Happy Birthday to Talking Heads singer, songwriter, and musician David Byrne, who turns 65 today. Before high school, Byrne already knew how to play the guitar, accordion, and violin, but he was rejected from his school’s choir because they claimed he was “off-key and too withdrawn”. Since the 1991 disbanding of the punk–new wave group, Byrne has worked in various media including filmmaking, ballet, photography, drawing, opera, fiction and non-fiction–and received an Oscar (for his original score of The Last Emperor), Grammys, and Golden Globe awards. WATCH a Feature Video on his career… (1952)
Byrne founded the world music record label Luaka Bop in 1990. It was originally created to release Latin American compilations, but it has grown to include music from Cuba, Africa, and the Far East.
Byrne is known for his activism in support of increased cycling and for having used a bike as his main means of transport throughout his life, especially cycling around New York. He even designed a series of bicycle parking racks, like the one in the shape of a dollar sign on Wall Street. – Photo by Ron Baker-CC-Austin City Limits, 2008
MORE Good News on this Day:
- Jamestown, Virginia became the first lasting English settlement, establishing the American Colonies (1607)
- In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, delegates first meet to write a new Constitution for the United States (1787)
- The Lewis and Clark Expedition began their historic journey by traveling up the Missouri River (1804)
- The Rockefeller Foundation was launched with $100 million from John D. Rockefeller to invest in scientific research, public health, higher education and nurturing the leaders of the future (1913)
- Israel declared itself to be an independent state and a provisional government was established (1948)
- Skylab, the United States’ first space station, was launched (1973)
- Diane Humetewa (a Hopi) became the first Native American woman confirmed as federal judge with a U.S. Senate vote of 96-0 (2014)
- The European Union announced it will have cut its carbon emissions by 20 percent more than it pledged it would under the Kyoto climate change treaty (2014)
Today is Mother’s Day in the U.S. On this day in 1914, the U.S. Congress passed legislation designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day, fulfilling Anna Jarvis’s wish to honor her mother who longed for a holiday that commemorated all moms.
On this day 133 years ago, The London Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children became a national organization with chapters throughout Great Britain and Ireland. Inspired by a trip to New York, a Liverpool businessman, Thomas Agnew, was so impressed by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children charity, he became determined to provide similar help for the children in his country. In its first five years, campaigning by the new group led to Parliament passing the first ever UK law to protect children from abuse and neglect. (1884)
Also, on this day 19 years ago, the final episode of Seinfeld aired. An audience of 76 million viewers tuned to NBC to see Jerry, Elaine, Kramer and George put on trial, charged with criminal indifference for breaking the Good Samaritan Law. (1998)