Good News in History, November 4

Good News in History, November 4

Jane_Goodall_2015-pubdomain-smOn this day 55 years ago, Jane Goodall, who had been a secretary when she was hired to study primates, first observed chimpanzees creating tools. At Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania, she observed two chimps pick up small twigs, strip off the leaves, and use them as tools to fish for termites in the ground to eat for a snack. This was the first time that an animal was observed to modify an object to create a tool to use for a specific purpose. It began 2 years earlier… (1960)

Jane Goodall, 1960-c-janegoodallinstitute-HugoVanLawickHer benefactor, Louis Leakey, a Kenyan archaeologist and palaeontologist, paid to send her to England to study primate behavior and anatomy. Two years after her discovery, he arranged funding to send her to Cambridge, where she got her PhD, having received special permission to skip her BA/BSc studies.

Dr. Jane Goodall put forth another unconventional idea for the time: “It isn’t only human beings who have personality, who are capable of rational thought [and] emotions like joy and sorrow.”

WATCH Jane below, recalling the moment in 1960… (Click to enlarge the image from 1960, copyright, the Jane Goodall Institute / Hugo van Lawick)

MORE Good News on this Day:

  • The first issue of the scientific journal Nature was published (1869)
  • British archaeologist Howard Carter’s workers found the entrance to Egypt’s King Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings (1922)
  • Nellie T. Ross became the first woman to be elected governor of a U.S. state, and the only woman ever to have served as governor of Wyoming (1924)
  • The rebuilt Vienna State Opera reopened with Beethoven’s Fidelio after it was totally destroyed in World War II (1955)
  • The first Harry Potter film based on the blockbuster books by J.K. Rowling premiered in London (2001)
  • Barack Obama was elected the first African-American president of the United States, becoming the 44th U.S. president (2008)