Happy 52nd birthday to entrepreneur Elon Musk. Through his ambition, sleepless work ethic, and engineering brilliance, Musk has undoubtedly transformed the world for the better with his work at Tesla and SpaceX. With the former, he made electric cars cool and widely desired for the first time, resulting in sales that have removed over 1 million internal combustion engines from the roads, with the latter, he created the world’s first reusable rocket, and gave NASA a spacefaring supply chain independent of Russian spacecraft. READ more about the entrepreneur, not the public figure… (1971)
Tesla first built an electric sports car, the Roadster, in 2008. With sales of about 2,500 vehicles, it was the first serial production all-electric car to use lithium-ion battery cells. Next, the mass-market sedan Model 3 was released in 2017. The Model 3 is the all-time bestselling plug-in electric car worldwide, and in June 2021 it became the first electric car to sell 1 million units globally.
While Musk wasn’t a founding partner of Tesla, he came on board a few years later, and by the time of the Roadster’s release had invested $70 million of his own money into the company. Much of Tesla Motor’s business strategy can be attributed to Musk’s ideas. They spend no money on paid advertising, nor do they sell their cars to franchise automotive dealers. Over 80% of all work done on the components of a Tesla car is done inhouse, a very rare feat for a car maker.
Musk founded SpaceX in May 2002 and became the company’s CEO and Chief Engineer, again with $100 million of his own money. In just 4 years, the company was testing out its first offering—the Falcon 1 rocket. Just 6 years later and SpaceX had received billions from NASA to supply enough Falcon 9 rockets and Dragon capsules for all future resupply missions to the ISS.
In 2016, SpaceX landed the first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket that had already been carried into space, and in doing so dawned the age of reusable rockets—bringing the cost per launch for NASA missions down so spectacularly that they could greatly expand the number of science and research missions launched per year.
MORE Good News on this Day:
- 177 years ago, the saxophone was patented by Adolphe Sax, who at the age of 16, was already an accomplished Belgian instrument maker dreaming of creating a group of instruments that would be the most powerful and vocal of the woodwinds, and the most adaptive of the brass instruments (1846)
- Labor Day officially became a holiday for federal employees in the United States, every year on the first Monday of September (1894)
- The Treaty of Versailles was signed, ending World War I for the allies—Belgium, Britain, France, Italy, the United States—against Germany and Austria-Hungary (1919)
- Four decades after Karl Benz created the first petrol-powered car, Mercedes Benz was founded as DMG and ‘Benz & Cie’ merged into the prestigious brand that introduced many technological and safety innovations common in most vehicles today (1926)
- Elections were held for the Northern Ireland Assembly, which led to power-sharing between unionists and nationalists in Northern Ireland for the first time (1973)
- The U.S. resumed direct diplomatic ties with Libya after 24 years (2004)
- Canada became the third country to legalize same-sex marriage (2005)
- The Supreme Court of the United States upheld the Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act that seeks to provide access to quality health care for all Americans (2012)
Happy 81st birthday to American bodybuilding legend Frank Zane. Known as “The Chemist” for his science degree and meticulous supplementation of amino acids, his reign of three consecutive Mr. Olympia titles was marked by his obsession with perfect symmetry of his physique. He is one of only 3 men to have beaten Arnold Schwarzenegger in a bodybuilding competition and remains the only man to ever have won Mr. Olympia at under 200 pounds.
In Schwarzenegger’s autobiography, he writes about how Zane’s fanatical dedication to perfecting his physique caused him to push himself harder than he ever had to try and win Mr. Olympia. Zane was famous in competition for a pose in which he simply stood straight on to the judges and put his arms above his head, without flexing or anything—the ultimate display of confidence, Arnold thought.
Zane is still very fit today, and since 1998 has published a newsletter about all things bodybuilding. Inducted into the International Federation of Body Builders Hall of Fame in 1999, and presented with a lifetime achievement award at the 2003 Arnold Classic, many consider him the greatest to ever do it, and he remains a passionate advocate for the sport. He runs two facilities for one-on-one physique coaching and an art gallery that doubles as a kind of bodybuilding museum in San Diego California. (1942)
One of the most successful film directors of the 1970s, Brooks was married to actress Anne Bancroft for 41 years until her death in 2005.
He co-wrote TV’s Get Smart, and recorded the LP The 2000 Year Old Man, which propelled him into an exclusive club of entertainers honored with the EGOT grand slam—for winning an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony. WATCH his bio and interview from two years ago… (1926)
And, on this day in 1940, Muhammad Yunus, the ‘World’s Banker to the Poor,’ was born in Bangladesh.
The Muslim economist and civil society leader was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for founding the Grameen Bank and pioneering the concepts of micro-credit and micro-finance as a way to release poor people, especially women, from dependency on welfare. He is author of three books, including, Banker to the Poor. In 2011, he co-founded Yunus Social Business Global Initiatives to use incubator funds and provide advisory services that empower social businesses trying to solve social problems around the world.
Happy 57th Birthday to John Cusack. Born in Illinois, the actor, producer, screenwriter and renown Cubs fan is beloved for such films as High Fidelity, Say Anything, Grosse Pointe Blank, Con Air, Serendipity and 2012. According to reports, John—whose sister Joan Cusack is also a successful actor—practices Transcendental Meditation, and uses the technique to more thoroughly explore the depths of his diverse characters. (1966)
And 104 years ago today, the League of Nations was founded as the world’s first intergovernmental organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace.
A result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War, its primary goals, as stated in its Covenant signed a century ago, included preventing wars through collective security and disarmament and settling international disputes through negotiation and arbitration. This diplomatic philosophy represented a fundamental shift from the preceding hundred years.
At its greatest strength, it had 58 nation members, but the onset of the Second World War showed that the League had failed its primary purpose, which was to prevent any future world war. The Society of Nations, as it was called in France, lasted for 26 years. Though the United States never joined, they did join the United Nations, which replaced the League after the end of the Second World War and inherited several of its agencies and organizations. (1919)
And, on this day 153 years ago, Christmas was established as a federal holiday in America. A Christian festival celebrating the birth of Jesus, December 25th is also enjoyed by non-Christians for its gift exchanges and holiday lights hung in houses and towns to brighten the dark days of winter.
In the 1800s, Americans’ views on Christmas changed a great deal. The author Washington Irving is often credited with shaping Christmas customs in the U.S., like his promotion of St. Nicholas as a beloved character who “came riding over the tops of the trees, in that self-same wagon wherein he brings his yearly presents to children.” Irving loved the merriment of how Christmas had been celebrated in England, with singing and dancing, before the Puritans got involved.
German immigrants brought with them the practice of placing evergreen branches and trees in homes and Catholic immigrants brought the tradition started by Saint Francis of setting up small nativity scenes. By the late 1800s, most Americans celebrated Christmas—especially those in the South where Alabama declared it a legal holiday in 1836 and Louisiana and Arkansas followed in 1838. Eventually, President Grant and Congress declared it a national holiday, so federal employees could be home with their families. (1870)
And, on this day in 2003, audiences first enjoyed Pirates of the Caribbean, when the film premiered at Disneyland, the famous park with its amusement ride that inspired the story. The first in the film series, “The Curse of the Black Pearl” stars Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Geoffrey Rush, and Johnny Depp, who won his peers’ coveted SAG award for best actor in a leading role—and also was nominated for an Oscar and BAFTA. His character, the wily pirate Jack Sparrow teams up with blacksmith Will Turner to rescue a kidnapped noblewoman from the Captain’s old ship, the Black Pearl, but then discover an ancient curse. WATCH the trailer…
SHARE the Milestones and Memories…