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Good InfoGood News On This Day in History – February 4

Good News On This Day in History – February 4

24 years ago today, World Cancer Day was initiated on February 4th after The World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium, Charter of Paris. Created to promote research, prevent cancer, and improve patient services, the Charter also included an article establishing the anniversary of the document’s official signing as World Cancer Day, which tends to have different themes behind different cancer issues. READ a bit more… (2000)

The Palace of Westminster is lit up to mark World Cancer Day – OPL 3.0.

The 2019-2021 campaign theme was ‘I Am and I Will’. The theme seeks to counter the negative attitude and fatalistic belief that nothing can be done about cancer, and instead promotes how our personal actions can be powerful and impactful.

In recent years, cities have begun to support the day by lighting up important landmarks in orange and blue. In 2019, 55 landmarks in 37 cities participated in the landmark lighting initiative.


MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Roman Emperor Julian declared equal rights for all religions in the empire (362)
  • Britain formally ceased hostilities with its former colonies, the United States of America (1783)
  • The first elected Assembly abolished slavery in France and throughout French territory in all the colonies with a law that came forth during the First Republic under the leadership of Maximilien Robespierre (1794)
  • Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was released (1938)
  • Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) became independent within the British Commonwealth (1948)
  • The social media network Facebook was founded (2004)
  • The London Low Emission Zone was launched, which charges entrance fees for diesel vehicles that do not meet emission standards (2008)

1,064 years ago today, Emperor Taizu ascended to the imperial throne of China and ushered in the Song Dynasty—one of the greatest periods of Chinese civilization, and certainly the most powerful, artistic, wealthy, and technologically sophisticated civilization on Earth. Indeed warfare was needed to create the conditions for the period’s flourishing, and that is not what’s memorialized here. Instead, it’s to consider the artisans, farmers, and architects who accomplished so much during this period. (960)

Song China and Emperor Taizu – CC 3.0. SA – Kanguole

Song society reached a high level of sophistication, with social welfare programs and administrative know-how leading to prosperous cities like Kaifeng and Hangzhou which were the largest in the world—more than a million people. The rights of women naturally grew as rich fathers provided larger dowries. The rights to own and inherit property, and control the household became standard, as did the tolerance of women in the public sphere, government, and the arts. The poet Li Qingzhao was considered famous even in her time and is now one of the greatest in all Chinese history.

Religions of all kinds, Daoism, Buddhism, ancestor worship, Manicheaism, Islam, and even Judaism were practiced freely in Song society, and the first three attracted pilgrims to China as never before. The board game of xiangqi was created during Song times, and the largest theaters in the Song cities could hold several thousand people. Out in the fields, Song laws allowed peasants total ownership of their farms, or if they could not afford to own one, pay rent as tenant farmers until they made enough to buy it outright.

The arts flourished, and the Song Dynasty established the great tradition of Chinese landscapes. The eighth Song Emperor Huizong was a painter himself, and it was written he owned 6,000 paintings in his collection.

清明上河图 – The bridge scene from Along the River during the Qingming Festival by Zhang Zeduan.

Enormous encyclopedic volumes were compiled, such as works of historiography and dozens of treatises on technical subjects. This included the universal history text of the Zizhi Tongjian, compiled into 1,000 volumes of 9.4 million written Chinese characters. The genre of Chinese travel literature also became popular.

Economically speaking, the Song invented the joint-stock company and prevented mass deforestation by switching from wood to coal for home heating. Arab traders from as far as Egypt and Morocco would bring goods to southern Iran in order to sail across the Indian Ocean for trade with China. The Song economy was stable enough to produce over two hundred million pounds of iron products a year.

Technologically speaking, the Song initiated gunpowder weaponry, created hydraulic-powered machinery like clocks, observed supernovae and compiled dozens of star charts, invented movable type printing presses, and generally advanced the sciences of, botany, zoology, geology, mineralogy, metallurgy, mechanics, magnetics, meteorology, horology, astronomy, pharmaceutical medicine, archaeology, mathematics, cartography, and optics.

On this day 235 years ago, George Washington was elected the First President of the United States, with John Adams as his vice-president, by the Electoral College. “As the first of everything in our situation will serve to establish a precedent,” he wrote to James Madison, “it is devoutly wished on my part that these precedents be fixed on true principles.” To that end he established many of the precedents which exist to this very day among presidents, including inaugural and farewell addresses, the temperance of the executive veto, the structure of the executive branch, and the small matter of deciding that rather than highfalutin titles such as “Your Excellency” or “His Highness the President” he would simply be addressed as “Mr. President.”

He wished to serve only one term, and reportedly without a salary. This was denied him, and he later earned around $25,000 to soften the costs of holding the presidency. He established the Thanksgiving holiday to promote national unity when, in complete irony with modern convention, he would fast throughout the day. Perhaps the most important precedent of his time in office was the 2-term limit, broken only by FDR.

Upon his farewell address, he wrote in typical modesty “[the] name of AMERICAN, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations,” and that “though in reviewing the incidents of my Administration I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend.” (1789)

And, on this date in 2012, American skier Lindsey Vonn clinched her fifth consecutive World Cup downhill title and her third straight super-combined trophy by winning her 50th World Cup race, the third most victories for a woman in cup history.

Lindsey Vonn Olympics 2010 -Photo by Eileen-Flickr name, Beachpiks
– Eileen (Flickr name Beachpiks)

And on this day in 1968, Wilt Chamberlain accomplished the only double-triple-double to date in pro basketball, totaling 22 points, 25 rebounds, and 21 assists in a single game. Chamberlain is also the only player in NBA history to record a quadruple double-double (40-40) game—and he achieved the feat eight times in his career.

The MVP from Philadelphia is most remembered for his 100-point game in 1962, one of basketball’s greatest records. Decades later, the closest any player had come was the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, who scored 81 points in 2006. Afterward he said that breaking the record was “unthinkable.”

The massive 7-foot-1-inch player was also a nice, gentle guy who “never got mad.” In fact, he never fouled out of a game. He died at age 63 of heart problems, and the bulk of his fortune was given to charity. WATCH a video…


And, 53 years ago today, the Oscar-winning film Patton premiered in New York City. The epic war drama starred George C. Scott as the World War II military general George S. Patton. Patton won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director (Franklin Schaffner), Best Original Screenplay (Francis Ford Coppola), and Best Actor for Mr. Scott. The opening monologue portrays General Patton with an enormous American flag behind him.

Gen. Patton is addressing an audience of American troops overseas to raise their morale, telling them how winning is everything in America. They had just suffered a humiliating defeat in 1943, and Patton is placed in charge of the American II Corps in North Africa. WATCH the iconic opening scene… (1970)


82 years ago today, the USO was formed to entertain American military troops—and thousands of celebrities have since performed for, and visited with, soldiers worldwide.

For 50 of those years, Bob Hope reigned supreme, bringing his comic one-liners to bases overseas during World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam War. Headline acts included athletes, rock stars, actors, and comedians—from John Wayne to Jon Stewart—and “pin-up girls” like Marilyn Monroe (below) and Judy Garland.

In 1964, for the first time, the USO brought a full-scale performance into a combat zone. Bob Hope took his Christmas show to Vietnam and started a tradition that endured into the next decade, leading to the establishment of 17 USO centers in Saigon and six in Thailand serving as many as a million service members a month and hosting 5,559 USO shows.

Bob Hope and Ann Jillian in Desert Storm by Lietmotiv, CC license

Robin Williams, who went on six USO tours to a dozen countries, including Iraq and Afghanistan, said in 2007, “There’s nothing I enjoy more than traveling with the USO and giving back to our troops in whatever way I can.” WATCH a new ad celebrating the 80th anniversary… (1941)

At the dawn of America’s entry into World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt challenged six private organizations, including the YMCA, YWCA, and the Salvation Army to devise recreational activities for the armed forces. By the end of WWII, the new USO group had presented more than a quarter million performances in 208,178 separate visits worldwide, and had 1.5 million volunteers helping to boost morale. USO halls were set up at military bases around the US, holding dances almost every night, providing a place for military members to simply relax and unwind.

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