Good News in History, August 4

Good News in History, August 4

115 years ago today, Louis Armstrong, the beloved American jazz trumpeter, composer, and singer, was born. Nicknamed Satchmo, or Pops, Armstrong was one of the most influential figures in jazz, trail-blazing in a career that spanned more than five decades. With his instantly recognizable gravelly voice, Armstrong was an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody to make a song more expressive. Armstrong kept up his busy tour schedule until a few years before his death in 1971. WATCH him sing When the Saints Go Marching In… (1901)

One of his most memorable songs, What a Wonderful World (buy it on Amazon), epitomizes the man, of whom Duke Ellington said, “He was born poor, died rich, and never hurt anyone along the way.”

MORE Good News on this Day:

  • Dom Perignon invented Champagne (1693)
  • The U.S. Coast Guard, one of America’s five armed forces, was founded by Congress which built 10 vessels to enforce trade laws, prevent smuggling, and protect the shoreline—and later, aid mariners in distress (1790)
  • Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, was born—the wife of King George VI, she provided moral support to the British public during World War II and to her husband, like the portrayal in the Academy Award Winning film The King’s Speech (1900)
  • The Supreme Court of Japan was established (1947)
  • Prime Minister Paul Martin announced that Michaelle Jean would become Canada’s first Governor General of Caribbean origin (2005)
  • A federal judge in San Francisco ended a 13-day trial by striking down as unconstitutional California’s Proposition 8, the voter approved ballot measure that banned same-sex unions, citing the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment (2010)
  • Happy 55th birthday, to President Barack Obama (2015)

Also on this day, during the first stages of the French Revolution following the storming of the Bastille, the National Constituent Assembly, which had became the effective government of France, took an oath to end feudalism and abandon their aristocratic privileges. (1789)