Happy 35th birthday to the legendary Swiss grand slam tennis champion, Roger Federer, whose generous charitable giving has resulted in early childhood centers being built throughout six countries in Africa, with more than 50 preschools in Malawi alone. WATCH him visit the kids… (1981)
MORE Good News on this Day:
- Judge Sonia Sotomayor was sworn in as the first Hispanic U.S. Supreme Court Justice — and only the third woman to be promoted among the 111 chief justices in the court’s history. (2009)
- John McCarthy, the British journalist held hostage in Lebanon by Islamic Jihad, was freed after more than five years in captivity (1991)
- A cease-fire between Iran and Iraq was announced by The United Nations (1988)
In 1970, shortly before her tragic death, Janis Joplin bought a gravestone for blues legend Bessie Smith, who was buried in an unmarked grave after she died in a car accident in 1937. Joplin often called Smith’s raspy blues voice her greatest inspiration. The marker, in Mount Lawn Cemetery in Sharon Hill, PA, reads, “The Greatest Blues Singer in the World Will Never Stop Singing.”
Happy 79th birthday to Dustin Hoffman, the American actor praised for his roles in The Graduate (1967), Midnight Cowboy (1969), Little Big Man (1970), Lenny (1974), All the President’s Men (1976), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Tootsie (1982) and Rain Man (1988).
And, on this day in 1942, the Quit India Movement was launched at the Bombay session of the All India Congress Committee in response to Gandhi’s call for immediate independence of India. In a speech at the Gowalia Tank Maidan, renamed August Revolution Ground, Gandhi urged Indians to follow a course of non-violent civil disobedience to bring the British Govt. to the negotiating table. He told the masses to act as an independent nation and not to follow the orders of the British. His call “to Do or Die” found support among a large number of Indians…
Within 24 hours, almost the entire Congress leadership was put into confinement, cut-off from the rest of the world for over three years. Later, the Congress party was banned. These actions only created sympathy for the cause among the population. Despite lack of direct leadership, large-scale protests and demonstrations were held all over the country. Workers remained absent en masse and strikes were called. More than 100,000 arrests were made nationwide, and though Gandhi’s own health was failing, he went on 21-day protest fasts and maintained a superhuman resolve to continuous resistance. Although the British released Gandhi on account of his failing health in 1944, Gandhi kept up the resistance, demanding the complete release of the Congress leadership.