Good News On This Day in History – February 26

30 years ago today, Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web, introduced the first useful web browser. It was released first to a group of physicists, but soon it spread to geeks using computers around the world.

Renamed Nexus, it was the first program to use both FTP (file transfer protocol) and HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol), another Berners-Lee invention. HTTP simplified the linkup between you and server, making the transfer of text and images a seamless process—and the web took off. The source code was released into the public domain on in 1993, after Mosaic became a popular alternative.

LEARN about the new startup company launched by Berners-Lee that allows consumers to control their own data… (1991)

His company, Inrupt.com, allows the data to be stored in ‘pods’ and the user can then give access to any company they like. He came up with ‘Solid,’ the open-sourced web-based system, while teaching at MIT. Inrupt’s new customers include large corporations and government entities, like the BBC—which will use it to deliver services to viewers—and Britain’s National Health System which is putting health data into pods “so that when someone shows up at a hospital, all their health history will show up with them.”

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • The Grand Teton National Park was created (1929)
  • Singer-songwriter Michael Bolton, who sold more than 75 million records—including two No.1 pop ballads (How Am I Supposed to Live Without You) and 8 albums on the top 10 charts (Time, Love & Tenderness)—was born in Connecticut (1953)
  • United Nations proclaimed the vernal equinox as Earth Day (1971)
  • The Church of England voted for ordination of women priests (1987)
  • Free Nicaraguan elections toppled the Sandinistas (1990)
  • Tim Berners-Lee introduced the world’s first web browser (1991)
  • Kuwait was liberated by 30 Gulf War Allied countries after 208 days of Iraqi occupation, as Saddam Hussein withdrew his troops (1991)
  • The US lifted a 23-year ban on travel to Libya (2004)
  • Egypt‘s President Mubarak ordered multi-candidate elections to be legal (2005)

89 years ago today, Johnny Cash was born. The American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and author was widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century and one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 90 million records worldwide. Although primarily remembered as a country music icon, his genre-spanning songs embraced rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk, and gospel. This crossover appeal won Cash a rare honor: multiple inductions in the Country Music, Rock and Roll, and Gospel Music Halls of Fame. Known for his calm, deep bass-baritone voice, his rebelliousness, and free prison concerts, his trademark look later earned him the nickname “The Man in Black.” He traditionally began his concerts with the simple “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash,” and featured his signature songs, I Walk the Line, Folsom Prison Blues, Ring of Fire, and A Boy Named Sue. (1932)

51 years ago today, National Public Radio was founded in the US—established by an act of Congress—as a nonprofit media network, so producers can focus on creating quality news and entertainment, rather than making money. Publicly and privately funded through universities, memberships, and donations, NPR serves 1,000 public radio stations today. Broadcaster Susan Stamberg was the first woman to anchor a national nightly news program in America, co-hosting All Things Considered, one of the most popular radio programs in the country. (1970)

Photo by Paul Fundenburg, CC license

102 years ago today, the Grand Canyon was proclaimed a National Park by the US Congress. The steep-sided mile-deep canyon carved by the Colorado River in Arizona was first visited in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt who became a major proponent of its preservation. Opponents such as land and mining claim holders blocked the efforts for 11 years, but the Grand Canyon—277 miles long (446 km), and 18 miles wide (29 km)—was finally established as the 17th U.S. National Park. For 12,000 years, the area has been continuously inhabited by the Native American Pueblo people who consider this a holy site. WATCH a video that takes you down in the canyon… (1919)

 

Also, 105 years ago today, Jackie Gleason–the comedian, actor, and musician whose style and characters grew out of his childhood in Brooklyn, New York–was born. He was known for his brash, physical comedy style, exemplified by his character Ralph Kramden in the beloved television series The Honeymooners.

Jackie_Gleason-1966-The HustlerHe was 8 when his father left the family and 19 when his mother died, but he soon was earning money in pool halls and on stage as an entertainer. His self-produced TV variety show, The Jackie Gleason Show, earned the second-highest ratings in America in 1954-1955. Among his notable film roles were Minnesota Fats in the Academy Award-winning 1961 drama The Hustler (co-starring with Paul Newman), and Buford T. Justice in the Smokey and the Bandit series.

Gleason was an amateur musician who produced more than a dozen romantic best-selling “mood music” LPs. The band leader for several of them, Bobby Hackett, said, “Jackie knows a lot more about music than people give him credit for. I have seen him conduct a 60-piece orchestra and detect one discordant note in the brass section. He would immediately stop the music and locate the wrong note. It always amazed the professional musicians how a guy who technically did not know one note from another could do that. And he was never wrong.” Nearly all of Gleason’s albums are still available and have been re-released on compact disks. Watch a tribute from ABC News following his death in 1987 at age 71… (1916)

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