60 years ago today, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was created. The U.S. Congress was spurred to create the federal agency by the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik, the first orbital satellite. Two of the goals were to expand human knowledge of the Earth’s atmosphere and space, and the improvement of space vehicles.

The phrase “We came in peace for all mankind”, inscribed on a plaque left on the Moon by the crew of Apollo 11, is derived from the agency’s founding principle: It is the policy of the U.S. that activities in space should be devoted to peaceful purposes for the benefit of all mankind. WATCH a 60th anniversary message from the International Space Station for all of us on Earth… (1958)

Three of NASA’s most impressive achievements have been the Apollo Moon landing, the Skylab space station, and the Space Shuttle reusable rocket.

MORE Good News on this Day:

  • The Arc de Triomphe was inaugurated in Paris (1836)
  • The Society of Independent Artists was co-founded in Paris by Georges Seurat (1884)
  • Sir Robert Baden-Powell set up the Brownsea Island Scout camp in Poole Harbour, England; regarded as the founding of the Scouting (1907)
  • The Fellowship of the Ring, the first book of the trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, by J. R. R. Tolkien was first published in England (1954)
  • The International Atomic Energy Agency was established to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy and to inhibit its use for military purposes—by providing technology, expertise and training to guide those who want to harness the atom for the benefit of mankind—by improving food supplies, health care, and sources of energy (1957)
  • The Beatles’ second feature film ‘Help!’ had its UK premiere in London (1965)
  • Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker played their first concert as Cream, the band whose third album, Wheels of Fire, was the world’s first platinum-selling double album (1966)
  • Minamata Bay in Japan, once a worldwide symbol of industrial pollution, was declared free of mercury 40 years after contaminated fish were blamed for deaths and birth defects (1997)
  • Boston Red Sox batter Bill Mueller became the first player in Major League Baseball history to hit grand slams from both sides of the plate (left and right-handed) in a single game in a 14-7 win at Texas (2003)
  • A high school football captain in Osseo, Minnesota created a Twitter account, @OsseoNiceThings, to say nice things about classmates after noticing they were the object of ridicule on social media– soon afterward the bullying ceased (2012)

And, on this day in 1981, thousands lined the streets of London to catch a glimpse of Britain’s Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer on their wedding day.

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Fair Use photo

A worldwide television audience of over 700 million people watched the ceremony, held at St Paul’s Cathedral.

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