On this day 225 years ago, the Louvre Museum was officially opened in Paris. A royal palace on the banks of the Seine, it was suddenly possible for the public to enter and view the many art treasures, including the Mona Lisa, confiscated from the French king, his cronies, and the church, during the revolution. The world’s largest and most famous art gallery—with a record 8.1 million visitors last year—added a distinctive glass pyramid entrance during a renovation in the 1980s. TAKE a quick video tour… (1793)

The royal collection had contained more than 20,000 pieces, including the ancient Greek statue of Venus de Milo. The collection has grown steadily with donations and bequests, and is divided into eight departments: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings.

This year, the Musée du Louvre features an extensive Delacroix exhibition and a self-guided tour of the 17 artworks around which Beyoncé and Jay-Z filmed their recent music video to kick off their collaborative album, “Everything is Love.” (Photo of the Louvre by Pedro Szekely, CC)

MORE Good News on this Day:

  • Islam’s prophet Muhammed began receiving the Qur’an on the first Laylat al-Qadr (610)
  • Ferdinand Magellan’s five ships set sail from Seville to circumnavigate the globe (1519)
  • Candid Camera made its US television debut after being on radio for a year as Candid Microphone (1948)
  • The groundbreaking ceremony for the Saint Lawrence Seaway was held in Massena, New York (1954)
  • Japanese-Americans who were either interned or relocated by the U.S. government during World War II would each receive $20,000 payments because The Civil Liberties Act of 1988 was signed (1988)
  • 25 years ago today, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was sworn in as the second female Supreme Court justice (1993)
  • 30 years ago today, the robotic probe Magellan successfully inserted itself into Venus’s orbit, launched from a NASA Space Shuttle one year earlier to map the surface of Venus and collect data — the first spacecraft to test aerobraking as a method for circularizing an orbit (1988)
  • American swimmer Michael Phelps won the first of a record eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics by smashing his own world record in the 400-meter individual medley (2008)

And, on this date in 1846, the Smithsonian Institution was first chartered, after the British scientist, James Smithson, bequeathed $500,000 even though he had never visited the United States.Smithsonian castle, photo by Geri (c) 2001

With the aim of advancing science and mankind’s knowledge, the federal government administers and funds the 19 museums–and the National Zoo–in D.C. displaying a vast collection of 1.43 million items with free admission for all.

Also, Happy 71st Birthday to Ian Anderson, the Scottish-born musician, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who was the lead actor, voice and flute player in Jethro Tull.

2004 Photo by Brian Marks, CC license

While 2016 marked 45 years since the release of Tull’s landmark album Aqualung, it brought a new tour for Ian Anderson, under the name “Jethro Tull – The Rock Opera.” WATCH a fantastic video of Anderson introducing and talking about a string quartet that created classical arrangements of Tull hits last year… (1947)

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