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June 6, 1959


Author Affiliations

Newark, N. J.

JAMA. 1959;170(6):724-725. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.63010060025025a

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Alexander von Humboldt, a renowned scientist, died 100 years ago on May 6, 1859. Ninety years ago the leaders of official, scientific, and intellectual circles of the New England states assembled in Boston to honor the 100th anniversary of his birth. The main speaker at that celebration was Louis Agassiz, world-famous American scientist, who had developed in the thoughts and ideas of Goethe and von Humboldt. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Harvard's eminent pathologist and man of letters, read a long poem on Humboldt, comparing him with Napoleon but giving the laurels to Humboldt whose scientific conquests on three continents were peaceful ones; Ralph Waldo Emerson said of Humboldt that he had bound together the continents. For more than four years he explored the unknown parts of Central and South America where he was the first to climb the Chimborazo, one of the highest mountains of our globe. When he returned to

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