25 years ago today, retired Air Force Col. Eileen Collins became the first woman astronaut to pilot a Space Shuttle when the NASA Discovery shuttle blasted off. She also later became the first woman commander of a Space Shuttle in her distinguished 16-year career with NASA. (1994)

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, granting voting rights to all men regardless of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude,” which still allowed state laws to deny the same rights to women or black citizens who couldn’t afford to pay a poll tax or pass a written test (1870)
  • 125 years ago, Norman Rockwell, the iconic American illustrator, was born (1894)
  • History’s first embryo transfer from one woman to another resulted in a live birth at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, thanks to Dr. John Buster and his research team (1984)
  • Mother Teresa was visited in her home for the sick and dying in Calcutta by the Pope who helped feed the patients; she called it “the happiest day of my life” (1986)
  • The term Open source – to define free software with code structure open to the public, such as Firefox, Android, and Linux, was invented by Christin Peterson (of the Foresight Institute) at a strategy session held in Palo Alto, California (1998)
  • The UK singing sensation Adele reached No.1 on the UK album chart within a week of the release of her debut album, ’19’ (2008)

And Happy 63rd Birthday to Nathan Lane, the comedic actor and writer of stage, film and television.

2018 photo by Btvway, CC license

Born and raised Irish-Catholic in New Jersey, he renamed himself after the character ‘Nathan Detroit’ from the musical Guys and Dolls because there was already a Joseph Lane registered with Actors Equity. His Catholic high school voted him best actor and he moved to New York City to become a success. He is perhaps best known to non-theater goers for his role as Albert, in the Robin Williams film The Birdcage, or for voice work as Timon in The Lion King. (1956)

Lane won Tony Awards for his performances in A Funny Thing That Happened on the Way to the Forum and The Producers. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006, and in 2008 he was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame. CHECK out the DVDs of his work, and a children’s book he authored about his bulldog, Naughty MadelineWATCH an appearance in 2014 with Producers co-star Matthew Broderick…

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