FYI May 11, 2019

On This Day

868 – A copy of the Diamond Sutra is printed in China, making it the oldest known dated printed book.
The Diamond Sūtra (Sanskrit: Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra) is a Mahāyāna (Buddhist) sūtra from the Prajñāpāramitā sutras or ‘Perfection of Wisdom’ genre. Translated into a variety of languages over a broad geographic range, the Diamond Sutra is one of the most influential Mahayana sutras in East Asia, and is particularly prominent within the Chan (or Zen) tradition,[1] along with the Heart Sutra.

A copy of the Tang-dynasty Chinese version of the Diamond Sūtra was found among the Dunhuang manuscripts in 1900 by Daoist monk Wang Yuanlu and sold to Aurel Stein in 1907.[2] They are dated back to 11 May 868.[3] It is, in the words of the British Library, “the earliest complete survival of a dated printed book.”[4]

It is also the first creative work with an explicit public domain dedication, as its colophon at the end states that it was created “for universal free distribution.”[5]



Born On This Day

1838 – Isabelle Bogelot, French philanthropist (d. 1923)
Isabelle Bogelot (11 May 1838, Paris – 14 June 1923, Boulogne-Billancourt) was a French philanthropist and feminist.

Born Isabelle Amélie Cottiaux, Bogelot was the daughter of Antoine André Cottiaux, a Parisian cotton trader, and Marie Anne Thérèse Cottiaux, from Cambrai. Orphaned at a young age (her father died when she was 2 and her mother when she was 4), she was adopted by the family of Maria Deraismes and her sister Anna Féresse-Deraismes.[1]

On May 7, 1864, she married Gustave Bogelot, a lawyer for the Court of Appeal of Paris.[2] The couple had at least two children.[3]

On January 1, 1889, she received the Ordre des Palmes académiques for the creation of temporary shelters. On May 2, 1894 she became a chevalier of the Legion of Honour.[4]



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Alvin Sargent (April 12, 1927 – May 9, 2019) was an American screenwriter. He won two Academy Awards, one in 1978 and another in 1981, for his screenplays of Julia and Ordinary People. His most popular contribution is his having been involved in the writing of most of the films in Sony’s Spider-Man film series (The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the first exception to this).

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