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Samuel WilliamsBorn 23 Apr 1743; died 2 Jan 1817 at age 73.American natural philosopher and clergyman who organized the first expedition of its kind in the U.S. (departing on 9 Oct 1780) to observe a total solar eclipse in Penobscot Bay, Maine, although it was held by the British enemy. The eclipse was very slightly less than being total, and he is believed to be the first to observe the “ Baily's Beads” phenomenon seen along the sun's last sliver. Previously, with John Winthrop (under whom he studied) he travelled to St. John's, Newfoundland (1761) to observer the Transit of Venus. When Wintrop died, Williams succeeded him (1779) as the Hollis Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy at Harvard University. He researched and taught astronomy, meteorology, and magnetism. He resigned in June 1788. He also engaged in state boundary surveys: NY and Mass. (1785-88), and Vermont and Canada (1795).«[Image drawn from a miniature.]
Boy Scout on the plane
A doctor, a lawyer, a little boy scout and a pastor were out for a Sunday afternoon flight on a small private plane.
Suddenly, the plane developed engine trouble. In spite of the best efforts of the pilot, the plane started to go down.
Finally, the pilot grabbed a parachute, yelled to the passengers that they had better jump, and bailed out.
Unfortunately there were only three parachutes remaining.
The doctor grabbed one and said "I'm a doctor, I save lives, so I must live," and jumped out.
The lawyer then said "I'm the smartest man in the world, I deserve to live!" He grabbed a parachute and jumped, also.
The pastor looked at the little boy scout and said, "My son, I've lived a long and full life. You are young and have your whole life ahead of you. Take the last parachute and live in peace."
The little boy scout handed the parachute back to the pastor and said "Not to worry, Preacher. 'The smartest man in the world' just jumped out with my back pack."