Today in History - April 19
Downe, Kent, England, 1888
On April 19, 1888, Charles Robert Darwin passed away at Down House, in Downe, Kent, at age 73. He was active in the natural history community to his last, and was buried with great pomp and ceremony in Westminster Abbey, next to Isaac Newton and John Herschel.
Though his earlier works were clearly influential, one of his most accurate and long-standing books was his last - The Formation of Vegetable Mould Through the Action of Earthworms. In fact, his observations on the anatomy and function of earthworms were so thorough that the species he covered in his book have largely been ignored in basic research until recently, when the concept and ability to test for “gut flora” (bacteria in the digestive system) arose in the early 2000s.