On this day 105 years ago, Woody Guthrie was born in Okemah, Oklahoma. The folk singer and songwriter who traveled with farmers displaced during the Dust Bowl, became famous for writing “This Land Is Your Land.” He was a major influence on Bruce Springsteen and the young Bob Dylan, whom he mentored before he died in 1967. Woody’s protest songs were often performed on his guitar decorated with the slogan This Machine Kills Fascists–WATCH him perform…. (1912)

By the way, that song had never been sung on radio or TV or recorded by a famous performer, but some children’s school songbooks printed it and it was so well received that within a decade millions of people knew the words and could sing along… Guthrie also is the father of folk musician, Arlo Guthrie (who did Alice’s Restaurant, and Coming Into Los Angeles). Watch Woody in action below…

MORE Good News on this Day:

  • Citizens of Paris stormed the Bastille prison during the French Revolution, freeing seven prisoners and branding the memory of Bastille Day forevermore (1789)
  • In Joplin, Missouri, the George Washington Carver National Monument became the first United States National Monument in honor of an African-American (1943)
  • Jane Goodall arrived at the Gombe Stream Reserve in present-day Tanzania to begin her famous study of chimpanzees in the wild (1960)
  • 40 years ago today, Elvis Costello and The Attractions made their live debut at The Garden, in Cornwall, England (1977)
  • The movie premier of Pink Floyd’s The Wall was held at The Empire, Leicester Square, London, England (1982)
  • David Lange led his Labour party to a landslide victory in New Zealand by promising to ban nuclear weapons and establish the world’s first and only nuclear-free nation, which, as Prime Minister three years later, he did (1984)
  • The Peach Festival in South Carolina broke the world record for the most guitarist performing in unison for the longest period of time, when 432 guitarists played ‘Louie Louie’ for 30 minutes (1989)
  • Duped financial clients who lost millions in the largest Ponzi scheme ever felt some vindication when Bernard Madoff arrived at a federal prison to begin serving a 150-year sentence (2009)