Good News in History, August 30

Good News in History, August 30

On this day 50 years ago, Thurgood Marshall was confirmed as the first black judge named to the U.S. Supreme Court. Preceding his 24 years of service as one of its Associate Justices, he was best known for the high success rate achieved when he argued before the highest court in the land— particularly the victory in Brown v. Board of Education, a 1954 decision that ruled segregated public schools to be unconstitutional. (1967)

Born in Baltimore, Maryland and descended from slaves, his middle class parents instilled in him “an appreciation for the United States Constitution and the rule of law.”

MORE Good News on this Day:

  •  A Communication Hotline between U.S. and Soviet leaders went into operation (1963)
  • The album Highway 61 Revisited by Bob Dylan was released (1965)
  • Striking Polish workers of the Solidarity movement led by Lech Walesa won a sweeping victory after a two-month battle with their communist rulers for the right to organize independent unions and the right to strike (1980)
  • Former Air Force Colonel Guion S. Bluford Jr. was launched into space on the Shuttle Challenger and became the first black astronaut (1983)

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And on this day in 1836, two yankee businessmen bought 8,850 acres of Texas swamp land and founded the city of Houston. Brothers Augustus and John Kirby Allen funded the roads and buildings at the core of what would eventually become the biggest city in the American South and the fourth most populous city in the US. Named after General Sam Houston, who was president of the Republic of Texas and had won the Battle of San Jacinto 25 miles east of the city, the city recently won praise for moving 4,100 homeless veterans into permanent housing.

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And, Happy Birthday to Warren Buffet, the Oracle from Omaha, who turns 87 today. He rose from working in his father’s store and delivering newspapers to become a billionaire and the most successful American investor of the 2oth Century. A few years ago he co-founded the Giving Pledge, where he and other wealthy people promise to give away all their wealth before they die. 2015 was the tenth summer he donated more than a billion dollars–with a gift of $2.8 billion in stock to foundations that work on global health, college scholarships, and poverty.