20 years ago today, King Hussein of Jordan arrived in Israel for his first ever public visit to the largest city. The leader, also a pilot, flew a helicopter to Tel Aviv for a ceremony honoring the negotiators of the successful 1994 Israeli-Jordanian peace talks. Thousands of Israelis turned out to give him an enthusiastic welcome, waving Jordanian flags and signs written in Arabic. (1996)
The peace talks were controversial for Hussein and Israeli Prime Minister Simon Peres, but went a long way toward establishing peace between the two Middle Eastern countries. The sides were also spurred on by U.S. President Clinton.
MORE Good News on this Date:
- Thomas Paine published the immensely popular Common Sense pamphlet urging American colonists toward independence (1776)
- League of Nations held its first meeting and ratified the Treaty of Versailles ending World War I (1920)
- The first UN General Assembly opened with 51 nations (1946)
- Edward Brooke (R-MA) took his seat as the first black elected to the US Senate by popular vote (1967)
- The United States and the Vatican established full diplomatic relations after 117 years (1984)
Happy Birthday to raspy British rock vocalist and songwriter Rod Stewart, whose hit “Maggie May,” with its striking mandolin sound, was named one of 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. “Rod the Mod” turns 71 years old today, with a long list of hit songs steeped in warmth.