On this day 44 years ago, the film The Concert For Bangladesh, featuring George Harrison, Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton, premiered in New York. The featured event had been the first high-profile benefit concert in world history. The musicians raised more than a quarter million dollars in one night for Bangladesh relief. Sales of the album and DVD continue today to benefit millions to the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF… WATCH a highlights clip with interviews. (1972)
Harrison had never played by himself in front of a large audience before, but his friends’ participation buttressed his enthusiasm. The video clip below was produced in 2011 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1971 concert in Madison Square Garden. By 1985, revenue raised from the live album–a boxed three-record set–and film, which is still on sale today, totaled an estimated $12 million –all donated to UNICEF’s work in the once war-torn East Pakistan region.
MORE Good News on this Date:
- George Frideric Handel’s Messiah premiered in London to great applause (1743)
- First recorded use of OK as an abbreviation for “oll korrect” (1839)
- The Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Philippines signed (1935)
- First peacekeeping troops arrived in Lebanon (1978)
- Archbishop Óscar Romero of El Salvador made news when he appealed to the nation’s armed forces to stop killing the Salvadorans (1980)
- Taiwan held its first direct elections (1996)
- Wayne Gretzky broke Gordie Howe’s career hockey record with his 802nd goal (1994)
- Titanic won 11 major Academy Awards, tying the record set by Ben-Hur, and later, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (1998)
And, on this day in 1775, American Founding Father Patrick Henry spoke to Virginia legislators, where he famously proposed that the colony join the revolution against King George and fight for independence, saying, “I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!” The resolution passed by a narrow margin with two future U.S. Presidents voting, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.
Painting of Patrick Henry’s “Treason speech” by