Fridtjof Nansen (1861–1930) was a Norwegian explorer, scientist,
diplomat, humanitarian and Nobel laureate. After studies in zoology at
the University of Christiania, his research on the central nervous
system of lower marine creatures helped to establish modern theories of
neurology. As an explorer, in 1888 Nansen led the first successful
crossing of the Greenland interior, and later won international fame
after reaching a record northern latitude of 86°14' during his North
Pole expedition of 1893–96. After 1896 his main scientific interest
switched to oceanography and he contributed significantly to the
development of modern oceanographic techniques and equipment. In 1905
Nansen was instrumental in persuading Prince Charles of Denmark to
accept the throne of the newly independent Norway, and later served as
the Norwegian representative in London. In 1922 he was awarded the
Nobel Peace Prize for his work for the League of Nations on behalf of
the displaced victims of the First World War and related conflicts.
After his death the League established the Nansen International Office
for Refugees to ensure that his work continued. His name is
commemorated in numerous geographical features, particularly in the
polar regions. (more...)
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Charles Martel and the Franks defeated a large Andalusian Muslim army
led by Abd er Rahman at the Battle of Tours near Tours and Poitiers.
One of the deadliest Atlantic hurricanes on record struck the Caribbean
Sea, killing at least 22,000 people over the next several days.
Carlos Manuel de Céspedes made the Grito de Yara, declaring Cuban
independence from Spain, sparking the Ten Years' War.
World War II: The Kempeitai, the military police arm of the Imperial
Japanese Army, arrested and tortured over 50 civilians and civilian
internees on suspicion of their involvement in a raid on Singapore
Harbour during Operation Jaywick.
United States Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned after being charged
with tax evasion.
Maximilian Kolbe, who had volunteered to die in place of a stranger in
the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz in Poland, was canonized by
the Catholic Church.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. (informal) Imagery of one or more muscular, well-built men.
2. (informal) A muscular, well-built, desirable man
Wikiquote quote of the day:
I am doing my best to glorify the scamp or vagabond. I hope I shall
succeed. For things are not so simple as they sometimes seem. In this
present age of threats to democracy and individual liberty, probably
only the scamp and the spirit of the scamp alone will save us from
being lost in serially numbered units in the masses of disciplined,
obedient, regimented and uniformed coolies. The scamp will be the last
and most formidable enemy of dictatorships. He will be the champion of
human dignity and individual freedom, and will be the last to be
conquered. All modern civilization depends entirely upon him.
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