34 years ago today, marking what would have been John Lennon’s 45th birthday, Yoko Ono formally opened a three-acre garden in New York’s Central Park—across the street from their apartment building where Lennon was shot. Dubbed Strawberry Fields, she funded the memorial with a $1Mil donation and had it planted with trees, flora, and flowers gathered from across the world. A large, round mosaic on the pedestrian walkway is emblazoned with one word: Imagine. (1985)
MORE Good News on this Day:
- Ecuador – Guayaquil’s Independence Day from Spain (1820)
- The Washington Monument officially opened to the public—at 555 feet tall, with 893 steps to the top, it was the tallest building in the world, and people flocked to it (1888)
- John Lennon, of the Beatles, was born in Liverpool, England (1940 )
- Other musicians born on this day: John Entwistle, bass player (1944), The Who; Jamaica’s Peter Tosh (1944); and Jackson Browne, the American singer songwriter (1948)
- Uganda, independent from Britain, became a republic (1962)
- Happy 44th birthday to Sean Ono Lennon, the musician and actor who was born on the same day as his famous father, John Lennon (1975)
- 70,000 protesters march in Leipzig to demand the legalization of opposition groups and democratic reforms in East Germany (1989)
- Democratic presidential elections were held in Afghanistan for the first time (2004)
And on this day in 2010, Chile‘s 33 trapped miners cheered and embraced each other in the darkness as a drill punched into the underground chamber where they had been stuck for an agonizing 66 days while the world came together to engineer a rescue.
And on this day in 2006, the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital landed for the first time in Vietnam. The DC-10 wide-body aircraft had been converted into a ophthalmic surgical center for doctors to give sight to the poor. During its first quarter century— from 1982 when ORBIS took-off on its first sight-saving mission—more than three million people have received medical treatment.
Happy 71st Birthday to Jackson Browne, the singer-songwriter musician who has sold over 18 million LPs in the U.S. alone. Beginning in the 1970s, hits like ‘These Days,’ ‘The Pretender’, ‘Running on Empty’, ‘Fountain of Sorrow’, ‘Doctor My Eyes’, and ‘Take It Easy’ have been counted among the most honest and emotionally powerful of a generation. Last month, Browne became the first artist to receive the Gandhi Peace Award for his “extraordinary contributions to the inseparable causes of world peace, environmental harmony, and social justice.”
Awarded annually along with a cash prize since 1960, the Gandhi Peace Award medallion is forged from “peace bronze” composed of metals salvaged from the control systems of U.S. nuclear missiles. Lately, Jackson has turned his attention to the seas as a founding member of the advocacy group Ocean Elders, along with Sir Richard Branson and James Cameron. Among his numerous other awards for public service, Browne received the NARM Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award. Bruce Springsteen inducted Browne into the Rock Hall of Fame in 2004. (1948) WATCH a documentary on his musical career…
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