On this day 75 years ago, the first remedy for tuberculosis was identified by Dr. Selman Waksman, a Ukrainian-born, Jewish-American inventor, biochemist and microbiologist who had been studying the subject for years at Rutgers University. The professor’s team discovered streptomycin, the first antibiotic that could be used to cure tuberculosis—in fact, he coined the term antibiotics, to describe antibacterials derived from other living organisms and won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for the work. He donated the licensing proceeds of his patents to fund a foundation for microbiological research at Rutgers. (1943)
MORE Good News on this Day:
- At Yorktown, Virginia, representatives of British commander Lord Cornwallis formally surrendered to Gen. George Washington and the French commander, Rochambeau, turning the tide toward Independence for the American colonies (1781)
- Edward Elgar’s “Pomp & Circumstance March” premiered in Liverpool (1901)
- Happy 52nd Birthday to Jon Favreau, the comedy actor-turned-director who starred in and directed Chef and also directed Elf, Iron Man, and Iron Man 2, and The Jungle Book (1966)
- Mother Teresa was beatified as a saint by Pope John Paul II during a ceremony in St. Peter’s Square (2003)
- The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 12,000 for the first time, finishing the day at 12,011 (2006)
And on this day in 1952, French biologist and physician Alain Bombard set sail in an inflatable boat just 15 ft long (4.5m) in order to prove that shipwrecked people could survive crossing an ocean. He took only a sextant and almost no provisions and survived by fishing and drinking a limited amount of seawater. He published a book about his trip entitled Naufragé Volontaire (Wrecked Volunteer), after completing his 2730 mile (4400km) voyage in nine weeks.
And, on this day in 1945, John Lithgow was born.
The Tony and Emmy Award-winning American actor of the stage and screen first tried comedy in 1996 with 3rd Rock from the Sun and succeeded for 6 seasons.