Good News in History, April 26

Good News in History, April 26

Happy Birthday to Carol Burnett who turns 84 years old today. The actress, comedienne, singer and writer, whose career spans six decades is best known for her long-running TV variety show, The Carol Burnett Show. She also achieved success on stage and film in dramatic and comedic roles that earned her Tony and Golden Globe nominations. WATCH her comedy improvisation during an actual earthquake on set… (1933)

She authored an autobiographical book last year about her time with the weekly variety show, “In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox.”

MORE Good News on this Day:

  • An expedition of English colonists went ashore to establish the first permanent English settlement in the Western Hemisphere, later calling it Jamestown (1607) 
  • Libya amended its constitution to allow for female participation in elections (1963)
  • Physicists announced the first evidence of a top quark subatomic particle (1994)
  • The nation’s first bill allowing same-sex couples to form civil unions was signed by Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (2000)
  • Under international pressure, Syria withdrew the last of its 14,000 troops from Lebanon, ending its 29-year military domination of that country (2005)

Audubon_Birds_of_America-bookcover-heron

 

On this day in 1785, the French-American artist and birdwatcher, John James Audubon was born. As an ornithologist, he documented all types of American birds in great detail and illustrated them in their natural habitats. His color-plate book, The Birds of America, is still considered one of the finest ornithological works ever completed. He also discovered and named 25 new species of birds.

In Pennsylvania, after his father helped him emigrate at age 18 from France, he began conducting the first known bird-banding on the continent: he tied yarn to the legs of eastern phoebes and determined that they returned to the same nesting spots year after year. Soon he created his own nature museum having perfected his taxidermy skills. Later, he moved to Kentucky, improved his painting techniques, and began traveling to other states trying to illustrate a bird a day.

gyrfalcons-Audubon

 

At age 41, Audubon took his growing collection of work to England to be engraved, and was met with great success. He raised enough money ($115,640) to publish the monumental work, created from his 14 years of field studies. It contained hand-water-colored, life-size prints on 39 x 26 inch pages, featuring more than 497 American bird species. It includes images of six now-extinct birds. (click to enlarge photos)

Audubon died in 1851 and is buried in the graveyard at the Church of the Intercession in the Trinity Church Cemetery at 155th Street and Broadway in Manhattan, near his family home.

marcus_aurelius bust

 

And, on this day in 121 AD, Marcus Aurelius was born. The Emperor of Rome (161-180), he was known as much for his philosophical writing as for his reign. He didn’t believe a society should be divided by class or engage in slavery. He believed all men were equal and that the government’s purpose was to serve the people. He wrote, “Men exist for the sake of one another.” He was a faithful husband and father. He studied the Stoic Greek philosophers who believed in detaching yourself from everything that is outside of your power to control. He compiled a handbook, entitled Meditations, that advises how to live one’s life, which is also revered as a literary monument to a government of service and duty. Some of his famous quotes:

Marcus-Aurelius-quote-on-a-happy-life-GRAPHIC

Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present; Remember that neither the future nor the past pains thee, but only the present; The things you think about determine the quality of your mind. Your soul takes on the color of your thoughts; Look within. Within is the fountain of the good, and it will ever bubble up, if thou wilt ever dig.  (Get the Book on Amazon)

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