as it was recovering, it was devastated again in 2001 by foot-and-mouth disease). Scrapie has been in the United States since at least 1947, but there are no known domestic cases of mad cow disease. Destroying the sheep would eliminate them as a possible source of BSE. BSE has been transmitted to sheep experimentally through the feeding of small amounts of infected cattle brain. Testing to determine whether the Vermont sheep have scrapie or BSE wirr take two to three years to complete.
Backgrounder on Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (PDF)
Mass graves a hallmark of Russia's "Dirty War"
The 40-page report, "The 'Dirty War' in Chechnya: Forced Disappearances, Torture and Summary Executions," details the cases of fifty-two "disappeared" individuals who were last seen in the custody of Russian federal forces. The actual number of "disappeared" is believed to be much higher. The mutilated bodies of some of the "disappeared" were later found in unmarked graves in Chechnya, most bearing unmistakable signs of torture.
The term "dirty war" was coined to describe the campaigns of forced "disappearances" perpetrated by Latin American governments in the 1970s and 80s.
In a typical "disappearance," federal agents-from the Russian military, police, or security forces-take someone into custody during "sweep" operations or at a checkpoint. But Russian authorities later deny any knowledge of the individual who has "disappeared."
Family members may visit detention centers all over the northern Caucasus to glean information about their loved ones. Often they are compelled to bribe prison guards to scan prisoners' lists for the name of the "disappeared," or to pay middlemen who claim to have connections to authorities.
Russian legal authorities offer little help. The civilian procuracy charged with investigating such cases cannot compel the military authorities to cooperate. The thirty-four criminal investigations into "disappearances" that the civilian procuracy has opened so far have not resulted in the discovery of the whereabouts of any "disappeared," or in any indictments of perpetrators.
The Human Rights Watch report documents eight mass graves and eight other makeshift burials, where corpses of the "disappeared" and others have been found.
Among the victims whose cases are detailed in the report:
|2000 Pope John Paul II began the first official visit
by a Roman Catholic pontiff to Israel.
2000 A divided US Supreme Court rules that the government lacks authority to regulate tobacco as an addictive drug, throwing out the Clinton administration's main anti-smoking initiative.
1998 The European Union imposes economic sanctions and an arms embargo on Yugoslavia (in fact Serbia) because of its violent repression in Kosovo.
1998 La policía española y la guardia civil se incautan de 590 kilos de explosivos, uno de los mayores alijos apresados a ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasusa), y desarticulan el "comando Andalucía", al detener en Sevilla a sus tres miembros liberados y a dos colaboradores franceses.
1994 IBM and Apple's joint software venture, Taligent (formed in 1991), demonstrates a new operating system able to run on any kind of machine-from a Macintosh to a PC to a mainframe.
1990 Namibia becomes independent of South Africa.
1989 Randall Dale Adams, whose conviction for killing a police officer was overturned after the documentary ''The Thin Blue Line'' challenged evidence, is released from a Texas prison.
1988 El presidente del Gobierno español, Felipe González Márquez, presenta el Plan Nacional de Investigación Científica y Desarrollo Tecnológico.
1986 199.22 million shares traded in NY Stock Exchange.
1980 US President Jimmy Carter announces that, in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan started in December 1979, the US will boycott the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. It is the only time that the US has boycotted the Olympics. It does not stop the Russians in Afghanistan and it hurts the Olympics.
1979 Primera condena a muerte por inyección letal en Estados Unidos, en la persona de Lynda May Burnett, quien en 1978 secuestró y asesinó a un niño.
1972 The US Supreme Court ruled states may not require at least a year's residency for voting eligibility.
Selma to Montgomery march begins ^top^
A five-day civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, the Alabama state capital, is begun by some 3200 marchers led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., winner of the 1964 Nobel Prize for Peace.
Alabama was a center of the African-American civil rights movement, and, in early 1965, King’s civil rights organization, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), planned a march from Selma to the state capitol to protest racial violence in Alabama. A first attempt was made on 07 March, but the march ended on the outskirts of Selma when mounted police using tear gas and clubs attacked and arrested the demonstrators. Two days later, another attempt was made, but the marchers were again blocked by the police. The same evening, Reverend James Reeb, a white minister, was fatally beaten by a group of Selma whites, leading to a national outcry and widespread publicity of the planned march.
Under pressure from US. President Lyndon B. Johnson, an Alabama court finally gave the marchers permission to proceed. On 21 March, the march began, and ended after minimal violence on 26 March in Montgomery, where King and his marchers were joined by some 20'000 demonstrators in front of the Alabama state capitol building. Soon after, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which gave federal agencies the right to enforce equal voting rights in the South.
In the name of African-American voting rights, 3200 civil rights demonstrators, led by Martin Luther King Jr., begin a historic march from Selma, Alabama, to the State Capitol at Montgomery. US. Army and National Guard troops were on hand to provide safe passage for the "Alabama Freedom March," which twice had been turned back by Alabama state police at Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge. In 1965, King and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) decided to make the small town of Selma the focus of their drive to win voting rights for Black US citizens in the South. Alabama's governor, George Wallace, was a vocal opponent of the Black civil rights movement, and local authorities in Selma had consistently thwarted efforts by the Dallas County Voters League and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to register local blacks. King had won the 1964 Nobel Prize for Peace, and the world's eyes turned to Selma after his arrival there in January 1965. He launched a series of peaceful protests, and by mid-February thousands of protesters in the Selma area had spent time in jail, including King himself.
On 18 February, a group of White segregationists attacked some peaceful marchers in the nearby town of Marion. Jimmie Lee Jackson, a Black demonstrator, was fatally wounded in the melee. After he died, King and the SCLC planned a massive march from Selma to Montgomery. Although Governor Wallace promised to prevent it from going forward, on 07 March some 500 demonstrators, led by SCLC leader Hosea Williams and SNCC leader John Lewis, began the 87-kilometer march to the state capital. After crossing Pettus Bridge, they were met by Alabama state troopers and posse men who attacked them with nightsticks, tear gas, and whips after they refused to turn back. Several of the protesters were severely beaten, and others ran for their lives. The incident was captured on national television and outraged many Americans. Hundreds of ministers, priests, and rabbis headed to Selma to join the voting rights campaign. King, who was in Atlanta at the time, promised to return to Selma immediately and lead another attempt.
On 09 March, King led 1500 marchers, black and white, across Edmund Pettus Bridge but found Highway 80 blocked again by state troopers. King paused the marchers and led them in prayer, whereupon the troopers stepped aside. King then turned the protesters around, believing that the troopers were trying to create an opportunity that would allow them to enforce a federal injunction prohibiting the march. This decision led to criticism from some marchers who called King cowardly. In Selma that night, James Reeb, a white minister from Boston, was fatally beaten by a group of segregationists.
Six days later, on 15 March, President Lyndon Johnson went on national television to pledge his support to the Selma protesters and call for the passage of a new voting rights bill that he was introducing in Congress. "There is no Negro problem. There is no Southern problem. There is no Northern problem. There is only an American problem," he said, "And we shall overcome." On 21 March, US. Army troops and federalized Alabama National Guardsmen escorted the marchers across Edmund Pettus Bridge and down Highway 80. When the highway narrowed to two lanes, only 300 marchers were permitted, but thousands more rejoined the Alabama Freedom March as it came into Montgomery on 25 March. On the steps of Alabama State Capitol, King addressed live television cameras and a crowd of 25'000, just a few hundred feet from Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, where he got his start as a minister in 1954. That August, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act, which guaranteed African Americans the right to vote. By 1967, African-American registered voters in Alabama had nearly tripled.
| 1962 A bear becomes the first creature to be ejected
at supersonic speeds
1951 Julius and Ethel Rosenberg convicted of espionage
1945 During WW II Allied bombers begin 4 days of raids on Germany.
1935 Persia becomes Iran. Irán, deformación del nombre Airana o tierra de los arios.
1933 Desaparece la República de Weimar, en Alemania, y comienza el Tercer Reich.
1925 Iran adopts Khorshidi solar Hijrah calendar.
1925 El Gobierno de Miguel Primo de Rivera ordena la disolución de la mancomunidad catalana.
|1919 Bela Kun se adueña del poder en Hungría y proclama
la dictadura del proletariado.
1918 During WW I Germany launches Somme offensive, hoping to break through the Allied line before US reinforcements could arrive.
1918 Formación de un Gobierno nacional español, presidido por Antonio Maura y Montaner, para hacer frente a la grave situación creada por las Juntas de Defensa.
1907 US invades Honduras.
1907 Louis Blériot ensaya su primer modelo de monoplano, con el que atravesaría el Canal de la Mancha el 25 de julio de 1909.
1891 A Hatfield marries a McCoy, ends long feud in West Virginia.
1871 El Emperador Guillermo I de Alemania inaugura el primer Parlamento alemán y concede a Bismarck el título de Príncipe Imperial.
1865 Battle of Bentonville ends, last Confederate effort to stop Sherman.
1864 Nevada and Colorado territories admitted into the Union.
1847 Guatemala se independiza de las provincias Unidas de Centroamérica.
1843 Preacher William Miller of Massachusetts predicts the world will end today (it doesn't).
1829 Un terremoto ocasiona graves daños materiales en la ciudad de Orihuela (Alicante) y en los caseríos de su huerta.
1808 El rey de España Carlos IV, en un documento dirigido a Napoleón Bonaparte, le indica que debe considerar nula su abdicación al trono español.
1790 Thomas Jefferson reported to US President Washington in New York City as the new secretary of state.
1788 Gustavus Vassa petitions Queen Charlotte, to free enslaved Africans.
1788 Fire destroyed 856 buildings in New Orleans Louisiana
1344 Alfonso XI, rey de Castilla, toma Algeciras.
1146 King Louis VII of France took up the cause of the Second Crusade, in response to Bernard of Clairvaux's preaching, and became leader of the ill-fated mission.
which occurred on a March 21:
2004 Jose Geraldo Soares, 43, of a heart attack in the afternoon, half way through the Mel Gibson movie The Passion of the Christ, which he was watching in one of the two movie theaters at a Belo Horizonte, Brazil, shopping mall which he, a Presbyterian pastor, had booked for the congregations of two local churches.
2004 Two Iraqi civilians by two rockets which miss their target, the US-led occupation headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq. Five Iraqi civilians are wounded. One US soldier is wounded by a third rocket which hits the headquarters compound.
2004 A 1st Armored Division soldier and an Iraqi interpreter, in Baghdad's western Abu Ghraib district, by a bomb exploding near a US patrol. Three US soldiers are wounded.
2004 Ibrahim Homan, 26, an Islamic Jihad fighter, of wounds from Israeli army gunfire sustained near the Netzarim enclave settlement in the Gaza Strip, at the beginning of March 2004.
2003:: 2nd Lt. Therrel S. Childers, 30; Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez, 22, US Marines killed in action as the US invades southern Iraq and their units advance on the Rumeila oilfield.
2003:: 8 British Marines: Color Sgt. John Cecil; Lance Bombardier Llewelyn Karl “Welly” Evans; Capt. Philip Stuart Guy; Sholto Hedenskog; Sgt. Les Hehir; Operator Mechanic Second Class Ian Seymour; Warrant Officer Second Class Mark Stratford; Major Jason Ward ; and 4 US Marines: Staff Sgt. Kendall Damon Waters-Bey, 29 [photo >], Maj. Jay Thomas Aubin, 36; Cpl. Brian Matthew Kennedy, 25,and Capt. Ryan Anthony Beaupre, 30, pilot of their 2-rotor CH-46 Sea Knight transport helicopter which crashes at 03:37 (00:37 UT) in Kuwait, 15 km from the border of Iraq attacked by the US and UK.
2003 Two Indian Special Forces jawans, Koushal Chandra and Subash Chandra; and two Kashmiri patriots of those who ambushed the Indian patrol at Pindi Jamola in Kalalkas area in Rajouri district of Jammu (Indian-occupied Kashmir).
2002 Yitzhak Cohen, of Modi'in, and Tzipi Shemesh and Gad Shemesh, of Pisgat Ze'ev; and Mohammed Hashaika, 22, suicide bomber of Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade, from the West Bank village of Talooza, north of Nablus. The explosion occurs at 16:15 in the Jerusalem downtown shopping area on King George Street outside the Aroma café. 86 are injured. The Bank of Israel estimates that the al-Aqsa intifada, has cost Israel $2.4 billion in revenue from October 2000 to December 2001, including a $2.1 billion decrease in revenue from tourism.
2002 Herman Talmadge, 88, Democrat, Georgia's governor (1948-1954) and US senator (1957-1981), who was a segregationist until about 1970. He was born on 09 August 1913.
1985 At least 21 demonstrators marching to mark the 25th anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre, as police in Langa, South Africa, shoots at them.
1981 Michael Donald, a black teen-ager in Mobile, Ala., abducted, tortured and killed in a Ku Klux Klan plot. A lawsuit brought by Donald's mother, Beulah Mae Donald, later would result in a landmark judgment that bankrupts one Klan organization.
1945 Franklin Sousley [photo >], in the battle for Iwo Jima.
He was one of the six who, on 23 February 1945, had raised the famous flag on top of Mount Suribachi (he was the second one from the left among the four in front).
Franklin was a red-haired, freckle-faced kid raised on a tobacco farm. His favorite hobbies were hunting and dancing. Fatherless at 9, Franklin became the main man in his mother's life. Franklin enlisted at 17 and sailed for the Pacific on his 18th Birthday. All that's left of Franklin is a few pictures and two letters Franklin wrote home to his mother:
------------July 1944, Letter from Training Camp:
"Mother, you said you were sick. I want you to stay in out of that field and look real pretty when I come home. You can grow a crop of tobacco every summer, but I sure as hell can't grow another mother like you."
------------Feb. 27, 1945 Letter from Iwo Jima:
"My regiment took the hill with our company on the front line. The hill was hard, and I sure never expected war to be like it was those first 4 days. Mother, you can never imagine how a battlefield looks. It sure looks horrible. Look for my picture because I helped put up the flag. Please don't worry and write."
| 1937 Nineteen Puerto Rican nationalists in parade,
killed by police.
1934 Muir, mathematician.
1933 D'Ovidio, mathematician.
1912 Homer Burk Howell, Black, lynched in Georgia, accused of the murder of a White.
1889 August Xaver Karl Pettenkofen, Austrian painter baptized (soon after birth) on 10 May 1822. — more with link to an image.
1888:: 80 personas en un incendio que destruye por completo el teatro Baquet, de Oporto (Portugal).
1880 José Ignacio Márquez Barreto, político colombiano.
1864 Hippolyte-Jean Flandrin, French Neoclassical painter and lithographer born on 23 March 1809. MORE ON FLANDRIN AT ART 4 MARCH with links to images.
1863 Adolf Carl Senff, German artist born on 17 March 1785.
1822 Tinseau, mathematician.
1805 Jean-Baptiste Greuze, French artist born on 21 August 1725. MORE ON GREUZE AT ART 4 MARCH with links to images.
1698 Antoon Goubau, Dutch artist born on 27 May 1616. — more with an image.
1656 Armagh James Ussher, 76, Anglican Archbishop (said world began 4004 BC)
1644 (or 14 July 1643) Hans Jordaens III le long Jean, Flemish artist born in 1595.
1487 Nicholas of Flue, Saint, Swiss hermit and folk hero dies on his 70th birthday.
which occurred on a March 21:
1932 Walter Gilbert, profesor e investigador estadounidense, P. Nobel de Química 1980.
1927 Hans-Dietrich Genscher, político alemán.
1923 Nizar Qabbani, Syrian diplomat and poet who died on 30 April 1998.
1906 John D Rockefeller III, US billionaire philanthropist who died on 10 July 1978.
1905 Phyllis McGinley, US poet, writer and author of juvenile books who died on 22 February 1978.
1905 Joan Corominas, filólogo catalán.
1884 Birkhoff, mathematician.
1880 Hans Hofmann, US artist who died in 1966.
1877 Maurice Farman, French aircraft designer and manufacturer whe died on 25 February 1964.
1869 Florenz Ziegfeld of Follies fame.
1860 Johan Nepomuk Geller, Austrian artist who died in 1954.
1848 Benes Knupfer, Czech artist who died on 20 November 1910.
1839 Modest Mussorgsky composer (Boris Gudunov, Night on Bald Mt)
1824 William Morris Hunt, US painter, printmaker, sculptor, who died on 08 September 1879. MORE ON HUNT AT ART 4 MARCH with links to images.
1819 Pieter Gerardus Vertin, Dutch artist who died on 14 September 1893.
1806 Benito Pablo Juárez, Oaxaca, Mexico, Mexico's first Amerindian president, (1861-1872). He died on 18 July 1872.
1768 Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Fourier, mathematician, Egyptologist. ^top^
French mathematician, known also as an Egyptologist and administrator, who exerted strong influence on mathematical physics through his Théorie analytique de la chaleur (1822). He showed how the conduction of heat in solid bodies may be analyzed in terms of infinite mathematical series now called by his name, the Fourier series. Far transcending the particular subject of heat conduction, his work stimulated research in mathematical physics, which has since been often identified with the solution of boundary-value problems, encompassing many natural occurrences such as sunspots, tides, and the weather. His work also had a great influence on the theory of functions of a real variable, one of the main branches of modern mathematics.
Joseph Fourier's father was a tailor in Auxerre. After the death of his first wife, with whom he had three children, he remarried and Joseph was the ninth of the twelve children of this second marriage. Joseph's mother died went he was nine years old and his father died the following year.
His first schooling was at Pallais's school, run by the music master from the cathedral. There Joseph studied Latin and French and showed great promise. He proceeded in 1780 to the Ecole Royale Militaire of Auxerre where at first he showed talents for literature but very soon, by the age of thirteen, mathematics became his real interest. By the age of 14 he had completed a study of the six volumes of Bézout's Cours de mathématique. In 1783 he received the first prize for his study of Bossut's Mécanique en général.
In 1787 Fourier decided to train for the priesthood and entered the Benedictine abbey of St Benoit-sur-Loire. His interest in mathematics continued, however, and he corresponded with C L Bonard, the professor of mathematics at Auxerre. Fourier was unsure if he was making the right decision in training for the priesthood. He submitted a paper on algebra to Montucla in Paris and his letters to Bonard suggest that he really wanted to make a major impact in mathematics. In one letter Fourier wrote
Yesterday was my 21st birthday, at that age Newton and Pascal had already acquired many claims to immortality.
Fourier did not take his religious vows. Having left St Benoit in 1789, he visited Paris and read a paper on algebraic equations at the Académie Royale des Sciences. In 1790 he became a teacher at the Benedictine college, Ecole Royale Militaire of Auxerre, where he had studied. Up until this time there had been a conflict inside Fourier about whether he should follow a religious life or one of mathematical research. However in 1793 a third element was added to this conflict when he became involved in politics and joined the local Revolutionary Committee. As he wrote:
As the natural ideas of equality developed it was possible to conceive the sublime hope of establishing among us a free government exempt from kings and priests, and to free from this double yoke the long-usurped soil of Europe. I readily became enamored of this cause, in my opinion the greatest and most beautiful which any nation has ever undertaken.
Certainly Fourier was unhappy about the Terror which resulted from the French Revolution and he attempted to resign from the committee. However this proved impossible and Fourier was now firmly entangled with the Revolution and unable to withdraw. The revolution was a complicated affair with many factions, with broadly similar aims, violently opposed to each other. Fourier defended members of one faction while in Orléans. A letter describing events relates:
Citizen Fourier, a young man full of intelligence, eloquence and zeal, was sent to Loiret. ... It seems that Fourier ... got up on certain popular platforms. He can talk very well and if he put forward the views of the Society of Auxerre he has done nothing blameworthy...
This incident was to have serious consequences but after it Fourier returned to Auxerre and continued to work on the revolutionary committee and continued to teach at the College. In July 1794 he was arrested, the charges relating to the Orléans incident, and he was imprisoned. Fourier feared the he would go to the guillotine but, after Robespierre himself went to the guillotine, political changes resulted in Fourier being freed.
Later in 1794 Fourier was nominated to study at the Ecole Normale in Paris. This institution had been set up for training teachers and it was intended to serve as a model for other teacher-training schools. The school opened in January 1795 and Fourier was certainly the most able of the pupils whose abilities ranged widely. He was taught by Lagrange, whom Fourier described as the first among European men of science, and also by Laplace, whom Fourier rated less highly, and by Monge whom Fourier described as having a loud voice and is active, ingenious and very learned.
| Fourier began teaching at the Collège
de France and, having excellent relations with Lagrange, Laplace and Monge,
began further mathematical research. He was appointed to a position at the
Ecole Centrale Des Travaux Publiques, the school being under the direction
of Lazare Carnot
and Gaspard Monge, which was soon to be renamed Ecole Polytechnique. However,
repercussions of his earlier arrest remained and he was arrested again imprisoned.
His release has been put down to a variety of different causes, pleas by
his pupils, pleas by Lagrange, Laplace or Monge or a change in the political
climate. In fact all three may have played a part.
By 1 September 1795 Fourier was back teaching at the Ecole Polytechnique. In 1797 he succeeded Lagrange in being appointed to the chair of analysis and mechanics. He was renowned as an outstanding lecturer but he does not appear to have undertaken original research during this time.
In 1798 Fourier joined Napoléon's army in its invasion of Egypt as scientific adviser. Monge and Malus were also part of the expeditionary force. The expedition was at first a great success. Malta was occupied on 10 June 1798, Alexandria taken by storm on 1 July, and the delta of the Nile quickly taken. However, on 1 August 1798 the French fleet was completely destroyed by Nelson's fleet in the Battle of the Nile, so that Napoléon found himself confined to the land that he was occupying. Fourier acted as an administrator as French type political institutions and administration was set up. In particular he helped establish educational facilities in Egypt and carried out archaeological explorations.
While in Cairo Fourier helped found the Cairo Institute and was one of the twelve members of the mathematics division, the others included Monge, Malus and Napoléon Bonaparte. Fourier was elected secretary to the Institute, a position he continued to hold during the entire French occupation of Egypt. Fourier was also put in charge of collating the scientific and literary discoveries made during the time in Egypt.
Napoléon abandoned his army and returned to Paris in 1799, he soon held absolute power in France. Fourier returned to France in 1801 with the remains of the expeditionary force and resumed his post as Professor of Analysis at the Ecole Polytechnique. However Napoléon had other ideas about how Fourier might serve him and wrote:
... the Prefect of the Department of Isère having recently died, I would like to express my confidence in citizen Fourier by appointing him to this place. Fourier was not happy at the prospect of leaving the academic world and Paris but could not refuse Napoléon's request. He went to Grenoble where his duties as Prefect were many and varied. His two greatest achievements in this administrative position was overseeing the operation to drain the swamps of Bourgoin and to oversee the construction of a new highway from Grenoble to Turin. He also spent much time working on the Description of Egypt which was not completed until 1810 when Napoléon made changes, rewriting history in places, to it before publication. By the time a second edition appeared every reference to Napoléon would have been removed.
It was during his time in Grenoble that Fourier did his important mathematical work on the theory of heat. His work on the topic began around 1804 and by 1807 he had completed his important memoir On the Propagation of Heat in Solid Bodies. The memoir was read to the Paris Institute on 21 December 1807 and a committee consisting of Lagrange, Laplace, Monge and Lacroix was set up to report on the work. Now this memoir is very highly regarded but at the time it caused controversy.
There were two reasons for the committee to feel unhappy with the work. The first objection, made by Lagrange and Laplace in 1808, was to Fourier's expansions of functions as trigonometric series, what we now call Fourier series. Further clarification by Fourier still failed to convince them. As is pointed out in :
All these are written with such exemplary clarity - from a logical as opposed to calligraphic point of view - that their inability to persuade Laplace and Lagrange ... provides a good index of the originality of Fourier's views.
The second objection was made by Biot against Fourier's derivation of the equations of transfer of heat. Fourier had not made reference to Biot's 1804 paper on this topic but Biot's paper is certainly incorrect. Laplace, and later Poisson, had similar objections.
The Institute set as a prize competition subject the propagation of heat in solid bodies for the 1811 mathematics prize. Fourier submitted his 1807 memoir together with additional work on the cooling of infinite solids and terrestrial and radiant heat. Only one other entry was received and the committee set up to decide on the award of the prize, Lagrange, Laplace, Malus, Haüy and Legendre, awarded Fourier the prize. The report was not however completely favorable and states:
... the manner in which the author arrives at these equations is not exempt of difficulties and that his analysis to integrate them still leaves something to be desired on the score of generality and even rigor. With this rather mixed report there was no move in Paris to publish Fourier's work.
When Napoléon was defeated and on his way to exile in Elba, his route should have been through Grenoble. Fourier managed to avoid this difficult confrontation by sending word that it would be dangerous for Napoléon. When he learnt of Napoléon's escape from Elba and that he was marching towards Grenoble with an army, Fourier was extremely worried. He tried to persuade the people of Grenoble to oppose Napoléon and give their allegiance to the King. However as Napoléon marched into the town Fourier left in haste.
Napoléon was angry with Fourier who he had hoped would welcome his return. Fourier was able to talk his way into favor with both sides and Napoléon made him Prefect of the Rhône. However Fourier soon resigned on receiving orders, possibly from Carnot, that the was to remove all administrators with royalist sympathies. He could not have completely fallen out with Napoléon and Carnot, however, for on 10 June 1815, Napoléon awarded him a pension of 6000 francs, payable from 01 July. However Napoléon was defeated on 01 July and Fourier did not receive any money. He returned to Paris.
| Fourier was elected to the Académie des
Sciences in 1817. In 1822 Delambre,
who was the Secretary to the mathematical section of the Académie Des Sciences,
died and Fourier together with Biot and Arago
applied for the post. After Arago withdrew the election gave Fourier an
easy win. Shortly after Fourier became Secretary, the Academy published
his prize winning essay Théorie analytique de la chaleur in 1822.
This was not a piece of political maneuvering by Fourier however since Delambre
had arranged for the printing before he died on 16 May 1830.
During Fourier's eight last years in Paris he resumed his mathematical researches and published a number of papers, some in pure mathematics while some were on applied mathematical topics. His life was not without problems however since his theory of heat still provoked controversy. Biot claimed priority over Fourier, a claim which Fourier had little difficulty showing to be false. Poisson, however, attacked both Fourier's mathematical techniques and also claimed to have an alternative theory. Fourier wrote Historical Précis as a reply to these claims but, although the work was shown to various mathematicians, it was never published.
Fourier's views on the claims of Biot and Poisson are given in the following:
Having contested the various results [Biot and Poisson] now recognize that they are exact but they protest that they have invented another method of expounding them and that this method is excellent and the true one. If they had illuminated this branch of physics by important and general views and had greatly perfected the analysis of partial differential equations, if they had established a principal element of the theory of heat by fine experiments ... they would have the right to judge my work and to correct it. I would submit with much pleasure .. But one does not extend the bounds of science by presenting, in a form said to be different, results which one has not found oneself and, above all, by forestalling the true author in publication. Fourier's work provided the impetus for later work on trigonometric series and the theory of functions of a real variable.
The Fourier series of the function f(x)
a(0) / 2 + (k=1..) (a(k) cos kx + b(k) sin kx)
a(k) = 1/ f(x) cos kx dx b(k) = 1/ f(x) sin kx dxTHE FOURIER TRANSFORM
The Fourier transform, in essence, decomposes or separates a waveform or function into sinusoids of different frequency which sum to the original waveform. It identifies or distinguishes the different frequency sinusoids and their respective amplitudes.
Linear transforms, especially Fourier and Laplace transforms, are widely used in solving problems in science and engineering. The Fourier transform is used in linear systems analysis, antenna studies, optics, random process modeling, probability theory, quantum physics, and boundary-value problems and has been very successfully applied to restoration of astronomical data. The Fourier transform, a pervasive and versatile tool, is used in many fields of science as a mathematical or physical tool to alter a problem into one that can be more easily solved. Some scientists understand Fourier theory as a physical phenomenon, not simply as a mathematical tool. In some branches of science, the Fourier transform of one function may yield another physical function.
The Fourier Theorem: A simple statement of it is:. Any physical function that varies periodically with time with a frequency f can be expressed as a superposition of sinusoidal components of frequencies: f, 2f, 3f, 4f, ... etc
1685 Johann Sebastian Bach Eisenach, Germany, composer ^top^
The very thought of a majestic old church and the music of Johann Sebastian Bach leaps gloriously to mind. The German-born "J. S." is the most famous member of the illustrious Bach family, which gave the world seven generations of distinguished musicians and composers. Bach began his keyboard studies at the age of 10 and sought and got important posts through the years.
By 1708 he has secured himself a position as court organist and chamber musician to the reigning Duke, with plenty of opportunity to compose music for the organ. He later became "Kapellmeister" for the court of Prince Leopold. At age 38 he became "Cantor" of the St. Thomas School in Leipzig and stayed there until his death on 28 July 1750.
Bach was one of the finest organists and ablest contrapuntists of his time and the noblest writer of fugues who ever lived. Little of his music was published during his lifetime and it was not until 1829 when Mendelssohn performed the St. Matthew Passion that the general public realized his genius and the music of Bach was "reborn."
Memorable works out of thousands of compositions include the Magnificat in D Major, the Orchestral Suites, Violin Concerto in A Minor, the 48 Preludes and Fugues, Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins and Orchestra, the Brandenburg Concertos, Goldberg Variations, Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, Passion of St. Matthew and Passion of St. John, Christmas Oratorio, and Mass in B Minor.
1546 Bartholomaeus Spranger van den Schilde, Flemish artist who died in August 1661.
1417 Nicholas of Flue, Saint, Swiss hermit and folk hero who died on his 70th birthday.
1098 The monastery in Citeaux, France, is founded by Saint Robert, a Benedictine monk and abbot of Molesme. It is the beginning of the Roman Catholic Cistercian religious order.