GEORGE W. BUSH (2001-2009)
George W. Bush is the 43rd President of the United States. He was
sworn into office on January 20, 2001, re-elected on November 2,
2004, and sworn in for a second term on January 20, 2005. Before
his Presidency, he served for 6 years as Governor of the State of
President Bush was born on July 6, 1946, in New Haven,
Connecticut, to Barbara and George H.W. Bush – later the 41st
President of the United States. In 1948, the family moved to Texas,
where President Bush grew up in Midland and Houston. He received
a bachelor's degree in history from Yale University in 1968 and then
served as a pilot in the Texas Air National Guard. President Bush received a Master of
Business Administration from Harvard Business School in 1975. Following graduation, he
moved back to Midland and began a career in the energy business. After working on his
father's successful 1988 Presidential campaign, President Bush assembled a group of partners
that purchased the Texas Rangers baseball franchise in 1989.
On November 8, 1994, George W. Bush was elected the 46th Governor of Texas. He became
the first Governor in Texas history to be elected to consecutive 4-year terms when he was reelected
on November 3, 1998. In Austin, he earned a reputation for his bipartisan governing
approach and his compassionate conservative philosophy, which was based on limited
government, personal responsibility, strong families, and local control.
Since his election to the Presidency in 2000, President Bush has worked to extend freedom,
opportunity, and security at home and abroad. His first initiative as President was the No
Child Left Behind Act, a bipartisan measure that raised standards in schools, insisted on
accountability in return for federal dollars, and led to measurable gains in achievement –
especially among minority students. Faced with a recession when he took office, President
Bush cut taxes for every federal income taxpayer, which helped set off an unprecedented 52
straight months of job creation. And President Bush modernized Medicare by adding a
prescription drug benefit, a reform that provided access to needed medicine for 40 million
seniors and other beneficiaries.
President Bush also implemented free trade agreements with more than a dozen nations;
empowered America's armies of compassion by creating a new Faith-based and Community
Initiative; promoted a culture of life; improved air quality and made America's energy supply
more secure; set aside more ocean resources for environmental protection than any
predecessor; transformed the military and nearly doubled government support for veterans;
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pioneered a new model of partnership in development that tied American foreign aid to
reform and good governance; launched a global HIV/AIDS initiative that has spared millions
of lives; expanded the NATO alliance; forged a historic new partnership with India; and
appointed Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The most significant event of President Bush's tenure came on September 11, 2001, when
terrorists killed nearly 3,000 people on American soil. President Bush responded with a
comprehensive strategy to protect the American people. He led the most dramatic
reorganization of the federal government since the beginning of the Cold War, reforming the
intelligence community and establishing new institutions like the Department of Homeland
Security. He built global coalitions to remove violent regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq that
threatened America – liberating more than 50 million people from tyranny. He recognized
that freedom and hope are the best alternative to the extremist ideology of the terrorists, so he
provided unprecedented American support for young democracies and dissidents in the
Middle East and beyond.
President Bush is married to Laura Welch Bush, a former teacher and librarian whom he met
at a friend's backyard barbeque. The President and Mrs. Bush have twin daughters, Barbara
and Jenna, and a son-in-law, Henry Hager. The Bush family also includes two dogs, Barney
and Miss Beazley.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
Barack H. Obama is the 44th President of the United
States. His story is the American story — values from the
heartland, a middle-class upbringing in a strong family,
hard work and education as the means of getting ahead,
and the conviction that a life so blessed should be lived in
service to others.
With a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas,
President Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961. He was raised with help from his
grandfather, who served in Patton's army, and his grandmother, who worked her way up from
the secretarial pool to middle management at a bank.
After working his way through college with the help of scholarships and student loans,
President Obama moved to Chicago, where he worked with a group of churches to help
rebuild communities devastated by the closure of local steel plants.
He went on to attend law school, where he became the first African—American president of
the Harvard Law Review. Upon graduation, he returned to Chicago to help lead a voter
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registration drive, teach constitutional law at the University of Chicago, and remain active in
President Obama's years of public service are based around his unwavering belief in the
ability to unite people around a politics of purpose. In the Illinois State Senate, he passed the
first major ethics reform in 25 years, cut taxes for working families, and expanded health care
for children and their parents. As a United States Senator, he reached across the aisle to pass
groundbreaking lobbying reform, lock up the world's most dangerous weapons, and bring
transparency to government by putting federal spending online.
He was elected the 44th President of the United States on November 4, 2008, and sworn in on
January 20, 2009. He and his wife, Michelle, are the proud parents of two daughters, Malia,
10, and Sasha, 7.
The 30 most influential persons of the last 1000 years
The 30 most influential persons of the last 1000 years according to a list compiled by the
History Channel and aired by AE TV.
Such a list is bound to be controversial because it is impossible to objectively judge what is
more important: the music of Mozart or the science of Newton? The final ranking is really
less important than the stimulation of a lively debate.
GUTENBERG (1400 - 1468 )
Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg (c. 1398 –
February 3, 1468) was a German goldsmith and printer who is
credited with being the first European to use movable type
printing, in around 1439, and the global inventor of the
mechanical printing press. His major work, the Gutenberg Bible
(also known as the 42-line Bible), has been acclaimed for its
high aesthetic and technical quality.
Among the specific contributions to printing that are attributed
to Gutenberg are the invention of a process for mass-producing
movable type, the use of oil-based ink, and the use of a wooden
printing press similar to the screw olive and wine presses of the
period. His truly epochal invention was the combination of
these elements into a practical system. Gutenberg may have been familiar with printing; it is
claimed that he had worked on copper engravings with an artist known as the Master of the
Playing Cards. Gutenberg's method for making type is traditionally considered to have
included a type metal alloy and a hand mould for casting type.
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The use of movable type was a marked improvement on the handwritten manuscript, which
was the existing method of book production in Europe, and upon woodblock printing, and
revolutionized European book-making. Gutenberg's printing technology spread rapidly
throughout Europe and is considered a key factor in the European Renaissance. Gutenberg
remains a towering figure in the popular image; in 1999, the A&E Network ranked
Gutenberg #1 on their "People of the Millennium" countdown and in 1997, (Time–Life
magazine) picked Gutenberg's invention as the most important of the second millennium.
Sir Isaac Newton, FRS (4th January 1643 – 31st March
1727), one of the most influential person in human history,
was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer,
natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian. His
Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica,
published in 1687, is by itself considered to be among the
most influential books in the history of science, laying the
groundwork for most of classical mechanics. In this work,
Newton described universal gravitation and the three laws
of motion which dominated the scientific view of the
physical universe for the next few decades. Newton
showed that the motions of objects on Earth and of
celestial bodies are governed by the same set of natural laws by demonstrating the
consistency between Kepler's laws of planetary motion and his theory of gravitation, thus
removing the last doubts about heliocentric and advancing the scientific revolution.
In mechanics, Newton enunciated the principles of conservation of both momentum and
angular momentum. In optics, he built the first practical reflecting telescope and developed a
theory of colour based on the observation that a prism decomposes white light into the many
colours which form the visible spectrum. He also formulated an empirical law of cooling and
studied the speed of sound.
In mathematics, Newton shares the credit with Gottfried Leibniz for the development of the
differential and integral calculus. He also demonstrated the generalized binomial theorem,
developed the so-called "Newton's method" for approximating the zeroes of a function, and
contributed to the study of power series.
Newton's stature among scientists remains at the very top rank, as demonstrated by a 2005
survey of scientists in Britain's Royal Society asking who had the greater effect on the history
of science, Newton or Albert Einstein. Newton was deemed the more influential.
Newton was also highly religious, though an unorthodox Christian, writing more on Biblical
hermeneutics than the natural science he is remembered for today.
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Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 – February 18, 1546)
changed the course of Western civilization by initiating
the Protestant Reformation. As a priest and theology
professor, he confronted indulgence salesmen with his 95
Theses in 1517. Luther strongly disputed their claim that
freedom from God's punishment of sin could be purchased
with money. His refusal to retract all of his writings at the
demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman
Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms meeting in 1521
resulted in his excommunication by the pope and
condemnation as an outlaw by the emperor.
Luther taught that salvation is a free gift of God and
received only by grace through faith in Jesus as redeemer from sin, not from good works. His
theology challenged the authority of the pope of the Roman Catholic Church by teaching that
the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge and opposed sacerdotalism by
considering all baptized Christians to be a holy priesthood. Those that identify with Luther's
teachings are called Lutherans.
His translation of the Bible into the language of the people (instead of Latin) made it more
accessible, causing a tremendous impact on the church and on German culture. It fostered the
development of a standard version of the German language, added several principles to the
art of translation, and influenced the translation into English of the King James Bible. His
hymns inspired the development of singing in churches. His marriage to Katharina von Bora
set a model for the practice of clerical marriage, allowing Protestant priests to marry.
Much scholarly debate has focused on Luther's writings about the Jews. His statements that
Jews' homes should be destroyed, their synagogues burned, money confiscated, and liberty
curtailed were revived and used in propaganda by the Nazis in 1933–45. As a result of this
and his revolutionary theological views, his legacy remains controversial
Charles Robert Darwin FRS (12th February 1809 – 19th April 1882) was an English naturalist
who realised and presented compelling evidence that all species of life have evolved over
time from common ancestors, through the process he called natural selection. The fact that
evolution occurs became accepted by the scientific community and much of the general
public in his lifetime, while his theory of natural selection came to be widely seen as the
primary explanation of the process of evolution in the 1930, and now forms the basis of
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modern evolutionary theory. In modified form, Darwin's
scientific discovery is the unifying theory of the life
sciences, providing logical explanation for the diversity of
At Edinburgh University Darwin neglected medical studies
to investigate marine invertebrates, then the University of
Cambridge encouraged a passion for natural science. His
five-year voyage on HMS Beagle established him as an
eminent geologist whose observations and theories
supported Charles Lyell's uniformitarian ideas, and
publication of his journal of the voyage made him famous
as a popular author. Puzzled by the geographical
distribution of wildlife and fossils he collected on the voyage; Darwin investigated the
transmutation of species and conceived his theory of natural selection in 1838. Although he
discussed his ideas with several naturalists, he needed time for extensive research and his
geological work had priority. He was writing up his theory in 1858 when Alfred Russel
Wallace sent him an essay which described the same idea, prompting immediate joint
publication of both of their theories.
His 1859 book "On the Origin of Species" established evolutionary descent with modification
as the dominant scientific explanation of diversification in nature. He examined "The
Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals". His research on plants was published in a
series of books, and in his final book, he examined "earthworms and their effect on soil.
In recognition of Darwin's pre-eminence, he was one of only five 19th-century UK non-royal
personages to be honoured by a state funeral, and was buried in Westminster Abbey, close to
John Herschel and Isaac Newton
William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English poet and playwright,
widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's preeminent
dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The
Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and
several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are
performed more often than those of any other playwright.
Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon. At the age of 18, he married Anne
Hathaway, who bore him three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Between
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1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part owner of
a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later
known as the King's Men. He appears to have retired to
Stratford around 1613, where he died three years later. Few
records of Shakespeare's private life survive, and there has
been considerable speculation about such matters as his
physical appearance, sexuality, religious beliefs, and whether
the works attributed to him were written by others.
Shakespeare produced most of his known work between
1589 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and
histories, genres he raised to the peak of sophistication and
artistry by the end of the sixteenth century. He then wrote
mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, King
Lear, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest works in
the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and
collaborated with other playwrights. Many of his plays were published in editions of varying
quality and accuracy during his lifetime. In 1623, two of his former theatrical colleagues
published the First Folio, a collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two
of the plays now recognised as Shakespeare's.
Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not
rise to its present heights until the nineteenth century. The Romantics, in particular,
acclaimed Shakespeare's genius, and the Victorians hero-worshipped Shakespeare with a
reverence that George Bernard Shaw called "bardolatry". In the twentieth century, his work
was repeatedly adopted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance.
His plays remain highly popular today and are constantly studied, performed and
reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world.