50 years ago today, Aretha Franklin recorded the award-winning version of Otis Redding’s, “Respect”. The iconic hit—which featured her sisters, Carolyn and Erma, singing backup—was rated by Rolling Stone magazine #5 on their 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. (1967)

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • The League of Women Voters was founded in Chicago, Illinois (1920)
  • President Franklin Roosevelt met with King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia opening U.S.-Saudi diplomatic relations (1945)
  • First Lady Jackie Kennedy opened the White House to 80 million US television viewers giving a live tour featuring her restorations [more below] (1962)  
  • CNN reporter Jeremy Levin was freed from captivity in Lebanon (1985)
  • The first of 24 satellites of the Global Positioning System (GPS) were placed into orbit (1989)
  • The spacecraft NEAR Shoemaker entered orbit around asteroid 433 Eros, the first spacecraft to orbit an asteroid (2000)
  • YouTube was launched by three former Paypal employees as a video sharing website; it soon became the second largest search engine in the world, and the main source viral videos on the Web (2005)



In 1962, after First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy had spent a year restoring the White House with historical furnishings that were missing when she arrived, 80 million people tuned in on television to watch her give a tour. The changes were wildly popular.  (Pictured right, the Red Room)


And, on this day in 1818, Frederick Douglass, the former slave who became an abolitionist author, dazzling orator, and statesman, was born. He detailed his remarkable life in the 1845 autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. He was an adviser to President Abraham Lincoln on issues like African-Americans in the military. Born in Maryland sometime around this day, which is the one he chose to celebrate as his birthday, Douglass stood as a living counter-example to slaveholders’ arguments that slaves lacked the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens.