Good News in History, September 6

Happy 50th birthday to Idris Elba, gentleman of the Order of the British Empire, and exceptional actor. The Hackney-born Elba broke out in two Ridley Scott films, American Gangster and Prometheusbefore locking up a 6-movie deal in the Thor entries into the Marvel Avengers series as Heimdal. He also starred in Pacific RimMandela: Long Walk to Freedom as the South African president, and Beasts of No Nation, for which he received Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations for Best Supporting Actor. READ about his other professions… (1972)

Idris Elba in Berlin 2018 – CC 4.0. Harald Krichel

Outside of acting, Elba completed a 12-month competitive kickboxing training camp, which culminated in his first professional fight—and victory, over the more experienced Lionel Greaves from Holland. He’s also a DJ that releases R&B music under the moniker DJ Big Driis. He also produces music professionally, and runs a record label 7Wallace Music. Talk about a Renaissance man.

MORE Good News On this Day:

The first ship to circumnavigate the world, the Victoria, of Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition, returned to Spain (1522)
Saint Petersburg‘s name was restored to Russia’s second largest city, which had been renamed Leningrad in 1924 (1991)
Musician Sir Bob Geldof was awarded the freedom of his native Dublin after the City Council voted in favor of giving him the accolade in honor of his campaign against world poverty and alleviating debt in Africa (2005)
The California Legislature became the first legislative body in the nation to approve same-sex marriages (2005)
The Turkish president attended an association football match in Armenia after Armenian President Serzh Sarkisyan invited him to become the first Turkish head of state to visit the country since the war (2008)

Happy Birthday to Roger Waters who turns 79 years old today. The singer and bassist co-founded Pink Floyd, and wrote most of the lyrics for their groundbreaking albums. His concert tour, “The Wall Live” is the fifth-highest-grossing tour of all time, earning revenue of more than $458 million.

His 2017-18 world tour, Us + Them, featuring songs from Pink Floyd’s greatest LPs—The Dark Side of The Moon, The Wall, Animals, and Wish You Were Here, plus new songs from his album Is This the Life We Really Want?—has garnered rave reviews with its legendary visual production, typical of any Waters concert. (1943)

And on this day 152 years ago, the first woman ever to vote legally in the U.S. marked her ballot in Laramie, Wyoming. Louisa Swain made history by casting an electoral ballot under a new law giving women full civil and political equality with men.

When the Wyoming territory guaranteed women the right to vote, hold public office, and serve on a jury, it was a full 50 years before the 19th Amendment would give everyone the same rights.

Described as “a gentle white-haired housewife” of 69 years old, she arose early that day and arrived early to the poll, where election workers invited her inside to mark a ballot.

Twenty years after the 1869 law passed, Wyoming sought statehood and it famously refused to enter the Union if women’s suffrage was not upheld. And in 1890, Wyoming officially entered the Union as the 44th state and the first state to guarantee women these rights. (1870)

On this day in 1997, Elton John debuted a new version of ‘Candle In The Wind’ at the funeral of Diana Princess of Wales. Two billion people worldwide watched Elton, who was able to keep his composure while singing the special lyrics for his friend. The track went on to become the biggest selling single of all-time, according to This Day in Music. WATCH the moment…

Happy 55th Birthday to Macy Gray, the raspy-voiced R&B singer known for her international hit single I Try. From her multi-platinum debut album On How Life Is, the song won her a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocalist after peaking at No. 5 on the Billboard chart, and hitting No. 1 in Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland.

2013 photo by Jan Prunk, CC license

Her songs have appeared also on the soundtracks of a half-dozen movies, including Training Day, Spider-Man, and Scary Movie 3, Lackawanna Blues, and For Colored Girls. In 2005, the singer reportedly opened a school—the Macy Gray Music Academy. (1967)

Happy Labor Day… Today marks the 128th Labor Day, celebrated annually as a federal public holiday in the United States to honor the American labor movement and the power of collective action by workers.

Geoffrey Franklin, CC license

Labor unions were essential to the creation of the middle class. Successful union negotiations won the right to overtime pay after a 5-day, 40-hour work week. Canada’s Labour Day is also celebrated on the first Monday of September. (1894)

And 27 years ago today, Cal Ripken Jr. broke Lou Gehrig’s baseball record when he played in his 2,131st consecutive game. Once considered a near-impossible feat, “the streak,” which continued for 2,632 games, earned Cal the nickname, Iron Man.

Ripkin in 1993 by Rdikeman, CC

The televised game, between the Orioles and the California Angels, still ranks as one of the most watched baseball events, with Cal’s kids throwing out the first pitch. In the fifth inning, as it was tallied a full game, the crowds in the stands, the opposing players, and the four umpires gave Ripken a standing ovation lasting more than 22 minutes, one of the longest ovations for any athlete. ESPN never went to a commercial break as Ripken walked around the edge of the entire field to shake hands and give high-fives to fans (watch the moment here). Then, he was asked to give a speech.

“Tonight I stand here, overwhelmed, as my name is linked with the great and courageous Lou Gehrig.. This year has been unbelievable. I’ve been cheered in ballparks all over the country. People not only showed me their kindness, but more importantly, they demonstrated their love of the game of baseball. I give my thanks to baseball fans everywhere…” Later, He authored a motivational book, Get in the Game: 8 Elements of Perseverance That Make the Difference, and a series of young adult fiction books about playing baseball. (1995)

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