Good News On This Day in History – January 21

100 years ago today, Agatha Christie’s first novel was published in the UK, The Mysterious Affair at Styles. The book introduced the character of Hercule Poirot, a bombastic Belgian detective who was one of the British crime writer’s most famous and long-running characters, appearing in 33 novels, 2 plays, and more than 50 short stories.

Inspector Poirot last appeared in Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case, published in 1975—and, with that end, Poirot became the only fictional character to receive an obituary on the front page of The New York Times.

For decades, Agatha Christie found the character to be “insufferable” and “detestable”, yet the public loved him so she refused to kill him off. She believed it was her duty to produce what the public liked. In fact, on the famous ITN television series, the actor David Suchet portrayed Poirot, and his death in the final week was too much for the public who loved him—and is the least–watched episode, with some refusing to view it. WATCH a montage of the show… (1921)

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Albania declared itself a republic (1925)
  • Operatic tenor Placido Domingo, one of the famous trio known as “The Three Tenors,” turns 80 today (1941)
  • U.S. President Jimmy Carter pardoned nearly all American Vietnam War draft evaders, some of whom had emigrated to Canada (1977)
  • Pope John Paul II began his first visit to Cuba (1998)
  • A 72-year-old hardware store was inundated with customers when a grassroots “cash mob” delivered a boost to the local family-owned Ohio business (2012)
  • The Women’s March for civil rights drew more than a million marchers in D.C. and around the U.S. (2017)
Photos from the Kiwanis International on Facebook

106 years ago today, the Kiwanis club was formed in Detroit, Michigan, as a networking group for young professional businessmen, but it turned into so much more. Today, Kiwanis International is in 96 nations with 550,000 members who dedicate themselves to serving children and improving the world.

Joe Prance, a tailor, was the first businessman to say yes to the idea conceived by organizer Allen S. Browne. These days, Kiwanis clubs host nearly 150,000 creative service projects each year, raising more than $100 million annually to support community causes and the Kiwanis Children’s Fund, which fights poverty, improves literacy, and offers mentoring. (1915)

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35 years ago today, the first National Hugging Day was celebrated, founded by a minister and social services worker in Michigan.

The Hugging Day website named “Most Huggable in 2006” Jana Doolittle of Clio, Michigan, a third grade teacher at Carter Elementary who asks her class daily “Does anyone need a hug today?” Watch the popular Free Hugs music video. (1986)

And Happy Birthday to the smart, and sporty actress Geena Davis, who turns 65 today.

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The actress, most known for her role in Thelma and Louise and A League of Their Own, won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for The Accidental Tourist in 1988. The Mensa member who has campaigned for more and better women’s roles in children’s programming also fronts the Women’s Sports Foundation. Davis was one of 300 women who vied for a semifinals berth in the US Olympic archery team and placed 24th just two years after being introduced to the sport. In 2007 she was honored for her work on gender in the media, receiving the Hollywood Hero award – WATCH that video, here.  (1956)

And, on this day in 1968, Jimi Hendrix recorded his version of the Bob Dylan song All Along the Watchtower. Sitting in on the session at Olympic Studios in London, just six months after Dylan’s original recording, were Brian Jones from the Rolling Stones and Dave Mason from Traffic. The single by the Jimi Hendrix Experience peaked at No.20 on the US charts and was ranked 47th in Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. WATCH him perform it live…

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