135 years ago today, the rebel Coco Chanel, a fashion designer who rose from poverty in France to liberate women from corsets with her casual clothing and iconic “little black dress”, was born. Her sporty chic became the feminine standard of style and, as a businesswoman, Chanel extended her influence beyond clothing, to become the first designer to put their name on a fragrance, Chanel No. 5. WATCH a mini-bio of one of the most influential people of the 20th century…(1883)
MORE Good News on this Day:
- Jacque Daguerre‘s presented his new photographic process to the French Academy of Sciences–a gift free to the world (1839)
- Afghanistan gained full independence from the United Kingdom (1919)
- Happy 72nd Birthday to former President Bill Clinton, born on this day in Arkansas (1946)
- The Liberation of Paris commenced, with French resistance fighters uprising against German occupiers as rumors of the Allies’ advance reached the capital (1944)
- The Beatles launched their first North American tour, performing first in San Francisco—after having played concerts earlier that year in Washington D.C. and New York—all with the stipulation that the band would refuse all venues that excluded African Americans (1964)
- Polish President Jaruzelski nominated a Solidarity union activist to be the first non-communist Prime Minister in 42 years (1989)
- The first-ever joint military exercise between Russia and China began, dubbed Peace Mission 2005 (2005)
- The last of the United States brigade combat teams leave Iraq, crossing the border to Kuwait (2010)
The Mexican-American born in Texas, played for the University of Houston when, at age 24, his 13 birdies and one eagle on the par-70 course in Longview, Texas made history. Blancas, now 78, stayed with the sport and won tournaments on the PGA Tour and Champions circuit. (1962)
And, on this day in 1990, Leonard Bernstein conducted his final concert, performing Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony at Tanglewood. He suffered a coughing fit during the concert and two months later announced his retirement.
He died of a heart attack five days after, at 72 years old. During his funeral procession through Manhattan, construction workers removed their hats to honor the prodigious musician and composer of West Side Story, yelling, “Goodbye, Lenny.” Bernstein is buried in Brooklyn, NY with a copy of Mahler’s Fifth lying across his heart. His Final Concert was recorded and later released on CD. Watch him perform a bit of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, below.