Heroes, Inventors and Scientists of the World Biography

heroes, inventors and scientists biograrphy

Updated on January 18th, 2018




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World Heroes, Leaders with influence, People with charisma, Heroes of the world, Men who made a name for themselves. Women of virtue. This review will bring to light certain individuals whose lifestyles have been of great inspiration to countless number of people. Their attitudes and achievements may not interest you but they had in many ways affected the lives of people and they are seen and considered by some people as mentors or heroes.


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I guess this post is very long, so get a cup of coffee while you read through

  • Leif Eriksson
  • Leonardo Da Vinci
  • Louis Pasteur
  • Marco Polo
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Nicolaus Copernicus
  • Nnamdi Azikiwe
  • Roald Amundsen
  • Robert E. Peary
  • Sir Isaac Newton
  • Thomas Edison
  • Wole Soyinka
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • William Shakespeare
  • Wright Brothers
  • Alexander The Great
  • Aristotle
  • Amelia Earhart
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Charles Darwin
  • Eli Whitney
  • Florence Nightingale
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt
  • Galileo
  • George W. Bush
  • Henry Ford
  • James Cook
  • Julius Caesar

 Leif Eriksson

The man That Discovered North America

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His friends called him Leif the Lucky because he once found a ship filled with treasures. Today, Viking Sailor Leif Eriksson is remembered for another lucky adventure. Many believed that he was the first European to reach North America.


We know little about Leif Eriksson’s life. His voyages were described as Icelandic poems called saga. But these poems were not written down until about year 1,200 some 200 years after Erikson died. The saga may contain mistakes or exaggeration.


Life in Greenland


The sagas said that Eriksson was born in Iceland about AD 975. When he was about 10 years old, he sailed with his family to an Island called Greenland. Eriksson father, Erik the Red, founded the first Viking settlement there in 985. About 999, Eriksson sailed to Norway and met the king, who was a Christian. Eriksson became a Christian too.


Tales of A New Land


Back home in Greenland, Leif bought a ship from a trader named Bijarni Herjólfson. The trader had an exciting story to tell. When sailing from Iceland to Greenland, he had lost his way in a storm. Through the mist and rain, he caught a glimpse of land.


Eriksson decided to investigate. To the Vikings, land meant riches, plunder and power. About 1000, Eriksson recruited a crew and set sail from Greenland, heading west. After several days at the sea, Eriksson discovered that Herjólfsson had been right. There was land beyond the sea.


A Settlement Called Vinland


Eriksson and his crew saw rocky shores and thick Forest. Finally, they went ashore at a sheltered spot where luscious berries grew. Scientists aren’t sure exactly where Eriksson landed, but many believed it was the Island of Newfoundland. Eriksson named the area Vinland (or wine land) because he thought the berries were grape. Eriksson had no idea that he was probably on the edge of North America, an enormous continent, still unknown to the Europeans. He spent one winter in Vinland and sailed back to Greenland.


Leif the Lucky


On his way home, Eriksson found a wrecked trading ship and rescued the crew, as a reward, he was given the ships valuable cargo. Now rich and famous, he became the Vikings Leader in Greenland. He taught the Greenland Vikings his Christian faith. He died at 1020 at the age of 45.


Leonardo Da Vinci

Philosophical ideology in real life issues


Leonardo da Vinci excelled as a painter, sculptor, architect, engineer and scientist. He has endless curiosity. Leonardo wanted to understand how things worked. He wanted to put down on paper what he saw. He left thousands of pages of drawings notes that recorded his thoughts.


Leonardo Da Vinci philosophical ideology in real life issues


Leonardo was born in 1452 in the small town of Vinci, near Florence, Italy. He had little schooling and was largely self-taught.


Good at everything


Leonardo seemed to be good at everything he tried. He was handsome, a good speaker, and a fine musician. He trained as a painter with Andrea del Verrocchi, a leading artist in Florence. Leonardo later worked for Dukes and Kings.


His Most Famous Paintings


Leonardo produced a relatively small numbers of paintings, and he left some of them unfinished. But he had original ideas that influenced Italian artists long after his death. Leonardo believed painting was a science. He applied scientific in his art so that his most important techniques was sfumato, a blending of one area of color into another so there are no sharp outlines.


Leonardo used sfumato in one of his most famous paintings, the Mona Lisa. When you look at this portrait, you will notice how colors shade into each other on her face and hands. See how Leonardo had blurred the edges of her mouth to give her the hint of a smile. This mysterious smile has fascinated people for centuries. It looks like Mona Lisa’s expression might change at any moment because of the way Leonardo has softened the edges of the mouth, eyes and cheeks. She seems almost alive.


Many people consider a mural by Leonardo known as The Last Supper to be his masterpiece. Christ seated in the midst of The Last Supper, has just announced that one of his twelve apostles will betray him. Leonardo places the figures in this painting in a way that increases the drama of the announcement. Christ is the calm center. His body, which is set apart from the others, and form a stable triangle. The apostles are arranged in four groups, some leaning towards Christ and some leaning away. Their gestures and the reactions on their faces reveals their reactions to Christ’s words.


His Drawings and Notebooks.


Drawing was Leonardo’s favorite tool. He said that drawing was a better way of communicating ideas than words were. He drew catapults and war machines. He drew the muscles and skeletons of human beings and other animals. He drew clouds, swirling water, and storms. He designed churches that were never built.


Leonardo’s drawings and theories are contained in numerous notebooks. His ideas were far in advance of what people were thinking at the time. But the notebooks were not published during his lifetime. Had his notebooks been published, they might have revolutionized scientific thinking in the 1500s. Leonardo’s deep love of research was the key to both his artistic and scientific endeavors. Leonardo died in 1519.


Louis Pasteur

How he added value to people’s lives


No one knew what caused infections in When Louis was a boy in the early 1800s. No one knew that germs or microbes spread diseases. There were no antibiotics or any other antimicrobial drugs. Many people died from infections.


Pasteur discovered that bacteria caused many diseases. He suggested that bacteria gets into living cells and multiply. He proved the diseases could be cured by stopping the spread of bacteria. This theory is called the germ theory of disease. It led to the production of antibiotics and other medicines that kills microbes. Pasteur’s discovery has saved the lives of many people.


How Pasteur Helped the Industry


Louis Pasteur was born in France in 1822. He studied physics and chemistry in Paris. As a professor of chemistry, he worked on problems that affected French industries. The wine making industry in France was in trouble during the mid 1800s because much of the wine was spoiling. Pasteur discovered that germs was getting into the wine and turning it sour. He found out that heat killed the germs and prevent it from spoiling. Pasteur later applied his discovery in milk. His way of heating to kill bacteria is called Pasteurization.


Pasteur also helped the French silk industry. In the mid 1800s, a disease was killing off silk worms before they could spin silk threads. Pasteur showed that the disease was in the silkworm eggs and that getting rid of any infected eggs could keep the disease from spreading. Pasteur became a National hero in France for saving the wine and milk industry.

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How Pasteur Prevented Diseases


Pasteur then discovered how to make vaccines to protect people and animals against diseases. He observed that animals infected with a disease sometimes became immune to the disease. Pasteur found that he could weaken germs in the laboratory. When he put weakened germs into the body of animals, the animals became immune to the disease caused by the germs. Pasteur made a vaccine to prevent sheep against a disease called anthrax.


One of Pasteur’s most important discoveries was a vaccine against rabies. People can get this disease if they are bitten by an animal infected with rabies. In 1885, a mother begged Pasteur to treat her young son who had been badly bitten by a dog with rabies. The vaccine worked and the boy lived. Pasteur became an even great national hero. In 1888, the Pasteur institute in Paris was founded in his honor. Pasteur became its director. He worked there until his death in 1895.



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Marco Polo

The Ancient Story Teller


They called him “the man with a million stories.” People flocked to Marco Polo’s home to hear him tell exciting tales about his travels in distant lands. Marco Polo won fame for his journey across Asia. He wrote a book about his travels, that became one of the most famous travel guides in history.


Early Life


Marco Polo was born in 1254 to a family of merchants. His home was Venice, Italy. Venetian merchants bought and sold valuable Chinese goods, including precious silk clothes. Such goods were brought to Europe along an ancient route know as silk route. The merchants also use the route to travel east on business missions.


Trip to China


In 1217, Niccolo and Maffeo set out for China again. Marco, then 17 years old, joined his father and uncle for the trip. Two priests also traveled with the Polos. But the route was dangerous, and the Priest soon turned back.


It took the Polos four difficult years to reach China. The journey led across deserts and high mountains. They passed through wild countryside where bandits lurked, ready to rob and kill. They braved heat and cold, floods, deep snowdrops and blinding sandstorms. At last they reached the summer palace of Kublai Khan at Shangdu.


The Khan welcomed the Polos warmly. He offered Marco a job. Marco accepted and the Polos lived in China for the next 17 years. Marco travelled on many special missions across the Khan’s kingdom and to distant lands. When Marco returned from his mission, he told the Khan vivid stories about the people and lands he visited.


Over time, the Polos worried that Kublai Khan would not allow them to leave. Several times, they had asked the Khan for permission to return to Europe. But the Khan enjoyed his visitors so much that he could not grant their wish. Finally, the Khan change his mind.

Nelson Mandela

His Legacies and success story


Nelson Mandela, a boy from an African village grew up to become the first black president of South Africa. Before he became president, Mandela led a long and difficult struggle against segregation in South Africa. Under segregation, black and white people were kept apart. Segregation denied blacks many basic rights. Mandela spent many years in prison for trying to end segregation in South Africa.



Early Life


Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born in 1918 in a small village in the Transkei region of South Africa. His father was a Chief in the Thembru tribe. Mandela’s parents named him Rolihlahla, an Africa word that means troublemaker. Little did they know how fitting his name will be?


At the age of seven, Mandela became the first person in his family to go to school. At School, Mandela was given the name Nelson. He went on to attend college and earned a law degree in the city of Johannesburg.


Fighting Segregation


When Mandela was a young man, South Africa was divided by segregation.. Segregation in South Africa was called Apartheid, a word that means apartness. Under apartheid, black people couldn’t vote or hold certain jobs. Whites controlled the government. Blacks and Whites lived in separate areas and went to separate schools.


Mandela opposed this cruel and unfair system. In 1944, Mandela joined a group called The African National Congress (ANC). The ANC opposed the rule of South Africa by Whites alone. The ANC believed that South Africa belonged to everyone, whatever the color of their skin.


A Natural Leader


Mandela was a natural leader and a gifted speaker. He became a leader in the ANC, and he encouraged people to break the apartheid laws. The government saw Mandela as a troublemaker and tried to stop him.


The government made the ANC illegal. Mandela was arrested several times. But when he was released, he continued to fight for an end to apartheid. In 1962, the government sentenced Mandela to five years imprisonment. Then, in 1964, he was accused of working to overthrow the government. The government increased Mandela’s sentence to life imprisonment.


Mandela’s Imprisonment


The government sent Mandela to prison in Robben Island, of the coast of South Africa. The prison condition was harsh. Mandela was allowed only one visitor in six months.


Every day he was forced to break rocks in the prison yards for many hours.


During this time, Mandela became the world’s most famous politician prisoner. Leaders around the world demanded Mandela’s freedom. They wanted apartheid in South Africa to end.


In 1982, the government moved Mandela to a prison in the mainland. This was during a time of growing violence in South Africa. Many people protested in the street against the apartheid.




The government began secret talks with Mandela. They believed that if anyone could stop the trouble, Mandela could. He was a popular leader who has won the support of many South Africans.


In 1990, Mandela was released after spending 27 years in prison. The government lifted the ban on the ANC. Mandela became its leader in 1992. Mandela soon began talks with the leaders aimed at ending apartheid.


Many White people worried about giving blacks equal rights. Mandela worked with the South Africa President, F.W de Klerk, to promote peaceful relations between Blacks and Whites. For their efforts, Mandela and de Klerk won the noble Peace Price in 1993.


President of South Africa


In 1994, South Africa held elections. For the first time in South Africa history, men and women of all races could vote. Mandela became the first Black President of South Africa. He brought an end to the hated apartheid system.


After five years as President, Mandela retired from political office. He returned to live in the Transkei region, where he grew up. Mandela lived long, making comments to upheld good and renounce evil in South Africa.


On 5 December 2013, Nelson Mandela, the first President of South Africa to be elected in a fully representative democratic election, as well as the country’s first black head of state, died at the age of 95 after suffering from a prolonged respiratory infection. He died at around 20:50 local time (UTC+2) at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, South Africa, surrounded by his family.


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Nicolaus Copernicus

His brief success history and achievements


When Nicolaus Copernicus went to school, he learned that earth was the centre of the universe and that everything in the heaven revolve around the earth. The sun and all the earth circled around the earth, he was told.


The Earth-Centered theory taught to Copernicus had been developed 1,400 years ago by an astronomer named Ptolemy, who lived in Alexandria, Egypt. Copernicus looked into Ptolemy’s more carefully and came up with a different idea. He was sure that the sun was the center of our solar system, and the earth and the other planet go around the sun. He was right, off course. Today, we think of Copernicus as the founder of modern astronomy.


His Life and Carrier


Copernicus was born on February 19, 1473, in Torun, Poland. His family was well-to-do. Copernicus went to the best schools. He studied medicine, law and religion in Italy. He also became interested in astronomy. In 1503, he went back to Poland to work for his uncle. He also worked on his new theory about hoe the Earth moves.


His Sun-Centered System


Copernicus taught that Earth turns once a day and goes around the sun once in a year. Copernicus decided that the way Earth turns makes it look like the sun, stars, and planets as they revolve around the Earth.


In 1530, he wrote a book called On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres. The book was published in 1543, just before Copernicus died. Most astronomers and church officials taught that his ideas were too radical. Some others however taught he was right.


The Italian astronomer Galileo, German astronomer Johannes Kepler, and English Physicist Sir Isaac Newton later did studies that supported the ideas of Copernicus. Not until the early 1700s, however, did most scientists agree that Copernicus was right.


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Nnamdi Azikiwe

The Great Zik of Africa


Nnandi Azikiwe, Owelle-Osowa-anya of Onitsha, and Zik of Africa was born on November 16, 1904 in Zungeru, Niger state into the family of Obededom Chukwuemeka Azikiwe and Rachel Chin we Azikiwe. His father was a government worker: a clerk and his mother was a trader


He attended various schools in Nigeria including CMS central school, Onitsha (1911), Methodist boy’s high school, Lagos (1915-18), Hope Waddell Institute, Calabar (1920-21). He was a pupil teaching at St Jude CMS central school, Orafite, and CMS central school, Onitsha (1919).


Residing all over Nigeria enabled him to speak the three main languages in Nigeria, Igbo, his mother tongue, Hausa and Yoruba. After an unsuccessful attempt to stow away to America in 1924, his father saved some money and gave him for his journey to America.


He left for United States in the late 20s, as he puts it, “in search of a golden fleece.” While in the US, he worked as a dishwasher, coal miner, potato peeler, car wash attendant, elevator boy, kitchen hand and waiter, to pay his way through college.


He attended Storer College in West Virginia for two years (1925-1927). Due to financial difficulty, he left for Howard University, DC, for two years (1927-1929). In 1929, he entered Lincoln University, PA. In 1930, he received his BA degree in political science. His classmates include Thurgood Marshal, the late Supreme Court Justices who left a mark in America judicial system and Langston Hughes, the late America poet.


In summer 1930, he was admitted to Columbia University to read journalism, with a scholarship from the Phelps Stokes Fund. He obtained an MA in religion and philosophy at Lincoln University (1932). While still in Lincoln University, he was employed as a graduate assistant in summer 1930. In 1933, he concluded two masters’ degree programs, in Anthropology and political science at the University of Pennsylvania, PA. He was appointed a full time lecturer in political science in 1933. He taught ancient, medieval, modern and English history, as well as African history.


While still pursuing his masters at Columbia University, he registered for the doctor of philosophy at the institution. In 1934, his PhD Theses, “Liberian Diplomacy, 1847-1932” was published as “Liberia in World Politics.” Since his attendance at these schools, he had received many honorary degrees from them including two from Lincoln University


After accomplishing his academic dreams, he knew it was time to return to his homeland, to join in the fight to free Nigerians from evil grasp of Britain, who was then the colonial master.


He returned to Nigeria in the mid-30s, and got involved in politics, forming the NCNC party. He was a journalist, which translate, to his running a couple of newspapers of which the West Africa pilot was the most prominent of them all. He was actively involved in Nigeria’s fight for independence. His dream was finally realize on October 1, 1960 when Nigeria became an independent Nation and he was sworn in as the Governor-General and Commander in Chief of the Federation. In 1963, Nigeria became a republic, and he was made the first president.


He was forces out of office in 1966 by a deadly coup that destroyed everything that the founding political fathers in Nigeria fought and stood for. He helped put an end to the slaughtering of Igbo people during the Biafra war. He never believed in violence but in dialogue.


He returned to politics by founding the Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP). In 1979 and 1983, his bid for the presidency was not successful, amidst suspicion of rigging. He retired from active politics and withdrew to his country home in Nsukka where he lived until may 11, 1996 when he passed away at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital. He was buried on November 16, 1996, at his country home in Onitsha. Nigerians came to pay their last respect to the man known as the Great Zik of Africa.


Roald Amundsen

The missing craft


Explorer Roald Amundsen was a hero twice over. He was the first person ever to reach the South Pole. And he died during a brave risky quest to save a friend.


Early Years


Amundsen was born in Norway in 1872. After studying medicine in college, he joined the Norwegian Navy and went to sea.


Sailing the Norwegian Passage


Amundsen led his first expedition beginning in 1903. For three years, he voyaged through the Norwegian passage, an east-west sea route, and north of Canada. He was the first explorer to successfully cross the passage.


During the trip, Amundsen made surveys and studied the weather. He also studied how the Inuit people of northern Canada survived in harsh Arctic environment.


Back To the South Pole


Amundsen put his knowledge of freezing conditions to good use on his next expedition. This time, he went to Antarctica with the hope of reaching the South Pole.


Amundsen spent more than a year camped out on the eastern edge of Antarctica. He took scientific measurements and made careful plans. From the far North, he brought Inuit husky dogs to pull sleds packed with equipment.


With the sled fully loaded, Amundsen led his men toward the South Pole. They arrived at the pole on December 14, 1911, becoming the first people ever to get there. They plated a Norwegian flag in the ice and began their return trip.


Amundsen reached the South Pole just five weeks before his great rival, British Explorer Robert Scott. Scott and his entire expedition party died on their return journey.



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Exploring the Frozen North


Amundsen became very famous. This helped him raised money for the next expedition. In 1918, Amundsen set off on a pioneering voyage through freezing seas close to the North Pole. The expedition failed, as did a second one in 1922.


In 1926, Amundsen flew over the North Pole in an airship called the Norge. At that time air travel was very dangerous. The airship was designed and piloted by Umberto Nobile, an Italian Engineer who became Amundsen friend.


After the flight, Amundsen and Nobile quarreled. Each man wanted to claim credit for his own country for crossing the North Pole first.


In 1928, a second airship flown by Nobile disappeared close to the North Pole. Amundsen volunteered to search for his friend. Nobile was eventually rescued, but Amundsen and his rescue team, died when their airplane crashed.


Robert E. Peary

Explorer and Scientist


Did he or didn’t he? For years, people have debated whether Robert Peary was the first explorer to reach the North Pole.


Early Life Robert Edwin Peary was born in 1856 in Cress on, Pennsylvania. He joined the United States Navy as an engineer. As an officer, Peary participated in a survey in Nicaragua in 1884 and 1885. Afterward, he headed north to explore polar areas.


Exploration in Greenland


In 1895, Peary almost died of starvation while making surveys for the Navy in Greenland. Peary met with local Inuit people, who taught him their survival skills.


In 1999, Peary reached the northernmost part of Greenland. Peary’s survey proved that Greenland was an Island. Today, Greenland’s northern coastal region is called Peary Land, in honor of Peary.


North Pole Expedition


Next, Peary aimed to reach the North Pole. Nobody has ever crossed the treacherous ice cap that surrounded it or survived its bitter cold.


In 1902, Peary’s first attempt to reach the North Pole failed. In 1905, Peary tried again to reach the Pole. He set a record for traveling farthest north, but bad weather and a lack of food forced him to turn back.


In 1908, Peary made his third attempt to reach the North Pole. His expeditions include 24 men, 6 sleds and 133 dogs. At last on April 6th 1909, Peary reached the North Pole or came close to it. He was accompanied by his friend, the African American Explorer, Matthew Henson and four Inuit.



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Controversy over Peary’s Claim


Proud and relieved, the men made the long, and cold journey back to base camp in Canada, and then home. But to their shock, the men learned that an explorer Frederick Cook claimed to have reached the North Pole before them.


Peary had to wait until 1911 before experts declared that Cook’s claims was false. Afterward, the U.S Congress officially recognized Peary’s achievement. The Navy gave Peary the rank of rear admiral before he retired that year.


Peary died in 1920. Years later, in 1988, a team of explorers calculated that Peary had mistaken his route and missed the north by at least 30 miles (48 kilometers). Another study challenged these findings. Today, scientist still debates whether Peary actually reached the exact location of the North Pole.


Sir Isaac Newton

The Physicist with ideas that affected everyone


Isaac Newton was always wondering about the things he saw around him. What holds the moon and planet in the sky? How does a rainbow forms? He uncovered basic laws of nature. He used mathematics to explain these laws and predict how object would behave. He became one of the greatest scientists of all time.


Student Years


Newton was born in Woolsthorpe, England, on December 25, 1642. He loved to build mechanical models, but he was not a good student. His mother took him out of school so that he could help run the family farms. Newton did not like farming. He liked to read and study on his own. A former teacher knew that Newton was very smart and helped him go the University of Cambridge.


After Newton graduated, bubonic plaque broke out in Cambridge. Many people got sick and died. He came up with many of his greatest ideas from 1667 to 1667 while he was alone at the country side.


His Greatest Work


Newton invented a new form of mathematics called calculus. Today scientists and engineers use calculus to solve many kinds of problem


Newton came up with theories about gravity and motion. He thought that the sane force pulling people and apples down to the earth keeps the moon going around the earth and the planet revolving around the sun. He used mathematics to prove his theories.

Newton used a prism, a piece of glass with many sides, to study light. He found out that sunlight is made up of every color in the rainbow.


Life at Cambridge


Newton went back to Cambridge and became a professor of mathematics. He built the friar reflecting telescope, which uses mirrors instead of lenses. He became famous for his calculus, but he did not tell many people about his theory of gravity. He was shy and modest and did not want anybody to criticize his work.


Finally, his friends had him write a book about gravity and motion titled Principia Mathematica. Scientists called the book a masterpiece. Newton was made a Knight. When he died on March 20, 1727, he became the first scientist to be buried in Webmister Abbey in London.


Thomas Edison and the electric bulb


Until the late 1800s, most people went to bed soon after sunset. They use candles and oil or gas lamps for lights. American inventor Thomas Edison changed the way people lived when he invented the first practical light bulb. The light bulb was just one of more than 1,000 inventions created by one of the greatest inventors of all time.


Life and Carrier


Thomas Alva Edison was born in Milan, Ohio, in 1847, and grew up in Port Huron, Michigan. He attended school for only three months. His mother taught him reading, writing and arithmetic.


In 1862, Edison saved a boy from being run over by a train. The Boy’s father operated a telegraph machine, which sent coded messages over wire. As thanks, the father taught Edison how to operate the telegraph. Edison then made improvements to the telegraph. He earned money from his inventions.


Research Laboratory


In 1876, Edison started the first Industrial Research Laboratory at Menlo park, New Jersey. By then, Edison was partially deaf. He worked very hard. He lived in the laboratories and became rich from his inventions. He was married twice with six children. He worked so much that he spent little time with his family.



Great Inventions


Edison’s greatest inventions included an improved telephone, the phonograph, the motion picture camera and electric storage batteries. He is best remembered for inventing a long lasting bulb.


In 1870, many inventors were getting to make a practical light bulb. Edison tried hundreds of schemes. Finally he got a filament (thin thread) made of carbon. An electric spark made the filament glow inside a glass tube. Edison’s incandescent lamp was a great success. It burned steadily for more than 40 hours.


Edison wanted people to have electric light in their homes. So he built the first electric power plants.


People like Edison because he was a down-to-earth man. His favorite saying was, “Genius is 1 inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.



Wole Soyinka

Author and Dramaturgic


Wole Soyinka was born on 13 July 1934 at Abeokuta, near Ibadan in Western Nigeria. After preparatory University studies in 1954 at Government college in Ibadan, he continued at the University of Leeds, where, later, in 1973, he took his Doctorate.


During the six years spent in England, he was a dramaturgic at the Royal court theater in London 1958-1959. In 1960, he was awarded a Rockefeller Bursary and returned to Nigeria to study African drama.


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At the same time, he taught Drama and literature at various universities in Ibadan, Lagos and Ife, where, since 1975, he has been Professor of comparative literature. In 1960, he founded the theater groups, “The 1960 masks” and in 1964, “The Orisun Theater Company”, in which he has produced his own plays and taken part as actor. He has periodically been visiting Professors at the University of Cambridge, Sheffield and Yale.


During the civil war in Nigeria, Soyinka appealed in an article for cease-fire. For this he was arrested in 1967, accused of conspiring with the Biafra rebels, and was held as a political prisoner for 22 months until 1969.


Soyinka has published a lot of works on drama, novels and poetry. He writes in English and his literary language is marked by great scope and richness of words.


As dramatist, Soyinka has been influenced by others, among others, the Irish writer, J. M Synge, but links up with the traditional popular African theater with its combination of dance, music and actions. He bases his writing on the mythology of his own tribe-the Yoruba-with Ogun, the god of iron and war, at the center.


He wrote his first play during his time in London, The Swamp Dwellers and The Lion and the Jewel (a light comedy), which was performed at Ibadan in 1958 and 1959 and were published in 1963. Later satirical comedies are The Trial of Brother Jero (performed in 1960, published in 1963) with its sequel, Jero’s Metamorphosis (performed in 1974), A Dance of the Forests ( performed 1960, published 1963), Kongi’s Harvest (performed 1965, published 1967) and Madmen and specialists ( performed 1970, published 1971).


Among Soyinka’s serious philosophical plays are the Strong Breed ( performed in 1966, published in 1963, The Road (1965) and death and the King’s horsemen ( performed in 1976). In the Bacchae of Euripides (1973), he has rewritten the Bacchae for the African stage and in Opera Wonyosi (performed in 1977 and published in 1881), bases himself on John Gay’s Beggar’s Opera and Brecht’s the Threepenny Opera. Soyinka dramatic works also includes: A Play of Giants (1984) and Requiem for a futurologist (1985).


Thomas Jefferson


Thomas Jefferson is remembered as one of the America’s greatest political thinkers. He wrote the declaration of independence, and later was elected the nation’s third president. As President, Jefferson almost doubled the size of the United States with the purchase of the vast Louisiana Territory.


Jefferson’s talents stretched far beyond politics. He was an inventor, architect, scientist, musician and more.


Early Life


Thomas Jefferson’s was a Virginia’s farmer. His mother belonged to one of Virginia’s most distinguished families. Thomas was born in 1743.


Jefferson began his education at age five. By age nine, he studied away from home. He learned Greek and Latin, and studied science. Like many Virginia’s gentlemen, the tall boy with reddish hair learned to dance and ride horseback. Young Jefferson also began a lifelong love of playing the violin.



Jefferson attended the college of William and Mary for two years. He began law studies in1762. Five years later, Jefferson opened a law practice. Like other gentlemen of his days, Jefferson earned most of his money from farming. In 1770, Jefferson began to build a mansion home he designed, called Monticello.




In 1772, brought his new bride, Martha, to Monticello. The couple had six children. Only two daughters lived to be adult. Martha died in 1782, and Jefferson did not remarry.


Jefferson Enters Politics



Jefferson won the election to the Virginia’s legislature in 1769. He was not good at making speeches. But Jefferson’s powerful writings made him to stand out.


Jefferson joined others who opposed new British taxes on the colonist.  Jefferson’s believed that the colonist had the right to govern themselves. The British King and the British Parliament could not tell the colonists what to do.


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William Shakespeare

The man that ruled his world


No author is quoted more often than William Shakespeare. His name is famous in the English literature. What makes him so great?



Early Life


Shakespeare was born in 1564, in Stafford-upon-Avon, a prosperous town in England. His local grammar school had a demanding curriculum. At age 18, he married Anne Hathaway. They had a daughter, Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. At some point, Shakespeare left Stratford for London, to work in the theater.


Playwright in London


Shakespeare made his reputation with 38 glorious plays. He wrote about two plays a year, while living in London. He never published the plays, but he saw them performed at the globe and other London theaters.


Shakespeare’s plays were well liked by audiences. But we know little about his life in London. Later, he retired in Stratford as a prominent citizen. He died in 1616. Two actors saw that his play was printed. A collection called the First Folio came out seven years after his death.



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Writing for All Time


Shakespeare was a fabulous storyteller. His play entertained audiences. Most people of his time considered his play as merely popular entertainment, as we think of the movies today.


Shakespeare was also a profound thinker. He created a variety of true to life characters in his plays. These characters seem real because Shakespeare presented their view points so well. The richness of his language is so amazing. He even invented many words and phrases that are now common, including “leapfrog, lonely and watchdog.”


Shakespeare play reflects many aspect of human life. He wrote delightful comedies, such as a midsummer Night Dreams, Much Ado About Nothing, and As You like it. He wrote plays about English’s kings that teach history in an entertainment way. The great tragedies explore flaws in human nature. This play includes Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Othelo, King Lear and Macbeth. In his spare time, he wrote poetry. His 154 sonnets are among the most famous love poems of all time.



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The Wright Brothers

The activities done toward making aviation safe and meaningful


It lasted only 12 seconds, but those seconds changed history. On December 17, 1903, two brothers named Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first airplane flight.


The Wright Brothers, Orville (August 19, 1871 – January 30, 1948) and Wilbur (April 16, 1867 – May 30, 1912) were two American brothers, inventors and aviation pioneer who invented a reliable aircraft.


They were not the first to make an experimental aircraft, but the first to invent aircraft controls. They gained the experience and mechanical skills by working with printing presses, bicycles, motors and other machinery for years. They were self taught engineers.


Early Life


The Wright brothers were two of seven children. They never married. Both brothers attended high school but did not receive Diplomas. Wilbur lost his front teeth when struck by a hockey stick while playing an ice-skating game with friends. He withdrew himself for some years helping his mother who was terminally sick of tuberculosis.


Orville dropped out of school after his junior years to start a printing business. Wilbur later joined. A weekly newspaper was frequently published.


The Wright brothers learned from the experience of Lilienthal, who died in the plunge of his glider.


Success Story


After a long experiment, reviews and practices, the Wright brothers successfully flew a powered flight. Despite criticism, they held unto their ideas. Presently their achievements are being held in high esteem for their effort in aviation.


Alexander the Great

Unstoppable Grecian Empire


He was a king, a Commander, and a Conqueror. Alexander the Great was so powerful that some people called him a god. He was one of the greatest Generals in history, and he built a vast Empire that extended from the Mediterranean Sea to India.


Alexander’s Early Life


Alexander was born in Macedonia in 356 BC. His father, King Philip II of Macedonia, hired the famous Greek philosopher Aristotle to tutor young Alexander. In the Sumner of 336 BC, Philip was murdered by one of his bodyguards. Alexander then became king.


Many people in Macedonia plotted against the young king. But Alexander was shrewd. He quickly ordered the execution of all his conspirators. At the same time, some Greek cities ruled by Macedonia rebelled, while others threatened to seek independence. Alexander crushed the rebellion and restored Macedonian rule.


Invasion of Asia


Next, in 334 BC, Alexander turned his attention toward the Persian Empire (Now Iran) in southwestern Asia. Alexander led the Macedonian and Greek soldiers to fight Darius III, Persian’s King. Their Armies met at Issus in Syria in 333 BC, and fought a fierce battle. Alexander won, and Darius fled.


Control of Egypt


Alexander then led his soldiers south, into Egypt. Alexander ceased power from the Pharaoh who ruled Egypt on behalf of the Persians. The grateful Egyptians saw Alexander as man who freed them and they crown him Pharaoh. At the mouth of the Nile River in northern Egypt, Alexander founded a new city Alexandria, and it became a famous center of learning.


Conqueror of Persia


In 331 BC, Alexander led his troops back into Persia. King Darius was eager for revenge. Alexander and Darius fought a great battle, this time, at Guagamela. Once again, Alexander won. The battle at Guagamela ended centuries of Persian rule in Asia.


Alexander then turned south and conquered other important Persian cities. At Persepolis, he burned down Darius palace to show he had conquered the Persian Empire. In 330 BC, Alexander later went north to find Darius again. This time, Darius was killed by his own men as he fled.


World Empire


Alexander was a military genius and a great explorer. But he had a grand ambition. He wanted to rule a world empire were people would live in peace with one another. From 330 to 327 BC, Alexander led his troops east, through Afghanistan and through Central Asia. As he traveled, he built more cities. He recruited soldiers, merchants and scholars from many lands to settle there.



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In 336 BC, Alexander turned south, into India. But by then his men were tired and weak. They were far from home in an unknown land. The soldiers rebelled and refused to go farther. Reluctantly, Alexander turned back. He reached Babylon, in Iraq. While there he caught a fever and died at the age of 33. His Empire was divided among his Generals.



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What is the universe made of? Why accidents do happens? How do animals grow? Ancient Greek Philosophy Aristotle tried to find answers to these questions. Today he is remembers as one of the greatest philosophers who ever lived.


Walking and Talking


Aristotle was born in 384 BC, in ancient Macedonia (now northern Greece ). His father was a Doctor. When Aristotle was 17, he went to Athens, the biggest and richest city in ancient Greece. He stayed there for most of his life, studying and teaching. He set up his own school, where students discussed new ideas while strolling in the garden.


From 345 to 335 BC, Aristotle lived in Macedonia. He worked as tutor to Prince Alexander, who later became Alexander the Great. In 335 BC, Aristotle returned to Athens. In 323 BC, Alexander died and his friends became unpopular. Aristotle was forces to leave his school at Athens. He died the next year, 322 BC.




Aristotle studied many subjects, but he was most interested in science, especially Biology (the study of living things), Zoology (the study of animals) and Astronomy (the study of the universe). He tried to find out how humans think, and how they experience the world around them. He also tried to describe invisible things, such as the mind and the soul. He invented a new science called, Casualty. It explains why things happen.


What Was So Special About Aristotle


In all his Investigations, Aristotle pioneered sponsored a new way of studying. He looked for clues in what he saw and for proof. He didn’t use guesswork or accept whatever people had already believed. His methods of questioning changed the way scholars worked for many centuries.


Aristotle wrote the many books and he kept noted to help teach his students. This might easily have been lost after ancient Greek civilization collapsed. But Muslims scientists carefully preserved these writings and passed them on to scholars in Europe and Asia. Aristotle’s idea spread around the world and it’s still making impact today.


Amelia Earhart

The First Woman to Cross the Atlantic By Air


In the 1930s, American pilot Amelia Earhart set speed and distant records for airplane flight. Today, Earhart is remembered as an adventurous pioneer during the early days of long-distance aviation.


Early Years


Earhart was born in Atchison, Kansas, in 1897. She worked as a military nurse in Canada during World War I (1914-1918). In 1920, Earhart moved to California and began taking flying lessons. She bought her first airplane at the age of 24.


In 1928, two American pilots invited Earhart to join them as a passenger on a flight across the Atlantic Ocean. The trip made Earhart famous. She was the first woman in history to cross the Atlantic by air. Earhart tasted the thrill of long distant flight and she wanted more.


Earhart’s Flight Achievements


In 1932, Earhart became the first woman to fly solo (alone) across the Atlantic Ocean. She made the trip in 13 hours 30 minutes, setting a new speed record for the flight. For her achievements, Earhart won special honors from the America and French governments.


Then, in 1935, Earhart became the first woman to fly solo over the Pacific Ocean. She took off from Honolulu, Hawaii, and landed in Oakland, California.


Earhart set another record in 1935 by flying from Mexico City, Mexico to New York City in a record time of 14 hours and 19 minutes.


How did Earhart prepare for a flight?


Earhart spent months preparing for each flight. All of her airplane mechanical parts were tested. She carefully calculated how much gasoline and oil she would need for the trip. She mapped out different navigational charts in case bad weather forced her off course.


What was flight like?


Earhart wore warm clothes on her flights since the cockpit of her airplane grew cold at high altitudes. The hardest part was battling exhaustion on the long lonely flights. Earhart admitted to being so tired in a flight final hours that she was “likely to see illusions of lands.”


Earhart’s Last Flight


In June, 1937, Earhart began what she hoped would be her greatest achievement: a flight around the world. Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, took off from Miami Florida, flying east. On July 2, with over half of the trip behind them, their airplane left New Guinea in the western Pacific Ocean and headed to the Howland Islands.


But somewhere over the Pacific Ocean, Earhart airplane disappeared. Navy airplanes and ships searched Earhart and Noonan, but they found no trace of their airplane. To this day, the fate of America’s golden girl of flight remains a mystery.


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Benjamin Franklin


Was born a famous scientist? Or was he an inventor? Was he a diplomat and a statesman? Or a printer and a writer, Franklin was just not one of these things – He was good in all.


Early Life


Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 17, 1706. His Father Josiah had seventeen children. Franklin’s mother, Abiah Folger, was Josiah’s second wife.


Like many boys at that time, young Ben attended school for only a few years. At age 10, he began training in his father’s candle-making shop. Ben didn’t like the work. When he was 13, his father sent him to work with his elder brother, James.


Leaning a Trade


James taught his brother about the printing business. Ben learned to work the heavy printing press. He sold newspapers and even began writing articles. Franklin loved to read and study in his free time, teaching himself mathematics, science, literature and foreign languages.


In 1722, James Franklin was arrested for criticizing Boston’s leaders in his newspaper. Ben kept he paper running in his brother’s absence.


In: 1724, 18 year old Ben, sailed to London, England. There he learned all he could about printing and publishing.


Franklin returned to America and settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1726. There he bought a small newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette. He marries Deborah Read in 1730.



Charles Darwin


Charles Darwin had no idea when he set off on a sea voyage to explore South America in the 1830s that he would set off a controversy that continues today. Darwin studies animals in isolated places. He thought that the differences he saw in similar species of animals meant that the animals had evolved or changed over time. His important idea is called the theory of evolution by natural selection.


What Darwin Observed?


Charles Robert Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, England, on February 12, 1809. He came from a wealthy family and never had to work. He studied medicine and theology. In 1831, he had the chance to go on a scientific tour abroad the HMS Beagle.


Everywhere the Beagle stopped, Darwin made observations of plants and animals. In Galapagos Islands, Darwin noted that each Island has its own form of tortoise, mockingbird and finch. Each species on each Island was slightly different. Darwin wondered if there were links between the similar species.


What Darwin Decided


For the next 20 years, Darwin thought about what his observation might mean. He decided that the young of all species must compete for food in other to survive. Those with traits best suited for survival will grow up and reproduce offspring with those traits. Eventually a new species will evolve. Darwin also thought that all species were descended from common ancestors. In 1859, he wrote a book called On the Origin of Species.


Many scientists did not believe his theory until modern genetics – the study of inherited traits began in the early 1900s. Most attacks on Darwin’s ideas came from religious opponents. They thought that evolution denied the divine creation of human beings and made people and animals equal.


Darwin spent the rest of his life writing about his theory. He died on April 19, 1882.


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Eli Whitney


In 1793, Eli Whitney invented a simple machine that changed the history of America: the Cotton gin. Whitney’s invention made growing cotton much more profitable. Cotton soon became the most important crop in American southern states.


Early Life

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Eli Whitney was born in 1765 in Westboro, Massachusetts. He attended Yale College (now Tale University).


In 1792, Whitney traveled to the south. While in Georgia, Whitney designed and built a model for the cotton gin.


What Did The Cotton Gin Do?


Before the cotton gin, cotton seeds had to be picked from the cotton fiber by hand. This took s great deal of time. Whitney’s machine quickly separated the seeds from the fibers. In fact, Whitney’s cotton gin cleaned more cotton in one day than a person could clean by hand in a whole year.


The Cotton Gin’s Impact


The invention of the cotton gin made cotton the most important crop of the American south. Millions of acres of cotton blanketed southern fields. In turn, the boom in cotton tied millions of slave workers to the fields. They picked cotton from the cotton seeds.


The price of cotton cloth fell. Cotton fabrics, such as calico and muslin, could easily be dyed in bright colored and patterns. Soon everyone wanted to wear this fashionable cotton clothes. This prompted the growth of textile mills in New England and Great Britain. The mills demanded more and more raw cotton to turn into clothes.


Florence Nightingale

Her success story


Florence Nightingale revolutionized the job of nursing. She cared for the sick and wounded British soldiers during the Crimean war (1853 – 1856), and she saved many lives. Her success in improving nursing brought her great fame.


A passion for nursing


Florence Nightingale was born to a wealthy English family. She decided in her teens to become a nurse, even though her parents disapproved. At that time most nurses were from poor family and had little or no training.


But Nightingale was determined to have her way. In 1850 and 1851, she received training at hospitals in Egypt and Germany.



In 1853, Nightingale took charge of a hospital in London, England. She showed skills as a nurse and as an organizer. She had bells put beside patient’s beds. When patients needed a nurse, they rang the bell. Nobody had thought of this idea before her.


Franklin Delano Roosevelt

This will motivate you – Franklin


Who was elected four times as president of the United States?

The answer is:  Franklin Delano Roosevelt


As a young man, Roosevelt was crippled by polio. But he refused to let the disease to get in the way of his public career. He went on to serve as president for more than 12 years, longer than most Presidents.


He was born into a wealthy family on January 30, 1882, on his family estate near Hyde Park, New York. He was the only child of a wealthy parent. Roosevelt loved reading and spending time outdoors. He became a devoted birdwatcher. Private tutors educated him until age 14. Then Roosevelt attended Groton, a boarding school in Massachusetts. He arrived at Groton in a private railroad car. Roosevelt later went to Harvard University and Columbia Law School.





No one was supposed to question any teachings about astronomy and physics in the 1500s. Most of the teachings came from ancient Greeks. Galileo thought that ancient Greeks were wrong about many ideas. He believed that making careful measurements could help people make accurate facts about astronomy and physics. Galileo was one of the people who began what we now call the modern scientific revolution.


Life and carrier


Galileo was born near Pisa, Italy, on February 15, 1564. After attending the University he taught mathematics. He also observed how things move. There is a story that he dropped two objects of different weights at the same time from the leaning tower of Pisa. He found that light and heavy objects fell at the same rates. The ancient Greek philosopher taught that heavy objects fell faster.


Scientific Discoveries


In the early 1600s, Galileo was the first person to use a telescope to look at objects in the night sky. He discovered many things, including mountains and craters on the moon and four moons going around Jupiter


Galileo also defended the idea of the Polish Astronomer Copernicus that the earth goes around the Earth. Ptolemy’s system was the official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. Church authorities ordered Galileo not to defend Copernicus theory.


In 1632, Galileo published a book that compared Ptolemy’s and Copernicus’s ideas. The book concluded that Copernicus was right. Galileo was ordered to go to Rome and stand trial for heresy (holding ideas opposed to church teachings). Galileo was forced to say that Copernicus was wrong. Galileo was sentenced to life imprisonment. He was old and sick, so instead they kept him inside the house. In 1992, Pope John Paul II said that the church was wrong to convict Galileo of heresy.


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George W. Bush

Life Achievements


Many people go into family businesses when they grow up. For George Bush, his family business was politics. His grandfather was a senator, his father was a president and his brother became a governor.


In 2001, George W. Bush took office as the 43rd president of the United States. He is the second President whose father was a president. The other was John Quincy Adams, who rose to the presidency in 1825; 24 years after his father left the white house.


Early life


George walker Bush was born in New Haven, Connecticut, but he grew up in Texas. He returned to the northeast for high school and college. In 1975, Bush earned a business degree from Harvard University in Massachusetts.


Marriage and Baseball


Back in Texas, Bush married Laura Welch, who worked as a librarian and a school teacher. Then Bush started a series of companies that looked for oil.


In 1989, Bush became a part owner of the Texas Rangers Baseball team. A lifelong baseball fan, Bush enjoyed his time as a team executive. He made a lot of money when the team was sold in 1998.


Governor of Texas


In 1994, Bush ran for governor of Texas as a member of the Republican party. He won, beating a popular Democratic governor. Bush himself became a popular governor, and won reelection in 1988. By 1999, Bush was campaigning to be the next president of the United States.



Henry Ford Car deals in the United States


Henry Ford put America on wheels. Ford produced a simple, sturdy automobile called the Model T. He sold the car at a low price that many Americans could afford. This car was easy to operate. Automobiles became part of everyday life in the United States.


How Henry Ford got started

Henry Ford was born on July 30, 1863. He grew up on a farm near Dearborn, Michigan, but he disliked farm work. He liked mechanical things.


At age 16, Ford got a job in a machine shop in Detroit. He later worked as an engineer. In his spare time, he built engines. After years of experimenting, Ford produced his first automobile in 1896. This vehicle was powered by a gasoline motor and mounted on four bicycle wheels.


How Ford Changed Factory Work


Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company in 1903. Ford wanted to produce large numbers of cars at low cost. He brought out the first Model T in 1908. From 1908 to 1927, 15 million Model Ts were produced. Some cost as little as $260.


Ford set up factories with assembly lines that could make cars fast and efficiently. As cars were being built, they moved slowly down an assembly line. Each worker along the line did one set of tasks, on car after car.


Workers on the assembly line often found their work dull and tiresome. Many of them quit after a short time. To keep his workers, Ford doubled the pay for his assembly-line workers. But he made them work very hard.




James Cook

The Man Who Toiled the World


Captain James Cook was one of the world’s greatest Explorers. He sailed around the world twice. The first European to reach Hawaii and New Zealand, and he sailed farther south than any European had ever gone.


People marveled over the places, people and things that Cook described. Before Cook, nobody in Europe knew about Penguins and Kangaroos.


Early Life


Cook was born in 1728 on a farm in Northern England. At the age of 18, he went to work at a shipping company. In 1755, Cook joined the British Royal Navy. His ship was sent to Canada to make maps of lands that Britain has conquered from France.


First Voyage to the Pacific


In 1768, Cook sailed to the South Pacific Ocean, with Artists and Scientists. Officially, their task was to observe the planet Venus. But Britain also hoped that Cook would find a mysterious “Southern Continent” that some sailors claimed to have seen. Cook wanted to take control of it for the British King.


Cook reaches New Zealand in 1770. No other European had been there. He said around New Zealand and also explored Eastern Australia.


A Scientific Explorer


Cook drew many detailed map and kept careful records of all he had seen on his voyage. He described native people of the South Pacific and their cultures. His artists sketched wild fires, and his Scientists collected unusual plants and animals to take back.


Cook’s careful work caused a sensation when he got home in Britain, in 1771. No other expeditions have gathered so much information, so thoroughly and scientifically.


Cook also won fame for keeping his sailors healthy. He wondered if a lack of fresh fruits and vegetables caused scurvy, a fatal disease common among sailors on long voyages. He stocked his ships with sauerkraut (pickled cabbage) and forced his crew to eat it. During stops at ports, he ordered his crew to eat fresh foods. As a results, few of his sailors became seriously I’ll.


Second Voyage to the Pacific


From 1772 to 1775, Cook made a second voyage to the South Pacific Ocean. This time, he sailed father than anyone before him. He saw penguins and icebergs. He sailed all the way around Antarctica. But he joined no land where people must live.


Final Voyage


In 1776, Cook set off on a third voyage. This time, Cook wanted to look for the North western passage. This was a possible sea route north of Canada linking Europe and Asia. Before sailing north, he explored several island in the Pacific. He landed in Hawaii in 1778, becoming the first European to do so.


From Hawaii, Cook sailed to North America. He was the first European to set foot on Vancouver Islands off the coast of British Columbia. Throughout 1778 he explored the northwest coast of North America, but he failed to find the Northwest Passage.


In 1779, Cook returned to Hawaii, where he was killed in a quarrel with natives in a stolen boat.


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How Julius Caesar Died


Was Julius Caesar mostly interest in serving the people he ruled? Or was he only interested in grabbing power? People who met the Roman Statesman could not agree. Caesar was a brilliant soldier and a clever, capable ruler. But he was also extremely ambitious.


A Famous Family


Caesar was born in 100 BC, to one of Rome’s most famous families. But his family had many enemies and Caesar thought its best to leave Rome. He trained as a soldier and went to study in Greece. But he hoped for a political career.


Caesar returned to Rome in 73 BC and made plans to run for office. He worked on the election campaign of Army General Pompey and Crassus, a very rich noble. The men were running for consul, which was then the highest office in Rome. To win support for his candidates, Caesar invited citizens to attend free gladiators shows in which men fought each other with swords. In 59 BC, Caesar was voted Consul. The next year, he became Governor of Gaul (a large Roman province in Western Europe).


War Hero


In Gaul, Caesar won famous victories against German and Celtic tribes. Then he invades Britain and defeated the Britons. In order to celebrate and boast, he wrote a book about his military successes in Gaul.


Caesar’s success made Pompey jealous, and he tried to remove Caesar as Commander of Gaul. Furious with his formal friend, Caesar declared war. Pompey ran away to Greece and then to Egypt, but Caesar followed him. Pompey was murdered in Egypt before Caesar arrived.


Caesar spent some time in Egypt. He helped put Queen Cleopatra back on the throne as Egypt’s ruler. Cleopatra’s brother had removed her from power. Next, Caesar marched east, to crush a rebellion in what is now Turkey.


Too Much Power


In 45 BC, Caesar came back to Rome. He was named Dictator for life and was given total political power. He reformed the law, reorganized taxes and introduced a new calendar. We still use a calendar based on the Julian calendar. He named the month of July after himself.


Caesar also commanded the Roman Army, and was chief priest of the Roman religion. Many Romans admired him but others felt uneasy that he had so much power. Some senators felt that the Roman Senate should have power also. These senators stabbed Caesar to death on March 15 in 44 BC. March 15 was known as the ides of March in Roman calendar. When people say, “Beware the Ides of March”, they are referring to the plot to kill Caesar and the possibility of an unknown danger lurking nearby.



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P. Dickson is Inspired to inspire others with the good things of life. He wants to see people enjoy life, manage stress, prosper, stay healthy, be good, stay motivated, make money and live a life of impact.

Dickson Pentecost

P. Dickson is Inspired to inspire others with the good things of life. He wants to see people enjoy life, manage stress, prosper, stay healthy, be good, stay motivated, make money and live a life of impact.

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