50 years ago today, The Long and Winding Road became the 20th—and final—No. 1 single in the US by The Beatles. Paul McCartney wrote the song at his farm in Scotland. The idea was inspired by the sight of a road “stretching up into the hills” in the remote Highlands surrounded by lochs and distant mountains.
inspired by the growing tension among The Beatles, the song set the all-time record for number of chart-topping singles on the Billboard Hot 100. And, amazingly, the Fab Four achieved this feat within the 74 months following their debut 1964 hit, I Want to Hold Your Hand—an average of one chart-topping single every 3.7 months, another all-time record. WATCH a video of them in the studio… (1970)
MORE Good News on this Day:
- Rhode Island, whose flag features the word “HOPE”, became the first of Britain’s North American colonies to ban the importation of slaves (1774)
- France came to the aid of the American Revolution when Marquis de Lafayette landed near Charleston, S.C., to help train the army of the Continental Congress (1777)
- U.S. President Lyndon Johnson nominated Thurgood Marshall (the highly successful attorney known for his victory in Brown v. Board of Education—a 1954 decision that ruled segregated public schools were unconstitutional) to the highest court, and he became the first black Supreme Court Justice (1967)
- British singer-songwriter, David Gray, whose “White Ladder” LP and single, “Babylon” climbed the charts, was born (1968)
- The No.1 album Frampton Comes Alive! was recorded by Peter Frampton at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, which stayed on the charts for 97 weeks (1975)
- South Korea president Kim Dae-jung met Kim Jong-il, president of North Korea, for the first time, fulfilling the latter’s Sunshine Policy with an inter-Korea summit (2000)
- The Arctic Monkeys played live for the first time at The Grapes pub in Sheffield, England, and were paid £27 from ticket sales (2003)
And on this day in 1966, Americans were given their “Miranda rights” by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The judges ruled 5–4 in Miranda v. Arizona that the police must inform suspects of their rights before questioning them. Defendants must be informed of the right to consult with an attorney before and during questioning and of the right against self-incrimination, otherwise evidence gained will not be admissible in court. Afterward, this Miranda warning became routine police procedure: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.”
Also, on this day in 1865, the Irish poet William Butler Yeats, one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature, was born. A driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival, Yeats also served as a two-term Irish Senator. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature for his “inspired poetry that gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation.”
Also, Happy Birthday to Tim Allen, who turns 67 today. The actor and comedian best loved by families as the voice of Buzz Lightyear on Toy Story also played St. Nick in The Santa Clause trilogy. Tim ‘The Toolman’ of TV’s Home Improvement fame also stars in the popular television show Last Man Standing. (1953)
And, on this day in 1989, the 16th James Bond film, License to Kill, premiered. Starring Timothy Dalton in the role of the fictional spy, it is the first one not to use the title of an actual Ian Fleming story, though the script has elements of two of the author’s short stories and a novel. The film portrays Bond being suspended from his job at MI6 as he pursues the drug lord who ordered an attack against his CIA friend Felix Leiter and his wife during their honeymoon.
WATCH the opening scenes when Felix and Bond capture a bad guy before parachuting to the wedding…
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