Today is National Science Fiction Day, a date that honors the birth, 98 years ago, of literary sci-fi genius Isaac Asimov. A Russian immigrant in Brooklyn, he taught himself to read at age 5, skipped several grades, and got his high school diploma at 15. He sold his first short story at the age of 19, and became famous for his I, Robot and Foundation series books. (1920)

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Canada and the US agreed on a plan to preserve Niagara Falls (1929)
  • Luis Marín became the first democratically elected Governor of Puerto Rico (1949)
  • A long-isolated China invited a US table tennis team to visit, which led to three decades of diplomatic ties between the two countries. Currently, China and the US are cooperating to an extent unimaginable when relations were first normalized thirty-four years ago  (1979)
  • Sharon Pratt Dixon became mayor of Washington, DC, the first African American woman to lead a major city (1991)
  • Leaders of the three warring factions in Bosnia met to discuss peace plans aimed at ending nine months of fighting in the country (1993)

And, Happy 71st Birthday to Jack Hanna, the American zookeeper and Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, whose media appearances with wild animals on TV – notably for Johnny Carson and David Letterman – have made him one of the most recognizable animal experts in the U.S.

jack-hanna-public-domain-photoHe is also the author of Wild But True: Amazing Animal Facts You Won’t Believe… (1947)