Three Blinde Mice,
Three Blinde Mice,
The Miller and his merry olde Wife,
She scrapte her tripe licke thou the knife.
--The original lyrics to the nursery rhyme "Three Blind Mice," as first published in 1609
In the year AD 1609...
- Galileo Galilei becomes the first to turn a telescope to the heavens, using it to observe the moons of Jupiter.
- The Dutch Revolt takes a hiatus as Spain and the Netherlands agree to the Twelve Year Truce.
- In Japan the Shimazu clan, lords of Satsuma domain, conquers the Ryukyu Islands with the tacit approval of the Tokugawa shogunate. Okinawa and the surrounding islands remain part of Japan to this day.
- The Dutch East India Company dispatches Henry Hudson, in command of the exploration vessel Halve Maen ("Half Moon") on a mission to find the Northwest Passage. Hudson fails, but does discover the island of Manhattan and the Hudson and Delaware Rivers.
- French explorer Samuel de Champlain discovers the lake that now bears his name, Lake Champlain, on what is now the New York/Vermont border.
- The first English colony in the New World, Jamestown, is nearly wiped out by a brutal winter. The colonists resort to cannibalism in order to survive, including dismembering and eating a 14-year-old girl whose body was discovered in 2013.
- The first modern newspaper, Avisa, begins publication in the German city of Wolfenbüttel.
- William Shakespeare writes his allegorical poem "The Phoenix and the Turtle."
- Claudio Monteverdi publishes his first opera, Orfeo.
- A seven-ship English fleet en route to Virginia is blown off course and the flagship, the Sea Venture, runs aground on the reefs off Bermuda. William Strachey, a mate aboard the Sea Venture writes a letter back to England describing the ordeal, a letter now widely believed to have been the inspiration for Shakespeare's play The Tempest.
- Construction begins on the magnificent Sultan Ahmed Mosque (aka the "Blue Mosque") in Istanbul, Turkey.
- Dutch jurist Hugo Grotius publishes his treatise Mare Librum ("The Freedom of the Sea"), establishing an enduring concept in international law that the high seas are international territory owned by no nation-state, and that all nations are free to use them for travel and trade.
These people were born in 1609:
These people died in 1609:
1608 - 1609 - 1610
How They Were Made