February 25, 2021



Good News on This Day in History – December 4

105 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.

I have 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.” (1915)

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • 401 years ago today, 38 colonists from Berkeley Parish, England, disembark in Virginia and gave thanks to God, which is considered by many to be the first Thanksgiving in the Americas (1619)
  • 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 Nations was approved by the US 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 64 years ago, 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.

Million Dollar Quartet

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. (1956)

Happy Birthday to actor Jeff Bridges, who turns 71 years old today. His portrayal of ‘The Dude’ in the 1998 cult classic The big lebowski earned him legions of fans and he won an Oscar ten years ago for Crazy heart, which showcased his skill as a musician and singer. (Have you caught one of his concerts?)

2017 photo by Gage Skidmore, CC license

Last year, I published his second photography book, Jeff Bridges: Pictures: Volume Two, containing more than 125 black-and-white pictures he’s taken with an obscure wide angle camera on the sound stages of all his films. For the last 35 years, he’s been snapping selfies and candids of himself and co-stars like Streep, Clooney, and Timberlake, turning them into yearbooks, which he then hands out to cast and crew after the movie wraps.

What a life he’s led, with Oscar nominations for his roles in The Contender, Starman, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, The Last Picture Show, and True Grit. He’s also the author of The Dude and the Zen Master and has been married for over 40 years to a woman who worked as a maid at the ranch where he was filming a movie — and aiming to end childhood hunger, he co-founded the End Hunger Network. WATCH him use the camera on Kimmel Live and talk about his big 70th birthday party… (1949)

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