May 12th is National Nutty Fudge Day
May 12, 2017 – NATIONAL LIMERICK DAY – NATIONAL PROVIDER APPRECIATION DAY – NATIONAL MILITARY SPOUSE APPRECIATION DAY – NATIONAL FIBROMYALGIA AWARENESS DAY – NATIONAL ODOMETER DAY – NATIONAL NUTTY FUDGE DAY
On this day:
1364 – Jagiellonian University, the oldest university in Poland, is founded in Kraków, Poland.
The Jagiellonian University (Polish: Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Latin: Universitas Iagellonica Cracoviensis, also known as the University of Kraków) is a research university in Kraków, Poland.
Founded in 1364 by Casimir III the Great, the Jagiellonian University is the oldest university in Poland, the second oldest university in Central Europe, and one of the oldest surviving universities in the world. Notable alumni include, among others, mathematician and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, Polish king John III Sobieski, pope John Paul II, and Nobel laureates Ivo Andrić and Wisława Szymborska.
The campus of the Jagiellonian University is centrally located within the city of Kraków. The university consists of fifteen faculties — including the humanities, law, the natural and social sciences, and medicine. The university employs roughly 4,000 academics, and has more than 40,000 students who study in some 80 disciplines. More than half of the student body are women. The language of instruction is usually Polish, although several degrees are offered in either German or English. The university library is one of Poland’s largest, and houses several medieval manuscripts, including Copernicus’ De Revolutionibus.
Due to its history, the Jagiellonian University is traditionally considered Poland’s most reputable institution of higher learning — this standing equally being reflected in international rankings. The Jagiellonian University is a member of the Coimbra Group and Europaeum.
1551 – National University of San Marcos, the oldest university in the Americas, is founded in Lima, Peru.
The National University of San Marcos (Spanish: Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, UNMSM) is the most important and respected higher-education institution in Peru. It consistently ranks among the top two universities in the country. Its main campus, the University City, is located in Lima. It was chartered on May 12, 1551, by a royal decree signed by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, which makes it the oldest officially established university in the Americas[disputed – discuss] and, as such, one of the oldest universities in the world. San Marcos has 60 academic-professional schools, organized into 20 faculties, and 6 academic areas. All the faculties offer undergraduate and graduate degrees. The student body consists of over 30,000 undergraduate and 4,000 graduate students from all the country, as well as some international students. The university has a number of public institutions under its government such as the San Marcos Cultural Center and the Museum of Natural History of Lima.
San Marcos’ prestige in Latin America mainly arises from its renowned faculty and alumni. It is the only university in Peru with a Nobel Prize laureate among its alumni: Mario Vargas Llosa (Literature). San Marcos is also recognized for the quality of its curricular contents, its very competitive admission process, as well as for being a leading center of scientific research. Several Peruvian and Latin American influential thinkers, researchers, scientists, politicians and writers have studied there, which underscores San Marcos’ leading role as an educational institution in the history of Peru and the world.
Born on this day:
1777 – Mary Reibey, Australian businesswoman (d. 1855)
Mary Reibey (12 May 1777 – 30 May 1855) was an Englishwoman who was transported to Australia as a convict but went on to become a successful businesswoman in Sydney.
Reibey, baptised Molly Haydock, was born on 12 May 1777 in Bury, Lancashire, England. She was a businesswoman and trader. Following the death of her parents, she was reared by a grandmother and sent into service. She ran away, and was arrested for stealing a horse in August 1791. At the time, she was disguised as a boy and was going under the name of James Burrow. Sentenced to seven years’ transportation, she arrived in Sydney, Australia, on the Royal Admiral in October 1792.
Life and career in Australia
On 7 September 1794, 17-year-old Mary married Thomas Reibey, after he had proposed to her several times; she finally agreed to marry the junior officer on the store ship Britannia. Reibey also used the surnames Raiby, Reiby and Reibey interchangeably, but the family adopted the spelling Reibey in later years. Thomas Reibey was granted land on the Hawkesbury River, where he and Mary lived and farmed following their marriage. They built a farmhouse called Reibycroft, which is now listed on the Register of the National Estate.
Thomas Reibey (1769-1811) commenced a cargo business along the Hawkesbury River to Sydney, and later moved to Sydney. Thomas Reibey’s business undertakings prospered, enabling him in 1804 to build a substantial stone residence on a further grant of land near Macquarie Place. He acquired several farms on the Hawkesbury River, and traded in coal, cedar, furs and skins. He entered into a partnership with Edward Wills, and trading activities were extended to Bass Strait, the Pacific Islands and, from 1809, to China and India.
When Thomas Reibey died on 5 April 1811, Mary assumed sole responsibility for the care of seven children and the control of numerous business enterprises. She was no stranger to this task, having managed her husband’s affairs during his frequent absences from Sydney. Now a woman of considerable wealth by her husband’s businesses, Reibey continued to expand her business interests. In 1812 she opened a new warehouse in George Street and in 1817 extended her shipping operations with the purchase of further vessels. In the same year, the Bank of New South Wales was founded in her house in Macquarie Place.
By 1828, when she gradually retired from active involvement in commerce, she had acquired extensive property holdings in the city. Like many others, however, she was on occasions somewhat economical with the truth. In March 1820 she had returned to England with her daughters to visit her native village, and came back to Sydney the next year. So in the 1828 census, when asked to describe her condition, she declared that she “came free in 1821”.
In the emancipist society of New South Wales, she gained respect for her charitable works and her interest in the church and education. She was appointed one of the Governors of the Free Grammar School in 1825.
Reibey built a cottage in the suburb of Hunters Hill, New South Wales circa 1836, where she lived for some time. The cottage, situated on the shores of the Lane Cove River, was later acquired by the Joubert brothers, who enlarged it. It is now known as Fig Tree House and is listed on the Register of the National Estate.
On her retirement, she built a house at Newtown, Sydney, where she lived until her death on 30 May 1855 from pneumonia. Five of her seven children had predeceased her.
An enterprising and determined person of strong personality, during her lifetime Reibey earned a reputation as an astute and successful business woman in the colony of New South Wales. She is featured on the obverse of Australian twenty-dollar notes printed since 1994.
At least two novels have been written based on her life. The novel Sara Dane by Catherine Gaskin, which has sold over 2 million copies, is only loosely factually accurate. It was made into a television mini-series in 1982. More accurate is the novel Mary Reibey by Kathleen Pullen.
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