Good News in History, July 24

110 years ago today, American academic and explorer Hiram Bingham III, after being guided by indigenous farmers, became the first Westerner to lay eyes on Machu Picchu. Set high on a peak in the Andes Mountains in Peru, the 15th century Incan citadel b…

Good News in History, July 23

Happy 50th Birthday to the amazing musician and singer Alison Krauss, who has won more Grammys than almost anyone. A teenage prodigy in Decatur, Illinois, she was attracted to bluegrass music and was winning contests at age 10—and at 16 showed off her …

Good News in History, July 22

25 years ago today, The Daily Show began satirizing and skewering politicians and broadcasters on cable TV’s Comedy Central. “Nobody had done it before,” said former head writer and co-creator Lizz Winstead. “We became the watchdogs of the watchdog.” H…

Good News in History, July 21

168 years ago today, the New York State legislature voted to set aside or purchase 770 acres in the middle of Manhattan Island for a city park. Central Park is now the most visited urban park in the U.S., with 42 million visitors annually by 2016—and m…

Good News in History, July 20

100 years ago today, Congresswoman Alice Mary Robertson, who was the first woman to defeat an incumbent congressman, became the first female to preside over the floor of the US House of Representatives. Years before, during World War I, she endeared he…

Good News in History, July 19

80 years ago today, Tom and Jerry first appeared as an animated cartoon by Hanna Barbera. Featuring the ongoing rivalry between Tom the house cat and a mouse named Jerry, the first episode of their shenanigans was called The Midnight Snack. A contest t…

Good News in History, July 18

Happy 71st Birthday to English billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson—the founder of Virgin Records and Virgin Airlines who just returned from a Virgin Galactic rocket that launched him and five other crewmembers into suborbital space on July 11 …

Good News in History, July 17

65 years ago today, the MGM musical comedy High Society was released. Starring Bing Crosby and a young Frank Sinatra, it was the first time the pair ever collaborated. It was a musical remake of Philadelphia Story, and was the last role for leading lad…

Good News in History, July 16

55 years ago today, the virtuoso guitar and bass players Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce joined drummer Ginger Baker to form one of rock’s first power trios—Cream. In their two years as a group, they recorded four LPs and classic songs like Sunshine of You…

Good News in History, July 15

Happy 60th Birthday to Forest Whitaker, the actor, producer, and director, whose work has earned him an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a British Academy Film Award, and 2 Screen Actors Guild Awards. After he got a college scholarship singing opera, he switched…