Good News in History, January 8

Good News in History, January 8



Happy 75th birthday to Stephen Hawking, the English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author. His popular science book, A Brief History of Time, was on a British best-seller list for a record-breaking 237 weeks. (1942)

His scientific works include the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, often called Hawking radiation. He was the first to set forth a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics.

Hawking has a rare early-onset, slow-progressing form of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) that has gradually paralyzed him over the decades. He uses a single cheek muscle to communicate through a speech-generating device. (CC photo, 2015, by John Cairns)

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Monaco gained its independence (1297); French people voted to grant Algeria its independence after 7 years of a guerrilla war (1961)
  • The African National Congress was founded (1912)
  • David Bowie, the rock star who reinvented popular music with singles such as “Space Oddity” and “Starman” was born (1947)
  • Bobby Fischer, 14, won the US Chess Championship (1958)
  • Ella Grasso became Governor of Connecticut, the first woman Governor in the US who did not succeed her husband (1975)
  • Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov leaves for Mir, where he would stay on the space station until March 22, 1995 — a record 437 days in space (1994)

Elvis Presleys birthplace in Tupelo


And, also on this day,  Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi. Musically inspired in a local church, he moved to Memphis with his mother, Gladys, and recorded his first song at 19 for Sun Records. He quickly became a chart-topping artist tapping a wide mix of influences across color lines, and the best-selling solo act in the history of recorded music. (1935) (Pictured:the 2-room house his father built in preparation for the birth)

monty-Python-Graham Chapman-publicity-shot


Also born on this day, Graham Chapman, the English comedian, writer, actor, and founding member of Monty Python who gave up a looming medical career to become a comedian. He was thought to be the best actor in the Python group, and played the lead role in two of their films, Holy Grail and Life of Brian. Also notable, he replaced the toaster in one of their most famous comedy sketches with a dead Norwegian Blue parrot. Watch some memorable moments from Chapman and Monty Python… (1941-1989)