On this Day August 31
1976 – A judge rules that when George Harrison wrote “My Sweet Lord,” he plagiarized The Chiffons’ “He’s So Fine, written by Ronnie Mack. The crime costs the ex-Beatle $1.6 million for what the court calls “subconscious plagiarism.”
1980 – Representatives of Poland’s communist government agree to the demands of striking shipyard workers in Gdansk. Former electrician Lech Walesa leads the striking workers, who go on to form Solidarity, the first independent labor union to develop in a Soviet bloc nation.
1997 – Diana, Princess of Wales, and her companion, Dodi Al-Fayed, die in a Paris car crash while being pursued at high speed by photographers on motorbikes. The tragedy leaves the world shocked and saddened.
Own a Piece of This Day
Early Takes Volume 1 / George Harrison
George Harrison’s ability to balance lofty spiritual concerns within the framework of a pop song was one of his greatest strengths, and it is well documented on this collection of previously unreleased recordings.
One of the biggest-selling albums of all time, Metallica’s self-titled disc (a.k.a. “The Black Album”) marked a major turning point for the band even before it was released in 1991. It was the first solid indication Metallica were no longer interested in writing pure thrash metal and wanted to reach a wider and more mainstream audience.
Mark Spitz: The Extraordinary Life of an Olympic Champion
Swimmer extraordinaire Mark Spitz is arguably the most famous and successful Olympic athlete of all time. This book dives into Spitz’s career, behind-the-scenes anecdotes about him and his competitors, and untold stories that shed light on his complicated personality. Old and new fans alike will appreciate the depth and details of this swimming icon’s story.
Diana: Her True Story — In Her Own Words
The sensational biography of Princess Diana, written with her cooperation and now featuring exclusive new material to commemorate the 20th anniversary of her death.
The Essential Van Morrison
This comprehensive anthology of one of the Emerald Isle’s most soulful singers hits the high points of Van Morrison’s five-decade-long artistic evolution.