On this day 10 years ago, the World Bank approved a plan to cancel the debt of 17 of the world’s poorest countries, forgiving some $37 billion in loans. The organization reacted to pressure from televised global concerts and internet organizing by the ONE campaign against extreme poverty, championed by the rockers Bono and Bob Geldorf. Financiers agreed to a package that called for additional donor contributions over time to ensure delivery of new resources for poverty reduction. (2006)
MORE Good News on this Date:
- The famed Louvre museum opened to the public in Paris (1794)
- The state of New York abolished slavery (1799)
- The U.S. Salvation Army was officially launched (1885)
- A Democratic constitution went into effect in Ecuador (1929)
- Heritage Canada incorporated in Ottawa as a national trust to promote preservation of scenic and historic sites (1978)
- The twelfth Easter Seal Telethon raised $19.5M (1982)
- President George H. W. Bush posthumously awarded Jesse Owens the Congressional Gold Medal (1990)
- Christian Churches Together was launched by Roman Catholics, Evangelical and Pentecostal denominations joining to create “the most inclusive fellowship of Christian churches and traditions in the United States” (2006)
On this day in 1905, Marlin Perkins, the American zoologist and television host was born. Pursuing his passion for reptiles, he quit college to become a laborer at the zoo in St. Louis, his for hometown, working his way up to become director at various zoos in the US. He became the famed host of Wild Kingdom, a TV show that gave many Americans their first exposure to the conservation movement and the protection of endangered species.
And, on this day in 1944, a Swedish housewife in her mid-thirties, Astrid Lindgren, sprained her ankle so bad that she was confined to bed and finally put pen to paper transcribing the bedtime stories she’d been telling her 10-year-old daughter for years. Pippi Longstocking, whose character became a “new role model and a cradle for female assertiveness” has been translated into more than 60 languages from Arabic to Zulu.