16 years ago today, Liverpool FC’s captain and star midfielder Steven Gerrard led the Reds to victory against West Ham United in the 2006 English FA Cup Final, in a game which came to be known as “The Gerrard Final,” due to the skipper’s irresistible impact on the game. Victory for the Reds came in dramatic fashion, with Gerrard scoring a spectacular long-range half-volley in the last few minutes of normal time to send the game into extra time, and finally to penalties, where they won 3-1 in the shootout. WATCH highlights of the final… (2006)
With barely 10 minutes gone, Liverpool were down 2-0 with mistakes from defender Jamie Carragher and keeper Pepe Reina leading to goals. Enter Gerrard, Liverpool’s number 8, who some believed was the best midfielder in the world at that time, and who constantly tested the West Ham backline with pinpoint chips and long balls, eventually lobbing one into the penalty area on the toe of Liverpool forward Djibril Cisse to score. In the second half Gerrard switched from provider to scorer, rushing into the box to spank home a knockdown from Peter Crouch. West Ham would score again, with a wild cross from Paul Konchesky ending up in the far corner of the net.
Yet Gerrard would not be silenced, and after being at the heart of every good move Liverpool had during the game, he came running onto a loose ball knocked clear from the penalty area from a stray cross and smashed home his second of the game from nearly 35 yards away, admittedly saying “I’ll have a go [from here]” because he was totally exhausted. Among the available commentary teams, one reporter described it as a “piledriver” before concluding with “there’s so little more you can say about that.” It’s widely considered the best FA Cup Final in history.
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)
- 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 55 today (1966)
- 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)
Happy 66th Birthday to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the spiritual leader and founder of the Art of Living Foundation. Born in India, he traveled with his teacher Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, giving talks on Vedic science, and setting up Transcendental Meditation and Ayurveda centers.
In the 80s, Shankar taught his own courses, and says that his rhythmic breathing practice came to him in 1982, “like a poem, an inspiration,” after 10 days of silence on a river bank. Also known as Guru ji, or Gurudev, his Foundation (with centers in 156 countries) is a volunteer-based NGO providing self-development programs, as well as assistance after disasters and cleaning up the environment.
Emphasizing that joy is only available in the present moment, he tries to create a world free of stress and violence. In 1992, he started a practical prison program to rehabilitate inmates and help them reintegrate into society. He has worked for peace in more than six countries, including the Kashmir-India region.
Shankar played a major role in the peace agreement between the Colombian government and FARC guerrillas in 2015. FARC leaders agreed to follow the Gandhian principle of non-violence to attain political objectives. For his efforts, Shankar was awarded Colombia’s highest civilian award. Forbes in 2009 called him the fifth most powerful leader in India. LEARN more and WATCH his video: ‘Don’t analyze yourself too much’… (1956)
Shankar believes spirituality is that which enhances human values such as love, compassion and enthusiasm, so it is not limited to any one religion or culture—and it bonds all of the human family together as one. Science and spirituality are linked and compatible, too, while breath is the link between body and mind. In his view, “Truth is spherical rather than linear; so it has to be contradictory.”
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 Birthday to the brilliant Stevie Wonder who turns 72 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)
Happy 83rd 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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