On this day 65 years ago, 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. (1952) 

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)
  • The first antibiotic remedy for tuberculosis was identified by researchers at Rutgers University (1943)
  • Happy 51st Birthday to comedy actor-turned-director Jon Favreau, 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 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. (Photo by David Shankbone, CC)


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