1. 1967: “Light My Fire” hits #1 on Billboard Top 100
It was on this date in 1967 the hit song “Light My Fire” by The Doors hit #1 on the Billboard top 100. The song was recorded in 1966 and then released on the self-titled album in early 1967. It really started to pick up steam as far as popularity goes when it was released in single form a few months later. Jim Morrison was the front and and lead singer of the band that took the late ’60s by storm. This would be the start of what would be a very short, but brilliant career. When the song hit the top spot the group was out touring on the east coast as an opener for bands like Simon and Garfunkel and sometimes the headliner in some cases. They had released the single “Break On Through” prior but it didn’t received nearly the response of Light my Fire. It of course would become one of their more popular songs as time went on. Morrison lived a very wild lifestyle and with erratic behavior that would end with I’m taking his life July of 1971.
2. 1958: NASA is founded
The civilian agency known as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was established on this day in 1958. Since then it has sent both man and machine to the moon. NASA was created in response the Soviet Union having the first successful launch into space with their Sputnik program. They were concerned that the Soviets would use this new technology as a weapon against the United States by sending missiles from space. With this, the “Space Race” between two world super powers began. The Soviets seemed to stay one step ahead of the Americans, at least until Neil Armstrong took the first human step on the moon on July 20th, 1969.
3. 1909: Cadillac joins the General Motors family
It was on this day in 1909 that the country’s leading luxury car manufacturer, Cadillac, was purchased by General Motors for $4.5 million. The Cadillac name had come on strong since its debut in 1902, and quickly earned the reputation for one of the set high end luxury cars available on the market. Founded by Henry Leland out of the remnants of Henry Ford’s second attempt at starting a car company, his third attempt became what we know today as Ford. Leland was a machinist from Detroit that was brought in to assess the remaining assets of the failed company, but somehow managed to convince the company to stay in business under his guidance. That would prove to be a very smart and lucrative decision because Cadillac is still going strong more than 100 years later. The name Cadillac was in honor of the French explorer that founded the city of Detroit in 1701.