30 years ago today, Kenya announced that it would finally agree to support a worldwide ban on the trade of ivory to save its remaining elephant herds. (1989)

– Photo: Lek Chailert and Elephant News via Youtube

 MORE Good News on this Date:

  • National University of San Marcos, the oldest university in the Americas, was founded in Lima, Peru (1551)
  • Katharine Hepburn, who was once named the greatest actress in Hollywood history by the American Film Institute, after winning four Academy Awards for Best Actress, was born (1907)
  • 100 years ago today, Mary Kay, the Texas entrepreneur who founded Mary Kay Cosmetics as a business opportunity for women, was born (1918)
  • The groundbreaking comedian George Carlin was born in New York City (1937)
  • At Queen Elizabeth Hall, England, Pink Floyd staged the first-ever quadraphonic rock concert (1967)
  • 25 years ago today, Pulp Fiction, the film directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring John Travolta, Uma Thurman and Samuel L. Jackson, premiered (and won big) at the Cannes Film Festival (1994)
  • Randy Johnson, at 40, playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks, became the oldest pitcher in major league history to throw a perfect game (2004)

On this day in 2002, former President Jimmy Carter arrived in Cuba for a five-day visit with Fidel Castro–the first U.S. President to do so since Castro’s 1959 revolution.Carter Center photo

He called for many of the reforms that came to pass during the next decade and a half. Trudy Rubin wrote about Carter’s visit in the Philadelphia Inquirer: The former president called for unrestricted travel between the US and Cuba, open trade, and an end to the embargo. He wants a massive student exchange between U.S. and Cuban universities. Speaking in Spanish on national television, Carter told Cubans they have an inherent right to democratic freedoms: the right to choose their leaders, speak freely, organize political parties, and have fair trials. He noted that the United States is far from perfect on human rights issues, but that Americans have the right to change their leaders and laws.

And, on this day in 1820, Florence Nightingale was born, a day that is now honored as International Nurses Day.


The Englishwoman came to prominence for her pioneering work in nursing, tending injured soldiers, and laying the foundation of professional nursing. Her establishment of St Thomas’s Hospital in London was the first secular nursing school in the world.

Happy 51st Birthday to skateboarder Tony Hawk, who turned pro as an awkward 14-year-old. He was often airborne, and became known as the Birdman. At 6’3”, he completed the first documented “900” in history. Thought to be impossible at the time, he spun 2½ times in mid-air before landing successfully on the half-pipe. He was featured in a popular video game series, and has funded various philanthropic activities, such as building skateparks in underprivileged areas. (1968)

WATCH a video made on his 50th—“50 Tricks at 50”—revisiting maneuvers he created during his career, and performed some of them for the last time… “They are not as easy as they use to be,” Hawk says. But he completed ALL of them to celebrate his creative life at the half-century mark.


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