Good News in History, August 14

Good News in History, August 14

Halle Berry -CC Gage SkidmoreHappy 50th Birthday to actress and producer Halle Berry. Named after Halle’s Department Store in her birthplace of Cleveland, Ohio. The former model and beauty pageant contestant became one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood. Her performance in the 2001 independent film “Monster’s Ball” made her the first woman of color to receive the Academy Award for Best Actress. She also won an Emmy and Golden Globe for her role in the self-produced television film “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge.” WATCH an interview… (1966)

To celebrate her birthday milestone, the single mother of two told a magazine last year that she planned to take her “five best girlfriends” to a Caribbean island for a bonding spiritual cleanse.

MORE Good News on this Day:

  • U.S. Social Security Act was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt creating unemployment insurance and pension plans for the elderly (1935)
  • President Harry S. Truman announced that Japan had surrendered unconditionally, ending World War II — a moment that led to the famous VJ Day kiss in Times Square, New York between a uniform-clad sailor and a nurse, captured on film by photographer Alfred Eisentaedt (1945)
  • Pakistan became independent of British rule (1947)
  • Bahrain declared its independence from United Kingdom (1971)
  • Lead was banned from children’s toys by the US government one year after Mattel recalled millions of lead-tainted toys made in China (2008)

Lech Wałęsa


On this day in 1980, Lech Wałęsa led shipyard workers in Gdansk, Poland, in a successful strike to protest the dismissal of activist worker Anna Walentinowicz. Part of a growing campaign to gain political freedom and improve economic conditions for Poland’s labor force, the 16,000 workers secured Miss Walentinowicz’s swift reinstatement and then elected her to the workers’ committee to negotiate with the Polish authorities and shipyard management.


And, happy 71st Birthday to the musician, actor, comedian Steve Martin, who, according to Comedy Central, is the 6th best stand-up comic of all time. On top of five Grammys, an Emmy Award and Kennedy Center Honor, he just learned he would receive the International Bluegrass Music’s Distinguished Achievement award for his bluegrass albums and musicianship. He has played banjo since he was a teen and often incorporated it into his comedy acts. Conan O’Brien once quipped, “He’s such a fine musician that he’s the first man in history to inspire the phrase, ‘Hey everyone, quiet down, I’m trying to hear the banjo.'” (1945) Photo credit: Highline Ballroom CC