143 years ago today, Alexander Graham Bell conducted the world’s first definitive telephone tests. He made the first intelligible telephone call from building to building, near Brantford, Ontario. In a one-way transmission, he heard his uncle David Bell recite Hamlet, saying, “To be or not to be…”

Bell confirmed Brantford as the birthplace of the device in a 1917 speech at the unveiling of the Bell Memorial there: “Brantford is right in claiming the invention of the telephone here…where “the first transmission to a distance was made between Brantford and Paris”—13 miles away. (1876)

MORE Good News on this Day:

  • One of the leading opera and ballet venues in the world, La Scala opened in Milan, Italy, with a performance of Antonio Salieri’s Europa riconosciuta (1778)
  • America’s first intercollegiate athletic event was held when Yale met Harvard for a crew race (1852)
  • Ernie Pyle, the famous World War II American war correspondent, was born (1900)
  • Niger gained independence from France (1960)
  • The Doors started a two week run at No.1 on the U.S singles chart with ‘Hello I Love You’, the group’s second hit to reach the top of the chart (1968)
  • The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty was ratified by the US Senate (1972)
  • Golfer Annika Sorenstam completed a career Grand Slam by winning the Women’s British Open (2003)
  • The pedestal of the Statue of Liberty reopened after being closed after the September 11 attacks of 2001 (2004)

And on this day in 1936, Jesse Owens shocked Adolf Hitler and the Nazis hosting the Berlin Olympics by winning the 100-meter dash.

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Owens, a black American, also became the first United States athlete to win four gold medals in track and field at the Olympic games.

Also, Happy Birthday to Tony Bennett, the jazz and pop singer who turns 93 today.

Photo by Tom_Beetz, CC license

The accomplished painter and winner of 17 Grammy Awards is still popular today and has no intention of retiring because artists “get busier as they get older.” In the wake of success with his “Duets” LPs, he continues singing with modern crooners like Bono, Elton, and Lady Gaga. (1926)

“To me, life is a gift, and it’s a blessing to just be alive. And each person should learn what a gift it is to be alive no matter how tough things get.” – Tony Bennett


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