It’s not hard to define what we mean when we say a person is influential. It affirms that his or her actions and opinions strongly affected the world’s course of events. The list below is obviously limited and, admittedly, a bit random; but nevertheless, we think you’ll find it interesting!
Before we even get started, we need to note that a person can be influential in a good way (think Abraham Lincoln!) ) or in a bad way. That’s why we’re including this SPECIAL REPORT/UPDATE on Vladimir Putin just recorded by SMU Professor Jeffrey Engel.
There was Almost No Dream
If there’s a single line from just one speech that Martin Luther King is best known for, it’s certainly “I Have a Dream.” Holy Cross College Professor, Stephanie Yuhl, reveals the details which led to that memorable line…..which wasn’t planned and almost didn’t happen.
His Insights Changed Everything
By the time Isaac Newton died in 1727, his fame was worldwide and his theories on life were defined as “Newtonianism.” The doctrine calls for rationality and order in every realm–politics as well as science. His thoughts even influenced the U.S. Constitution.
Most People Don’t Know This About Her
Marie Curie was a Polish and naturalized French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and the only woman to win the Nobel Prize twice, and the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two scientific fields. That is widely known. However, as explained by Penn Professor Susan Lindee, less well-known are her efforts from 1914-18, when she developed “X-Ray trucks” and trained others to drive them to French battlefields — aiding doctors and medics, and helping to locate bullets and broken bones.
What Was She Afraid of? (very little)
According to Georgetown’s Allida Black, there were 15 different assassination attempts on Eleanor Roosevelt’s life; yet, she refused Secret Service protection. She was often concerned, though, that fear might prevent her from the human rights advocacy that she considered so important, and that she could become physically, mentally or morally afraid to continue.
The One-Room Log Cabin Was Not a Myth
Hunter College professor Harold Holzer explains that the humble beginnings of Abraham Lincoln are not exaggerated: he did grow up in a one-room cabin with a dirt floor. His mother, who could not read or write, died when he was nine and Lincoln’s father left him alone in the cabin with his two young siblings in order to find a suitable new wife.
They Regard Him as a Politician, and Much More
According to UCLA Professor Vinay Lal, one way to understand the history of India is to consider their “Nationalist Prints.” Mahatma Gandhi is the dominant figure in many of them, and he is often depicted as something of a cross between a politician and a deity.
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