65 years ago today, Martin Luther King, Jr. launched the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a protest campaign against the policy of racial segregation on the public transit system of Montgomery, Alabama.
A seminal event in the civil rights movement in the United States, the campaign lasted for 1 year and 16 days – beginning the Monday after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to surrender her seat to a white person — to December 20, 1956, when the federal ruling Browder v. Gayle took effect, and led to a US Supreme Court decision that declared any law that segregated buses to be unconstitutional. (1955)
MORE Good News on this Date:
- Prohibition, which made alcohol illegal in the United States, was overturned (1933)
- The National Council of Negro Women was formed by Mary McLeod Bethune in New York City (1935)
- New York became first US city to legislate against racial or religious discrimination in the housing market, thanks to the Fair Housing Practices Law (1957)
- The Rolling Stones released their Beggar’s Banquet LP (1968)
- International Volunteer Day was declared by the United Nations to be December 5th (1986)
- The first civil partnership was registered in the UK under the new Civil Partnership Act (2005)
Happy Saint Nicholas Eve! Today is the day that is celebrated in the UK, Czech Republic, Belgium and Netherlands, with children awaiting the arrival of Sinterklaas (in Dutch) or Santa Claus.
Historically, Saint Nicholas, who lived in the 4th century, was deemed the patron saint of sailors, merchants, the falsely accused, thieves, children, and students.
Happy 86th Birthday to Joan Didion, the American essayist and author who in 1991 became the earliest mainstream media writer to suggest the Central Park Five had been wrongfully convicted. In 2005, she won the National Book Award for Nonfiction and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for her autobiography The Year of Magical Thinking. She later enjoyed branching out by adapting the book into a Broadway play. In 2017, Didion was profiled in the Netflix documentary The Center Will Not Hold. (1934)
And, on this day in 1973, Paul MCCARTNEY released his most successful post-Beatles album Band on the run. The majority of the LP was recorded at a ramshackle and under-equipped studio in Lagos, Nigeria in six weeks, during which he and his wife Linda were mugged at knife point while on a walk. Two members of his band Wings had quit the night before the flight, which made Paul more determined for success than ever. So McCartney ended up playing drums, bass, and lead guitar parts, with Linda on keyboards and Denny Laine on rhythm guitar. Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick recorded on just 8 tracks and when they all returned to London, the orchestral arrangements were taped at George Martin’s studio in a single day, conducted by Tony Visconti, who collaborated with Paul to write them in just 72 hours — including the 60-person orchestra for the title track. Both the songs Jet and Band on the run became international chart-toppers.
The LP cover photo included four famous non-musicians, including actors James Coburn and Christopher Lee. And so began a period of public acclaim that reached its zenith with the Wings Over America Tour in 1976. Eventually the LP was certified triple platinum and sold 6 million copies worldwide, becoming EMI’s top selling album of the 1970s in the UK. WATCH a video about the LP’s making…
(WATCH Part 2 on YouTube)
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