40 years ago today, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a humorous science fiction book by Douglas Adams, was published. It became an international multi-media phenomenon after the novels were widely distributed and translated into more than 30 languages. The story follows the misadventures of the last surviving man, Arthur Dent, following the demolition of planet Earth who is is rescued via spacecraft by Ford Prefect—a human-like alien writer for the eccentric, electronic travel guide The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.(1979)
More Good News on this Day:
- The song, Three Blind Mice, was published by London teenager, Thomas Ravenscroft (1609)
- The first Oktoberfest was held when Bavarian royalty invited the citizens of Munich to join together in celebration at the marriage of the Crown Prince, with the outcome being so successful, they decided to celebrate every year (1810)
- Blondie performed at CBGB’s in New York City, under the name ‘Blondie’ for the first time—derived from comments shouted by passing truck drivers (1974)
- Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore was named co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, along with the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, for “their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations to counteract such change,” after just releasing his book Earth in the Balance and documentary film An Inconvenient Truth (2007)
- The Botswana High Court overturned a customary law that prevented women from inheriting the family home, calling it “an unacceptable system of male domination” that contravened the constitution, which guarantees equality (2012)
On this day in 1971, Jesus Christ Superstar, the rock opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, opened on Broadway. Conceived and released as a concept album, the musical is sung-through, with no spoken dialogue.
Loosely based on the biblical account of the last week of Jesus’s life—but with psychological and social commentary—the play was nominated for five Tony Awards, and starred Jeff Fenholt as Jesus, Ben Vereen as Judas.
And, on this day in 1868, the German engineer and auto pioneer August Horch was born. After working for Karl Benz, he founded the manufacturing giant that would become Audi—and his cars were winning races in Europe before there even was a Model T. His autobiography, published in 1937 was titled, (I Built Cars) Ich Baute Autos.