1894 George Meany was born.
1996 A gorilla saved a young child.
George Meany was born on this day in 1894. He grew to become the American Federation of Labor’s vigorous and vital leader: a post he held well into his eighties.
Many people are convinced that wild, untamed animals are a danger to humans. That’s why zoos build deep moats or put up shatter-proof glass around their exhibits to protect visitors from harm. But one does begin wonder about this attitude when we recall an incident that happened on this day in 1996. A three-year-old boy accidentally fell fifteen feet into the gorilla pen at the Brookfield Zoo near Chicago, Illinois. As he lay unconscious, a rare female western lowland gorilla named Binti-Jua picked up the child, cradled him in her arms, carried his unconscious body to the cage door, and protected him until his rescuers arrived. A similar incident took place at the Great Britain’s Jersey Zoo a few years earlier. A dominant male silverback gorilla gently patted and then stood guard over a young boy who had fallen into that exhibit.