Good News in History, August 11

On this day in the year 3,114 BCE, the incredibly sophisticated “Long Count” calendar of the Mayan and other Mesoamerican people began, which is supposed by archeologists to be the supposed creation date when “Raised-Up-Sky-Lord” built ground at “Lying-Down-Sky,” and “First-Three-Stone-Place.” Without clever explanation or prior knowledge, the Long Count is difficult to explain, but essentially the units of time are almost all counted in sets of twenty rather than ten (10 years in a decade, 10 decades in a century, 10 centuries per millennium) like the Gregorian calendar. READ about how 2012 was a major blunder… (3,114 BCE)

The left column gives a Long Count date of, or 156 CE.

Misinterpretation of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar was the basis for a popular belief that a cataclysm would take place on December 21, 2012. December 21, 2012 was simply the day that the calendar went to the next “bʼakʼtun,” or group of 394 years, at Long Count The date of the start of the next b’ak’tun (Long Count is March 26, 2407. The date of the start of the next piktun (a complete series of 20 bʼakʼtuns), at Long Count, is October 13, 4772.

Indeed the Mayan calendar accounts for cycling far longer than anyone might have imagined practical, and it remains to be seen if there are cosmological changes associated with the larger time units of Piktun (7,885 solar years) or Kalabtun (157,704 solar years) or even Kʼinchiltun (3,154,071 solar years).

MORE Good News on this Day:

The Eiger in the Bernese Alps was ascended for the first time by Charles Barrington accompanied by Christian Almer and Peter Bohren, who climbed the West face (1858)
The city of Florence was liberated from Nazi occupation by Canadian and British troops in Italy (1944)
Chad declared its independence (1960)
The last U.S. ground combat unit departed South Vietnam (1972)

66 years ago today, Elvis Presley released his first double-sided mega-hit record. It featured Don’t Be Cruel on one side and Hound Dog on the other. The singles went to No.1 and No.2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, where they stayed at the top for 11 weeks—and set a record that would not be broken for 36 years.

With a combined 55 weeks in the Top 100, not even The Beatles, had a double-sided hit that could challenge the cumulative chart performance of this 45-rpm record.

Hound Dog was named No.19 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time—and is one of the best-selling singles of all time. LISTEN to the hits… (1956)

Also, Happy Birthday to Joe Rogan, the stand-up comedian, television and podcasting host who turns 55 years old today.

A retired martial artist and fan of comedy since his youth in New Jersey, his podcast The Joe Rogan Experience– became one of the most popular shows on iTunes, with 16 million downloads a month. Rogan released his first comedy special in 2000 and has hosted several television shows, including Fear Factor… (1967)

And, on this day 113 years ago, Leo Fender, the inventor of the Telecaster electric guitar—the first mass-produced electric guitar—was born.

Photo by Mr. Littlehand, CC license

His 1954 Fender Stratocaster (pictured, left) became one of the world’s most iconic electric guitars and the Precision Bass (right) set the standard for electric bass guitars. (1909–1991)

And, on this day in 1929, Babe Ruth became the first baseball player to hit 500 career home runs. Playing in Cleveland, Ohio, a local boy got $20 and an autograph from The Bambino himself for returning the ball that was catapulted out of League Park onto Lexington Ave.

The Sultan of Swat’ went on to set many baseball records with his legendary power, including most home runs, with a career tally of 714—a record that stood for 44 years.

And, Happy 39th Birthday to Chris Hemsworth, the Australian actor best known for playing the superhero Thor in the Marvel Avengers film series. He also starred recently in Men in Black International. WATCH a compilation of Chris’s funniest moments… (1983)

Also, Happy 59th Birthday to Viola Davis, the award-winning actress who rose out of abject poverty in South Carolina. Her magnificent 2011 performance in The Help, playing a maid in the 1960s, earned her an Oscar nomination.

Photo by Mr. Littlehand, CC license

After she won an Academy Award (for Fences), an Emmy, and a Tony Award (twice), she became the first black actress to achieve the Triple Crown of Acting.

The Emmy was awarded for the TV drama series How to Get Away with Murder and in 2018 she earned a BAFTA nomination for starring in the heist film Widows. WATCH clips of her top ten performances(1965)

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