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Good News in History, November 2

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6 years ago today, the longest World Series drought ended in the most spectacular fashion when the Chicago Cubs came back from 3 games to 1 against the Cleveland Indians to win the series on the final day, becoming the first team in 40 years to do so down by such a margin. On November 4th, the city of Chicago held a victory parade and rally for the Cubs that began at Wrigley Field, headed down Lake Shore Drive, and ended in Grant Park. The city estimated that over five million people attended the parade and rally, which made it one of the largest recorded gatherings in history. READ about the rest of that wonderful season… (2016)

CC 2.0. Arturo Pardavila III

Highlights of the season included a no-hitter pitched by Jake Arrieta. The Cubs finished with the best record in Major League Baseball, while also reaching the 100-win mark for the first time since 1935; finishing the season with 103, the most in franchise history going back over 100 years.

Other highlights include Catcher Willson Contreras hitting a first-pitch home run, at his first at-bat in the majors, a June 27th game against the Reds in which Kris Bryant hit three home runs, and a July 31st walkoff bunt RBI from none other than starter Jon Lester, owner of a career batting average of 0.064%

Their defense was the stingiest in the MLB, allowing just 3.37 runs per game, the majors’ lowest by three-tenths of a run.

They defeated the San Francisco Giants in the National League Division Series and returned to the National League Championship Series for the second year in a row, where they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games.

More Good News on this Date:

  • The BBC Television Service was launched by the British Broadcasting Corporation—the world’s first continuous, broadcast-quality TV service (1936)
  • The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CBC, was established (1936)
  • Martin Luther King Day, a national holiday to honor the Civil Rights hero, was signed into U.S. law by President Ronald Reagan (1983)
  • Hostage David Jacobsen was freed after 17 months captivity by Islamic Jihad (1986)
  • The International Space Station became a home for the first time as an American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts arrived for a four-month stay–and it has been continuously occupied since then (2000)

22 years ago today the first residents arrived at the International Space Station.

The three-person crew, American commander Bill Shepherd and two Russians, were launched to the space station on a Russian Soyuz rocket and stayed aboard the station for 136 days. It inaugurated an uninterrupted human presence on board which, so far, has hosted 244 astronauts, cosmonauts, and space tourists from 19 different nations, including 153 Americans, 50 Russians, 9 Japanese, 8 Canadians, 5 Italians, 3 Germans and 1 Brazilian.

The largest artificial object in space today, it orbits 250 miles (400km) above Earth, circling it roughly every 93 minutes, completing 15.5 orbits per day. The windows are covered during night hours to give the impression of darkness because the station experiences 16 sunrises and sunsets per day.

The ISS is run and funded by a multinational collaboration between NASA and four other space agencies in Russia, Japan, Europe, and Canada. Governed by international treaties, the station serves as a microgravity and research laboratory where scientific experiments are conducted in astrobiology, astronomy, meteorology, physics, and other fields.(2000)

LOOK: International Space Station Photobombs Solar Eclipse (Stunning NASA Pics)

102 years ago today, KDKA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania started broadcasting as the first commercially licensed radio station in the United States.

350px-KDKA_microphone_cc-Djembayz
Photo by Djembayz, CC license

After building a transmitter for the company, Westinghouse employee Frank Conrad listened as colleagues broadcast the US presidential election returns from a shack on the roof. It was reportedly heard as far away as Canada. By the way, Republican Warren G. Harding won the election that night, on his 55th birthday. (1920) 

And, on this day in 1957, the Levelland UFO Case occurred in Texas, with 15 separate people reporting sightings of blue lights or an oblong craft that would disengage—and, then, reengage—nearby cars.

Plasma Ball of Light by Sean Stayte, CC license

The stories were taken seriously once the local sheriff saw the object himself. One of the most impressive UFO cases in American history, the Air Force spent seven hours investigating and concluded it was ‘ball lightening’, even though there was no storm in the area at the time, and the phenomenon has no reported ability to stall car batteries. TV Reporter Richard Rey of KDFW-TV produced a 40th anniversary story for which he interviewed the sheriff’s wife and recounted the bizarre tale of what happened that night on the plains of Texas. (WATCH it here)

62 years ago today, while campaigning for president, John F. Kennedy proposed “a peace corps” consisting of “talented men and women” who would dedicate themselves to the progress of developing nations overseas. He was quickly encouraged by more than 25,000 letters responding to his call.

After his inauguration, President Kennedy took immediate action to turn the campaign promise into reality, making the Peace Corps volunteer program an independent U.S. agency. Since its inception, more than a quarter of a million Americans have volunteered—serving in 141 countries abroad for a period of two years, with three months of training. (1960)

And, on this day 288 years ago, Daniel Boone, the American pioneer, explorer, and politician was born. His frontier exploits made him one of the first folk heroes of the United States. Although he also became a businessman, soldier and politician who represented three different counties in the Virginia General Assembly, Boone is most famous for his exploration and settlement of what is now Kentucky.

He blazed the Wilderness Road from North Carolina and Tennessee through the mountains of Cumberland Gap into Kentucky. There, he founded the village of Boonesborough, in Kentucky, one of the first American settlements west of the Appalachians. Before the end of the 18th century, more than 200,000 Americans migrated to Kentucky/Virginia by following the route marked by Boone.

He was a legend in his own lifetime, especially after accounts of his adventures were published in 1784, framing him as the typical American frontiersman—and, later, inspiring many heroic tall tales and works of fiction.

Despite the theme song of a television show (1964–1970) that described Boone as a “big man” in a “coonskin cap”—the “rippin’est, roarin’est, fightin’est man the frontier ever knew”, the lyrics did not describe the real Boone. He was not a big man and did not wear a coonskin cap. (1734)

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