Isambard Kingdom Brunel was a British engineer. Voted the second
greatest Briton of all time in a 2002 BBC poll (after Winston
Churchill), he is best known for the creation of the Great Western
Railway, a series of famous steamships, and numerous important
bridges. Though his projects were not always successful, they often
contained innovative solutions to long-standing engineering problems.
During his short career, Brunel achieved many engineering "firsts",
including the building of the first tunnel under a navigable river and
development of the first propeller-driven steamship, which was at the
time also the largest ship ever built. Brunel was a heavy cigar smoker
and suffered several years of ill health with kidney problems, before
succumbing to a stroke at the age of fifty-three.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
American Revolution: Patrick Henry made his "Give me liberty or give
me death" speech to the Virginia House of Burgesses.
Tsar Alexander I acceded to the Russian throne after his father Paul I
was brutally murdered.
Pakistan Movement: The All India Muslim League adopted the Lahore
The first UNIFIL troops arrived in Lebanon for a peacekeeping mission
along the Blue Line.
Lee Teng-hui was elected President of the Republic of China in the
first direct presidential election in Taiwan.
Wikiquote of the day:
"Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of
chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course
others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" --