85 years ago today, in the midst of the Great Depression, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt created the Tennessee Valley Authority to establish navigation, flood control, electricity generation and economic development in the Tennessee River Valley—one of the poorest regions in the country. The TVA, which covered parts of seven states, and produced such cheap power that it attracted many factories to the area, became a model for America’s efforts to help modernize agrarian societies in the developing world. (1933)

MORE Good News From This Day:

  • Rhode Island passed the first law in North America making slavery illegal (1652)
  • The Hague Peace Conference opened with delegates from 26 countries taking part in the first international arms control summit (1899)
  • Jackie Cochran becomes the first woman to break the sound barrier (1953)
  • A modified TGV passenger train in France achieved a new rail world speed record of 320 mph (1990)
  • A landmark bill was passed in Nepal curtailing the power of the monarchy and creating a secular country (2006)

Also, born on this day, American actress, comedian, writer, and producer, Tina Fey.

Best known for her 8-year stint on Saturday Night Live and for producing and starring in the critically acclaimed 30 Rock, Tina was born 48 years ago in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. (1970)

And, Happy Birthday to baseball great Reggie Jackson, who turns 72 today. After a high school football spinal injury, doctors told Jackson that he might never walk again, but he defied the odds, joined the baseball team, and pitched several no-hitters while batting .550. Reggie-Jackson-young

As a pro, Jackson was nicknamed “Mr. October” for his clutch hitting at times when it mattered most. In postseason play, he helped the Oakland Athletics win five consecutive AL West pennants, which earned them three World Series appearances, and two titles. He also helped the New York Yankees win four AL East pennants, and two consecutive World Series titles. Jackson famously hit three consecutive home runs—each on the first pitch—at Yankee Stadium in the clinching game 6 of the 1977 World Series. Both teams retired his jersey – #9 and #44 – to honor his 563 career home runs and 14 seasons as an All-Star.

(WATCH the call in the World Series when he hit his third first-pitch home run)


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