Good News in History, February 27

Good News in History, February 27

pokemon and pikachu-small20 years ago today, the world of Pokémon was first released to the public, emerging from the mind of game designer Satoshi Tajiri and offered by Nintendo to players of its Gameboy system. In the six years it took to create the game and its first three “pocket monsters” (Bulbasaur, Squirtle and Charmander), Tajiri’s Game Freak studio nearly went out of business, but the little creatures –some disarmingly cute, like, Pikachu– would take the world by storm and handheld Gameboys would get a second life. (1996)

Players, known as Pokémon Trainers, catch the many varied Pokémon creatures each with unique strengths and weaknesses, and battle each other for sport, both electronically with the Nintendo system and with trading cards between friends.

To this day, Pokémon endures with 900 anime episodes, live trading card game tournaments, and toy store merchandise still generating excitement –and $40 billion in total revenue, which is second only to the Star Wars franchise. Pikachu and friends are about to jump to smartphones and tablets later this year with Pokémon GO, “an augmented reality game about deploying players to hunt Pokémon in the real world.”

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • The first Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana was celebrated (1827)
  • The Dominican Republic gained independence from Haiti (1844)
  • Carbon-14 was discovered by Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben, the basis of radiocarbon dating for archaeological and geological samples (1940)
  • Dominica gained independence from the UK (1967)
  • The United States Senate allows its debates to be televised for the first time (1986)
  • Divorce became legal in Ireland (1997)
  • Nigerian voters flocked to polls electing a civilian president to end 15 years of military rule (1999)
  • Alicia Keys won five Grammy Awards for her debut album, “Songs in A Minor” (2002)Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward

Happy birthday to Academy Award-winning actress, producer, and philanthropist Joanne Woodward, who was married to Paul Newman for 50 years, until his death in 2008. She turns 86 today. (1930)