Americans will put up with anything provided it doesn't block traffic.
- Dan Rather
Today is Thursday - December 8th, 2016
On This Day In History:
1961 - "Surfin'"
The Beach Boys first record, was released on Candix Records. It became a local hit in Los Angeles. The surfing music craze took hold across America the following year. By the time "Surfin' Safari" entered the Top 40 (September 1962), The Beach Boys were riding a wave of popularity that continues today.
1980 - John Lennon is Dead
John Lennon, founding member of the Beatles, the rock group that transformed popular music in the 1960s, was shot and killed by an obsessed fan in New York City. The 40-year-old artist was entering his Manhattan apartment building when the man shot him four times at close range. For a week, hundreds of bereaved fans kept a vigil outside the Dakota - Lennon's apartment building - and demonstrations of mourning were held around the world.
John Lennon & Paul McCartney were the singing-songwriting team that made the Beatles the most popular musical group of the 20th century. Hailing from Liverpool, England, and influenced by early American rock and roll, the Beatles took Britain by storm in 1963 with the single "Please Please Me." "Beatlemania" spread to the United States in 1964 with the release of "I Want to Hold Your Hand," followed by a sensational U.S. tour. With youth poised to break away from the culturally rigid landscape of the 1950s, the "Fab Four," with their exuberant music and good-natured rebellion, were the perfect catalyst for the shift.
The Beatles sold millions of records and starred in hit movies such as A Hard Day's Night (1964). Their live performances were near riots, with teenage girls screaming and fainting as their boyfriends nodded along to the catchy pop songs. In 1966, the Beatles gave up touring to concentrate on their innovative studio recordings, such as 1967's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band, a psychedelic concept album that is regarded as a masterpiece of popular music. The Beatles' music remained relevant to youth throughout the great cultural shifts of the 1960s, and critics of all ages acknowledged the songwriting genius of the Lennon-McCartney team.
John Lennon was considered the intellectual Beatle and certainly was the most outspoken of the four. He caused a major controversy in 1966 when he observed that the Beatles were "more popular than Jesus," prompting mass burnings of Beatles' records in the American Bible Belt. He later became an anti-war activist and flirted with communism in the lyrics of solo hits like "Imagine," recorded after the Beatles disbanded in 1970. In 1975, Lennon took a hiatus from the music business to spend more time with his wife, Yoko Ono, and their son, Sean. In 1980, he made a comeback with Double-Fantasy, a critically acclaimed album that celebrated his love for Yoko and featured songs written by her.
John Lennon is memorialized in "Strawberry Fields," a section of Central Park across the street from his apartment that Yoko Ono landscaped in honor of her husband.
Celebrating Birthdays Today:
What Happened on Your Special Day?
I became a fan of "today in history" information when I was very young. My father had a calendar that he had put together of "reasons to celebrate". If anybody asked "what are we celebrating?" my father could check his book and come up with a reason to celebrate for any day of the year. Charlie Chaplin's birthday, Buster Keaton's birthday, the anniversary of the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge, for every day of the year, my father's calendar had some interesting historical event that had occurred.
With this page I have tried to continue the tradition. Generally, I prefer to include birthdays and anniversaries of positive, uplifting, life affirming people and events that have had particular significance in my life. It's here because it was important to me.
I am trying to continually update with links from stories to other relevant sites. Check back regularly for a story on something interesting that happened on this day in history.
There are many, many, sites out there that have a lot of "this day in history" information. Many are not so great, full of inaccurate information and "negative vibes". However, there are a few that are really fabulous. Here are links to a few of my favorites. These sites feature "Today in History" stories for today, and some include archives that will enable you to look up information for any other date in history that is special to you:
This Day in History
The History Channel tells you what happened in Automotive, Civil War, Cold War, Crime, Entertainment, General Interest, Literary, Old West, Vietnam War, Wall Street, and World War II history for today or any day.
Life Magazine Covers
Life offers a look at covers from this day in history.
New York Times: On This Day
Lists events which occurred on each month and day of the year throughout history. Links to New York Times articles on the events when available.
Today in History
Stories and pictures from the American Memory historical collections of the U.S. Library of Congress.
The Internet Movie Database
The Internet Movie Database claims itself to be the biggest, best, most award-winning movie site on the planet. I'm not sure if it really is, but it is huge and has TONS of info on even the most obscure films, movies stars, directors, producers, etc. If it is motion picture related, you can probably find out something about it at this site.