On this day 670 years ago, Pope Clement VI issued a Catholic decree protecting Jews during the Black Death. Popular opinion blamed the Jews for the plague, and massacres erupted throughout Europe. Pope Clement condemned the violence and said those who blamed the plague on the Jews had been “seduced by a liar”. He urged clergymen to take action to protect the innocent. (1348)

MORE Good News on this Day:

  • Louis Pasteur, the French chemist-microbiologist renowned for his discoveries of the principles of vaccination, fermentation and pasteurization, successfully tested his breakthrough rabies vaccine on a boy who was bitten by a rabid dog (1885)
  • The current Tibetan Buddhist monk known as the Dalai Lama, 81, was born in Taktser, China (1935)
  • Althea Gibson won a Wimbledon championship, the first black athlete to do so (1957)
  • Garrison Keillor’s weekly LIVE radio show A Prairie Home Companion first aired from a theater in St. Paul, Minnesota (1974)
  • Bob Geldof and Bono met with the G8 finance ministers to discuss increasing aid to Africa, then performed at the final Live 8 concert for 50,000 in Edinburgh (2005)
  • An ancient pass on the Silk Road between India and China, sealed during the Sino-Indian War, re-opened for trade after 44 years (2006)

Notable Birthdays: Della Reese, Emmy and Grammy nominated actress/singer who starred in Touched by an Angel (1931–2017); The 14th Dalai Lama (83); George W. Bush (72); Sylvester Stallone (72); Geoffrey Rush (67)

And on this day in 1957, John Lennon and Paul McCartney met for the first time in Liverpool when John’s band was performing. Lennon (aged 16) and his band the Quarrymen were performing at a St. Peter’s Woolton Parish Church dance. 

Paul McCartney (aged 15) was wheeling around on his bicycle – hoping to pick up girls – and heard the Quarrymen playing. Luckily, a mutual friend was there. Ivan Vaughan introduced John to Paul, who whipped out the guitar that was strapped to his back and played “Twenty Flight Rock” and “Be-Bop-a-Lula”, among others. John was impressed that Paul could tune a guitar and knew the words to the latter song. He “looked like Elvis,” said John, and he “dug him.” A few months later, Ivan told Paul that John wanted him in the band. Later they formed The Beatles, and the rest is musical history.