On this day 208 years ago, Charles Darwin, the Father of evolutionary science whose 1859 book The Origin of Species first introduced the concept of natural selection, was born. He learned the art of taxidermy from a freed black slave before studying at Christ’s College in Cambridge. While studying the adaptations of finches on a Galapagos island, he first observed the signs of evolution. (1809)

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Women gained the right to vote in the Utah Territory (1870)
  • First indoor ice rink in North America opened in Madison Square Garden (1879)
  • The 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, was born (1809)
  • Abraham Lincoln‘s birthday was declared a national holiday (1892)
  • The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded (1909)
  • The first stone of the Lincoln Memorial is set into place in Washington, D.C. (1914)
  • George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, a mix of classical music with jazz effects written for piano and jazz band, premiered in New York City (1924)
  • Construction on the Gateway Arch began in St. Louis (1963)
  • Author Judy Blume, especially known as a writer of stories for adolescents, was born (1963)
  • Al Green topped the US singles chart for the only time with Let’s Stay Together’, which was ranked by Rolling Stone magazine as the 60th greatest song of all time (1972)

Dyan shakes Obama's hand


PBS television aired In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement, a concert to honor Black History month. Bob Dylan performed his 1964 anthem, The Times They Are a Changin’ for the first time in 30 years and President Obama joined the likes of Smokey Robinson and Joan Baez on stage to sing the finale, Lift Every Voice. Watch two video highlights from the show here. (2010)