Almanac – March 06

1475 – Michelangelo born.  Italian Renaissance sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art.

Despite making few forays beyond the arts, his versatility in the disciplines he took up was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with fellow Italian Leonardo da Vinci.

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1619 – Cyrano de Bergerac born. French dramatist and duelist.

In fictional works about his life he is featured with an overly large nose, which people would travel from miles around to see. Portraits suggest that he did have a big nose, though not nearly as large as described in works about him. Cyrano’s work furnished models and ideas for subsequent writers.

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1937 – Valentina Tereshkova born.  Soviet cosmonaut and the first woman to have flown in space, having been selected from more than four hundred applicants and five finalists to pilot Vostok 6 on 16 June 1963.

In order to join the Cosmonaut Corps, Tereshkova was only honourarily inducted into the Soviet Air Force and thus she also became the first civilian to fly in space. During her three-day mission, she performed various tests on herself to collect data on the female body’s reaction to spaceflight.

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