HomeThis week in historyFirst Public Toilet Opens, Explorer 1 Launches And More Good News In...

First Public Toilet Opens, Explorer 1 Launches And More Good News In History For The Week January 30 to February 5th

Read on for some of the feel good news in history for the week.


January 30

First Purpose Built Lifeboat is Launched in 1790

Image of the first lifeboat model
Replica of the first lifeboat ‘Original’. Image from rnli.org

In 1790 the first shore-based lifeboat was launched on the River Tyne in northern England. The boat was a 30 ft (9.1 metres) 10-oar longboat. Although other boats had been used as lifeboats in the past, this was the first boat specifically built as one. The boat’s design included 784 pounds (384 kg) of cork onboard to help with buoyancy. She was named Original, and was in service for 40 years.

January 31

Explorer 1 is Launched By The USA Into Space in 1958

Explorer 1 was the first satellite launched by the USA.

February 1

Icelandic politician Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir Becomes First Openly Gay Leader in 2009

Image from Icelandic Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Security

Icelandic politician Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir was sworn in as prime minister on February 1 2009. She was the country’s first female prime minister, and also the first openly gay leader.

February 2

First Public Flushing Toilet is Opened in England in 1852

The Indian flag

Though public toilets are taken for granted in England nowadays, the first public flushing loo wasn’t opened until February 2 1852. The toilet was located at 95 Fleet Street, London, and cost 2 pence to use.

February 3

Eileen Collins Becomes First Woman To Pilot a Space Shuttle in 1995

Image from NASA

Eileen Collins became the first woman to fly a shuttle to space on February 3 1995. The NASA astronaut was a former flight instructor and test pilot.

February 4

Alice Cooper is born in 1948

Alice Cooper was born on February 4 1948. He wasn’t born Alice Cooper though- his actual name is Vincent Damon Furnier.

February 5

First Reader’s Digest Magazine in 1922

The first reader’s digest, published in 1922.

It has been one hundred years since the first Readers Digest magazine was first published in 1922. The periodical was the brainchild of Dewitt and Lisa Wallace. The couple saw a gap in the market for a magazine that published abridged and easy-to-read articles on a variety of subjects.

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