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Adamski, George (17 April 1891–23 April 1965), lecturer and writer on occult subjects and on UFOs during the 1950s' flying saucer enthusiasm, lecturer and writer on occult subjects and on UFOs during the 1950s’ flying saucer enthusiasm, was born in Poland. His parents (names unknown) brought him to the United States when he was one or two. The family settled in Dunkirk, New York; their life was hard, and Adamski received little formal education. He joined the Thirteenth U.S. Cavalry Regiment in 1913 as an enlisted man, serving on the Mexican border, and was honorably discharged in 1916. On 25 December 1917 he married Mary A. Shimbersky (d. 1954). After leaving the army, Adamski worked as a painter in Yellowstone National Park, in a flour mill in Portland, Oregon, and by 1921 was working in a cement factory in California. He continued to live in California, reportedly supporting himself and his wife through a variety of jobs, including by the 1930s teaching and lecturing on occult subjects....

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Harriot, Thomas (1560–02 July 1621), scientist, linguist, and author of the first English book on North America, was born in Oxford (city or county), England; his parentage is unknown. As an undergraduate he entered St. Mary’s Hall (attached to Oriel College, Oxford) in 1576, matriculated in the University of Oxford in 1557, and graduated B.A. in 1580. He never married....

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Hill, Thomas (07 January 1818–21 November 1891), Unitarian clergyman, college president, and scientist, was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, the son of Thomas Hill, a judge, and Henrietta Barker. Hill’s father died when Hill was ten, leaving the family only a modest amount of money. In his early years, Hill apprenticed himself to a printer and to an apothecary, but he was not happy in either of these professions. With the financial help of his older brothers, Hill hired a tutor in Latin and Greek and was accepted into Harvard in 1839. In his senior year he published a pamphlet, ...

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Holden, Edward Singleton (05 November 1846–16 March 1914), astronomer and librarian, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Edward Holden and Sarah Frances Singleton. His mother died when he was three years old, and he was sent to live with his aunt, the wife of a Boston attorney, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This family (and his own) were related to ...

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Mitchel, Ormsby Macknight (28 July 1809–30 October 1862), astronomer and advocate of science, was born in Morganfield, Kentucky, the son of John Mitchel and Elizabeth McAllister, farmers. His father died less than two years after Ormsby’s birth, necessitating the sale of the family farm and forcing the widow and boy to shuttle between the homes of his grown siblings in Ohio. Despite that hardship, Ormsby Mitchel gained a reputation as a prodigy, which he parlayed into an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1825. At the time he attended, West Point offered the finest training in science and engineering in the United States. Following graduation in 1829, Mitchel taught mathematics at the academy for two years. He married Louisa Clark Trask in 1831; she had a son by a previous marriage, and they had at least six children together....

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Maria Mitchell. Wood engraving, c. 1875. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-92881).

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Mitchell, Maria (01 August 1818–28 June 1889), astronomer and teacher, was born on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, the daughter of William Mitchell, a banker and astronomer, and Lydia Coleman, a former librarian. Mitchell attended a school for young ladies conducted by the Reverend Cyrus Peirce...