Today is Check Your Battery Day in the U.S. Smoke detectors can warn of life threatening situations and give you vital time to get to safety, but they can’t do their job if batteries are dead. Push and hold in the button on your detectors today and listen for a beep to ensure they’re still working for you and your family. (2018)

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Henry Jones of Britain invented self-rising flour (1845)
  • Although the U.S. Congress was against entering World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Lend-Lease Act, which allowed war supplies, food and oil to be shipped to the Allies on loan–more than $50 billion worth (equivalent to $659 billion today) was delivered. (1941)
  • The first album by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Deja Vu, was released w/ Teach Your Children, Our House, and Woodstock as singles (1970)
  • Lithuania declared independence from Soviet Union (1990)
  • Paul McCartney was knighted by Queen Elizabeth for being the most successful musician and composer in popular music history with 60 gold discs and 100 million singles to date, including the most covered song in history — Yesterday — which has nearly 4,000 artists recording it, so far (1997)
  • The International Criminal Court was founded in The Hague (2003)
  • The First female president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, was inaugurated (2006)

And, on this day in 1977, after gunmen held three buildings in Washington, D.C. during a 39-hour siege, all 149 hostages were freed, thanks to ambassadors from 3 Islamic nations—Egypt, Iran, and Pakistan.

3 Ambassadors Hanafi Siege - Fair Use

They courageously intervened with police, reading to the 12 Hanafi Muslim gunmen passages from the Quran to demonstrate Islam’s compassion and mercy, and urging them to surrender. WATCH a video…

And, on this day in 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev became leader of the Soviet Union.

Генеральный секретарь ЦК КПСС М.С. Горбачев

His policies of glasnost (“openness”) and perestroika (“restructuring”) and his negotiations with President Reagan over strategic nuclear arms contributed to the end of the Cold War, ended the Communist Party’s hold on governing, inadvertently led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and won him a Nobel Peace Prize. Born into a Ukrainian-Russian peasant family, Gorbachev still lectures today and is involved in strengthening democratic politics in Russia and elsewhere.