40 years ago today, U2 won a talent contest in Limerick, Ireland. Winnings included $500 and studio time to record a demo and audition for the CBS Ireland record label. Sponsored by The Evening Express and Guinness Harp Lager, the Limerick Civic Week Pop ’78 Competition afforded them the opportunity to make the first U2 recording and earned them some much-needed recognition. (1978)

MORE Good News on this Day:

  • The rubber band was invented (1845)
  • The Kingdom of Italy was founded (1861)
  • A showing of 71 Vincent van Gogh paintings in Paris, 11 years after his death, created a sensation (1901)
  • The Camp Fire Girls was founded (1910)
  • The National Gallery of Art opened in Washington, D.C. (1941)
  • Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, and the United Kingdom signed the Treaty of Brussels, a precursor to the NATO Agreement (1948)
  • A referendum to end apartheid in South Africa was passed by 68.7% of voters (1992)

And, Happy St. Patrick’s Day – the annual holiday when Americans celebrate all things Irish. It began in New York City with immigrants from Ireland for the first time honoring their religious patron saint at the Crown and Thistle Tavern 262 years ago today.

(Lenten restrictions on drinking alcohol are officially lifted among Christians for this day.) The city’s 255-year-old St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the biggest parade in the world. (1756)
Photo from parade in Albany, NY, by sebastien barre, CC