Happy 64th Birthday to Jeremy Clarkson, the journalist and television personality who hosted the iconic motoring show Top Gear. Since hanging up his BBC boots, he bought a rather large farm, and has been entertaining these days on Amazon Prime’s Clarkson’s Farm, where he takes his blithering idiocy and orangutan-like demeanor into the agriculture sector. Born in Doncaster, England, his opinionated and humorous tongue-in-cheek writing and presenting style made the show one of the most popular on the BBC. READ more… (1960)

Jeremy Clarkson in 2006 – CC 2.0. Ed Perchick – flickr

When John Bently, a researcher on the original formats of Top Gear, first met Clarkson, he would later say he was the man for the job.

“He was just what I was looking for–an enthusiastic motoring writer who could make cars on telly fun. He was opinionated and irreverent, rather than respectfully po-faced. The fact that he looked and sounded exactly like a twenty-something ex-public schoolboy didn’t matter,” Bently remarked.

The rest they say is history, but Clarkson’s personality made him choice for a variety of other programs, including Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? which he has hosted since 2018. Then, surpassing even The Grand Tour, Top Gear-styled spin-off on Amazon Prime Video made after Clarkson was fired from the BBC in 2015, his hit show about farming was the most watched Prime Video, with the third season having just debuted. WATCH the original trailer. 


MORE Good News on this Date:

  • American armed forces liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp (1945)
  • 62 years ago today, Bob Dylan played his first live gig in New York City at Gerde’s Folk City, opening for John Lee Hooker (1961)
  • The Beatles set a new chart record when they had 14 songs on the Billboard Hot 100, from Can’t Buy Me Love at No.1 to Love Me Do at No. 81 (1964)
  • The Apple I personal computer was created (1976)
  • Ugandan dictator Idi Amin was deposed (1979)

Happy 37th Birthday to Joss Stone, the English soul singer. Stone sold 15 million records over the early years of the 21st century by bringing back a classic soul sound that popular radio stations had been without for some time. She often performs barefoot and has been described as “the white Aretha Franklin” since her debut in the music industry.

Joss Stone in 2018 – CC 3.0. Andemaya

After achieving critical acclaim with The Soul Sessions, Stone worked on new material and recorded her second album, Mind Body & Soul, which was released on 28 September 2004, produced by the same team as her first album. She called the album her real debut.

Become something of a star in her early 20s, Stone would spend the decade recording and performing music with dozens of different exceptional artists, from Jeff Beck to Damian Marley. (1987)

12 years ago today, Marvel’s The Avengers was released in American theaters. Unique in cinema history, The Avengers was not only one of the best examples of a sequel better than the original, but the only example of a 6th film that was better than the original. Based on a fictional team of comic book superheroes who save the world, the film was preceded by 5 installments explaining the stories of each hero in the team, including Iron Man 1 and 2Captain America: The First Avenger, Thorand The Incredible Hulk

The Avengers was a massive success, grossing $1.5 billion worldwide, becoming the third-highest-grossing film in history at the time and earning nominations from both the Academy and BAFTA awards for Best Visual Effects.

The Avengers theatrical release poster. fair use

Production for The Avengers began all the way back in 2008, before almost all of the films that were to precede it, after the success of Iron Man. As Kevin Feige, President of Production for Marvel Studios points out, the challenges with filmmaking in this way were downright terrifying.

“People forget that we started filming Avengers before either Thor or Captain America were released. What if people hated Thor? What if people thought Loki was ridiculous? What if people didn’t buy this super soldier frozen in ice? We were in the first quarter of production on a giant movie at that time, and we weren’t going to stop. It was sort of all in at that point.”

Two films followed up on the first Avengers: Infinity Warand End Game, during which subsequent films such as Thor 2, Thor 3, Iron Man 3, Captain America 2and The Black Widowbuilt and continued progressing the Avenger’s storyline, leaving behind a truly unique legacy which changed the face of superhero-cinema forever. (2012)

143 years ago today, Spelman College, the oldest historically black college for women, was founded as the Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary.

The liberal arts college in Atlanta, Georgia, was founded by two teachers from the Oread Institute of Worcester, Massachusetts: Harriet E. Giles and Sophia B. Packard, lifelong friends who traveled down south specifically to found a school for black freedwomen, and found support from the pastor of Friendship Baptist Church.

Broadmoor, CC license

11 African American women became the first students funded by $100 given by the First Baptist Church in Medford, Massachusetts. Although they were mostly illiterate, they began learning lessons in algebra, physiology, Latin, rhetoric, geometry, psychology, chemistry, botany, the Constitution of the United States, astronomy, zoology, geology, and other subjects. Over time, they attracted more students; by the time the first term ended, they had enrolled 80 students in the seminary—and benefactors from the North made a down payment on a 9-acre site relatively close to the church they began in. LEARN how John D. Rockefeller funded the school and how the College was named after his wife’s family… (1881)

In 1882, the two women returned to Massachusetts to bid for more money and were introduced to wealthy Baptist businessman John D. Rockefeller at an Ohio church conference. By the time Rockefeller visited the school, the seminary had 600 students and 16 faculty members surviving on generous donations from the local black community and volunteer teachers. Rockefeller was so impressed that he settled the debt on the property and constructed a new hall—and his wife and her sister, Lucy Spelman, with their parents, Harvey Buel and Lucy Spelman, longtime activists in the abolitionist movement, began supporting the school. In 1884 the name of the school was changed to the Spelman Seminary in their honor.

And 56 years ago today, President Lyndon Johnson signed the 1968 Civil Rights Act, which expanded previous laws prohibiting discrimination concerning the sale, rental, and financing of housing based on race, religion, or national origin. It also provided protection for civil rights workers.

Lyndon B. Johnson signs the 1968 Civil Rights Act

The act was perhaps spurred to success by the killing of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. one week earlier. (1968)

Happy 96th Birthday to Ethel Kennedy, the human rights campaigner and widow of Senator Robert Kennedy. She was with “Bobby” at the hotel when he was assassinated during his run for president in 1968. Soon after her husband’s death, she founded the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, a nonprofit that works to realize RFK’s dream of a just and peaceful world… (1928)

GNN Founder, Geri Weis-Corbley (left) with Mrs. Kennedy at the RFK Awards

Ethel raised 11 children, one of whom Bobby never met, and swore she would never remarry.

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