35 years ago today, Michael Jackson’s Thriller LP was released. Produced by Quincy Jones, and featuring a duet with Paul McCartney, it became the world’s best-selling album of all time, with estimated sales of 66 million copies. The first to be certified 33× multi-platinum, the album won a record-breaking eight Grammy Awards, with 7 top 10 singles, including Billie Jean, Beat It, The Girl Is Mine and Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’—all of which Jackson wrote. The groundbreaking music video to the title track Thriller is regarded as the best ever produced. WATCH it again… (1982)Directed by comedy filmmaker John Landis, the 14-minute-long short film had to be run twice an hour to meet the demand of MTV’s audience. The video’s choreography—along with the group dance sequence in “Beat It”—was so popular, it has been frequently replicated everywhere from Bollywood to prisons in the Philippines.

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Leopold II, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, instituted penal reforms making his country the first state to abolish the death penalty in modern times—and the day is commemorated by 300 cities around the world as Cities for Life Day (1786)
  • Gaining independence from the UK on this date: Barbados (1966) and South Yemen (1967)
  • The motion picture “Ghandi“, which went on to win eight academy awards, had its world premiere in the most fitting of cities, New Delhi, telling the biographical tale of Mohandas Gandhi, an Indian lawyer whose non-violent activism overthrew an empire (1982)
  • Bill Clinton brought the hope for peace to Northern Ireland and received a rapturous welcome as the first serving US president to visit the region (1995)
  • President Clinton signed the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act into law (1993)
  • The Countryside and Rights of Way Act instituted in the UK formalized the Scottish tradition of unhindered access to open countryside, provided care is taken not to cause damage or interfere with farming and hunting (2000)
  • Longtime Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings collected a total of $2,520,700, television’s biggest game show winnings (2004)
  • John Sentamu became the first black archbishop in the Church of England (2005)
  • The Dave Matthews Band turned their tour-opening show in East Rutherford, NJ into a benefit concert, fulfilling a pledge to donate $1 million from ticket sales and merchandise to support Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. (2012)


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