On the morning of 24 April, 1961, the Swedish warship Vasa was salvaged with a largely intact hull after it had sunk after sailing less than a nautical mile (ca 2 km) into its maiden voyage on 10 August 1628 at Stockholm harbour.
On April 2, 1647, the German naturalist and scientific illustrator Maria Sibylla Merian was born. Even though she is not very well known for her achievements, she made significant contributions to entomology through the observation and documentation of the metamorphosis of the butterfly.
On February 25, 1591, German Jesuit and poet Friedrich Spee was born, who is best known for his book Cautio Criminalis, in which he argued publicly against the trials for witchcraft and against torture in general. He was one of the noblest and most attractive figures of the awful era of the Thirty Years' War.
On February 17, 1600, Domonican friar, philosopher, mathematician and astronomer Giordano Bruno was burned on the stake after the Roman Inquisition found him guilty of heresy. His cosmological theories went beyond the Copernican model in proposing that the Sun was essentially a star, and moreover, that the universe contained an infinite number of inhabited worlds populated by other intelligent beings.
On January 17, 1685, Armenian merchant Johannes Diodato was granted the privilege to serve coffee in the city of Vienna, the former capital of the Holy Roman empire. Thus, Johannes Diodato opened the very first coffeehouse in Vienna and the habit of coffee drinking soon spread over Europe.
(Probably) on January 14th, 1622, Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, French playwright and actor who is known by his stage name Molière was born. He is considered to be one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature.
On January 12, 1665, French lawyer and amateur mathematician Pierre de Fermat, famous for his research in number theory, analytical geometry and probability theory, passed away. He is best known for Fermat's Last Theorem, which he described in a note at the margin of a copy of Diophantus' Arithmetica.
On January 4, 1643, Sir Isaac Newton, famous physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist and theologian, was born. With his Principia he laid the foundation of modern classical mechanics.Besides he constructed the very first reflecting telescope and independent of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz developed differential and integral calculus.
On December 9, 1602, English poet, polemicist, a scholarly man of letters, and a civil servant John Milton, was born. He is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost, the Biblical story of the Fall of Man: the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden.
On December 7, 1598, Italian architect and sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini was born. He is considered to be the leading sculptor of the baroque age. In addition he designed buildings, painted, wrote plays, and designed metalwork and stage sets. Whenever you are be in Rome, for sure you will find yourself somewhere in the neighborhood of Bernini's work.
On September 28, 1573, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, genius Italian artist of the Renaissance was born in Milano. He was best known for his realistic paintings with a dramatic appearance of lighting.
On this day in 1750 one of the most important and productive composers of the Baroque period, Johann Sebastian Bach died. Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected throughout Europe during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century.