On this day 20 years ago, the Irish Republican Army’s political arm, Sinn Fein, formally renounced violence and took a seat at the table in talks about Northern Ireland’s future. They joined the British and Irish governments and other parties representing all sides in the historic gathering. Sinn Fein, said they were ready to “compromise, compromise, compromise” to achieve a negotiated settlement to Ireland’s civil unrest. And, seven months later, that’s exactly what happened. (1997)
MORE Good News on this Day:
- Elvis Presley appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show for the first time (1956)
- The first U.S. civil rights bill was signed into law by US President Dwight Eisenhower (1957)
- The British Ambassador, Geoffrey Jackson, was freed 8 months after capture by guerrillas in Uruguay (1971)
- Tajikistan gained Independence from USSR (1991)
- The Palestine Liberation Organization agreed to recognize Israel‘s right to exist, and Israel agreed to recognize the PLO as representative of Palestinians (1993)
- Today is also Grandparents Day in America, a day to honor the elderly population and express gratitude and love for your grandparents. In 1979, the day was officially proclaimed by President Carter, after decades of lobbying from two distinct people, Jacob Reingold and Marian McQuade, the West Virginia woman who persuaded her state to become the first one to celebrate elders with a special day. (2018)
And on this day in 1890, Colonel Sanders of KFC fame was born. Harland David Sanders began selling fried chicken from his roadside restaurant in North Corbin, Kentucky, during the Great Depression. Commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel by the governor, he had a “Secret Recipe” for frying chicken in a pressure fryer, which cut cooking times. He recognized the potential of the restaurant franchising concept, and, with a product that evoked the imagery of Southern hospitality, the first KFC franchise opened in Utah in 1952. At age 65, Sanders had little money so decided to search for new franchisees, often sleeping in the back of his car as he traveled the country. Sanders later used his stock holdings to create the Colonel Harland Sanders Trust and Charitable Organization, which used the proceeds to aid charities and fund scholarships.
And, on this day in 1941, soulful singer Otis Redding was born. At 15, he quit school to work in music and support his parents in Macon, Georgia. Three days before his tragic death in a plane crash at age 26, he recorded the iconic song, (Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay,’ which shot to #1 on the charts. The year prior, he released ‘Try a Little Tenderness,’ the song that epitomizes his signature sound. He also wrote ‘Respect,’ and had a major influence on Aretha Franklin.
His bandmate and co-writer on Dock of the Bay, Steve Cropper, said, “I don’t think anybody I’ve ever worked with had the impact that Otis Redding did. He was the only artist on the label that everybody–all the musicians, all the secretaries, all the employees–looked forward to seeing at the studio. Otis was your best friend when he was with you and he made you feel wanted, needed and all that.”
Artists from many genres have named Redding as a musical influence. George Harrison called “Respect” an inspiration for “Drive My Car” and the Rolling Stones mentioned him as a major influence. Musicians have covered or mixed his songs, notably Kanye West and Jay-Z in their Grammy winning song “Otis”.