February 8th is Dmitri Mendeleev's birthday. Most people associate Mendeleev the first accepted periodic table of the elements. His table ordered the elements by increasing atomic weight where columns of elements had similar chemical properties and is the immediate forerunner of the modern periodic table.
Mendeleev was also the man responsible for making Russia "metric". As Director of Russia's Bureau of Weights and Measures, he was instrumental in bringing the metric system to Russia.
In his personal life, he was famous for his "grooming". Mendeleev was widely known for his long hair and wild beard. He would only cut his hair or trim his beard once a year. He had one minor scandal where he was labeled a bigamist for a legal technicality for not waiting the required seven years after a divorce before marrying his second wife.
Find more about Mendeleev and what else occurred on this day in science history.