Today is Saturday; 1st of the Iranian month of Azar 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 5th of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Sani 1442 lunar hijri; and November 21, 2020, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
634 solar years ago, on this day in 1386 AD, the Turkic conqueror, Amir Timur, captured Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, and took King Bagrat V as captive to Samarqand, because of the latter’s alliance with the Khan of the Golden Horde, Tokhtamysh, with whom Timur was engaged in a fearsome war in what is now southern Russia. Bagrat was later released and restored as king of Georgia.
344 solar years ago, on this day in 1676 AD, Danish astronomer Ole Christensen Romer, inventor of the modern thermometer showing the temperature between two fixed points, namely the points at which water respectively boils and freezes, claimed to have made the first quantitative measurements of the speed of light, although Islamic scientists had already made such discoveries several centuries earlier. It is interesting to note that Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS), the 4th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), has even spoken of the weight of light in one of his supplications to God Almighty as is evident in the Sahifat-as-Sajjadiya, almost a millennium earlier than Romer. In 1021, the Islamic scientist Hassan Ibn al-Haytham –Alhazen to medieval Europe – in his famous "Kitab al-Manazer” (or Book of Optics) has presented a series of arguments dismissing the emission theory of vision of the Greek philosopher Aristotle in favour of the now accepted intromission theory, in which light moves from an object into the eye. This made Ibn al-Haytham, who flourished in the Shi’a Muslim dynasties of Buwaihid-ruled Iraq and Fatemid-ruled Egypt, propose that light must have a finite speed and that the speed of light is variable, decreasing in denser bodies. He argued that light is substantial matter, the propagation of which requires time, even if this is hidden from our senses. In the same period, the celebrated Iranian Islamic genius Abu Rayhan Birouni agreed that light has a finite speed, and observed that the speed of light is much faster than the speed of sound.
326 solar years ago, on this day in 1694 AD, French author and philosopher, Francois-Marie Arouet, famous as Voltaire, was born.
237 solar years ago, on this day in 1783 AD, for the first time in history, a balloon was successfully sent up in the air. It had two passengers, including the French physicist, Francois de Rozier. This French physicist thought about building an object for flying during his student years and finally when Montgolfier Brothers made the first balloon, Rozier also built a balloon and went up in the air with it. This physicist crashed and was killed during a flight over the English Channel.
229 solar years ago, on this day in 1791 AD, Colonel Napoleon Bonaparte was promoted to full general and appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Armies of the French Republic. In 1804, he assumed totalitarian powers and declared himself Emperor.
214 solar years ago, on this day in 1806 AD, the Berlin Decree was issued by French Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, following his victory over Prussia (Germany) at the Battle of Jena. The decree forbade all European countries under the influence of France from any trade with Britain.
175 lunar years ago, on this day in 1267 AH, the first Persian-language paper of Iran, "Vaqayeh Ettefaqiyeh”, was published in Tehran in the third year of Naser od-Din Shah Qajar’s reign, due to the effort of the famous vizier, Mirza Taqi Khan Amir Kabir. The editor-in-chief was Mirza Tazkerahchi, and its columns included news on the Iranian government, world developments, and translation of scientific articles published in the European press. Ironically, the 49th edition of this paper reported the martyrdom of this highly qualified, patriotic premier. Overall, 472 editions of this paper were published and later its publication continued under other names.
174 solar years ago, on this day in 1846 AD, the word anesthesia was coined by Oliver Wendell Holmes in a letter to William Thomas Green Morton, the surgeon who gave the first public demonstration of the pain-killing effects of ether.
143 solar years ago, on this day in 1877 AD, Thomas Edison announced invention of his "talking machine” - the tin-foil cylinder recorder that preceded the phonograph. He appears to have envisioned it as a business dictation machine..
114 lunar years ago, on this day in 1328 AH, Leaders of Iran’s Constitutional Movement, Sattar Khan and Baqer Khan, arrived in Tehran after successfully defeating the forces of the corrupt Qajarid ruler, Mohammad Ali Shah, who had besieged Tabriz in northwestern Iran for 11 months. The courage and prudence of Sattar Khan and Baqer Khan was among the key leading factors to the success of the Iranian people’s movement against despotism.
94 solar years ago, on this day in 1926 AD, Iran’s master classical musician Gholam Hussein Khan Darvish, died at the age of 54 in an accident, when his carriage was hit by a lorry automobile. It is said he was the first Iranian to be killed in a car accident. An excellent player of the Tar, he added a sixth cord to this instrument in order to extend its tuning possibilities and to enhance its sound. He invented ‘pish-daramad’, a free-standing composition played at the beginning of a performance. He visited Europe and was honoured by France. He trained many students.
67 solar years ago, on this day in 1953 AD, the prominent jurisprudent, Ayatollah Habibollah Askari Ishtehardi, passed away at the age of 61 in holy Qom. Born in Ishtehard near Karaj, west of Tehran, he attained the status of Ijtehad at the famous Islamic seminary of holy Najaf in Iraq. His teacher, the celebrated Grand Ayatollah Mirza Abu’l-Hassan Isfahani, sent him to holy Samarra in northern Iraq, where he taught jurisprudence for 30 years. A month after his return to Iran, he passed away.
58 solar years ago, on this day in 1962 AD, China declared a unilateral cease-fire in the Sino-Indian War after a month of fighting. The war was fought in harsh mountainous terrain and freezing temperatures at altitudes of over 4,000 meters. The Sino-Indian War was also noted for the non-deployment of the navy or air force by either the Chinese or Indians. A disputed Himalayan border was the main pretext for war, but other issues played a role, since the violent border incidents after the 1959 Tibetan uprising, when India had granted asylum to the Dalai Lama.
35 solar years ago, on this day in 1985 AD, former US Navy intelligence analyst Jonathan Jay Pollard was arrested while spying for the illegal Zionist entity called Israel. This was a rare case of a surrogate state spying against its own godfather who, because of shared animosity against Muslims and Arabs, never withheld any sensitive information or sophisticate military technology. In 1987 Pollard, who is a Jew, confessed that he passed classified documents to Israel, and was subsequently sentenced to life in prison. The Zionist entity has continued to lobby for his release, and in 1995 on this same day, it granted citizenship to this American Jew.
24 solar years ago, on this day in 1996 AD, Pakistani physicist and Nobel laureate, Abdus-Salaam, who shared the 1979 Nobel Prize for Physics with Steven Weinberg and Sheldon Lee Glashow, died at the age of 70. Each had independently formulated a theory explaining the underlying unity of the weak nuclear force and the electromagnetic force. His hypothetical equations, which demonstrated an underlying relationship between the electromagnetic force and the weak nuclear force, postulated that the weak force must be transmitted by hitherto-undiscovered particles known as weak vector bosons, or W and Z bosons. Weinberg and Glashow reached a similar conclusion using a different line of reasoning. The existence of the W and Z bosons was eventually verified in 1983 by researchers using particle accelerators at CERN.
24 solar years ago, on this day in 1996 AD, World Television Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly through resolution 51/205 (ratified on 17 December 1996). The day recognizes that television plays a major role in presenting different issues that affect people. It is a day to renew the commitments of the governments, organizations and individuals, to support the development of television media in providing unbiased information about important issues and events that affect society.
8 solar years ago, on this day in 2012 AD in Afghanistan, 23-year old Seyyed Mohammad, a farmer from Karim Dad village, was abducted by US occupation forces. He was subjected to torture and abuse, like so many Afghans detained by US troops. Several months later on May 21, 2013, near a former US Special Forces base in Wardak province, his footless body was found. Tens of thousands of Afghans have been killed by the US occupation forces.