80 years ago on this day, Joe DiMaggio, beginning his second year in baseball’s major leagues, took Ty Cobb’s advice and started using a heavier 40-ounce bat. It raised his slugging percentage almost 100 points, and preceded his famous 56-game hitting streak— a record that still stands today. (1937)

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Voters in West Virginia approved the gradual emancipation of slaves (1863)
  • Robert Frost, one of the most popular and critically respected American poets of the twentieth century, was born (1874)
  • Leonard Nimoy, the actor who portrayed the logical Mr. Spock on the Star Trek television series in the 1960s, was born (1931)
  • Jonas Salk announced a new vaccine to prevent polio, an acute, viral, infectious disease that by 1910 had resulted in thousands of children and adults paralyzed (1953)
  • The Camp David peace treaty was signed between Israel & Egypt (1979)
  • The first free elections were held in the USSR: 190 million votes were cast, Boris Yeltsin elected (1989)
  • Bangladesh celebrates its Independence Day (1971)
  • The film “Tommy” premiered in London, based on the rock opera by The Who (1975)
  • The first single by Elvis Costello, “Less Than Zero”, was released (1977)
  • Vietnam Veterans Memorial Ground-breaking ceremony held in Washington, D.C. (1982)
  • Stanford researchers published a paper announcing the discovery of an antibody that was found to dramatically shrink or completely eradicate human cancer tumors that were transplanted into laboratory mice, no matter which type of cancer created the tumor (2012)

Chipko movement hugging tree in India-fiaruse

And, on this day 42 years ago, Gaura Devi led a group of 27 women of Laata village, Henwalghati, in the Garhwal Himalayas, to form circles around trees to stop them being felled by loggers. Their protest lasted four days and eventually succeeded when contractors gave up. It was the birth of the Chipko movement in India. (1974)


And on this day in 1911, Tennessee Williams, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright was born. His turbulent childhood, which included an alcoholic, workaholic father, and frequent uprooting, fueled his depression, but also prolific writing – including The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.