A seventeenth-century Frenchman who was trying to invent a steam engine was sent to a madhouse by Cardinal Richelieu.
Fact of the Day
Quote of the Day
"Don't put your trust in revolutions. They always come around again. That's why they're called revolutions. "
~ Terry Pratchett
On This Day
1814 Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, the doctor who gave his name to the guillotine but who didn't invent it, died aged seventy-five. His family were so embarrassed by the connection that they ended up changing their name.
1827 One of the greatest composers of all time, Ludwig van Beethoven, died during a thunderstorm, aged fifty-six. The autopsy showed severe liver damage, probably caused by excessive drinking.
1945 After a month of fighting, American forces captured the strategically-important island of Iwo Jima from the Japanese.
1971 Bangladesh declared its independence from Pakistan.
1973 Women were first allowed on the floor of the London Stock Exchange.