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A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Biography

EngineerScientistPresident (non-U.S.) (1931–2015)

Born in 1931 in Dhanushkodi, India, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam joined India's defense department after graduating from the Madras Institute of Technology. He was a central figure in the development of the country's nuclear capabilities, and was hailed as a national hero after a series of successful tests in 1998. Kalam served as India's president for one term, and died of a heart attack on July 27, 2015.

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was born into a Muslim family on October 15, 1931, on the island of Dhanushkodi off the southeastern coast of India. He developed an early fascination with flight by watching birds, which developed into an interest in aeronautics after he saw a newspaper article about a British fighter plane. 

Despite his modest beginnings – his dad built and rented boats – Kalam was a bright student who showed promise in science and mathematics. He attended St. Joseph's College, and went on to earn a degree in aeronautical engineering from the Madras Institute of Technology. 

Rise to the Presidency 

His hopes of becoming a fighter pilot was dashed when he narrowly missed out on a spot with the Indian Air Force. Kalam instead joined the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) as a senior scientific assistant in 1958. After moving to the newly formed Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in 1969, he was named project director of the SLV-III, the first satellite launch vehicle designed and produced on Indian soil.

Returning to the DRDO as director in 1982, Kalam implemented the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program. He then became the senior scientific adviser to India's defense minister in 1992, a position he used to campaign for the development of nuclear tests. 

http://www.biography.com/people/apj-abdul-kalam-39325#synopsis 

 

Nelson Mandela Biography

Civil Rights ActivistPresident (non-U.S.)Writer (1918–2013).

Nelson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa in 1994, serving until 1999. A symbol of global peacemaking, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918, in Mveso, Transkei, South Africa. Becoming actively involved in the anti-apartheid movement in his 20s, Mandela joined the African National Congress in 1942. For 20 years, he directed a campaign of peaceful, nonviolent defiance against the South African government and its racist policies. In 1993, Mandela and South African President F.W. de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to dismantle the country's apartheid system. In 1994, Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa's first black president. In 2009, Mandela's birthday (July 18) was declared "Mandela Day" to promote global peace and celebrate the South African leader's legacy. Mandela died at his home in Johannesburg on December 5, 2013, at age 95.

From the time Mandela came under the guardianship of Regent Jongintaba, he was groomed to assume high office, not as a chief, but a counselor to one. As Thembu royalty, Mandela attended a Wesleyan mission school, the Clarkebury Boarding Institute and Wesleyan College, where, he would later state, he achieved academic success through "plain hard work." He also excelled at track and boxing. Mandela was initially mocked as a "country boy" by his Wesleyan classmates, but eventually became friends with several students, including Mathona, his first female friend.

In 1939, Mandela enrolled at the University College of Fort Hare, the only residential center of higher learning for blacks in South Africa at the time. Fort Hare was considered Africa's equivalent of the University of Oxford or Harvard University, drawing scholars from all parts of sub-Sahara Africa. In his first year at the university, Mandela took the required courses, but focused on Roman Dutch law to prepare for a career in civil service as an interpreter or clerk—regarded as the best profession that a black man could obtain at the time.

http://www.biography.com/people/nelson-mandela-9397017#early-life

Warren Buffett Biography

http://www.biography.com/people/warren-buffett-9230729

Known as the "Oracle of Omaha," Warren Buffett is an investment guru and one of the richest and most respected businessmen in the world.

Businessman and investor. Born Warren Edward Buffett on August 30, 1930, in Omaha, Nebraska. Buffett's father, Howard, worked as stockbroker and served as a U.S. congressman. His mother, Leila Stahl Buffett, was a homemaker. Buffett was the second of three children and the only boy.

Buffett demonstrated a knack for financial and business matters early in his childhood. Friends and acquaintances have said the young boy was a mathematical prodigy who could add large columns of numbers in his head, a talent he occasionally demonstrated in his later years.

Warren often visited his father's stockbrokerage shop as a child, and chalked in the stock prices on the blackboard in the office. At 11 years old he made his first investment, buying three shares of Cities Service Preferred at $38 per share. The stock quickly dropped to only $27, but Buffett held on tenaciously until they reached $40. He sold his shares at a small profit, but regretted the decision when Cities Service shot up to nearly $200 a share. He later cited this experience as an early lesson in patience in investing.

First Entrepreneurial Venture

By the age of 13, Buffett was running his own businesses as a paperboy and selling his own horseracing tip sheet. That same year, he filed his first tax return, claiming his bike as a $35 tax deduction.

In 1942, Buffett's father was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and his family moved to Fredricksburg, Virginia, to be closer to the congressman's new post. Buffett attended Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, D.C., where he continued plotting new ways to make money. During his high school tenure, he and a friend purchased a used pinball machine for $25. They installed it in a barbershop, and within a few months the profits enabled them to buy other machines. Buffett owned machines in three different locations before he sold the business for $1,200.

http://www.biography.com/people/warren-buffett-9230729#early-life 

Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Biography

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MsFy6MS3Q8

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z55SMW4ueW4

Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Two brothers who were studying at school went to see their father. They alighted at the Masur Railway Station, engaged a cart and continued their journey. They went some distance; then the cart driver came to know that they belonged the Mahar cast. He at once stopped the cart and raised one end of it; the poor boys tumbled down and fell on the ground. He shouted at them and scolded them as he pleased.

It was afternoon. The boys were thirsty. They begged for water but no one would give them a drop. Hours passed. Still no one gave them water. They were not allowed even to go near tanks and wells.

The younger brother’s name was Bhimrao Ambedkar. A few days passed. One day Bhim felt unbearable thirst. He drank water from a well. Someone noticed it. A few people gathered and beat the boy mercilessly.

14 April 1891 – 6 December 1956), popularly known as Babasaheb, was an Indian juristeconomistpolitician and social reformer who inspired the Modern Buddhist Movement and campaigned against social discrimination against Untouchables (Dalits), while also supporting the rights of women and labour. He was Independent India's first law minister and the principal architect of the Constitution of India.

Ambedkar was born in the town and military cantonment of Mhow in the Central Provinces (now in Madhya Pradesh).[16]He was the 14th and last child of Ramji Maloji Sakpal, a ranked army officer at the post of Subedar and Bhimabai Murbadkar Sakpal.[17] His family was of Marathi background from the town of Ambavade (Mandangad taluka) inRatnagiri district of modern-day Maharashtra. Ambedkar was born into a poor low Mahar (dalit) caste, who were treated as untouchables and subjected to socio-economic discrimination.[18] Ambedkar's ancestors had long worked for the army of the British East India Company, and his father served in the British Indian Army at the Mhow cantonment.[19]Although they attended school, Ambedkar and other untouchable children were segregated and given little attention or help by teachers. They were not allowed to sit inside the class. When they needed to drink water, someone from a higher caste had to pour that water from a height as they were not allowed to touch either the water or the vessel that contained it. This task was usually performed for the young Ambedkar by the school peon, and if the peon was not available then he had to go without water; the situation he later in his writings described as "No peon, No Water".[20] He was required to sit on a gunny sack which he had to take home with him.[21]

Ramji Sakpal retired in 1894 and the family moved to Satara two years later. Shortly after their move, Ambedkar's mother died. The children were cared for by their paternal aunt, and lived in difficult circumstances. Three sons – Balaram, Anandrao and Bhimrao – and two daughters – Manjula and Tulasa – of the Ambedkars would go on to survive them. Of his brothers and sisters, only Ambedkar passed his examinations and graduated to high school. His original surname Ambavadekar comes from his native village 'Ambavade' in Ratnagiri district.[22] His Brahmin teacher, Mahadev Ambedkar, who was fond of him, changed his surname from 'Ambavadekar' to his own surname 'Ambedkar' in school records.

Economic planning

Ambedkar was the first Indian to pursue an doctorate in economics abroad.[67] He argued that industrialization and agricultural growth could enhance the Indian economy.[68] He stressed investment in agriculture as the primary industry of India.[69] According to Sharad Pawar, Ambedkar’s vision helped the government to achieve its food security goal.[70] Ambedkar advocated national economic and social development, stressing education, public hygiene, community health, residential facilities as the basic amenities.[68] His DSc thesis "The problems of Ruppee, its origin and solution (1923)" examines the causes for the Rupee's fall in value.[69] He proved the importance of price stability over exchange stability. He analysed the silver and gold exchange rates and their effect on the economy, and found the reasons for the failure of British India's public treasury.[69] He calculated the loss of development caused by British rule.[71]

In 1951, Ambedkar established the Finance Commission of India. He opposed income tax for low-income groups. He contributed in Land Revenue Tax and excise duty policies to stabilise the economy.[69] He played an important role in land reform and the state economic development.[72] According to him, the caste system divided labourors and impeded economic progress. He emphasised a free economy with a stable Rupee which India has adopted recently.[69] He advocated birth control to develop the Indian economy, and this has been adopted by Indian government as national policy for family planning. He emphasised equal rights for women for economic development.[69] He laid the foundation of industrial relations after Indian independence.[72]

Reserve Bank of India[edit]

Ambedkar was trained as an economist, and was a professional economist until 1921, when he became a political leader. He wrote three scholarly books on economics:

  • Administration and Finance of the East India Company
  • The Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India
  • The Problem of the Rupee: Its Origin and Its Solution[73][74][75]

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), was based on the ideas that Ambedkar presented to the Hilton Young Commission


Matriculation[edit]

In 1897, Ambedkar's family moved to Bombay where Ambedkar became the only untouchable enrolled at Elphinstone High School. In 1906, his marriage to a nine-year-old girl, Ramabai, was arranged.[2]

In 1907, he passed his matriculation examination and in the following year he entered Elphinstone College, which was affiliated to the University of Bombay, becoming the first untouchable to do so. This success provoked celebrations among untouchables and after a public ceremony, he was presented with a biography of the Buddha by Dada Keluskar, the author and a family friend.[2]

Degree in Economics and Political science[edit]

By 1912, he obtained his degree in economics and political science from Bombay University, and prepared to take up employment with the Baroda state government. His wife, by then 15 years old, had just moved his young family and started work, when he had to quickly return to Mumbai to see his ailing father, who died on 2 February 1913.[23]

 
Ambedkar as a student.

Postgraduation in Economics, Columbia University[edit]

In 1913, he moved to the United States. He had been awarded a Baroda State Scholarship of £11.50 (Sterling) per month for three years under a scheme established by the Gaekwad of Baroda that was designed to provide opportunities for postgraduate education at Columbia University in New York City. Soon after arriving there he settled in rooms at Livingston Hall with Naval Bhathena, a Parsi who was to be a lifelong friend. He passed his M.A. exam in June 1915, majoring in Economics, and other subjects of Sociology, History, Philosophy and Anthropology. he presented a thesis, Ancient Indian Commerce.

Economics, Columbia University[edit]

In 1916 he completed his second thesis, National Dividend of India-A Historic and Analytical Study for another M.A., and finally he received his PhD in Economics in 1927[24] for his third thesis, after he left for London. On 9 May, he read his paperCastes in India: Their Mechanism, Genesis and Development before a seminar conducted by the anthropologist Alexander Goldenweiser.

London School of Economics[edit]

In October 1916, he enrolled for the Bar course at Gray's Inn, and at the same time enrolled at the London School of Economics where he started working on a doctoral thesis. In June 1917, he returned to India because his scholarship from Baroda ended. His book collection was dispatched on different ship from the one he was on, and that ship was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine.[23] He got permission to return to London to submit his thesis within four years. He returned at the first opportunity, and completed a master's degree in 1921. His thesis was on the "Indian Rupee". In 1923, he completed a Doctorate in Economics, and the same year he was called to the Bar by Gray's Inn. His third and fourth Doctorates (Ll.D, Columbia, 1952 and Ll.D., Osmania, 1953) were conferred honoris causa.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CVZbjkcSi4 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIO-xQFuKIo

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B._R._Ambedkar#Early_life_and_education

http://www.culturalindia.net/reformers/br-ambedkar.html


Muhammad Ali Biography

Born: January 17, 1942 

Louisville, Kentucky 
African American boxer

 Muhammad Ali was the only professional boxer to win the heavy-weight championship three times. He provided leadership and an example for African American men and women around the world with his political and religious views.

 Early life

Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. on January 17, 1942, in Louisville, Kentucky, the first of Cassius Marcellus Clay Sr. and Odessa Grady Clay's two sons. His father was a sign painter who also loved to act, sing, and dance; his mother worked as a cleaning lady when money was tight. Ali began boxing at the age of twelve. His bicycle had been stolen, and he reported the theft to a policeman named Joe Martin, who gave boxing lessons in a local youth center. Martin invited Ali to try boxing and soon saw that he had talent.

Martin began to feature Ali on his local television show, "Tomorrow's Champions," and he started Ali working out at Louisville's Columbia Gym. An African American trainer named Fred Stoner taught Ali the science of boxing. Among the many things Ali learned was how to move with the grace and ease of a dancer. Although his schoolwork suffered, Ali devoted all of his time to boxing and improved steadily.

 "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee"

As a teenager Ali won both the national Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) and Golden Gloves championships. At the age of eighteen he competed in the 1960 Olympic games held in Rome, Italy, winning the gold medal in the lightheavyweight division. This led to a contract with a group of millionaires called the Louisville Sponsors Group. It was the biggest contract ever signed by a professional boxer. Ali worked his way through a series of professional victories, using a style that combined speed with great punching power. He was described by one of his handlers as having the ability to "float like a butterfly, and sting like a bee."

Ali's unique style of boasting, rhyming, and expressing confidence brought him considerable media attention as he moved toward a chance to fight for the world heavyweight boxing championship. When he began to write poems predicting his victories in different fights he became known as "The Louisville Lip." Both the attention and his skill as a fighter paid off. In February 1964, when he was only twenty-two years old, he fought and defeated Sonny Liston for the heavyweight championship of the world.

Religious change

Inspired by Muslim spokesman Malcolm X (1925–1965), Ali began to follow the Black Muslim faith (a group that supports a separate black nation) and announced that he had changed his name to Cassius X. This was at a time when the struggle for civil rights was at a peak and the Muslims had emerged as a controversial (causing disputes) but important force in the African American community. Later the Muslim leader Elijah Muhammad (1897–1975) gave him the name Muhammad Ali, which means "beloved of Allah." (Allah is the god worshipped by Muslims.) In his first title defense in May 1965 Ali defeated Sonny Liston with a first-round knockout. (Many called it a phantom punch because it was so fast and powerful that few watching the fight even saw it.) Ali successfully defended his title eight more times.

In April 1967 Ali was drafted into military service during the Vietnam War (1957–75; a war fought in an unsuccessful attempt to stop Communist North Vietnam from overtaking South Vietnam). He claimed that as a minister of the Black Muslim religion he was not obligated to serve. The press criticized him as unpatriotic, and the New York State Athletic Commission and World Boxing Association suspended his boxing license and stripped him of his heavyweight title. Ali told Sports Illustrated, "I'm giving up my title, my wealth, maybe my future. Many great men have been tested for their religious beliefs. If I pass this test, I'll come out stronger than ever." Ali was finally sentenced to five years in prison but was released on appeal, and his conviction was thrown out three years later by the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

Back in the ring

Ali returned to the ring and beat Jerry Quarry in 1970. Five months later he lost to Joe Frazier (1944–), who had replaced him as heavyweight champion when his title had been stripped. Ali regained the championship for the first time when he defeated George Foreman (1949–), who had beaten Frazier for the title, in a fight held in Zaire in 1974. Ali referred to this match as the "Rumble in the Jungle." Ali fought Frazier several more times, including a fight in 1974 staged in New York City and a bout held in the Philippines in 1975, which Ali called the "Thrilla in Manila." Ali won both matches to regain his title as the world heavyweight champion. In 1975 Sports Illustratedmagazine named Ali its "Sportsman of the Year."

Ali now used a new style of boxing, one that he called his "rope-a-dope." He would let his opponents wear themselves down while he rested, often against the ropes; he would then be strong and lash out in the later rounds. Ali successfully defended his title ten more times. He held the championship until Leon Spinks defeated him in February 1978 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Seven months later Ali regained the heavyweight title by defeating Spinks in New Orleans, Louisiana, becoming the first boxer in history to win the heavyweight championship three times. At the end of his boxing career he was slowed by a condition related to Parkinson's disease (a disease of the nervous system that results in shaking and weakness of the muscles). Ali's last fight (there were sixty-one in all) took place in 1981.

http://www.notablebiographies.com/A-An/Ali-Muhammad.html

Muhammad Ali Jinnah-Biography

President (non-U.S.)Lawyer (1876–1948)

 Muslim statesman Muhammad Ali Jinnah led Pakistan’s independence from India, and was its first governor-general and president of its constituent assembly.

 

Synopsis

Muhammad Ali Jinnah was born December 25, 1876, in Karachi, Pakistan. In 1906 he joined the Indian National Congress. Seven years later, he joined the India Muslim League. The independent state of Pakistan that Jinnah had envisioned came to be on August 14, 1947. The following day, he was sworn in as Pakistan’s first governor-general. On September 11, 1948, he died near Karachi, Pakistan.

Early Life

Muhammad Ali Jinnah was born in a rented apartment on the second floor of Wazir Mansion in Karachi, Pakistan (then part of India), on December 25, 1876. At the time of his birth, Jinnah’s official name was Mahomedali Jinnahbhai. The eldest of his parents’ seven children, Jinnah was underweight and appeared fragile at the time of his birth. But Jinnah’s mother, Mithibai, was convinced her delicate infant would one day achieve great things. Jinnah’s father, Jinnahbhai Poonja, was a merchant and exporter of cotton, wool, grain and range of other goods. As a whole, the family belonged to the Khoja Muslim sect.

 

When Muhammad Ali Jinnah was 6 years old, his father placed him in the Sindh Madrasatul-Islam School. Jinnah was far from a model student. He was more interested in playing outside with his friends than focusing on his studies. As the proprietor of a thriving trade business, Jinnah’s father emphasized the importance of studying mathematics, but, ironically, arithmetic was among Jinnah’s most hated subjects.

 

When Jinnah was nearly 11 years old, his only paternal aunt came to visit from Bombay, India. Jinnah and his aunt were very close. The aunt suggested that Jinnah return with her to Bombay; she believed the big city would provide him with a better education than Karachi could. Despite his mother’s resistance, Jinnah accompanied his aunt back to Bombay, where she enrolled him in the Gokal Das Tej Primary School. Despite the change of scenery, Jinnah continued to prove himself a restless and unruly student. Within just six months he was sent back to Karachi. His mother insisted he attend Sind Madrassa, but Jinnah was expelled for cutting classes to go horseback riding.

 

Jinnah’s parents then enrolled him in the Christian Missionary Society High School, hoping he would be better able to concentrate on his studies there. As a teen, Jinnah developed an admiration for his father’s business colleague, Sir Frederick Leigh Croft. When Croft offered Jinnah an internship in London, Jinnah jumped at the chance, but Jinnah’s mother was not so eager for him to accept the offer. Fearful of being separated from her son, she persuaded him to marry before leaving for his trip. Presumably she believed his marriage would ensure his eventual return.

 

At his mother’s urging, the 15-year-old Jinnah entered into an arranged marriage with his 14-year-old bride, Emibai, in February 1892. Emibai was from the village of Paneli in India, and the wedding took place in her hometown. Following the marriage, Jinnah continued attending the Christian Missionary Society High School until he left for London. He departed Karachi in January of 1893. Jinnah would never see his wife or his mother again. Emibai died a few months after Jinnah’s departure. Devastatingly, Jinnah’s mother, Mithibai, also passed away during his stay in London.

http://www.biography.com/people/muhammad-ali-jinnah-9354710#early-life


Barack Obama Biography

U.S. PresidentLawyerU.S. Senator (1961–)

Barack Obama is the 44th and current president of the United States, and the first African American to serve as U.S. president. First elected to the presidency in 2008, he won a second term in 2012.

Born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii, Barack Obama is the 44th and current president of the United States. He was a community organizer, civil-rights lawyer and teacher before pursuing a political career. He was elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1996 and to the U.S. Senate in 2004. He was elected to the U.S. presidency in 2008, and won re-election in 2012 against Republican challenger Mitt Romney. 

Early Life

 

Barack Hussein Obama II was born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii. His mother, Ann Dunham, was born on an Army base in Wichita, Kansas, during World War II. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dunham's father, Stanley, enlisted in the military and marched across Europe in General George Patton's army. Dunham's mother, Madelyn, went to work on a bomber assembly line. After the war, the couple studied on the G.I. Bill, bought a house through the Federal Housing Program and, after several moves, ended up in Hawaii.

 

Obama's father, Barack Obama Sr., was born of Luo ethnicity in Nyanza Province, Kenya. Obama Sr. grew up herding goats in Africa and, eventually earned a scholarship that allowed him to leave Kenya and pursue his dreams of going to college in Hawaii. While studying at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Obama Sr. met fellow student Ann Dunham, and they married on February 2, 1961. Barack was born six months later.

 

Challenges and Successes

 

In the second part of his first term as president, Obama faced a number of obstacles and scored some victories as well. In spite of opposition from Congressional Republicans and the populist Tea Party movement, Obama signed his health care reform plan, known as the Affordable Care Act, into law in March 2010. The new law prohibited the denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions, allowed citizens under 26 years old to be insured under parental plans, provided for free health screenings for certain citizens and expanded insurance coverage and access to medical care to millions of Americans. Opponents of the Affordable Care Act, which foes dubbed "Obamacare," asserted that it added new costs to the country's overblown budget, violated the Constitution with its requirement for individuals to obtain insurance and amounted to a “government takeover” of health care

 

On the economic front, Obama worked to steer the country through difficult financial times. After drawn-out negotiations with Republicans who gained control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2010 mid-term elections, he signed the Budget Control Act of 2011 in an effort to rein in government spending and prevent the government from defaulting on its financial obligations. The act also called for the creation of a bipartisan committee to seek solutions to the country's fiscal issues, but the group failed to reach any agreement on how to solve these problems.

 

Also in 2011, Obama signed a repeal of the military policy known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which prevented openly gay troops from serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. In March 2011, he approved U.S. participation in NATO airstrikes to support rebels fighting against the forces of Libyan dictatorMuammar al-Qaddafi, and in May he also gave the green light to a covert operation in Pakistan that led to the killing of infamous al-Qaeda leaderOsama bin Laden by a team of U.S. Navy SEALs. 

 

Obama gained a legal victory in June 2012 when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, which required citizens to purchase health insurance or pay a tax. In a 5-4 decision, the court decided the health care law’s signature provision fell within the taxation power granted to Congress under the Constitution. Voting with the majority were two associate justices appointed by Obama—Sonia Sotomayor (confirmed in 2009) and Elena Kagan (confirmed in 2010).

2012 Re-Election

 

As he did in 2008, during his campaign for a second presidential term, Obama focused on grassroots initiatives. Celebrities such as Anna Wintour and Sarah Jessica Parker aided the president's campaign by hosting fund-raising events.

 

"I guarantee you, we will move this country forward," Obama stated in June 2012, at a campaign event in Maryland. "We will finish what we started. And we'll remind the world just why it is that the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth."

 

In the 2012 election, Obama faced Republican opponent Mitt Romney and Romney's vice-presidential running mate, U.S. Representative Paul Ryan. On November 6, 2012, Obama won a second four-year term as president by receiving nearly five million more votes than Romney and capturing more than 60 percent of the Electoral College.

 

Nearly one month after President Obama's re-election, the nation endured one of its most tragic school shootings to date when 20 children and six adults were shot to death at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012. Two days after the attack, Obama delivered a speech at an interfaith vigil for the victims in Newtown and discussed a need for change in order to make schools safer while alluding to implementing stricter gun-control measures. "These tragedies must end," Obama stated. "In the coming weeks, I'll use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens—from law enforcement, to mental-health professionals, to parents and educators—in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this, because what choice do we have? We can't accept events like these as routine. Are we really prepared to say that we're powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard?"

 

Obama achieved a major legislative victory on January 1, 2013, when the Republican-controlled House of Representatives approved a bipartisan agreement on tax increases and spending cuts, in an effort to avoid the looming fiscal cliff crisis (the Senate voted in favor of the bill earlier that day). The agreement marked a productive first step toward the president's re-election promise of reducing the federal deficit by raising taxes on the extremely wealthy—individuals earning more than $400,000 per year and couples earning more than $450,000, according to the bill. Prior to the bill's passage, in late 2012, tense negotiations between Republicans and Democrats over spending cuts and tax increases became a bitter political battle until Vice President Joe Biden managed to hammer out a deal with Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Obama pledged to sign the bill into law.

 

Second Term

 

Barack Obama officially began his second term on January 21, 2013, when U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office. The inauguration was held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and civil-rights activistMyrlie Evers-Williams, the widow of Medgar Evers, gave the invocation.James TaylorBeyoncé Knowles and Kelly Clarkson sang at the ceremony, and poet Richard Blanco read his poem "One Today." 

https://youtu.be/rRvBzzR5tdA 

http://www.biography.com/people/barack-obama-12782369#re-election-and-second-term

 

Albert Einstein:

Albert Einstein was a German-born physicist who developed the general theory of relativity, among other feats. He is considered the most influential physicist of the 20th century.

Born in Ulm, Württemberg, Germany in 1879, Albert Einstein had a passion for inquiry that eventually led him to develop the special and general theories of relativity. In 1921, he won the Nobel Prize for physics for his explanation of the photoelectric effect and immigrated to the U.S. in the following decade after being targeted by the Nazis. Einstein is generally considered the most influential physicist of the 20th century, with his work also having a major impact on the development of atomic energy. With a focus on unified field theory during his later years, Einstein died on April 18, 1955, in Princeton, New Jersey.

Background and Early Life

Born on March 14, 1879 in Ulm, Württemberg, Germany, Albert Einstein grew up in a secular Jewish family. His father, Hermann Einstein, was a salesman and engineer who with his brother founded Elektrotechnische Fabrik J. Einstein & Cie, a Munich-based company that manufactured electrical equipment. His mother, the former Pauline Koch, ran the family household. Einstein had one sister, Maja, born two years after him.

Einstein attended elementary school at the Luitpold Gymnasium in Munich. However, he felt alienated there and struggled with the institution's rigid pedagogical style. He also had what were considered to be speech challenges, though he developed a passion for classical music and playing the violin that would stay with him into his later years. Most significantly, Einstein's youth was marked by deep inquisitiveness and inquiry. 

Towards the end of the 1880s, Max Talmud, a Polish medical student who sometimes dined with the Einstein family, became an informal tutor to young Albert. Talmud had introduced his pupil to a children’s science text that inspired Einstein to dream about the nature of light. Thus, during his teens, Einstein penned what would be seen as his first major paper, "The Investigation of the State of Aether in Magnetic Fields."

Resident of Switzerland

Hermann Einstein relocated the family to Milan, Italy, in the mid-1890s after his business lost out on a major contract. Albert was left at a relative's boarding house in Munich to complete his schooling at the Luitpold Gymnasium. Faced with military duty when he turned of age, Albert allegedly withdrew from classes, using a doctor’s note to excuse himself and claim nervous exhaustion. With their son rejoining them in Italy, his parents understood Einstein's perspective but were concerned about his future prospects as a school dropout and draft dodger.

Einstein was eventually able to gain admission into the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich, specifically due to his superb mathematics and physics scores on the entrance exam. He was still required to complete his pre-university education first, and thus attended a high school in Aarau, Switzerland helmed by Jost Winteler. Einstein lived with the schoolmaster's family and fell in love with Wintelers' daughter, Marie. Einstein later renounced his German citizenship and became a Swiss citizen at the dawn of the new century.

Miracle Year

While working at the patent office, Einstein had the time to further ideas that had taken hold during his studies at Polytechnic and thus cemented his theorems on what would be known as the principle of relativity.

In 1905—seen by many as a "miracle year" for the theorist—Einstein had four papers published in the Annalen der Physik, one of the best known physics journals of the era. The four papers focused on the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion, the special theory of relativity (the most widely circulated of the write-ups) and the matter/energy relationship, thus taking physics in an electrifying new direction. In his fourth paper, Einstein came up with the equation E=mc2, suggesting that tiny particles of matter could be converted into huge amounts of energy, foreshadowing the development of atomic power. 

Famed quantum theorist Max Planck backed up the assertions of Einstein, who thus became a star of the lecture circuit and academia, taking on various positions before becoming director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics from 1913 to 1933.

Relativity and Nobel Prize

In November, 1915, Einstein completed the general theory of relativity, which he considered the culmination of his life research. He was convinced of the merits of general relativity because it allowed for a more accurate prediction of planetary orbits around the sun, which fell short in Isaac Newton’s theory, and for a more expansive, nuanced explanation of how gravitational forces worked. Einstein's assertions were affirmed via observations and measurements by British astronomers Sir Frank Dyson and Sir Arthur Eddington during the 1919 solar eclipse, and thus a global science icon was born. 

In 1921, Einstein won the Nobel Prize for Physics though he wasn't actually given the award until the following year due to a bureaucratic ruling. Because his ideas on relativity were still considered questionable, he received the prize for his explanation of the photoelectric effect though Einstein still opted to speak about relativity during his acceptance speech.

In the development of his general theory, Einstein had held on to the belief that the universe was a fixed, static entity, aka a "cosmological constant," though his later theories directly contradicted this idea and asserted that the universe could be in a state of flux.  Astronomer Edwin Hubble deduced that we indeed inhabit an expanding universe, with the two scientists meeting at the Mount Wilson Observatory near Los Angeles in 1930.

While Einstein was travelling and speaking internationally, the Nazis, led byAdolf Hitler, were gaining prominence with violent propaganda and vitriol in an impoverished post-WWI Germany. The party influenced other scientists to label Einstein's work "Jewish physics." Jewish citizens were barred from university work and other official jobs, and Einstein himself was targeted to be killed.

http://www.biography.com/people/albert-einstein-9285408

 


 


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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