History for the Rest of Us

Galileo Forced to Recant Heliocentrism

Galileo Forced to Recant Heliocentrism

Jun 23, 2012

On June 22, 1633, Galileo Galilei, at the age of seventy, was sentenced to imprisonment, ordered to read the seven penitential psalms once a week for the next three years, and forced to recant his view that the Sun, not the Earth, is the center of the Universe. Renouncement of 1615 Galileo had been renounced by the Holy Roman Church eighteen years earlier for:...

Galileo Galilei’s Sentence 22 June 1633

Galileo Galilei’s Sentence 22 June 1633

Jun 23, 2012

We: [names of ten Cardinals] By the grace of God, Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, and especially commissioned by the Holy Apostolic See as Inquisitors-General against heretical depravity in all of Christendom. Whereas you, Galileo, son of the late Vincenzio Galilei, Florentine, aged seventy years, were denounced to this Holy Office in 1615 for holding as...

Galileo Galilei’s Abjuration 22 June 1633

Galileo Galilei’s Abjuration 22 June 1633

Jun 23, 2012

I, Galileo, son of the late Vincenzio Galilei of Florence, seventy years of age, arraigned personally for judgment, kneeling before you Most Eminent and Most Reverend Cardinals Inquisitors-General against heretical depravity in all of Christendom, having before my eyes and touching with my hands the Holy Gospels, swear that I have always believed, I believe...

Ben Franklin’s Kite

Ben Franklin’s Kite

Jun 15, 2012

Although the exact date isn’t known, it is traditionally held that on June 15, 1752 Ben Franklin successfully demonstrated that lightning is an electric phenomenon. Mr. Franklin described the legendary kite experiment in his own words in a letter to Peter Collinson written in October 1752: Ben Franklin’s letter describing the kite experiment:...