On this day 76 years ago, guitarist-songwriter George Harrison was born in Liverpool, England. His mother, Louise, wanted only for him to be happy, and the shop assistant recognized that “nothing made George quite as happy as making music.” The Beatle who injected Eastern influences and meditation teachings into the ‘fab four’, his original compositions for the band included “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, “Here Comes the Sun” and “Something”.
A successful solo artist, he released the critically acclaimed triple LP, “All Things Must Pass” (with My Sweet Lord) and produced the first charity benefit show, Concert for Bangladesh. He also formed the supergroup, the Traveling Wilburys. WATCH him play Here Comes the Sun with Ringo on drums… (1943)
MORE Good News on this Date:
- Hiram Rhodes Revels, a Republican from Mississippi, became first black member of U.S. Congress (1870)
- Glacier Bay National Monument was established in Alaska (1925)
- People in Amsterdam protested against Nazis and anti-Jewish laws (1941)
- Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev denounced the brutality of Joseph Stalin in his speech, On the Personality Cult and its Consequences (1956)
- Court rulings banned certain corporal punishment in British schools under the Human Rights Convention (1982)
- Van Halen’s song Jump started a five-week run at #1 on the US singles chart (1984)
And, on this day in 1995, Frank Sinatra sang to a live audience for the last time, performing before 1,200 invited guests on the closing night of the Frank Sinatra Desert Classic golf tournament.
His closing song (at 80 years old) was ‘The Best is Yet to Come’. Esquire reported of the show that Sinatra was “clear, tough, on the money” and “in absolute control”. (Watch the video below)
On this day in 1986, a new female president, Corazon Aquino, was sworn into office as jubilant supporters in the Philippines cheered the end of 20 years of authoritarian dictatorship under Ferdinand Marcos. Ms. Aquino was later selected as Time Magazine’s Woman of the Year. Before bravely leading the restoration of Democracy in her country, she had not held any other elective office.
A self-proclaimed “plain housewife”, she was married to Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr., the staunchest critic of President Marcos who was assassinated three years earlier. When the dictator called for snap elections, Aquino ran for president with a former senator as her running mate. After the elections were held on February 7, Marcos was proclaimed the winner amid allegations of fraud, and Aquino called for massive civil disobedience. Defections from the Armed Forces and the support of the local Catholic hierarchy fueled the People Power Revolution that ousted Marcos and secured Aquino’s accession.
She served as president for six years, pushing through civil and human rights–as well as economic–reforms. When Corazon died of cancer in 2009, hundreds of thousands of Filipinos filled the streets to say a final farewell to their beloved “Cory”. (CC photo by Richel King)