Jim Morrison | Waiting For the Sun explores the Doors in cultural, popular and academic history for the month of March
Explore Jim Morrison and The Doors place in a unique timing, and the cultural, social and historical events which led up to that time


1812 - With the publication of the first two cantos of Lord Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Byron finds his work is a national sensation and he is immediately established as a public figure. He is said to have commented in disbelief: “I awoke one morning and found myself famous.”

1903 - Jazz cornettist (Leon Bismarck) "Bix" Beiderbecke is born in Davenport, Iowa. As a young boy, he heard black jazz players — including Louis Armstrong — on Mississippi riverboats passing his town, and playing jazz became his great passion. His parents sent him to a Chicago military academy, trying to get the music off his mind, but it was the worst possible place to have chosen: Chicago's south side was the new music's hotbed. Beiderbecke's first recordings were made in 1924 — he was 21 — with a white group from Ohio called the Wolverines. Two years later, he joined the Jean Goldkette band; a year after that, he moved to the Paul Whiteman Orchestra. He played with Whiteman off and on, until he drank himself to death 4 years later: he died alone, in a New York rooming house, at the age of 28. He achieved posthumous fame 7 years after his death with the publication of Dorothy Baker's novel, Young Man with a Horn (1938). Although he'd sent many of his records back to his disapproving parents in Davenport, so far as anyone knows neither his mother nor his father never listened to any of them.

1922 - Variety magazine greets its readers with the front-page headline: “Radio Sweeping Country - 1,000,000 Sets in Use.”

1935 - Laugh-In’s ear-cupping announcer, Gary Owens, is born.

1937 - Benny Goodman earns the appelation “King of Swing” as an audience of 21,000 jitterbuggers jam the Paramount Theatre in New York City to see the young clarinetist.

1949 - Fire breaks out in the main building of the Highland Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, where Zelda Fitzgerald is a patient. She is locked in the mental ward on the third floor with nine other women, all of whom die in the flames. Zelda, widow of novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, was 48 years old.

1952 - T-Bone Walker records Party Girl for Imperial Records in Los Angeles.

1955 - The Silver Eagle is the last of the adventure stories to be heard on radio, ending this evening.

1959 - Elvis Presley's I Need Your Love Tonight backed with A Fool Such as I is released on RCA Records. The following day, based on advanced orders for the disc totaling nearly one million, RCA ships a gold record for the platter to Elvis, who is stationed in Germany.

1959 - Tennessee Williams’ Sweet Bird of Youth opens at the Martin Beck Theatre in New York City starring Geraldine Page, Paul Newman, Rip Torn and Diana Hyland. The critics call Page “fabulous,” and Newman “the perfect companion.”

1969 - James Earl Ray pleads guilty in Memphis, TN, to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Ray later repudiates that plea, maintaining his innocence until his death. Ray was sentenced to 99 years in prison for the murder of the civil rights leader.

1977 - Pink Floyd's second album since 1973's landmark The Dark Side of the Moon, Animals goes platinum. It hits Number Three.

1975 - John Lennon releases his cover of Ben E. King's Stand by Me as a single in the U.S.

1998 - Eric Clapton's album Pilgrim is released.

For more day-by-day history go to HistoryUnlimited.net