On this date in history two significant people were born. Sir Isaac Newton in 1643 and Louis Braille in 1809. One helped us understand the physical world and the other helped many among us overcome the physical world. Newton was a physicist and mathematician who developed the three basic laws of thermodynamics – the relationship of energy, matter, and motion. His story referenced an apple, but is probably as accurate as the apple in Eden or the cherry of George Washington. We think of Newtonian physics with the same regard as Euclidian geometry. He left his mark on science for all time.

Louis Braille developed a system of printing and writing that is named for him and helps the blind to read -allowing them access to information they would never see. It was developed out of necessity. He went blind at the age of three and yet developed his system, which was also useful for music, and presented it to his peers at the age of 15. It didn’t get wide acceptance and use until after his death, but is universally recognized today and helps millions.

On this date we lost some notable people as well – Albert Camus – French novelist and philosopher (1960), Erwin Schrodinger – Austrian physicist -we all remember his cat (1961), and American/British poet T.S. Eliot (1965) who provided the source material for the musical CATS.

On this date in 1948 was one of the earliest decolonization in the British empire when Burma (now Myanmar) gained its independence. Unfortunately of late the country (Buddhist) has been noted for harsh military rule and fierce discrimination against its minority Rohingya (Muslim) population including 700,000 having to flee to neighboring Bangladesh.