40 years ago today, C-SPAN debuted as its own cable channel as a public service providing unfiltered, gavel-to-gavel coverage of the United States House of Representatives on Capitol Hill. The channel also included nonpartisan coverage of Congressional hearings, White House press conferences and other news events—all supported and paid for by the U.S. cable and satellite TV industry… (1979)

Brian Lamb, C-SPAN’s chairman and former chief executive officer, first conceived the concept of C-SPAN (which stands for Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network) in 1975, while working as the Washington, D.C. bureau chief of the cable industry trade magazine Cablevision.

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • The Supreme Court upheld the eight-hour work day for railroads (1917)
  • Bob Dylan’s debut album was released – Bob Dylan (1962)
  • India and Bangladesh signed a friendship treaty (1972)
  • Crowds cheered as the leaders of West and East Germany met for the first time since the country was divided – Willy Brandt and Willi Stoph (1970)
  • US House of Representatives began daily broadcasts via C-SPAN (1979)
  • The first free elections in 50 years lifted Latvia‘s political opposition (1990)
  • The World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace convened for the second time [see below] (2006)

The First World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for peace took place in Brussels in 2005 with 150 Jewish Rabbis and Muslim Imams participating. The focus of the conference was: “Islam and Judaism as instruments of peace – recognition and respect of others”.

peace-arabic-sculpture-nightThe goals of the meeting included 1) condemning violence perpetrated in the name of religion 2) creation of a dialog and partnership between the two religions 3) facilitate development of peaceful solutions to conflict by influential religious leaders 4) gather these leaders before the media to promote a message of peace.

The Second World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for peace, on this date in 2006, was focused on building trust and confidence necessary for joint projects, creating a forum in which religious leaders can use their influence in conflict resolution, help religious leaders to challenge the misuse of religion in fanaticism, and to create structures to facilitate practical day to day work in prioritized areas. See the final declaration posted on the Hommes de Parole Web site.

And, on this day in 1941, the Tuskegee Airmen, an elite African-American Army unit, was activated—the first to welcome black pilots. After two years of training, the Tuskegee Airmen “Red-Tail Angels” were sent to Europe and proved their mettle as accomplished battle pilots. The name also applied to the navigators, bombardiers, mechanics, instructors, and support personnel for the top-notch pilots. (See Books, DVDs and Memorabilia on Amazon) WATCH an inspiring clip.

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