65 years ago today, 19 year-old Elvis Presley quit his day job at The Crown Electric Company after signing his first recording contract with Sun Records. The music company originally wanted to use Elvis to make demos of songs meant for other artists, but soon realized that “here was the man who could bridge the gap between white and black performances”. (1954)

(Sun Records Publicity Photo – 1954)

MORE Good News on this Day in History:

  • The first minimum wage was established—at 33 cents per hour—by the United States Congress (1933)
  • The Rolling Stones performed in public for the first time, at the Marquee Club in Soho, London (1962)
  • Geraldine Ferraro became the first woman nominated for vice-president by a major U.S. political party, chosen by Walter Mondale of the Democratic party (1984)
  • São Tomé and Príncipe declared independence from Portugal (1975)

Notable Birthdays: Malala Yousafzai (22); skater Kristi Yamaguchi (48)

Today is another day in New York City when the sunset occurs along the center line of Manhattan’s street grid, known as the NYC Solstice, or Manhattanhenge.

By Dan Nguyen, CC license

If you missed it yesterday, the half sun, if there is no cloud cover, will again be illuminating both sides of the street at 8:30 p.m.

And, on this day in 1917, the writer and naturalist Henry David Thoreau was born, in Concord, Massachusetts. A leading transcendentalist and one of the first environmentalists, Thoreau is best known for building his own tiny one-room cabin on nearby Walden Pond and writing a book about simple living in natural surroundings.

As he set out to “live deliberately,” he found spiritual fulfillment within the harmony of nature’s four seasons. Also an abolitionist and tax resister, Thoreau’s books, articles, essays, and poetry have influenced many of the great thinkers of the 20th century. Among his lasting contributions are his writings on natural history and an essay “Civil Disobedience”, an argument for disobedience to an unjust state, which influenced the political thoughts of such notable figures as Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr. As a philosopher, he said famously, “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.“ See more of Thoreau’s writings on Amazon.

By Raph PH, CC license

And, Happy Birthday to Christine McVie, the Fleetwood Mac songwriter, vocalist, and keyboardist who turns 76 today. A member for over three decades, she also released three solo albums — and one with bandmate Lindsey Buckingham. Known for her smoky British vocals and catchy lyrics, eight of McVie’s songs appeared on Fleetwood Mac’s 1988 Greatest Hits album. WATCH her perform her song, (I wanna be with you) “Everywhere”…(1943)


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