90 years ago today, Anne Frank, the Jewish Holocaust victim whose diary describes her family hiding from the Nazis during the World War II, was born. She received a blank book for her thirteenth birthday that became the now-famous account of her life in hiding for two years. Afterward her family was betrayed and she died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
Her father Otto Frank, who hid his family in the back of his office building, became the only family survivor, and he orchestrated the publishing of his daughter’s manuscripts. After being rejected by several publishers, Anne Frank’s diary was published in 1952—and is now published in over 60 languages with 30 million copies sold. (1929)
MORE Good News on this Day:
- Virginia’s colonial legislature became the first to adopt a Bill of Rights (1776)
- The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum was dedicated in Cooperstown, N.Y. (1939)
- Anne Frank received a diary for her 13th birthday (1942)
- The U.S. Supreme Court voted unanimously that state laws banning interracial marriage were unconstitutional, a seminal moment for civil rights in more than a dozen states, and for the couple, Richard and Mildred Loving, who filed the lawsuit against Virginia (1967)
- The first Indiana Jones film, Raiders of the Lost Ark, one of the most popular movies ever made—directed by Stephen Spielberg and produced by George Lucas—premiered (1981)
- In New York City’s Central Park, 750,000 people rallied against nuclear weapons with Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, and Linda Ronstadt (1982)
- Ronald Reagan challenged Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall (1987)
- Queen Elizabeth reopened the Globe Theatre in London (1997)
- The Philippines on its Independence Day celebrated its centennial year of Independence from Spain (1998)
And on this day in 1923, Harry Houdini freed himself from a straight jacket while hung by his ankles upside down, 40 feet (12 m) above the ground in New York City.
One of Houdini’s most popular publicity stunts, it began as a challenge from police, who applied the canvas and leather jacket themselves before he was hoisted up by a crane. He made his escape in full view of thousands of onlookers in about two minutes.
When she learned that people in the world are dying because they don’t have access to clean drinking water, she wanted to raise $300 for “charity:water,” by asking for donations instead of presents for her ninth birthday. When she died in a car crash weeks later, her memory inspired a flood of inspired action by adults and children worldwide. READ the full story of Rachel’s legacy and Watch a heartwarming video on Good News Network, here.
And, on this day in 2010, MLB rookie baseball player Daniel Nava hit the first pitch he ever saw as a big leaguer for a grand slam — only the second player to do so — driving in 4 runs at Fenway Park for his Boston team.
Red Sox Radio broadcaster Joe Castiglione had told him before the game to swing as hard as he could on the first pitch because “that’s the only first pitch in the majors you’ll ever see,” and he did. Kevin Kouzmanoff in 2006 was the only other player to clear the bases on his first MLB swing. Nava hit his second grand slam in September, 2014.