50 years ago today, Led Zeppelin played their very first concert in North America, supporting Vanilla Fudge and Spirit at the Denver Auditorium in Colorado, performing for fans who paid $5 per ticket. The band’s debut album wasn’t even released yet, but select FM stations were given advance copies and Zeppelin’s popularity grew quickly. (1968)

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • George Washington’s first victory over the British troops came quickly, after he led 2,400 troops, 18 cannons and 75 horses through sleeting and rain across the Delaware river in darkness for a surprise attack in Trenton (1776)
  • The English mathematician, inventor and mechanical engineer, Charles Babbage, considered to be the “father of the computer” who originated the concept of a programmable computer—and invented the first mechanical calculating machine—was born (1791)
  • Charles Pathé, the French pioneer of film and recording industries, was born (1863)
  • The Philadelphia Story, starring Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, and Jimmy Stewart, a film that was nominated for six Academy Awards and won two—for screenplay and best actor to Stewart—was released (1940)
  • The benefit Concerts for the People of Kampuchea, organized by Paul McCartney and Kurt Waldheim to raise money for the victims of Pol Pot’s regime in Cambodia, kicked off in London featuring Queen, the Clash, The Pretenders, The Who, Elvis Costello, Wings (1979)

People are celebrating around the world today: Boxing Day, the second day of Christmas; St. Stephen’s Day; and, in South Africa, The Day of Goodwill – a public holiday.

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Also, Kwanzaa, a week-long celebration of West African heritage in the Americas, begins today and runs through January 1, culminating in a feast and gift-giving.

Also, Happy Birthday to actor Jared Leto who turns 47 years old today.