Milutin Milanković was born in Dalj on 28 May 1879. After completing grammar school in Osijek, he enrolled at the High Technical School in Vienna, where he took a degree in engineering with a concrete bridge design project, and also he won his PhD with a thesis on the theory of pressure curves. In his youth, Milanković worked for a construction firm in Vienna, but became professor at the Department for Applied Mathematic of the Belgrade University in 1909.
Milanković published about 100 scientific papers; scientific contributions, monographs and various other works. He was interested in contemporary scientific methods and was the first in Yugoslavia to have used the vector method in his lectures.
As early as 1912, Milanković took an interest in planets’ solar climates and temperatures, and published a number of papers on these topics. By mid-1917, he wrote a book entitled “O primeni matematičke teorije sprovođenja toplote na probleme kosmičke fizike” (On the Application of the Heat Conductivity Mathematical Theory to Problems of Cosmic Physics). With this publication, Milanković embarked on establishing his theory of Ice Age glacial periods. These discoveries brought him considerable renown in the world of science, and his theory on distribution of Sun radiation on the Earth’s surface made him particularly popular. Posing a question about the temperature on Mars and the possibility of life on that planet further enhanced his popularity. While cooperating with geophysicist Alfred Wegener, Milanković developed a theory of the shifting of Earth poles and Ice Ages.
The scientist from Dalj also authored the most precise calendar to date, where calendar year is only two seconds longer than the current tropical year. Milanković’s calendar was accepted by some Eastern Orthodox churches at the Global Assembly in Constantinople in 1923, but was never applied in practice. On 12 December 1958, Milanković died in his home in Belgrade from which, according to his last wishes, his remains were transferred to the Milanković family’s tomb at the Orthodox cemetery in Dalj. In spite of all his merits, this scientist is not mentioned in a single textbook in Croatia. Therefore, the Milutin Milanković Cultural and Scientific Centre in Dalj and the Serb National Council have launched a campaign to have his name included in textbooks. We also commemorate his birthday every year.