On this day 240 years ago, Thomas Paine published his first essay under the pseudonym, Common Sense, to inspire American colonists in a language that the common man could understand. Paine knew that the Colonists weren’t going to support the American Revolutionary War without proper reason to do so. The pamphlet series began: “These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” It was read aloud to the Continental Army later that week, before the Battle of Trenton, to bolster morale among patriots, as well as shame neutrals and loyalists toward the cause… (1776)
With strong deist beliefs, Paine stated that he believes God supports the American cause, “that God Almighty will not give up a people to military destruction, or leave them unsupportedly to perish, who have so earnestly and so repeatedly sought to avoid the calamities of war, by every decent method which wisdom could invent”.
MORE Good News on this Date:
- The Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery departed England for Jamestown, Virginia, to settle what would be the first American colony (1606)
- Ben Franklin began publishing Poor Richard’s Almanac (1732)
- Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol was first published (1843)
- The first games of the new National Hockey League were played, with teams that included the Montreal Canadiens (1917)
- The BBC World Service began broadcasting as the BBC Empire Service (1932)
- The first personal computer went on sale in the U.S. as a DIY kit, for $397, the Altair 8800, sales of which exceeded all expectations (1974)
- Wayne Gretzky, 23, became the 18th, and youngest, player in NHL history to score more than 1,000 points (1984)
- The Soviet Union freed dissident Andrei Sakharov (1986)
- The Academy Award winning blockbuster, Titanic, opened in theaters (1997)
- Afghanistan‘s first elected parliament in 3 decades convened (2005)
- Libya announced an end to its weapons of mass destruction (2003)
And, on this day in 1915, Edith Piaf was born in Paris. The French cabaret singer, songwriter and actress was one of France’s greatest international stars. Her hit song “La Vie en rose” (Life in Rosy Hues) sold a million copies in the US alone in 1947. Written and composed by Piaf, it is one of the most familiar songs worldwide of the last century. The 2007 film of the same name tells the story of Piaf, played by Marion Cotillard whose portrayal won her the Academy Award for Best Actress. WATCH a clip of “France’s Little Sparrow,” who sings La Vie en rose, with subtitles added… Also, WATCH the English version she recorded in 1950, with lines like, “When you speak, angels sing from above…Everyday words seem to turn into love songs”.