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Good InfoGood News On This Day in History – April 28

Good News On This Day in History – April 28

19 years ago, a famous fugitive was apprehended. Shrek the Sheep, a resident Merino “wether” (a castrated adult male sheep) of Bendingo Station, New Zealand, was finally caught and shorn after 6 years of evading capture. Like many infamous criminals, Shrek apparently spent a large amount of time hiding in caves, avoiding the roundup. This would have included enduring freezing winters. WATCH him being shorn… (2004)

When Shrek, who took his name from the fictional Ogre of cinema, was finally rounded, up his fleece had grown to be 59 lbs. and was said to be hard as rock in some places and so matted that it took 15 minutes to sheer him. Peter Casserly, the former world blade shearing champion, removed Shrek’s huge fleece on camera with the major part of the nation tuning in. The fleece was big enough to make 20 men’s suits.

Afterwards, Shrek became a national icon He was taken to parliament to meet the then-New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clark, in May 2004, to celebrate his 10th birthday.


MORE Good News on this Day:

  • The Greek historian Herodotus recalled that during the battle between Lydia and the Medes in present-day Iran, a solar eclipse occurred and the parties were so frightened they ended the battle immediately (585 B.C.)
  • The first night game in organized baseball history took place in Independence, Kansas (1930)
  • A vaccine for yellow fever was announced for use on humans (1932)
  • Muhammad Ali refused induction into the US Army [and was later stripped of his boxing title because of it] (1967)
  • After signing deals with the five major record labels, Apple Computer launched the iTunes store, now the biggest music vendor in the world having sold 25 billion songs in 119 countries (2003)

Happy 82nd Birthday to Ann Margret, the actress, singer, and dancer billed as a female version of Elvis Presley.

Roland Godefroy, CC license

With her sultry voice, she is known for her roles in Bye Bye Birdie (with Dick Van Dyke) and Viva Las Vegas—co-starring with Presley, with whom she had a romantic relationship. For films like The Cincinnati Kid, Carnal Knowledge, Tommy, and Grumpy Old Men, she won five Golden Globes and was nominated for two Academy Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and six Emmy Awards.

A keen motorcyclist, Ann-Margret rode a 500 cc Triumph T100C Tiger in The Swinger, and more recently won an Emmy in 2010 for her guest appearance on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. (1941)


97 years ago today, Harper Lee, the author of To Kill a Mockingbird, was born.Harper_Lee_wins_Medal_at_White_House-gov

During the two and a half years spent writing the novel in New York, the Alabama-born author became so frustrated that she tossed the manuscript out the window, into the snow—but her agent made her retrieve it! Published in 1960, the book was immediately successful, winning the Pulitzer Prize. It became renowned for its warmth and humor, despite dealing with the serious issues of rape and racial inequality. She died in 2016, after receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007 for her contribution to literature. (1926)

Also, 107 years ago today, Ferruccio Lamborghini, the Italian engineering genius, was born. His Lamborghini car company, set up in 1963 to compete with established marques like Ferrari, came to represent motoring glamour like no other. Born to grape farmers but impassioned by mechanics, he began manufacturing tractors, founding Lamborghini Trattori in 1948. After purchasing a Ferrari, he realized the cars had inferior clutches, were too noisy, and had interiors too spartan to be proper road cars…

In 1963, he launched his auto company to create the perfect touring car–one that offered plush appointments and high performance, without compromising tractability, and ride quality. Automobili Lamborghini, located in Sant’Agata Bolognese, gained wide acclaim in 1966 for the Miura sports coupé (pictured above), which was a milestone in the industry, and established rear mid-engine and rear-wheel drive as the standard layout for high-performance cars of the era. He sold his luxury auto company in 1974 and retired to become a winemaker in Umbria until he passed away 19 years later. (1916)

154 years ago today, Chinese and Irish laborers working on the First U.S. Transcontinental Railroad laid ten miles of track in one day, a feat which has never been matched.

Crews would labor just two more weeks until the day when the last “golden” spike was driven in by a silver hammer at Promontory Summit, Utah connecting 1,912 miles (3,077 km) of continuous railroad track constructed over seven years—opening up the Western U.S. from Omaha, Nebraska to San Francisco.  The record, achieved not far from Promontory, involved crews of the Central Pacific railroad which organized an army of workers and five train loads of construction material (transported via ships sailing around Cape Horn). They laid 10 miles (16 km) of track in one day—a record that still stands today. (1869)


And, on this day 76 years ago, Norwegian writer and explorer Thor Heyerdahl set out from South America on the Kon-Tiki, a hand-tied raft made of balsa trees, to prove that ancient Peruvian natives could have settled Polynesia. With five Scandinavian crew mates, he successfully navigated 4,300 miles (6900 km) of the Pacific Ocean in 101 days, landing safely on a reef in the Tuamotu Islands. Heyerdahl’s book about his experience, Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific in a Raft — became a bestseller, and the documentary film he directed chronicling the adventure won an Academy Award. WATCH the trailer… (1947)


Happy 73rd Birthday to comedian, actor, and writer Jay Leno, who hosted The Tonight Show for 22 years. Since retiring from his Emmy Award-winning gig in 2014, he’s been producing and hosting Jay Leno’s Garage, which features his exquisite classic car collection.

Leno graduated from Emerson College with a speech therapy degree before founding his own comedy club. Until the COVID-19 pandemic, he regularly entertained over 200 audiences every year with his standup routines. He performs at USO shows for soldiers and has been known to give gorgeous cars to veterans.

Last year, he unearthed a never-before-seen segment of the show for his YouTube channel featuring a youthful Elon Musk stopping by the Garage with a black Tesla Roadster that was the very first customer model ever made—which carried a VIN number of 001. Leno and Musk discussed the unique properties of the electric Roadster during a tour and a test drive. WATCH the video of a young Musk and Leno… (1950)


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