Happy 80th Birthday to Emmy-winning actress Loretta Swit, who played Major “Hot Lips” Houlihan, the head nurse on the beloved TV sit-com M*A*S*H, which is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year. The lifelong painter is currently on a book tour for “SWITHEART: The Watercolor Artistry & Animal Activism of Loretta Swit”. Proceeds from her book of paintings will go to the SwitHeart Animal Alliance, benefiting animal rights programs. WATCH a scene from M*A*S*H… (1937)
MORE Good News on this Day:
- The first issue of the scientific journal Nature was published (1869)
- British archaeologist Howard Carter’s workers found the entrance to Egypt’s King Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings (1922)
- Nellie T. Ross became the first woman to be elected governor of a U.S. state, and the only woman ever to have served as governor of Wyoming (1924)
- The rebuilt Vienna State Opera reopened with Beethoven’s Fidelio after it was totally destroyed in World War II (1955)
- The first Harry Potter film based on the blockbuster books by J.K. Rowling premiered in London (2001)
- Barack Obama was elected the first African-American president of the United States, becoming the 44th U.S. president (2008)
And, on this day in 1960, Jane Goodall, who had been a secretary when she was hired to study primates, first observed chimpanzees creating tools. At Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania, she observed two chimps pick up small twigs, strip off the leaves, and use them as tools to fish for termites in the ground to eat for a snack. This was the first time that an animal was observed to modify an object to create a tool to use for a specific purpose. It began 2 years earlier.
Her benefactor, Louis Leakey, a Kenyan archaeologist and palaeontologist, paid to send her to England to study primate behavior and anatomy. Two years after her discovery, he arranged funding to send her to Cambridge, where she got her PhD, having received special permission to skip her BA/BSc studies. Dr. Jane Goodall put forth another unconventional idea for the time: “It isn’t only human beings who have personality, who are capable of rational thought [and] emotions like joy and sorrow.” (Photo from 1960, copyright, the Jane Goodall Institute / Hugo van Lawick)
And, on this day in 1916, ”the most trusted man in America”, journalist Walter Cronkite, was born. As the television anchorman for the CBS Evening News for 19 years (1962–81), he was known for his moving reports on the Vietnam War, the Apollo moon landing, and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. His departing catchphrase, uttered at the end of each broadcast was, “And that’s the way it is.”
WATCH the memorable report when he interrupted a soap opera, and removed his glasses to say, “President Kennedy died at 1 pm…” His eyes were watery and his voice cracked. He later recalled that he was lucky he was able to hold it together instead of crying. He also authored several books, including A Reporter’s Life, and Cronkite’s War: His World War II Letters Home.