Happy 80th Birthday to Judy Blume the writer of children’s books and young adult fiction. Her titles, including ‘Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret’ and ‘Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing,’ have sold over 82 million copies and been translated into 32 languages. Samantha Bee, Molly Ringwald, and other celebs gathered last week to honor the iconic New Jersey author who has been named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress for her appeal spanning several generations of adolescent readers. (1938)

(Photo of Blume in 2009 by Carl Lender, CC)

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)
  • 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)

Also, on this day in 2010, PBS television aired In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement.

Dyan shakes Obama's hand

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.

And, on this day in 1809, Charles Darwin, the Father of evolutionary science whose 1859 book The Origin of Species introduced the concept of natural selection, was born.

charles_darwin.jpg

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.

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