Birthdays on January 4
Birth of James Ussher, Calvinist theologian, who became Archbishop of Armagh, Ireland. Ussher was widely known for his immense learning, out of which he produced a number of outstanding works; but he is chiefly remembered for his chronology of the Bible, which was included in the printing of many editions of the King James Version of the Bible and set the date of creation at 4004 B.C.
Louis Braile was born in Coupvray, France. Blinded by an accident at the age of three, he attended the village school with sighted children, and developed a retentive mind which enabled him to forge ahead of his classmates. While teaching at the National Institute for the Blind in Paris at age 15, he began experimenting with raised dots; using six dots in two rows, to which he assigned 63 patterns to represent the letters of the alphabet, figures, and points. Among the first items to be produced for the new readership clientile were portions of Scripture, and now, even though bulky, the whole Bible is available, as well as hymn books. Braille was known for his piety and his delight in playing hymns at the keyboard.