Good News in History, February 27

4 years ago today, the smallest baby boy ever born that would survive to leave the hospital went home in Tokyo with his mom, having been born just 9.45 ounces, or 268 grams. He was born as small as a baby kitten at 24 weeks after doctors discovered he was not growing in the womb at all. At a neonatal intensive care unit, his weight eventually increased 15x, and he was released at around 7 pounds, two months after his initially hypothesized due date. READ a bit more… (2019) 

In developed nations, the survival rate for babies born this small is actually 90%, a most remarkable advance in medicine, although it’s more common for baby girls than for baby boys to pull through.

The previous record for the smallest baby was held by a boy in Germany who, in 2009, was born weighing 274 grams, according to the University of Iowa’s Tiniest Babies registry.

MORE Good News on this Date:

The first Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana was celebrated (1827)
The Dominican Republic gained independence from Haiti (1844)
Happy 91st birthday to Academy Award-winning actress, producer, and philanthropist Joanne Woodward, who was married to Paul Newman for 50 years, until his death in 2008 (1930)
Dominica gained independence from the UK (1967)
The U.S. Senate allowed its debates to be televised for the first time (1986)
Divorce became legal in Ireland (1997)
Nigerian voters flocked to polls to elect a civilian president to end 15 years of military rule (1999)
Alicia Keys won five Grammy Awards for her debut album, Songs in A Minor (2002)

Happy 123rd birthday to Die Roten—FC Bayern Munich! The “Stars of the South” are the most successful German football club in history, winning the Bundesliga 31 times, as well as 14 major international trophies. Bayern is the only club to have won all three major European competitions—and it won three consecutive European Cups and the treble (league, domestic cup, and international cup) twice.

Apart from today’s near monopolistic dominance, the greatest period for the club was in the mid-70s under the captaincy of Franz Beckenbauer in defense, and by the swift Gerd Müller up front.

When Germany beat Brazil and then Argentina to win the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the starting squad contained 6 members of the Bayern Munich team, with a 7th coming on as a substitute after extra time to score the winner.

In the 2019-2020 season, Bayern Munich won the UEFA Champions League under manager Hansi Flick for the sixth time in their history while epitomizing the dominance of one of the modern styles of football—one of physicality and passion, pioneered by Flick and other German and Austrian coaches like Jürgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel, whose Liverpool and Chelsea teams won the Champions League in the years either side of Bayern.

Bayern’s victory set a record as the only team in history to win all thirteen games on the way to the final, which saw them beating previous year’s finalists Tottenham Hotspur, and the Greek champions Olympiacos in the group stage’s six matches, then winning home and away at Chelsea, Barcelona, and Lyon, before beating PSG in the final.

WATCH the 100 best goals scored by the German giants… (1900)

27 years ago today, the world of Pokémon went public, emerging from the mind of game designer Satoshi Tajiri onto Nintendo Gameboy systems. In the six years it took to create the game and its first three “pocket monsters” (Bulbasaur, Squirtle and Charmander), Tajiri’s Game Freak studio nearly went out of business, but the little creatures—some disarmingly cute, like, Pikachu—would take the world by storm and handheld Gameboys would assume a second life.

Players, known as Pokémon Trainers, catch the many varied Pokémon creatures each with unique strengths and weaknesses and battle each other for sport, both electronically with the Nintendo system and with trading cards between friends. To this day, Pokémon thrives, with anime episodes (1000 total), live trading card game tournaments, toy store merchandise and apps—all worth $90 billion in total revenue. The Pokémon GO app uses your phone to augment reality, allowing you to hunt for Pokémon in the real world. (1996)

83 years ago today, Carbon-14 was discovered by American chemists Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben at the University of California Radiation Laboratory in Berkeley. It became the basis of radiocarbon dating for determining the age of any archaeological or geological sample. It had a profound impact on archaeology, permitting more accurate dating and allowed key transitions in prehistory to be dated, such as the end of the last ice age, and the beginning of the Neolithic and Bronze Age in various regions. (1940)

Photo by Russell Mondy, CC license

121 years ago today, John Steinbeck, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author whose novels included The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, and Of Mice and Men, was born in Salinas, California. He won the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature “for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humor and keen social perception.” Before his death at age 66, he authored 27 books, including 16 novels, six non-fiction books, and two collections of short stories. He is widely known for the comic novels Tortilla Flat and Cannery RowWATCH a Biography video… (1902)

And, 30 years ago today, Whitney Houston was crowned the longest-ever chart-topping artist after I Will Always Love You hit 14 weeks at No. 1 in the U.S. A favorite at weddings, the romantic ballad was written by Dolly Parton 20 years earlier. Houston recorded her version of the song for the 1992 film The Bodyguard. It was one of the best-selling singles of all time, and holds the record for being the biggest single by a woman in music history. WATCH a powerful 1994 live performance… (1993)

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