America's first hospital opens, Glenn Miller earns the first gold record, Nelson Mandela is released from prison after 27 years, and Whitney Houston dies, all on this day.
1650: French philosopher and mathematician René Descartes, who has been called the father of both modern philosophy and analytical geometry, dies of pneumonia at the age of 53 in Stockholm, Sweden. He is perhaps best known for the philosophical statement "Cogito ergo sum," which translates to "I think, therefore I am."
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