On this day 40 years ago, Saturday Night Fever premiered, starring a young John Travolta as a champion dancer in a working-class dead-end job who spends his weekends dancing and drinking at a local Brooklyn discothèque. The musical drama directed by John Badham was a huge commercial success that helped to popularize disco music around the world and made Travolta a household name. The Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, featuring songs by the Bee Gees, is one of the best-selling soundtracks of all time. Watch a trailer… (1977)

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Roald Amundsen‘s exploration team became the first to reach the South Pole (1911)
  • The Clash released London Calling, an album mix of punk, reggae, rockabilly, ska, New Orleans R&B, pop, lounge jazz, and hard rock, which was ranked #8 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (1979)
  • The Dayton Accord was signed by leaders of Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia ending the bitter three-year Bosnian war (1995)
  • President Bill Clinton watched as hundreds of Palestinian leaders renounced a call for the destruction of Israel (1998)
  • The highest bridge in the world, the Millau viaduct, was officially opened near Millau, France (2004)

And on this day in 1985, Wilma Mankiller became the first woman to be elected chief of a major American Indian tribe, taking office as principal chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

Wilma-Mankiller-amazon author page

For a decade, she revitalized the Nation’s tribal government and improved its education, health and housing. During her tenure the nation’s membership more than doubled, to 170,000. Before sh died at the age of 69, she authored two bestselling autobiographies, Mankiller: A Chief and Her People and Every Day Is a Good Day: Reflections by Contemporary Indigenous Women.

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