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Good News in History, October 23



4 years ago today, Chinese president Xi Jinping officially opened the Zhuhai Bridge from the mainland to Hong Kong and Macau—the world’s longest sea-crossing bridge in the world. To call the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge a “bridge” isn’t entirely accurate. In total it consists of three cable-stayed bridges, an undersea tunnel, and four artificial islands, together totaling 55 kilometers across the pearl river estuary. READ more… (2018)

Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge under construction in 2015 – CC 3.0.

Construction began on 15 December 2009, at a projected cost of $18.8 billion. Planning had begun decades before and the idea’s shell came from the Chesapeake Bay Tunnel of Washington D.C./Virginia/Maryland.

The travel time between these three cities has been reduced from 4 hours to 30 minutes.

More Good News on this Date:

  • The first Parliament of Great Britain met (1707)
  • Kansas became a new state, and set up a government outlawing slavery (1855)
  • 25,000 women marched in New York City to demand the right to vote (1915)
  • The UN General Assembly convened for the first time in New York (1946)
  • Hungarians rose in anti-Stalinist revolt demanding an end to Soviet rule (1956)
  • A UN cease-fire ended the Yom Kippur War between Israel and Syria (1973)
  • Israelis and PLO leader Arafat signed land-for-peace deal after talks at Wye River (1998)
  • The IRA commenced decommissioning weapons after peace talks spurred by US President Bill Clinton reached an historic breakthrough (2001)
  • Apple released its first iPod, launching the digital music player revolution with iTunes—before which people carried around “Walkmans”, which could play only a cassette tape with a single LP or mix tape (2001)
Lucy Stone, who helped organize the first eight national conventions

And, on this day in 1850, the first National Women’s Rights Convention in the United States opened in Worcester, Massachusetts. Combining both male and female leadership and attracting a wide base of support including temperance advocates and abolitionists. Speeches promoted equal wages, expanded education and career opportunities, women’s property rights, marriage reform, and, chiefly, the passage of laws that would give women the right to vote. One resolution demanded that the word “male” be stricken from every state constitution. The Convention, held in Brinley Hall, attracted delegates from eleven states, including one delegate from California – a state only a few weeks old.

2012 photo by Cindy Maram / Dig-In-Magazine, CC license

Happy 68th Birthday to Ang Lee, the filmmaker who was a stay-at-home dad before gaining fame for directing the Oscar-winning films Brokeback Mountain and Life of Pi. The Taiwanese director has been nominated for nine Academy Awards, and won three: Best Foreign Language Film for Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Best Director for the other two (beating Steven Spielberg both times and becoming the first non-white person to win the directorial nod). His movies vary wildly from romantic (Sense and Sensibility) to superhero action (Hulk). His 14th feature film, Gemini Man pushed the boundaries of how films are even made. That 2019 sci-fi thriller starring Will Smith used an unprecedented trio of cinematic tech including shooting in 3-D, the use of a much higher frame rate (120 frames per second, versus the usual 24 fps), and 4K resolution.

Lee traveled to the US in 1979 to study at the University of Illinois, where he completed his bachelor’s degree in theater. Originally, Lee was interested in acting, but his challenges with speaking English made it difficult and he quickly turned to directing. (1954)

Happy 82nd Birthday to Pelé, the former Brazilian professional footballer widely regarded as the greatest player of all time and among the most popular athletes of the 20th century.

(Left) by John Mathew Smith & in 1995 –CC license; (right) 1960 – public domain

Elected ‘Athlete of the Century’ by the International Olympic Committee, he was the most successful scorer of all time with 541 goals in 560 appearances, averaging almost a goal per game throughout his 22-season career, with a Guinness World Record of 1279 goals in 1363 games.

Born into poverty, Pelé began playing at age 15 and, with his dazzling skills and footwork, earned a place on the Brazil national team at 16. During his international career, he won three FIFA World Cups, being the only player ever to do so. Known for connecting the phrase “The Beautiful Game” with football, Pelé’s electrifying play and penchant for spectacular goals” made #10 a star around the world. After 19 seasons in Brazil, he played his last few years with the New York Cosmos and in his final appearance, an exhibition match against his Brazilian team Santos, he played the first half for New York and the second half for Santos.

He is also an author of several books, including My Life And The Beautiful Game. Since retiring in 1977, Pelé has been a worldwide ambassador for football and a humanitarian who’s been outspoken in his support of policies for improving the social conditions of the poor and reducing corruption in Brazilian football. Throughout his career and in retirement, Pelé has received many awards, including an honorary knighthood, for both his record-breaking achievements, and legacy of integrity as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. WATCH his top 10 goals… (1940)


And, on this day in 1963, Bob Dylan recorded ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’’ at Columbia Recording Studios in New York City. Inspired by Irish and Scottish ballads, Dylan wrote the song as a deliberate attempt to create an anthem of change for the tumultuous 60s. In January 1984, a young Steve Jobs would recite the second verse during his unveiling in 1984 of the first Macintosh computer.

WATCH Dylan sing the song for the first time in 30 years for President Obama at a White House Civil Rights concert…

Happy 46th Birthday to Ryan Reynolds, the always-handsome and hilarious Canadian actor who first starred in the sitcom Two Guys and a Girl in 1998, then rose to fame in a range of films like The Proposal and Green Lantern. His biggest financial and critical success came when he played the smack-talking superhero Deadpool in two films.

(2019) by Dick Thomas Johnson, CC license

He announced this month that he’s taking a sabbatical from movie-making to spend some time with his wife since 2012, actress Blake Lively, and their three daughters.

This year, Reynolds starred in Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, an action comedy sequel to the 2017 film Samuel L. Jackson, and Salma Hayek; and a science fiction action-comedy called Free Guy, in which Reynolds stars as a video game character trying to prevent the makers of the game from shutting down his world.

Reynolds and Will Ferrell were dancing and singing last month with Octavia Spencer in a musical comedy called Spirited, a new take the Dickens classic, Christmas Carol. Reynolds’s production company Maximum Effort was also working on a live-action adaptation of the board game Clue, with the Deadpool co-writers.

In November 2019, Reynolds purchased an ownership stake in Mint Mobile and most recently took over the Welsh football club, Wrexham AFC, with actor Rob McElhenney—and they plan to make a documentary about it, trying to revive the 150-year-old slumping soccer team in the English football league system. WATCH a fun new interview… (1976)

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