Good News in History, October 7

Good News in History, October 7

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Happy 85th Birthday to Desmond Tutu, the archbishop of Cape Town who received the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in South Africa to end apartheid, including his leadership of the vital Truth and Reconciliation Commission. As a member of The Elders, he still campaigns for human rights and against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia. He recently co-authored a book with the Dalai Lama called, The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World. (1931) 

(2013 photo by Libris Förlag, CC)

More Good News from this Date:

  • The Stamp Act Congress convened in New York to draw up colonial grievances against England (1765)
  • U.S. and British government announced the establishment of the United Nations (1942)
  • American poet Allen Ginsberg performed his poem Howl for the first time at the Six Gallery in San Francisco (1955)
  • New York’s Metropolitan Opera hired its first black performer, contralto singer Marian Anderson (1954)
  • President John F. Kennedy signed the Partial Test Ban Treaty with Britain and the Soviet Union, prohibiting all test detonations of nuclear weapons except underground (1963)
  • Hollywood adopted its movie ratings system (1968)
  • The musical Cats opened on Broadway, beginning its record run of 7,485 performances (1982)

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And, on this day in 1955, the brilliant cellist Yo-Yo Ma was born in France. The Chinese-American musician was a child prodigy, performing from the age of five, when his mother, a singer, and father, a violinist, moved to New York City. His 90+ albums have received 18 Grammy Awards and his kindness follows him around the world on tour after tour. His fascination with other cultures and the ways their music can be blended together resulted in the nonprofit Silk Road Project. Ongoing since 1998, it is described as an “arts and educational organization that connects musicians, composers, artists, and audiences around the world.” Watch a clip below, and see Yo-Yo talk about Silk Road.

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