This Day in History… October 9, 1940

Item #M9067 – In addition to being a musical pioneer, Lennon was an avid artist and writer. This stamp pictures his famous self portrait.

Birth of Music Legend John Lennon

On October 9, 1940, one of the world’s most celebrated songwriters and performers was born – John Lennon.

Lennon was born in Liverpool, England during a German bombing raid in World War II. John had a tough childhood, and his mother was killed in a car accident when he was 17. Lennon founded a band called “The Quarrymen” that same year. Paul McCartney and George Harrison soon joined.

Item #M4290 – Neat sheet shows Lennon through the years – from his early days with the Beatles to his final years as a solo artist.

After changing their name to The Beatles, the band played in nightclubs in England and Germany. In 1962, Brian Epstein became the group’s manager and arranged a recording session. At that first session in the studio, The Beatles recorded an entire album in less than 10 hours, despite Lennon suffering from a severe cold. Called Please Please Me, the album was a big hit in Great Britain, and marked the beginning of “Beatlemania.”

Please Please Me also led to an invitation to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show, which launched The Beatles into stardom in the U.S. What followed was a magical ride as The Beatles recorded 22 number one hits from 1963 to 1969. In an eight-year run, the band released thirteen albums, with Lennon and McCartney writing almost all of the songs.

Item #M6224 – Lennon collected stamps as a child. After his death, his collection was given to the National Postal Museum. You can read about and view his collection here.

The strains of constant touring and recording started to add up. John’s marriage to his childhood sweetheart Cynthia Powell fell apart, and he entered a relationship – and eventual marriage – with performing artist Yoko Ono. As the members began to go in different artistic directions The Beatles broke up.

Lennon’s solo work was still popular, and the albums Imagine and Double Fantasy were particularly successful. But on the night of December 8, 1980, Mark David Chapman shot him four times – hours after Lennon had autographed an album cover for Chapman. He died from his wounds shortly after.

Lennon is fondly remembered as a songwriter and performer who helped change America’s music scene.

Click the images to add Lennon’s legacy in stamps to your collection.

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