50 years ago today, the Vietnam peace talks began in Paris between the U.S. & North Vietnam. Following the success of anti-war presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy in primary elections, President Lyndon Johnson halted regional bombing operations in order to encourage peace negotiations. Hanoi leaders met with US National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, but it took almost five years to reach an accord. (1968)
MORE Good News on this Date:
- The First Transcontinental Railroad, linking the eastern and western United States, is completed at Promontory Summit, Utah using a golden spike (1869)
- Mother’s Day was observed for the first time in the United States, in Grafton, West Virginia (1908)
- The first Southern Sociological Congress ended after addressing social, civic and economic problems of 16 southern states, an example of government, social agencies and churches working together for social betterment (1912)
- The founder of Honey Baked Ham, Harry J. Hoenselaar, invented the spiral-slicer, a tool that allowed his company to pre-carve meats for customers (1949)
- Bill Haley & His Comets released “Rock Around the Clock”, the first rock and roll record to reach number one on the Billboard charts (1954)
- Apollo 10 transmitted the first color photos of Earth from space (1969)
- Members of Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish Republican Army voted to accept the Good Friday Peace Accord, ending decades of bloodshed in Ireland (1998)
From his inaugural address: “The time for the healing of the wounds has come. The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come. The time to build is upon us.” Whites and blacks filled the streets with jubilation, while a billion viewers watched on televisions around the world.
Happy 72nd Birthday to the Scottish singer, songwriter and guitarist, known by the single name, Donovan. He recorded a string of hits such as “Catch the Wind”, “Sunshine Superman”, “Season of the Witch”, “Mellow Yellow”, “Atlantis”, and “Hurdy Gurdy Man”.
He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 and reminisced at the time about teaching Lennon and McCartney his distinct finger-picking acoustic guitar technique. He was studying Transcendental Meditation with the Beatles in India back in 1968, and recalls, “I used to play acoustic guitar all the time. In that nonstop playing, after we meditated, after we ate our health food, after we chased the monkeys off the table, we would play…and I taught them the styles which came from classical, New Orleans Blues, and Flamenco,” –and they wrote Blackbird, Dear Prudence, and more acoustic music for the White Album. WATCH a video in which he tells the story… (1946)