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Good News in History, October 12

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3 years ago, Eliud Kipchoge completed the first ever sub-2-hour marathon in history when he crossed the finish line in Vienna. Long considered a possible yet near-mythical feat of athletics, Eliud dedicated his effort, which came in at 1 hour 59 minutes 40 seconds, to an attempt to ensure no human being ever feels limited. He described it as like the first man on the moon, both in scale of achievement, and in scale of hope for future generations. READ more…

Eliud Kipchoge after his win – CC 2.0. Michael Gubi

In 2018 Eliud had tried to break the record in Monza, Italy, as part of a special race designed to see if someone could log a sub-2-hour marathon. However it was partially-assisted, and wasn’t overseen by World Athletics.

In 2019, Eliud completed an incredible 21 kilometers in just 59 minutes. The President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta tweeted out “Hearty congratulations @EliudKipchoge. You’ve done it, you’ve made history and made Kenya proud while at it. Your win today, will inspire tens of future generations to dream big and to aspire for greatness. We celebrate you and wish you God’s blessings.” – President Kenyatta.

More Good News on this Day:

  • The song, Three Blind Mice, was published by London teenager, Thomas Ravenscroft (1609)
  • Blondie performed at CBGB’s in New York City, under the name ‘Blondie’ for the first time—derived from comments shouted by passing truck drivers (1974)
  • Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore was named co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, along with the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, for “their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations to counteract such change,” after just releasing his book Earth in the Balance and documentary film An Inconvenient Truth (2007)
  • The Botswana High Court overturned a customary law that prevented women from inheriting the family home, calling it “an unacceptable system of male domination” that contravened the constitution, which guarantees equality (2012)
Color Photo by Matěj Baťha, shows the “Alps champion” 1913 Audi C, in the August Horch Museum, CC license

And, on this day in 1868, the German engineer and auto pioneer August Horch was born. After working for Karl Benz, he founded the manufacturing giant that would become Audi—and his cars were winning races in Europe before there even was a Model T. His autobiography, published in 1937 was titled, I Built Cars (Ich Baute Autos).

42 years ago today, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a humorous science fiction book by Douglas Adams, was published. It became an international multi-media phenomenon after the novels were widely distributed and translated into more than 30 languages. The story follows the misadventures of the last surviving man, Arthur Dent, following the demolition of planet Earth who is is rescued via spacecraft by Ford Prefect—a human-like alien writer for the eccentric, electronic travel guide The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. (1979)

211 years ago today, the first Oktoberfest was held when Bavarian royalty invited the citizens of Munich to join together in celebration at the marriage of the Crown Prince.

The outcome was so successful, they decided to celebrate every year—though there have been cancellations due to war, and in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Photo by Markburger83, CC license

The German folk festival runs in early October for 16-18-days, with more than six million people from around the world attending the event, drinking more than 60,000 barrels of Oktoberfest beer. (1810)

(Left, 1972) Allan warren; (Right, 2013) Jansroos – CC licenses

51 years ago today, Jesus Christ Superstar, the rock opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, opened on Broadway—a musical story told entirely though song, with no spoken dialogue.

Loosely based on the biblical account of the last week of Jesus’s life—but with psychological and social commentary—the play was nominated for five Tony Awards, and starred Jeff Fenholt as Jesus, and Ben Vereen as Judas.

Initially unable to get funding for a stage production, the composers released it as a rock opera concept album musical. The success of the LP proved its viability and led to its Broadway debut. By 1980, the concert-like play had grossed more than $237 million worldwide. Running for over eight years in London between 1972 and 1980 it held the record for longest-running West End musical until it was overtaken by Cats. (1971)

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