Good News in History, December 31

Good News in History, December 31



On this day 55 years ago, The Marshall Plan expired after distributing $12 billion in foreign aid toward the rebuilding of Europe. It expired on the day of Nobel Peace Prize winner Sec. George Marshall’s birthday. After commanding as a general in WWII, Marshall served as Secretary of State and organized the peacetime rebuilding effort which won him the honor. (1961)

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • The first New Year’s Eve celebration was held in New York City’s Times Square (1904)
  • The civil war in El Salvador ended (1991)
  • The Euro was introduced, while the European Exchange Rate Mechanism froze the value on the legacy currencies of the continent (1998)

Also, on this day in 1987, Belgians and Britons who displayed heroism during the rescue operation of the March 6 Zeebrugge ferry disaster were honored:

A total of 31 people received honors for helping to save an estimated 350 passengers after the Herald of Free Enterprise capsized claiming 193 lives. One of the highest civilian awards for gallantry, the George Medal, was awarded to head waiter Michael Skippen who died trying to get passengers to safety. It also went to Andrew Parker who formed a human bridge to allow others to clamber to safety across him: “I had no thoughts of heroism at all.” (BBC)

And, happy 51st birthday wishes go to writer Nicholas Sparks, author of the international bestseller The Notebook and 17 other novels. Ten of his romantic-drama novels have been adapted for films with multi-million-dollar box office grosses. After growing up in Nebraska and attending the university of Notre Dame, Sparks moved from career to career until age 27 when he was selling pharmaceuticals and wrote The Notebook, which made the New York Times best-seller list in its first week of release. (1965)