125 years ago on this day, James Naismith, a Canadian YMCA sports coach living in America who was looking for a new winter indoor activity, nailed two peach buckets on opposite ends of a Springfield, Massachusetts College gym and instructed his students to toss soccer balls into them. He invented the game of basketball… (1891)
Naismith wrote the original basketball rulebook and founded the University of Kansas basketball program. He lived to see basketball adopted as an Olympic demonstration sport in 1904.
MORE Good News on This Day:
- Apollo 17, the final Apollo moon mission, was launched, and its crew shot the photo known as The Blue Marble (1972)
- The Palestinian Liberation Organization leader, Yasser Arafat, recognized the right of Israel to exist (1988)
- The Galileo spacecraft arrived at Jupiter, a little more than six years after it was launched by Space Shuttle Atlantis (1995)
- Afghanistan inaugurated its first popularly elected president, Hamid Karzai (2004)
Happy 67th Birthday to Raspy-voiced singer-songwriter, composer and actor Tom Waits. Listening to Bob Dylan, Louis Armstrong, and Howlin’ Wolf, he developed a distinctive growl and style that earned him Grammy Awards and a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (1949)
And, on this day in 1967, Otis Redding went into the studio to record “Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay,” a song he wrote on a houseboat in Sausalito, California a short time after his appearance at The Monterey pop festival. Redding never saw its release or its rise to #1 because he was killed in a plane crash three days after leaving the studio. Otis Redding also wrote “Respect”, the song most associated with Aretha Franklin; and recorded a famous cover of “Try a Little Tenderness”. Listen to the song below.