Friday, April 20, 2007

On April 20, ...

... 1902, Marie Sklodowska Curie (right) and her husband, Pierre Curie, successfully isolated radioactive radium salts from pitchblende ore in their laboratory in Paris. The achievement won attention by the Nobel committee, but initially Marie's role was not mentioned. Pierre wrote the committee: "If it is true that one is seriously thinking about me, I very much wish to be considered together with Madame Curie with respect to our research on radioactive bodies." The committee complied, awarding half the 1903 prize in physics to the couple, the other half to another scientist. After Pierre died in a carriage accident, Marie continued her research, became the 1st woman professor at the Sorbonne, and won a 2d Nobel Prize, in chemistry, in 1912.
... 1920, U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens was born in Chicago.

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