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Good News in History, October 5

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16 years ago today, the 60-year-old rock star Jon Bon Jovi, who’s sold 100 million records, launched a charity foundation to combat poverty issues like food and housing to ease economic despair.

Their ‘pay what you want’ restaurants—the JBJ Soul Kitchen in Red Bank, New Jersey, and a second location in Toms River, dreamed-up by Jon’s wife (his high-school sweetheart, Dorothea)—have served over 130,000 meals, most recently reaching a goal by serving 53% of paying diners and 47% of diners’ in-need. Locally-sourced ingredients and customer dignity are always on the menu.

The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation has helped provide support for over 700 units of affordable housing in 11 states and Washington D.C., for thousands of people including youth and veterans. They gave $100,000 to the Veterans Center of Hoboken, New Jersey in July, 2021 to create new housing and support services that provide homeless veterans with a place of their own. Join their mission here and WATCH a video showing their amazing effort to create a food bank on Long Island during the pandemic.. (2006)

MORE Good News on this Day:

  • Portugal‘s Republic Day celebrates overthrow of its monarchy to become a new republic (1910)
  • The first documented Narcotics Anonymous meeting was held, a gathering where former drug addicts can find fellowship and support (1953)
  • The first Beatles single, Love Me Do, was released in Britain, a moment their manager Brian Epstein said that changed the world (1962)
  • Monty Python’s Flying Circus was first broadcast on the BBC, after being recorded on 7 September (1969)
  • The first female news anchor in the US, broadcaster Barbara Walters, co-hosted the ABC Evening News (1976)
  • Mass demonstrations led to Serbian strongman Slobodan Milošević resigning (2000)

And 56 years ago today, after moving to London, Jimi Hendrix played with drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding for the first time — The Jimi Hendrix Experience was formed.jimi-hendrix-experience-publicity-photo

All three of the power trio’s studio albums, Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold as Love, and Electric Ladyland, were featured in the top 100 of the Rolling Stone list of Greatest Albums of All Time. (1966)

And, on this day in 1947, President Harry Truman recorded the first televised White House address—a plea on behalf of starving people in post-war Europe.

He called on Americans to refrain from eating meat on Tuesdays and poultry on Thursdays, in order to stockpile grain for donating as food aid. He also suggested that everyone consume one fewer slice of bread per day ahead of the expected winter famine overseas. When the pioneering speech was aired, there were only 44,000 televisions in the country—mostly in big cities.

And, 52 years ago today, PBS formed as the Public Broadcasting Service. The independently operated nonprofit is one of the most popular American charities, responsible for television programs that are beloved national institutions: Nature, Nova, NewsHour, Antiques Roadshow, In Performace at the White House, and Austin City Limits.

For airing children’s shows like Sesame Street and Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, PBS became every parent’s best friend.

Founded by Hartford Gunn Jr. in Boston, he believed that Americans deserved a non-commercial television service whose sole mission was to educate and inspire. Now PBS reaches 120 million people with its programming on 330 public television member stations. All the shows listed above, and many more programs about history, the arts, and current events—along with fictional dramas like Downton Abbey and comedies like Fawlty Towers—are mainly produced by member stations, such as WGBH in Boston and WETA in D.C. (which co-produces Ken Burns documentaries), and also imported from other producers such as the BBC.  (1970)

And, 49 years ago, Elton John released Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. The double album was his seventh and thought to be his best. Most of the music Elton composed in three days while staying at a Jamaican hotel. He was working with the lyrics that were written by Bernie Taupin in a mere two and a half weeks.

With hits like Candle in the Wind, Bennie and the Jets, and Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road has sold over 30 million copies worldwide. WATCH them discuss the making of the album… (1973)

 

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