Happy 85th Birthday to Della Reese. The Emmy and Grammy nominated actress and singer starred in the U.S. television hit Touched by an Angel. At age 13 Reese was offered a job singing with Mahalia Jackson’s gospel group. She scored a hit in 1959 with her single “Don’t You Know?” She later hosted her own talk show, continued singing and acting in films or TV and became an ordained New Thought minister. WATCH her sing with B.B. King… (1931)
MORE Good News on this Day:
- Louis Pasteur, the French chemist-microbiologist renowned for his discoveries of the principles of vaccination, fermentation and pasteurization, successfully tested his breakthrough rabies vaccine on a boy who was bitten by a rabid dog (1885)
- The current Tibetan Buddhist monk known as the Dalai Lama, 81, was born in Taktser, China (1935)
- Althea Gibson won a Wimbledon championship, the first black athlete to do so (1957)
- John Lennon and Paul McCartney met for the first time at a Woolton Parish Church dance in Liverpool where John’s band performed.* (1957)
- Garrison Keillor’s weekly LIVE radio show A Prairie Home Companion was first aired from a theater in St. Paul, Minnesota (1974)
- Bob Geldof and Bono met with the G8 finance ministers to discuss increasing aid to Africa, then performed at the final Live 8 concert for 50,000 in Edinburgh (2005)
- An ancient pass on the Silk Road between India and China, sealed during the Sino-Indian War, re-opened for trade after 44 years (2006)
*John Lennon (aged 16) and his band the Quarrymen were performing at a party at St. Peter’s Woolton Parish Church in Liverpool. Paul McCartney (aged 15) was wheeling around on his bicycle – hoping to pick up girls – and heard the Quarrymen playing. A mutual friend named Ivan Vaughan was there and introduced Paul to John. Paul whipped out the guitar strapped to his back and played “Twenty Flight Rock” and “Be-Bop-a-Lula”, among others. John was impressed that Paul could tune a guitar and knew the words to Be-Bop-a-Lula. He “looked like Elvis,” said John, and he “dug him.” A few months later, Ivan told Paul that John wanted him in the band. Later they formed the Beatles, and the rest is musical history.
More Notable Birthdays: George W. Bush (70), Sylvester Stallone (70), Geoffrey Rush (65)
And, on this day in 1348, Pope Clement VI issued a decree protecting Jews during the Black Death. Popular opinion blamed the Jews for the plague, and massacres erupted throughout Europe. Pope Clement condemned the violence and said those who blamed the plague on the Jews had been “seduced by a liar.” He urged clergymen to take action to protect the innocent.