Happy Birthday to the brilliant Stevie Wonder who turns 70 today. As a young child, he became blind, but he was a musical prodigy and went on to become one of the most beloved performers of his time. After signing with Motown Records at age 11, the singer-songwriter recorded dozens of timeless songs like Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I Wish, My Cherie Amour, and Superstition.
With his trademark bouncy keyboards and soulful harmonica, Wonder was a regular on the Billboard charts with a whopping 30 top ten hits in the U.S. He won 25 Grammy Awards—the most ever awarded to a male solo artist. WATCH him perform a medley of greatest hits and learn about his 24-hour virtual birthday party… (1950)
Mr. Wonder will celebrate his big 7-0 birthday, hosting a lineup of DJs led by Questlove on a live feed streaming at Stevie’s Instagram page. The 24 hours of non-stop Wonder music is called #24HoursOfStevie.
– Photo by Thomas Hawk, CC license
MORE Good News on this Day:
- Thomas Edison performed the first test of his electric railway in Menlo Park, New Jersey (1880)
- Brazil abolished slavery with the passage of the Lei Áurea, “Golden Law” (1888)
- The U.S. Congress passed legislation establishing Mother’s Day to honor the uncompensated work of mothering on the second Sunday in May (1914)
- The first commercial FM radio station in the U.S. was launched in Bloomfield, Connecticut, which came to be known as WDRC (1939)
- The world premiere of The Beatles film ‘Let It Be‘ became the final release of any kind by the band and featured the unannounced rooftop concert in London, which was their last performance in public (1970)
- Alison Hargreaves, a 33-year-old British mother of two became only the second person ever to reach the peak of Everest–the world’s highest mountain–unaided, without oxygen or help from sherpas (1995)
- And, Darius Rucker, three-time Grammy Award winner and former lead singer and rhythm guitarist of Hootie & the Blowfish, (Only Wanna Be With You) turns 53 today (1966)
And on this day in 1917, three shepherd children in Portugal reportedly were visited by an apparition of the Virgin Mary and an angel giving them instructions to pray the rosary for peace and an end to World War I. Nine-year-old Lúcia Santos of Fátima, and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto, reported seeing a woman “brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light… and pierced by the burning rays of the sun.”
On the second of the famed Marian apparitions, one month later, the lady revealed that Francisco and Jacinta would be taken to Heaven soon, but Lúcia would live longer in order to spread her message, all of which came to pass The three children claimed to have seen the Blessed Virgin Mary in a total of six appearances between May and October.
Since then, the site, called Our Lady of Fátima, has drawn millions of pilgrims annually on the thirteenth day of each month, from May to October, on the anniversaries of the original visions. Statues, Chapels, hospitals and other facilities have been constructed at the site. Lúcia later became a nun, wrote six memoirs about the experience and her life, and was beatified as a saint – like her two cousins were – after her death in 2005. In March 2017, 100 years after the events, Pope Francis canonized Jacinta and Francisco, declaring the intercession of the two visionaries to be miracle. (Top photo by José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro, CC)
Happy 81st Birthday to American actor-producer Harvey Keitel. Born in Brooklyn, he joined the Marines at age 16 and then became a court reporter. Keitel is most known for his roles in Taxi Driver, Mean Streets, Bugsy, The Piano, Bad Lieutenant, Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, National Treasure, and The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Among other films, he also played Judas in Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ and was cast by Ridley Scott as the sympathetic policeman in Thelma & Louise in 1991. That same year, Keitel landed a role in Barry Levinson’s Bugsy, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. WATCH his Top 10 Performances… (1939)
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