July 06, 2023

#ThrowbackThursday – 6 July

Do you know how John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met? Or how Serena Williams won her first Wimbledon championship? Or do you remember when everyone and their mother (and father and brother and sister and granny) were out in droves looking for Pokémon?

6 July has all the answers! So, take a closer look at these three events that went down in history on this particular date:

1957 – “Feted” to Meet

Imagine a time when the Beatles didn’t exist. It’s practically inconceivable to think about, but yes, before they took over the world in 1960, they just weren’t a thing yet.

In fact, the seeds were only sown in 1957: Paul McCartney was just 15-years-old when he met 16-year-old John Lennon at a garden fete held at St Peter’s Church in Woolton, Liverpool. At the time, Lennon was the vocalist and guitarist for a local skiffle group known as the Quarrymen, and they had been scheduled to perform at the event.

In a 1995 interview with “Record Collector”, McCartney recalled how he was taken by the music from Lennon’s group – specifically, Lennon’s overall performance.

“I remember John singing a song called ‘Come Go With Me’,” explained McCartney. “He’d heard it on the radio. He didn’t really know the verses, but he knew the chorus. The rest he just made up himself. I just thought, ‘Well, he looks good, he’s singing well and he seems like a great lead singer to me.’ Of course, he had his glasses off, so he really looked suave. I remember John was good. He was really the only outstanding member, all the rest kind of slipped away.”

This prompted the younger teen to approach Lennon for a chat, and it wasn’t long before the latter asked the former to join the group as a rhythm guitarist. Three years (and a couple of band member changes later), the Quarrymen officially became the Beatles, and the rest is history!

2002 – The Williams’ Wimbledon Battle

There’s nothing like that family touch to spice up a sports rivalry for the ages. In tennis, Venus vs. Serena Williams is one such prominent example – to date, the two sisters have played 31 professional matches against each other, of which Serena has won 19.

In 2002, Serena famously prevailed against her older sister before a capacity crowd to win her first Wimbledon singles title. Through sheer determination and grit, the 20-year-old beat the 22-year-old with a score of 7-6, 6-3.

In the process, she also toppled Venus’ goal to win the title three times in a row.

“It was now or never because I was playing the two-times champion,” said Serena in a post-match interview. “I definitely really was fighting in the first set, and played well in the tiebreak. [Venus] played well and wouldn’t stop running the ball down.”

Still, that didn’t stop the sisters showing each other love and respect after the match – they hugged it out over the tennis net, showing the world that even the spiciest rivalries between family members can have its sweet moments.

2016 – Here We Go on “Pokémon GO”

Can you believe that “Pokémon GO” is seven-years-old? It feels like only yesterday when the mobile phone app was released by Niantic to the worldwide masses, allowing players to find, capture and train their very own digital creatures. Utilising augmented reality (combining real world and computer-generated content), Pokémon could show up in such a way that it appeared they were in the same real-life surroundings as the players!

“Pokémon GO” was extremely popular upon its launch, with over 10 million downloads within days of the launch. Soon enough, millions of players across the globe were out in the streets in vast numbers, hunting down and capturing common and rare Pokémon alike. At the time of its release, there were 150 species of Pokémon to catch (it’s since grown to over 900!).

Of course, the game copped its fair share of criticism, not just because of the initial technical issues, but also because of the HUGE amounts of people who would congregate at various locations. Foot traffic increased to the point where players were considered as hazards on the roads and for being public nuisances, especially near places of worship, memorials and protected areas.

On the plus-side, though, the game was praised for getting players to improve their physical fitness due to the amount of walking involved. Plus, local businesses, national parks and charities also benefited from their presence as players’ engagement with the outside world increased.

Today, “Pokémon GO” has been downloaded over one billion times, with over nine million playing daily.

Image Credit: Source