103 years ago today, Henry Ford launched a ‘Peace Ship’ during World War I sailing toward Europe ”to get the boys out of the trenches by Christmas.” The auto manufacturer chartered the ocean liner Oscar II and invited prominent peace activists to join him, hoping to create enough publicity to prompt the belligerent nations to convene a peace conference and mediate an end to the Great War. An outbreak of influenza aboard the ship, mockery from the press, and infighting among the activists led him to abandoned the mission once it reached Norway—but it forever cemented Ford’s reputation as a supporter of underdog causes… (1915)
He asserted that the Peace Ship’s expedition was successful on the grounds that it stimulated discussions about peace — and the press, upon his return, mostly agreed. The New York Herald wrote, “We need more Fords, more peace talks, and less indifference to the greatest crime in the world’s history”.
MORE Good News on this Date:
- The first edition of the Los Angeles Times was published (1881)
- The Montreal Canadiens ice hockey club, the oldest surviving pro hockey franchise in the world, was founded (1909)
- The decision to join the United Nation was approved by the U.S. Senate, 65-7 (1945)
- Journalist Terry Anderson, the last American hostage in Lebanon, was released after 7 years in captivity (1991)
- In Angola, a truce was finalized between the government and UNITA rebels (1993)
- Tens of thousands of people in Hong Kong protested for democracy, calling on the Government to allow universal and equal suffrage (2005)
- An adult giant squid is caught on video for the first time by Tsunemi Kubodera near the Ogasawara Islands, 1,000 km (620 mi) south of Tokyo (2006)
And, on this day in 1956, during a Carl Perkins recording session with Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash at Sun Records in Memphis, Elvis Presley visited the studio and jammed extensively while the tapes rolled.
The four men become known as the Million Dollar Quartet, and the complete tapes from this legendary session eventually were released on CD 31 years later. HEAR one of the songs.
And, Happy Birthday to actor Jeff Bridges, who turns 69 today. He starred as “The Dude” Lebowski in the 1998 cult classic The Big Lebowski and earned an Oscar for his role in the 2009 film Crazy Heart, which showcased his skill as a musician and singer.
He also has won nominations for his roles in The Contender, Starman, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, The Last Picture Show and True Grit. Aiming to end childhood hunger, Bridges co-founded the End Hunger Network. He’s been married for 40 years to a woman who worked as a maid at the ranch where he was filming a movie. (1949)
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