150 years ago today, Charles Hires introduced his root beer, a drink of sixteen herbs, berries and roots, to the public. After first tasting ‘root beer’, the traditional beverage dating back to the colonial era in America, while on his honeymoon, the Philadelphia pharmacist decided to make his own recipe. (1866)
He began selling it in powder form to mix with water and eventually produced the soft drink. The Hires family sold the business in 1960, but other corporations still produce it, making it the longest continuously made soft drink in the United States.
MORE Good News on this Date:
- A single vote in the United States Senate saved President Andrew Johnson from impeachment (1868)
- In Rome, Pope Benedict XV canonized Joan of Arc as a saint (1920)
- In Hollywood, California, the first Academy Awards were handed out (1929)
- Theodore Maiman operated the first optical laser, at Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, California (1960)
- Junko Tabei becomes the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest (1975)
- The Kuwaiti National Assembly passed a law 35–23 permitting women to vote and run for office, as long as they adhere to Islamic law (2005)
- U2’s Bono was guest editor for a day at UK’s newspaper, The Independent, and featured the AIDS issue on every page— calling it the Red Edition, it sold out within hours and raised money, half of all revenue generated, for the AIDS fight in Africa (2006)
And, on this day in 1717, the French playwright and poet Voltaire was imprisoned in the Bastille for speaking out against political and religious repression. However, he used the opportunity to begin writing his first play. After his release a year later, he started producing successful plays that made him one of the most popular writers in Europe.
“Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too.” (Essay on Tolerance)