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Good News on This Day in History – October 24

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Happy 37th birthday to Wayne Rooney, former Manchester United talisman and captain of the England national team. Part of a golden generation that helped to cement the English Premier League as the best in the world, Rooney made 559 appearances for Manchester United, scoring 253 goals from a variety of forward positions. Rooney is the record goalscorer for both the England national team and Manchester United as well as holding the record for the most appearances of any outfield player for the national team. READ more about his illustrious career… (1985)

Wayne Rooney (left) after breaking Sir Bobby Charlton’s (right) scoring record for Manchester United – CC SA 4.0. Ardfern

In 2004, after Wayne Rooney signed for United from the Liverpudlian club Everton FC, United legend David Law said “Rooney can do the lot. Eventually he’ll have all the United records.”

Along with being their top scorer, Rooney won 16 trophies during his 13 years at United, becoming the only English player, alongside teammate Michael Carrick, to win the Premier League, FA Cup, UEFA Champions League, League Cup, UEFA Europa League, and FIFA Club World Cup.

In the 2015-16 season, Wayne Rooney became the first player in the English game to score 10 or more goals in 11 consecutive seasons, underlining his remarkable consistency to Manchester United, where he remained a star and mainstay of the team during a period when it attracted only the finest players in the world. Indeed Rooney had shared the attacking responsibility with the likes of Christiano Ronaldo, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, and Ryan Giggs.

More Good News on this Date:

  • The Cathedral of Chartres was dedicated in France (1260)
  • Sheffield F.C., the world’s first football club, was founded in Sheffield, England (1857)
  • The 40-hour work week was enacted by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt with the Fair Labor Standards Act which also established a minimum wage and guaranteed “time-and-a-half” payment for work beyond 8-hours a day in certain jobs, and prohibited most employment of minors in factory jobs that represent oppressive child labor (1938)
  • Zambia gained independence from the UK (1964)
  • Paul McCartney received a medallion cast in rhodium after being declared the most successful composer of all time—having written or co-written (in 1962–1978) 43 songs that had sold over a million copies each (1979)
  • Poland legalized the Solidarity trade union (1980)

Happy 75th Birthday to the dashing comic actor Kevin Kline, who won an Academy Award for his supporting role in the hit film, A Fish Called Wanda.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, he made his dramatic film debut opposite Meryl Streep in Sophie’s Choice. Kline won his third Tony Award in 2017 for his lead role in Present Laughter and is remembered for film performances in The Big Chill, Dave, French Kiss, In & Out, Silverado, and Wild Wild West.

After his son, Owen, was diagnosed with diabetes, Kline became active with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Also the winner of 2 Emmys and 5 Golden Globes, his new movie is The Starling now streaming on Netflix. WATCH the heartfelt trailer… (1947)

And, 18 years ago today, Queen became the first rock act to be embraced by the government of Iran, where western music was still strictly censored.

Photo by S Werner, CC license

The Islamic republic, where homosexuality was considered a crime, gave its official seal of approval to Freddie Mercury, who was proud of his Iranian ancestry. The album of Queen’s greatest hits—released that week in Iran— was illegally bootlegged by thousands who made Queen one of the most popular bands in Iran. (2004)

18 years ago today, the Arsenal Football Club set an unbeaten record winning 49 matches in a row, the most ever in the English/Wales Premier League.

Arsenal unbeaten games trophy / Photos by Jason Jones (right) and Ronnie Macdonald, CC license

Earning the nickname The Invincibles, the home team of Islington, London, played 22 away-games without a defeat. A special gold version of the Premier League trophy was commissioned to commemorate their winning the title with an undefeated season. In May 2018, this gold trophy was presented to Arsene Wenger as a gift during his final home game as manager after 22 years.

Overall, the Club, founded in 1886, has won 13 League titles, a record 14 FA Cups, 2 League Cups, 1 UEFA Cup, and completed the 20th century with the highest average league position in the Premier. (2004)

77 years ago today, the United Nations was born when the UN Charter that was co-signed by 51 nations came into full force.

Photo by Aotearoa, CC license

Forged among the ashes of World War II, the UN’s founding mission was to bring nations and peoples together to preserve peace and security, and improve lives everywhere. As the world’s only truly universal global organization, the UN has became a forum to address issues that both cross national borders and transcend national boundaries. Membership is now 193 nations, representing almost all of the world’s sovereign states.

Its humanitarian arms include UNESCO, UNICEF, and the World Food Programme (which won the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for feeding the poor even in conflict zones). In 1948, the UN established the World Health Organization, which has helped defeat smallpox and nearly eliminated polio.

Its peace-building efforts are operating in 35 nations today where the mission is to help bridge differences between foes and defend against trouble. Last week, UN-mediated efforts yielded a potentially historic ceasefire accord between the warring parties in Libya, described as a “decisive and courageous first stop towards a comprehensive settlement”.

UN Peacekeeping on Facebook

In 2005, evaluating the UN as a whole, Jacques Fomerand called their accomplishments “impressive”. “The UN and its agencies have certainly helped the world become a more hospitable and livable place for millions.”

Evaluating the first 50 years, author Stanley Meisler wrote, “The United Nations never fulfilled the hopes of its founders [to avoid future wars], but it accomplished a great deal nevertheless”, citing its role in decolonization and its many successful peacekeeping efforts.

The British historian Paul Kennedy states that while the organization has suffered some major setbacks, “when all its aspects are considered, the UN has brought great benefits to our generation and … will bring benefits to our children’s and grandchildren’s generations as well.”  (1945)

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