Happy 65th Birthday to Captain Chesley Sullenberger who, seven years ago, safely landed a jet airliner in the Hudson River saving all 155 passengers on board and sparing those on the ground. The plane hit a flock of birds right after takeoff that knocked out both engines while 3,000 feet in the air. Actor Tom Hanks is playing him in an upcoming film about the incident, dubbed a “Miracle on the Hudson”.
“I realized how this event had touched people’s lives, how ready they were for good news, how much they wanted to feel hopeful again,” said Sully afterward. “We’ve had a worldwide economic downturn, and people are confused, fearful and just so ready for good news. They want to feel reassured that all the things we value, all our ideals, still exist.”
The Captain is retired from aviation now, but works as an author, speaker, and consultant.
MORE Good News on this Date:
- Elizabeth Blackwell, in New York, became the first woman doctor in US (1849)
- 160 years ago today, the first bridge over the Mississippi River opened in Minnesota (1855)
- Charles Curtis (KS) became the first Native American US Senator (1907)
- The 24th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified prohibiting election day poll taxes (1964)
- A peace accord was reached between US & Vietnam (1973)
- National Handwriting Day in the USA was established on John Hancock’s birthday (1977)
- Sweden became the first nation to ban aerosol sprays protecting the Earth’s ozone layer (1978)
- The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted its first members: Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, James Brown, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis (1986)
Also on this day, the US Patent & Trademark Office revoked four key patents held by the pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences on a drug, which was essentially previously known, paving the way for cheap generic HIV/AIDS medicine for the developing world. (2008)