On This Day

John Lennon

Musician and Beatle John Lennon

Profession: Musician and Beatle

United Kingdom

Why Famous: Founding member of The Beatles, Lennon formed a songwriting partnership with Paul McCartney that became one of the most successful and famous in the history of music. Born in Liverpool, Lennon was in the group the Quarrymen which eventually developed into the Beatles in 1960.

As part of the best-selling group in music history, Lennon wrote or co-wrote many of the band's biggest hits. His rebellious nature gave his writings, interviews and work a notably acerbic and sardonic wit. After the group broke up in 1970, Lennon embarked on a successful solo career with his wife Yoko Ono. This included the hit 1971 single "Imagine".

His political activism, particularly in protesting against the Vietnam War, made him a controversial figure; the White House under Richard Nixon engaged in lengthy attempts to deport him.

In 1975 he withdrew from the music business to raise his son, Sean, but returned in 1980 to release the album Double Fantasy, with Yoko Ono. Three weeks after its release he was shot and killed by Mark David Chapman outside his Manhattan apartment. His death triggered an outpouring of grief on an unprecedented scale throughout the world.

Born: October 9, 1940
Birthplace: Liverpool, United Kingdom

Generation: Silent Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Dragon
Star Sign: Libra

Died: December 8, 1980 (aged 40)
Cause of Death: Murdered

Articles and Photos

Married Life

  • 1962-08-23 British "Beatles" musician John Lennon (21) weds Cynthia Powell (22); divorce in 1968
  • 1968-08-22 Cynthia Lennon sues Beatle member John Lennon for divorce on grounds of adultery
  • 1969-03-20 British Beatle John Lennon (28) marries Japanese artist Yoko Ono (36) in Gibraltar, near Spain

Historical Events

  • 1957-07-06 John Lennon (16) & Paul McCartney (15) meet for 1st time as Lennon's rock group Quarrymen perform at St. Peter's, Woolton's Parish Church in Liverpool
  • 1963-03-12 Beatles perform as a trio, at Granada Cinema, in Bedford, England, as John Lennon is ill with a cold
  • 1963-11-04 John Lennon utters his infamous line at a Royal Variety Performance "Will the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands? And for the rest of you, if you’ll just rattle your jewelry…" in London
  • 1964-03-23 "In His Own Write", a book of short stories, poems and drawings by John Lennon is published
  • 1964-04-01 John Lennon is reunited with his father Freddie after 17 years
  • 1964-04-27 John Lennon's book of poetry and sketches "In His Own Write" is published in US
  • 1965-02-15 John Lennon passes his driving test
  • 1965-06-14 John Lennon's second book "A Spaniard in the Works" is published
  • 1966-03-04 John Lennon says "We (the Beatles) are more popular than Jesus"
  • 1966-07-31 Alabamans burn Beatle products due to John Lennon's anti-Jesus remark
  • 1966-11-09 John Lennon meets Yoko Ono at an avante-garde art exposition at Indica Gallery in London
  • 1967-05-25 John Lennon takes delivery of his psychedelically painted Rolls Royce
  • 1967-10-11 "Yoko Plus Me" art exhibit opens in London (the "Me" is John Lennon)
  • 1968-02-16 Beatles George Harrison, John Lennon and their wives fly to India for transcendental meditation study with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
  • 1968-05-15 Paul McCartney & John Lennon appear on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson", to promote Apple Records, Joe Garagiola is substitute host
  • 1968-06-15 John Lennon and Yoko Ono plant two acorns for peace, at Coventry Cathedral, Conventry, England
  • 1968-07-01 John Lennon's 1st full art exhibition (You Are Here) opens at Robert Fraser Gallery in London
  • 1968-07-05 John Lennon sells his psychedelic painted Rolls-Royce
  • 1968-08-31 Private Eye magazine reports a John Lennon and Yoko Ono album will have a picture of them nude on the cover
  • 1968-10-18 Police find 219 grains of cannabis resin in John Lennon and Yoko Ono's apartment, they are fined £150 for marijuana possession
  • 1968-10-25 Yoko Ono announces she is having John Lennon's baby; she later suffers a miscarriage
  • 1968-11-11 John Lennon and Yoko Ono appear nude on cover of "Two Virgins" album
  • 1968-11-28 John Lennon is fined £150 for unauthorized drug possession
  • 1968-11-29 John Lennon and Yoko Ono release their 1st album "Two Virgins" in UK
  • 1969-01-03 John Lennon's "Two Virgins" album declared pornographic in New Jersey
  • 1969-03-25 John Lennon and Yoko Ono stage their 1st bed-in for peace (Amsterdam)
  • 1969-05-26 John Lennon and Yoko Ono begin their 2nd bed-in for peace at Hotel La Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • 1969-05-31 John Lennon and Yoko Ono record "Give Peace a Chance" in a Montreal hotel, during their second 'bed-in' for peace
  • 1969-06-14 John Lennon and Yoko Ono appear on David Frost's British TV Show
  • 1969-07-01 John Lennon and Yoko Ono are admitted to hospital after he crashes his car near Durness in the Scottish Highlands
  • 1969-09-13 Plastic Ono Band's 1st live performance, featuring John Lennon, Yoko Ono and Eric Clapton, the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival festival
  • 1969-11-07 John Lennon and Yoko Ono release their second album "Wedding Album" in UK
  • 1969-11-25 John Lennon returns OBE to protest against UK's support for Vietnam War
  • 1970-02-11 John Lennon pays £1,344 fines for 96 protesting South African rugby team playing in Scotland
  • 1970-04-01 John Lennon and Yoko Ono release hoax they are having dual sex change operations
  • 1971-01-20 John Lennon meets Yoko Ono's parents in Japan
  • 1971-01-22 John Lennon and Plastic Ono Band record "Power to the People" at his Ascot Sound Studio
  • 1971-05-27 John Lennon records the song "Imagine" at his Ascot Sound home studio at Tittenhurst Park, England
  • 1971-06-06 John Lennon and Yoko Ono unannounced appearance at Fillmore East in NYC
  • 1971-08-31 Beatle John Lennon leaves England for the final time, moving to New York City
  • 1971-09-09 John Lennon and Yoko Ono appear on Dick Cavett Show (ABC-TV)
  • 1971-09-09 John Lennon releases his "Imagine" album
  • 1971-10-08 John Lennon releases his megahit single "Imagine"
  • 1971-10-14 John Lennon and Yoko Ono appear on "Dick Cavett Show"
  • 1971-10-28 John Lennon and Yoko Ono record "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" in NYC
  • 1971-12-01 John Lennon and Yoko Ono release "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" in US
  • 1972-02-04 Senator Strom Thurmond suggests John Lennon be deported
  • 1972-02-14 John Lennon and Yoko Ono co-host the syndicated "Mike Douglas Show" for entire week, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1972-02-18 John Lennon and Yoko Ono end a week of co-hosting the syndicated "Mike Douglas Show", in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1972-03-16 John Lennon and Yoko Ono are served with deportation papers
  • 1972-04-27 NYC Mayor John Lindsey appeals that John Lennon not be deported
  • 1972-05-11 John Lennon says his phone is tapped by FBI on "The Dick Cavett Show"
  • 1972-06-12 John Lennon's political album "Sometime in NYC" released including the songs "Woman is the Nigger of the World", "Attica State" and "Luck of the Irish"
  • 1972-08-30 John Lennon and Yoko Ono's "One on One" benefit shows (matinee and evening) for children at Madison Square Garden, New York, his final full concert performance
  • 1972-09-04 John Lennon and Yoko Ono perform three songs ("Imagine"; "Now Or Never"; "Give Peace A Chance") on Jerry Lewis' 7th Muscular Dystrophy telethon at the Americana Hotel, NYC
  • 1973-04-01 John Lennon and Yoko Ono form a new country with no laws or boundaries, called Nutopia, its national anthem is silence
  • 1973-10-24 John Lennon sues US government to admit FBI is tapping his phone
  • 1973-11-16 John Lennon releases "Mind Games" album
  • 1974-07-17 John Lennon is (again) ordered to leave US in 60 days, due to a 1968 marijuana charge in the UK
  • 1974-08-23 John Lennon reports seeing a UFO in NYC
  • 1974-09-23 John Lennon's single "Whatever Gets You Thru the Night", featuring Elton John, released in US; it was Lennon's only solo No. 1 single during his lifetime
  • 1974-09-28 John Lennon appears as guest DJ on WNEW-FM (NYC)
  • 1974-10-04 John Lennon releases "Walls & Bridges" album featuring No. 1 single "Whatever Gets You thru the Night"
  • 1974-11-16 John Lennon's only solo #1 "Whatever Gets You Through the Night"
  • 1974-11-28 John Lennon's last concert appearance, as a guest of Elton John, Madison Square Garden, New York City NYC; they perform "Whatever Gets You Thru the Night"; "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds"; and "I Saw Her Standing There"
  • 1975-01-31 John Lennon releases single "#9 Dream"
  • 1975-02-21 John Lennon releases "Rock 'n' Roll" album
  • 1975-03-07 RCA releases "Young Americans", David Bowie's 9th studio album, recorded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and New York City; featuring appearances by John Lennon on two tracks, it peaks in the U.S. charts at No. 9, and No. 2 in the U.K.
  • 1975-03-10 John Lennon releases single "Stand By Me", a cover of Ben E. King song, originally released in 1961
  • 1975-04-28 Ringo Starr appears on "The Smothers Brothers Show", singing Hoyt Axton's "No No Song", and John Lennon is the guest on Tom Snyder's "Tomorrow" program, in what turns out to be his final television interview
  • 1975-10-07 US decides John Lennon won't be deported due to UK pot conviction
  • 1977-07-27 John Lennon is granted a green card for permanent residence in US
  • 1980-08-04 John Lennon and Yoko Ono begin recording "Double Fantasy" in NYC
  • 1980-09-22 John Lennon and Yoko Ono sign a recording contract with Geffen Records
  • 1980-10-24 John Lennon releases single "(Just Like) Starting Over" in UK
  • 1980-11-17 John Lennon releases "Double Fantasy" album in UK
  • 1980-11-21 John Lennon and Yoko Ono pose nude for photographer Allan Tannenbaum
  • 1980-12-08 Annie Leibovitz has a photo-shoot with John Lennon, the last person to professionally photograph him before he is murdered on the same day
  • 1980-12-14 At 2 PM EST there is 10 minutes of silence in memory of John Lennon
  • 1981-01-16 John Lennon's single "Woman" is posthumously released in the UK
  • 1981-02-06 Beatles Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr & George Harrison record a tribute to John Lennon
  • 1981-03-27 John Lennon single "Watching the Wheels" released posthumously in UK
  • 1981-06-05 George Harrison releases "Somewhere in England", his ninth studio album, includes John Lennon tribute "All Those Years Ago" (Featuring Paul and Ringo)
  • 1981-06-22 Mark David Chapman pleads guilty to killing former Beatle John Lennon
  • 1981-08-24 Mark David Chapman is sentenced to 20 yrs to life for John Lennon's murder
  • 1982-05-10 WABC radio (NYC) plays its last record - John Lennon's "Imagine"
  • 1984-01-09 John Lennon single "Nobody Told Me" released posthumously
  • 1984-01-27 "Milk & Honey" album by John Lennon and Yoko Ono released, featuring un-released recordings made during the 1980 "Double Fantasy" sessions, including "Grow Old With Me"
  • 1984-03-09 John Lennon single "Borrowed Time" released posthumously
  • 1984-03-21 Part of Central Park in New York City is named Strawberry Fields honoring John Lennon
  • 1984-07-15 John Lennon's single "I'm Stepping Out" released posthumously
  • 1984-11-16 John Lennon's 'Every Man has a Woman Who Loves Him' released posthumously
  • 1986-02-10 "John Lennon: Live in NYC" album is released posthumously
  • 1986-11-03 John Lennon "Menlove Avenue" album released posthumously
  • 1990-10-09 Radio stations around world play "Imagine" honoring John Lennon on what would have been his 50th birthday
  • 1994-01-19 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees: The Animals; The Band; Duane Eddy; The Grateful Dead; Elton John; John Lennon; Bob Marley; Rod Stewart; Willie Dixon; and Johnny Otis
  • 1995-03-20 Beatles song, "Baby It's You", with late John Lennon as lead singer, released, 1st Fab Four single in nearly 10 years
  • 2016-02-20 4-inch lock of John Lennon's hair sells for $35,000 to a memorabilia collector at an auction in Dallas, Texas

Quotes by John Lennon

  • "Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one." - Dreams, Peace
  • "Love, Love, Love. All you need is love. Love is all you need." - Love

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