80 years ago today, baseball’s Joe DiMaggio began his historic 56-game hitting streak—getting at least one hit in the next 56 consecutive games—a Major League record that still stands today and has been described as unbreakable.
During the streak, which ended on July 17, ‘Joltin’ Joe’ hit .408 with 15 home runs and 55 runs batted in—and struck out only five times. The closest anyone has come to equaling the 27-year-old’s feat is Pete Rose in 1978, with hits in 44 straight games. Experts consider DiMaggio’s streak to be uniquely outstanding and a statistical near-impossibility.
The Yankees went on to win the World Series that year (and 9 more with DiMaggio on their team), but just as important, the 2-month streak served as a distraction from World War II, which was raging in Europe. It “gave America just what it needed: something apart from woe and war to talk about—a summer craze.” WATCH an awesome video tribute… (1941)
The iconic photo above shows Joe, the son of an Italian immigrant fisherman, kissing his bat following the end of his famous streak.
MORE Good News on this Day:
- Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton formed the National Woman Suffrage Association in New York City to campaign for a constitutional amendment to grant a woman’s right to vote (1869)
- Nylon stockings, the new synthetic hosiery was first sold to the public, after debuting in a glitzy display at the New York World’s Fair—and by the time the product hit store shelves demand was so high that women bought all four million pairs in four days (1940)
- Bob Dylan’s single Subterranean Homesick Blues peaked at No.39 in the US charts, giving Dylan his first US top 40 hit– a song John Lennon was reported to find so captivating that he didn’t know how he’d be able to write a song that could compete with it (1965)
- Edith Cresson became France’s first female prime minister (1991)
- California became the second U.S. state (after Massachusetts) to legalize same-sex marriage after the state’s own Supreme Court rules a previous ban unconstitutional (2008)
- Jessica Watson became at 16, the youngest person to sail, non-stop and unassisted around the world solo (2010)
And, on this day in 1928, Mickey Mouse made his debut, appearing with Minnie Mouse in the animated short, Plane Crazy. The squeaky-voiced character created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks was dressed in red shorts, large yellow shoes, and white gloves. Mickey Mouse is now one of the world’s most recognizable characters, having appeared in over 130 (mostly short, but some feature) films—including Fantasia—and many cartoons.
116 years ago today, Las Vegas was officially founded as a city, when 110 acres was auctioned to ready buyers, and later became downtown.
With the revenue coming down both railways that intersected there, the area of Las Vegas was quickly growing. At that time, several parts of the valley contained artesian wells—which is why it was named Las Vegas, “the meadows,” in Spanish.
As a stopover on the rail line between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, urbanization took off in 1931 when work started on the Boulder Dam (now the Hoover Dam), bringing a huge influx of young male workers, for whom theaters and casinos were built. Electricity from the dam also enabled the building of many new hotels along the Strip. (1905)
Happy 51st Birthday to Emmitt Smith, the NFL running back who became Football’s all-time leading rusher during his 15-year career—and later bested opponents on the third season of Dancing with the Stars. Known for his 13 years with the Dallas Cowboys (and two final seasons with the Cardinals), the Pensacola, Florida native retired in 2004 with a record 18,355 rushing yards, eight Pro Bowl appearances, and three Super Bowl Championship rings.WATCH his NFL career highlights… (1969)
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