Good News in History, January 17

Happy Birthday to America’s beloved comedic actress Betty White, who turns 99 years-old today. The sassy senior and avid animal lover quipped this week, “Since I am turning 99, I can stay up as late as I want.” The AP reports this week that her quarantine birthday plans include feeding the ducks on her property in L.A. and eating her favorite food—a hot dog and French fries—brought in every year, with a bouquet of roses, by her longtime friend and agent, Jeff Witjas.

Most remembered for her television roles in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Golden Girls, and Hot in Cleveland, she won 7 Emmy awards—and, at 88 years old, an eighth Emmy for her hosting of Saturday Night Live.

She’s also the author of two memoirs, If You Ask Me, and Here We Go Again: My Life In Television.

WATCH her 2018 Emmy Awards acceptance speech… (1922)

– 2010 photo by David Shankbone


MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Statesman and inventor Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston (1706)
  • James Cook became the first to cross the Antarctic Circle (1773)
  • Joni Mitchell released her album Court and Spark, with hits like Free Man in Paris, Help Me, and Raised on Robbery (1974)
  • 37 years ago today, the US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the private use of home VCRs to tape TV programs did not violate federal copyright laws (1984)
  • Israel handed over its military headquarters in the West Bank city of Hebron to the Palestinians, ending 30 years of occupation there (1997)

Happy 75th Birthday to William ‘Poogie’ Hart, the R&B singer who co-founded The Delfonics in the 1960s. One of the pioneers of the Philly soul sound, he wrote hits like, La-La Means I Love You, Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time), and Ready or Not Here I Come. (1945)

And, Happy 41st Birthday to actress and singer-songwriter Zooey Deschanel. She is best known for her deadpan roles in comedy films such as Elf, Failure to Launch, Yes Man, 500 Days of Summer, and Our Idiot Brother. She also recently starred on the popular Fox sitcom New Girl (2011–2018) for which she received nominations for an Emmy Award and three Golden Globes.

2018 photo released by the office of Mayor Eric Garcetti; CC license

Deschanel had performed in a jazz cabaret act, before joining M. Ward to form She & Him. They released six albums together and Zooey earned a Grammy nomination for Best Song Written for Visual Media with So Long, a tune featured in the 2011 film soundtrack for Winnie the Pooh. She plays keyboards, percussion, banjo, and ukulele—and co-founded a website, HelloGiggles, which was acquired by Time, Inc. five years ago. CHECK OUT clips from her top ten movies… (1980)

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