Good News in History, March 31

Good News in History, March 31

RCA Victor 45 rpm record player-ebay-enhanced67 years ago, RCA Victor introduced the 45-rpm record, an advancement that had taken almost a decade to develop. The 7-inch single was designed to offered better fidelity and longer playing time than the 78-rpm record currently in use. Using the new record players, listeners could stack the disks, and hear up to ten records in a row with “speedy, silent, hardly noticeable changes,” as the advertisements boasted. (1949)

The music system was designed to compete with the Long Playing records (LPs) introduced by Columbia a year earlier. The first 45 rpm record ever pressed was “PeeWee the Piccolo” at an RCA plant in Indianapolis the previous year. The ‘45s’ became a staple in jukeboxes and homes for decades to come. Every episode of television’s Happy Days began with a 45-record dropping into place to play the theme song, (WATCH a video below, or Click to enlarge photos)

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Composer Joseph Haydn (Father of the Symphony and String Quartet, and mentor to Beethoven. was born in Austria (1732)
  • The Eiffel Tower, designed by architect Gustave Eiffel, officially opened to commemorate the French Revolution (1889)
  • Albert Einstein lectured in New York on his new theory of relativity (1921)
  • César Chávez was born–the civil rights hero and a labor leader for one of the most abused and exploited groups in America, migrant workers–a holiday in eight states (1927) Read more below
  • Britain & France agreed to support Poland if it were invaded by Germany (1939)
  • The US Congress passed the Marshall Aid Act to rebuild war-torn Europe after World War II, and when the funding ended 4 years later, the economy of every participant state had surpassed pre-war levels by 35% (1948)
  • Jimi Hendrix set his guitar on fire for the first time, ascending to a new level with his stage persona, two months before Are You Experienced was released (1967)
  • Albania held first multi-party election in 50 years (1991)
  • Thich Nhat Hanh, the renowned Zen master and author led a “Sit in Peace” meditation on the open grounds of London’s famed Trafalgar Square (2012)

Cesar chavez 1974-by-Work permit-CC

César Chávez, like Mohandas Gandhi and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., was a spiritual figure, a crusader for nonviolent social change. Like Gandhi and King, Chávez used peaceful tactics such as fasts, boycotts, strikes and pilgrimages. When he died in 1993, at age 66, more than 50,000 marched in his funeral under a hot California sun.

Education was always a priority for Chávez because, after eighth grade, he had to leave school to work in the fields as a migrant laborer to support his family. Although his formal education was incomplete, Chávez had great intellectual curiosity; he read widely throughout his life, and there were few limits to what he taught himself.

After serving in the U.S. Navy, Chávez became a community organizer, coordinated voter registration drives and directed campaigns against racial and economic discrimination.Herb_Alpert_Obama_Medal_2013-WH-369px

And, happy 81st Birthday to Herb Alpert, the musician and modern artist who is best know for the music of his Tijuana Brass band. He had five No. 1 albums, sold 72 million worldwide, and won nine Grammy Awards, including one for an album in 2013. He is the “A” in A&M Records, which he co-founded, and has given away more than $54 million to arts programs and environmental campaigns. (1935)