This Day in History: 1823-02-03

Spencer Fullerton Baird was born on this day. He was a US naturalist and ichthyologist, first curator at the Smithsonian Institution (later Secretary), Director of the United States National Museum, and the first Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries for the United States Fish Commission. Baird remained active in research and publication but his administrative work took precedence later in his career when he was instrumental in raising the status of the Smithsonian to that of one of the premier scientific institutions in the world.

Baird described around 280 taxa and is honoured in the name of the fish genus Bairdiella and in numerous species names under bairdi or bairdii.