110 years ago today, Charles Curtis, a Kansas attorney from the Kaw nation, became the first person with significant Native American ancestry to be elected as a US Senator. He later served as President pro tem of the Senate and became vice-president in 1929, serving with President Herbert Hoover. (1907)
MORE Good News on this Date:
- Elizabeth Blackwell, in New York, became the first woman doctor in US (1849)
- The first bridge over the Mississippi River opened in Minnesota (1855)
- The 24th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified prohibiting election day poll taxes (1964)
- A peace accord was reached between US & Vietnam (1973)
- National Handwriting Day in the USA was established on John Hancock’s birthday (1977)
- Sweden became the first nation to ban aerosol sprays protecting the Earth’s ozone layer (1978)
- The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted its first members: Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, James Brown, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis (1986)
- The US Patent & Trademark Office revoked four key patents held by the pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences on a previously-known drug, paving the way for cheap generic HIV/AIDS medicine for the developing world (2008)
Happy 66th Birthday to Captain Chesley Sullenberger who, seven years ago, safely landed a jet airliner in the Hudson River saving all 155 passengers on board and sparing those on the ground. The plane hit a flock of birds right after takeoff that knocked out both engines while 3,000 feet in the air. The Captain is retired from aviation now, but works as an author, speaker, and consultant.
In response to worldwide celebration of the incident he said, “I realized how this event had touched people’s lives, how ready they were for good news, how much they wanted to feel hopeful again,” said Sully afterward. “We’ve had a worldwide economic downturn, and people are just so ready for good news. They want to feel reassured that all the things we value, all our ideals, still exist.”
Actor Tom Hanks played him in “Sully,” a recent film about the event, which came to be known as the “Miracle on the Hudson”.