225 years ago today, the White House received its cornerstone in Washington, D. C., and construction commenced on the future home—and office—of every U.S. president since John Adams. The building, designed by Irish-born architect James Hoban and expanded under many presidents is owned by the National Park Service. (1792)
MORE Good News on this Date:
- The first national convention of the American Legion (1919)
- The Marine War Memorial was dedicated across the river from Washington, DC., and today is known as the Iwo Jima memorial because of the iconic AP photograph on which it was based (1954)
- Sesame Street premiered on American public television using puppets to teach letters, numbers, colors to children (1969)
- The National Museum of the Marine Corps was dedicated and opened near the Quantico Marine Base in Triangle, VA (2006)
And, on this day in 1871, after going missing for six years, the Scottish medical missionary and explorer of Africa, Dr. David Livingstone, was found by journalist Henry Stanley, who famously asked upon meeting him, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”
One of the most popular national heroes of late 19th-century Britain, the Congregationalist anti-slavery preacher was one of the first Westerners to make a transcontinental journey across Africa. He preached a Christian message but did not force it on unwilling ears; he understood the ways of tribal chiefs and successfully negotiated passage through their territory by traveling light, and being hospitably received and aided by locals. His fame as an explorer and his obsession with discovering the sources of the River Nile was founded on the belief that if he could solve that age-old mystery, his fame would give him the influence to end the East African Portuguese and Arab-Swahili slave trade.
And Happy 57th Birthday to Neil Gaiman, the English author and screenwriter whose notable works include The Sandman comic book series and novels Stardust, American Gods, and Coraline, which was turned into a Tim Burton film.
Winner of numerous awards, he is the first author to win both the Newbery and the Carnegie medals for the same children’s work–The Graveyard Book, for ages 10 and up. In 2013, The Ocean at the End of the Lane was voted Book of the Year in the British National Book Awards. (1960)