Good News on This Day in History

And 35 years ago today, the Soviets launched the space station Mir, and with it, a new phase in space exploration. Mir, which means both peace and world in Russian, would provide the home base for a permanently manned international complex orbiting the Earth– and was occupied for 10 years of its 15 in orbit.Mir space station in orbit

Launched on this day was the first part of the orbiting laboratory–the main module that included the crew quarters, with airlocks for docking and more. In later years, new modules would be added to expand the Mir space station, including a US-built space shuttle docking port in the mid 1990s.Mir space station

Astronauts and cosmonauts from a dozen different countries lived aboard and did research on Mir. In 2001, its duties were done and it was burned in a controlled deorbit in the atmosphere, making way for the new International Space Station, built cooperatively by a host of advanced countries around the world. (1986)

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • The phonograph was patented by Thomas Edison *Footnote: Did you know Thomas Jefferson believed all of society should benefit from technology, so he never patented any of his numerous inventions? (1878)
  • Britain, Turkey and Greece agreed to grant Cyprus its independence (1959)
  • Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique was published, relaunching the Feminist Movement in the United States and causing women’s organizations and consciousness-raising groups to spread (1963)
  • Paul Simon wrote The Sounds of Silence, the song that catapulted Simon and Garfunkel to stardom 18 months later (1964)
  • The Rolling Stones played for 1.3 million people, the largest public performance ever, in Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2006)


And, 36 years ago today, William J. Schroeder became the first artificial heart recipient to be discharged from a hospital. He was a hero to medical science for his willingness to be the second patient to get the Jarvik-7, after the first one died. Today, the modern version of the device has been implanted in more than 1,350 people as a bridge to transplantation. (1985)

And, 53 years ago today, the children’s show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood debuted on public television. Created by Fred Rogers, a Presbyterian minister who was displeased with the way television addressed children, the show was produced at WQED-TV in Pittsburgh with new episodes every weekday on PBS for 33 years.

Mr. Rogers, who projected a kind-hearted, grandfatherly personality, not only hosted and wrote the show, but as a musician composed the music. Rogers (1928-2003) was the recipient of 2 Peabody Awards, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and 4 Emmy Awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Even today, a number of PBS stations in America choose to continue airing the syndicated reruns, many of which taught children that feelings are ‘mentionable and manageable’. Full episodes can be viewed on YouTube, you can read books written by Rogers… and you can see Tom Hanks playing Fred Rogers in the film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. WATCH a great highlight reel… (1968)


Happy 81st Birthday to the “King of Motown”, Smokey Robinson. The legendary singer-songwriter and record producer helped establish Motown Records in his hometown of Detroit.

A prolific songwriter still in high school, Robinson met Berry Gordy—who wanted to start a record company—and impressed him with his songs. At age 20, along with his band The Miracles, Smokey recorded his first hit single, Shop Around, which became Motown’s first million-selling record.

2018 Photo by Gage Skidmore, CC license

In just one decade, Smokey produced twenty-six Top 40 hits as the lead singer, songwriter, and producer of the Miracles, including Top 10 singles such as You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me, I Second That Emotion, and The Tears of a Clown. Other hits like Ooo Baby Baby, and The Tracks of My Tears reached the Top 20. He also wrote blockbusters for other Motown artists, like The Temptations hit My Girl.

With deep roots in religious faith, Robinson practices Transcendental Meditation and is still entertaining today, doing live concerts throughout the U.S. He lives with his wife near Pittsburgh where he runs a winery selling varietals under the name Smokey Robinson Wines. WATCH a tribute… (1940)

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