50 years ago today, Paul McCartney married Linda Eastman, forming a union that would last 29 years until her death at age 56 from cancer. They only spent one weekend apart in three decades—when Paul was in custody for marijuana possession. Eastman, a photographer, musician, animal activist, and entrepreneur, had four children with Paul—Heather, Mary, Stella, and James who were raised in a happy, normal home in England. (1969)
MORE Good News on this Date:
- Andrew Watson debuted as the world’s first black international football player and captain (1881)
- The Girl Scouts was founded in the U.S., as “Girl Guides” (1912)
- The first Fireside Chat was broadcast on radio by President Franklin Roosevelt to calm Americans’ fears during The Depression (1933)
- Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man premiered, played by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (1943)
- 25 years ago, the Church of England ordained its first female priests (1994)
- The Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland joined NATO (1999)
- The U.N. Security Council approved a U.S.-sponsored resolution endorsing a Palestinian state for the first time (2002)
- Bob Dylan was voted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, marking the first time a rock musician had been chosen for the elite honor society, but officials who recognize music, literature and visual art were unable to decide if Dylan belonged for his words or his music, so inducted him as an honorary member like they did for Meryl Streep, Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese (2013)
And, on this day in 1930, Mahatma Gandhi began his historic Salt March to the sea, a protest against British salt taxes in India. The crowd of marchers grew as Gandhi walked for 24 days (241-miles/390 km) to the beach at Dandi where he produced salt without paying the tax, sparking similar acts nationwide. World media coverage (watch newsreel footage) helped to change attitudes towards Indian independence and inspire a nationwide Civil Disobedience Movement. After making the salt at Dandi, Gandhi, 61, he was arrested in May—one of more than 80,000 Indians to be jailed as a result of the ongoing Salt Satyagraha (“insistence on truth”).
And, on this day in 1922, Jack Kérouac, the American novelist and poet considered the father of the Beat Generation (a term he invented) was born.
Recognized for his spontaneous method of writing and his first novel, On The Road, he wrote about Catholic spirituality, jazz, promiscuity, Buddhism, drugs, poverty, and travel.
Happy 71st Birthday to singer-songwriter and musician James Taylor. Born in Boston, he was raised in North Carolina by a trained opera singing mother and physician father. He wrote his first song on guitar at 14 and was soon playing coffee houses on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts where the family spent summers. As a high school senior applying to colleges, he was hit with a deep depression and spent 20 hours a day sleeping. After a 9-month stint at a local hospital, he came to see it as part of his personality and found a new reprieve (without college). He later overcame a heroin addition and setbacks in his career. (1948)
‘Sweet Baby James’ became one of the most popular musical artists of all time, selling more than 100 million records worldwide, with hit covers like “You’ve Got a Friend”, “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)”, and “Mockingbird”—the duet with his then-wife Carly Simon—and his own song “Fire and Rain”, written while in recovery. Taylor has won five Grammy Awards, including Pop Album of the Year in 1998 for Hourglass. He published a pop-up cowboy book last year inspired by his lullaby, entitled, Sweet Baby James.