On June 19 in 1623, mathematician-physicist Blaise Pascal is born in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Pascal was a child prodigy, but was denied access to mathematics books by his mathematician father, who wanted the boy to learn history first. However, legend has it that after he was told that geometry was the study of shapes and forms, he independently discovered (without books or training) the first 32 theorems of Euclid, in the correct order. His dumbfounded father then allowed him to study mathematics.
—from The Illustrated Almanac of Science, Technology, and Invention