On this day:
1554 – A year after claiming the throne of England for nine days, Lady Jane Grey is beheaded for treason.
Lady Jane Grey (1536/1537 – 12 February 1554), also known as Lady Jane Dudley or the Nine-Day Queen, was an English noblewoman and de facto monarch of England and Ireland from 10 July until 19 July 1553.
The great-granddaughter of Henry VII through his younger daughter Mary, Jane was a first cousin once removed of Edward VI. In May 1553, she was married to Lord Guildford Dudley, a younger son of Edward’s chief minister, John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. When the 15-year-old king lay dying in June 1553, he nominated Jane as successor to the Crown in his will, thus subverting the claims of his half-sisters Mary and Elizabeth under the Third Succession Act. Jane was imprisoned in the Tower of London when the Privy Council decided to change sides and proclaim Mary as queen on 19 July 1553. Jane was convicted of high treason in November 1553, which carried a sentence of death, although her life was initially spared. Wyatt’s rebellion of January and February 1554 against Queen Mary I’s plans to marry Philip of Spain led to the execution of both Jane and her husband.
Lady Jane Grey had an excellent humanist education and a reputation as one of the most learned young women of her day. A committed Protestant, she was posthumously regarded as not only a political victim but also a martyr.
2016 – Pope Francis met Patriarch Kirill at José Martí International Airport in Cuba, the first meeting between the pontiff of the Catholic Church and the primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, together they signed the Havana Declaration.
The Joint Declaration of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill, also known as the Havana Declaration, was issued following the first meeting in February 2016 between Pope Francis, who as the Bishop of Rome is the pontiff of the Catholic Church, and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus’, Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches. This was the first time leaders of the Roman Church and the Moscow Patriarchate had met. While the meeting was also seen as a symbolic moment in the history of relations between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox churches as a community, which had split in the Great Schism of 1054, centuries before the Moscow Patriarchate was constituted, it was not expected to lead to any immediate rapprochement between them.
The 30-point declaration contains a joint call by the two church primates for an end to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and to wars in the region, expressing their hope that the meeting might contribute to the re-establishment of Christian unity between the two churches. A range of other issues are mentioned in the declaration, including atheism, secularism, consumerism, migrants and refugees, the importance of marriage and the family, and concerns relating to abortion and euthanasia.
According to the ROC leadership′s public statements made prior and after the Havana meeting, while the document stresses that both churches share the Tradition of the first millennium of Christianity, the discussion during the meeting did not attempt to mend any of the persisting doctrinal and ecclesiastical differences between the two churches. The Declaration however includes statements about Eastern Catholic Churches in line with the Balamand declaration as well as the conflict in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church expressed disappointment and Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate criticised the latter.
Born on this day:
1791 – Peter Cooper, American businessman and philanthropist, founded Cooper Union (d. 1883)
Peter Cooper (February 12, 1791 – April 4, 1883) was an American industrialist, inventor, philanthropist, and candidate for President of the United States. He designed and built the first American steam locomotive, the Tom Thumb, and founded the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in Manhattan, New York City.
Cooper was a Unitarian who regularly attended the services of Henry Whitney Bellows, and his views were Universalistic and non-sectarian. In 1873 he wrote:
I look to see the day when the teachers of Christianity will rise above all the cramping powers and conflicting creeds and systems of human device, when they will beseech mankind by all the mercies of God to be reconciled to the government of love, the only government that can ever bring the kingdom of heaven into the hearts of mankind either here or hereafter.
Cooper had for many years held an interest in adult education: he had served as head of the Public School Society, a private organization which ran New York City’s free schools using city money, hen it began evening classes in 1848. Cooper conceived of the idea of having a free institute in New York, similar to the École Polytechnique (Polytechnical School) in Paris, which would offer free practical education to adults in the mechanical arts and science, to help prepare young men and women of the working classes for success in business.
In 1853, he broke ground for the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, a private college in New York, completing the building in 1859 at the cost of $600,000. Cooper Union offered open-admission night classes available to men and women alike, and attracted 2,000 responses to its initial offering, although 600 later dropped out. The classes were non-sectarian, and women were treated equally with men, although 95% of the students were male. Cooper started a Women’s School of Design, which offered daytime courses in engraving, lithography, painting on china and drawing.
The new institution soon became an important part of the community. The Great Hall was a place where the pressing civic controversies of the day could be debated, and, unusually, radical views were not excluded. In addition, the Union’s library, unlike the nearby Astor, Mercantile and New York Society Libraries, was open until 10:00 at night, so that working people could make use of them after work hours.
Today Cooper Union is recognized as one of the leading American colleges in the fields of architecture, engineering, and art. Carrying on Peter Cooper’s belief that college education should be free, the Cooper Union awarded all its students with a full scholarship until fall 2014.
In 1851, Cooper was one of the founders of Children’s Village, originally an orphanage called “New York Juvenile Asylum”, one of the oldest non-profit organizations in the United States.
Death and legacy
Cooper died on April 4, 1883 at the age of 92 and is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.
Aside from Cooper Union, the Peter Cooper Village apartment complex in Manhattan; the Peter Cooper Elementary School in Ringwood, New Jersey; the Peter Cooper Station post office; and Cooper Square in Manhattan are named in his honor.
1921 – Kathleen Antonelli, Irish-American computer programmer (d. 2006)
Kathleen “Kay” McNulty Mauchly Antonelli (12 February, 1921 – 20 April 2006) was one of the six original programmers of the ENIAC, the first general-purpose electronic digital computer.
Career as an ENIAC programmer
The Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer was developed for the purpose of performing these same ballistics calculations between 1943–1946. In June 1945, Kay was selected to be one of its first programmers, along with several other women from the computer corps: Betty Snyder, Marlyn Wescoff, and Ruth Lichterman, and a fifth computer named Helen Greenman (nicknamed “Greenie”). When Greenie declined to go to Aberdeen for training because she had a nice apartment in West Philadelphia and a 1st alternate refused to cut short a vacation in Missouri, Betty Jean Jennings, the 2nd alternate, got the job, and between June and August 1945 they received training at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in the IBM punched card equipment that was to be used as the I/O for the ENIAC. (Later, Kay’s college schoolmate and fellow computer Fran Bilas would join the team of ENIAC programmers at the Moore School, though she did not attend the initial training at Aberdeen.) The computer could complete the same ballistics calculations described above in about 10 seconds, but it would often take one or two days to set the computer up for a new set of problems, via plugs and switches. It was the women’s responsibility to determine the sequence of steps required to complete the calculations for each problem and set up the ENIAC according; early on, they consulted with ENIAC engineers such as Arthur Burks to determine how the ENIAC could be programmed.
The ENIAC was programmed using subroutines, nested loops, and indirect addressing for both data locations and jump destinations. During her work programming the ENIAC, Kay McNulty is credited with the invention of the subroutine. Her colleague, Jean Jennings, recalled when McNulty proposed the idea to solve the problem where the logical circuits did not have enough capacity to compute some trajectories. The team collaborated on the implementation.
Because the ENIAC was a classified project, the programmers were not at first allowed into the room to see the machine, but they were given access to blueprints from which to work out programs in an adjacent room. Programming the ENIAC involved discretising the differential equations involved in a trajectory problem to the precision allowed by the ENIAC and calculating the route to the appropriate bank of electronics in parallel progression, with each instruction having to reach the correct location in time to within 1/5,000th of a second. Having devised a program on paper, the women were allowed into the ENIAC room to physically program the machine.
Much of the programming time of the ENIAC consisted of setting up and running test programs that assured its operators of the whole system’s integrity: every vacuum tube, every electrical connection needed to be verified before running a problem.
Kay McNulty was transferred to Aberdeen Proving Ground’s Ballistics Research Laboratory along with the ENIAC when it was moved there in mid-1947. She was joined by Ruth Lichterman and Fran Bilas, but the other three women began families or started other jobs, preferring to stay in Philadelphia rather than relocate to the remote Aberdeen and live an Army base life.
During the hey-day of ENIAC, proper notoriety escaped Kay and her fellow ‘computers’. The invisibility of “The Refrigerator Ladies” (both from being women and the secrecy of their work, especially during the war) kept them from the public eye. It wasn’t until years later until these women were justly recognized. In 2010, a documentary called, “Top Secret Rosies: The Female “Computers” of WWII” was released and focusing on the commendable contributions these women computer programmers made during World War II.