Lyndon B. Johnson took over the presidency of the United States at a tragic time, stepping up from the vice presidency when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. While he helped America through the difficult time and built on the civil rights victories begun by his predecessor, he also inherited and escalated the Vietnam War, leaving a complex legacy with supporters and detractors alike. LBJ’s “War on Poverty” still reverberates today in programs including Head Start and Job Corps, and he presided as the space race ramped up toward the moon landing. We remember Johnson’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1942: Daryl Dragon, who was one half of the 1970s soft rock superstar duo Captain and Tennille, is born in Los Angeles, California.
1937: Alice Coltrane, U.S. jazz pianist who was the wife of John Coltrane, is born in Detroit, Michigan.
Alice met John while playing in Terry Gibbs’ band in the early 1960s. Within a couple of years, the two were married, and soon after that, in early 1966, Alice replaced McCoy Tyner as pianist for John’s band. It was a short-lived partnership – John died just a year and a half after Alice joined the band – but a musically fruitful one. Read more
1929: Ira Levin, U.S. author known best for his novel “Rosemary’s Baby,” is born in New York, New York.
Levin began working as a TV writer before finishing his first novel, “A Kiss Before Dying,” a murder mystery that was an instant success. His debut won the Edgar Allan Poe Award as the best first novel of 1953. It wasn’t until 14 years later that Levin completed his second novel, “Rosemary’s Baby,” the creepy tale of a New York couple in the clutch of Satanists who want the young wife to bear Satan’s child. Read more
1921: Leo Penn, U.S. actor and director who was the father of actors Sean and Chris Penn and singer Michael Penn, is born in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
1916: Martha Raye, U.S. actress and singer who starred on “The Martha Raye Show” from 1954 to 1956, is born in Butte, Montana.
1909: Lester Young, U.S. jazz saxophonist who was a member of Count Basie‘s orchestra, is born in Woodville, Mississippi.
1908: Lyndon B. Johnson, U.S. politician who was the 36th president of the United States, serving from 1963 to 1969, is born in Stonewall, Texas.
1896: Leon Theremin, Russian engineer who invented the theremin, one of the first electronic musical instruments, is born in Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire.
1890: Man Ray, U.S. artist known best for his portrait photography, is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1871: Theodore Dreiser, U.S. novelist whose well-known works include “Sister Carrie” and “An American Tragedy,” is born in Terre Haute, Indiana.