On this day 145 years ago, the first cable streetcar in San Francisco was tested on Clay Street hill. Instigated by Andrew Hallidie, the cable cars went on to become a beloved modern day feature—and are currently the world’s last manually operated cable car system.
Legend says that Hallidie was inspired to reduce the suffering of the horses that hauled streetcars up the notably steep inclines—and when the first gripman hired to operate the car looked down Clay Street, he refused to carry on, so Hallidie took the grip himself and ran the car down the hill and up again without any problems. WATCH a video explaining the ingenious, yet simple, system… (1873)
MORE Good News on this Day:
- Slavery was abolished in the British Empire (1834)
- The first Jeep was produced, a 4-wheel drive vehicle born of wartime necessity that over the decades became a beloved mode of transportation for outdoor recreation lovers, indelibly linked to freedom and fun (1941)
- The Fulbright Program was signed into law, named for its advocate, Sen. J. William Fulbright, who wanted to provide scholarships to increase mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and 144 other countries– and the program produces more Nobel Prize winners than any other academic program. (1946)
- MTV began broadcasting in the United States airing its first video, “Video Killed The Radio Star” by the Buggles (1981)
And on this day in 1971, the groundbreaking Concert For Bangladesh was held at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Organized by George Harrison to aid victims of famine and war, the concert, which may have been the first all-star charity rock show, featured Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Leon Russell, Billy Preston, and Ravi Shankar.
The triple album release hit No.1 in the UK and No.2 in the US and received the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. The concert raised $243,418, which was given to UNICEF and by 1985, nearly $12 million had been raised from album sales–with proceeds from DVDs and CDs today continuing to benefit the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF.
And, on this day in 1942, Jerry Garcia, the founder of the Grateful Dead, was born in San Francisco. A son of musician parents, his distinctive guitar playing, unique for the fact that he lost his right middle finger as a child, earned Garcia the ranking of #13 in Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.” Also an artist, the nature-loving counter-culture leader was plagued by drug addiction and diabetes, and died at the age of 53 of a heart attack.
Besides the wildly popular Grateful Dead music, he played on over 50 studio albums the styles of which were eclectic and varied, including bluegrass, rock, folk, blues, country, jazz, electronic music, gospel, funk, and reggae. In 2015, Jerry Garcia’s wife, Manasha Garcia and their daughter, Keelin Garcia launched The Jerry Garcia Foundation, a nonprofit charity that supports for artistic, environmental, and humanitarian causes that were so dear to him.