On This Day
1576 – The cornerstone for Tycho Brahe’s Uraniborg observatory is laid on the island of Hven.
Uraniborg (Danish: Uranienborg, Swedish: Uraniborg) was a Danish astronomical observatory and alchemy laboratory established and operated by Tycho Brahe. It was built c. 1576 – c. 1580 on Hven, an island in the Øresund between Zealand and Scania, which was part of Denmark at the time. It was expanded with the underground facility Stjerneborg on an adjacent site.
Brahe abandoned Uranienborg and Stjerneborg in 1597 after he fell out of favor with the Danish king; he left the country, and the institution was destroyed in 1601 after his death. Hven was later lost to Sweden, and the Rundetårn (Round Tower) in Copenhagen was inaugurated in 1642 as a replacement for Uraniborg’s astronomical functions. Uraniborg’s grounds are currently being restored.
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Born On This Day
1814 – Esther Hobart Morris, American lawyer and judge (d. 1902)
Esther Hobart Morris (8 August 1814 – 3 April 1902) was the first woman justice of the peace in the United States. A mother of three boys, she began her tenure as justice in South Pass City, Wyoming, on 14 February 1870, serving a term of fewer than 9 months. The Sweetwater County Board of County Commissioners appointed Morris as justice of the peace after the previous justice, R.S. Barr, resigned in protest of Wyoming Territory’s passage of the women’s suffrage amendment in December 1869.
Popular stories and historical accounts, as well as by state and federal public monuments, point to Morris as a leader in the passage of Wyoming’s suffrage amendment. However, Morris’ leadership role in the legislation is disputed. Morris herself never claimed any credit, ascribing the bill entirely to William H. Bright, who was member of the territorial legislature from South Pass City and President of the Territorial Council.
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