On this day: August 16

POSTED: 09:42 PM PDT Aug 13, 2012    UPDATED: 11:00 PM PDT Aug 15, 2013 

Politics get ugly on the White House lawn, Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation, the Bambino and The King both die, and the Beatles find a new drummer, all on this day.

OTD August 16 - Robert Johnson
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Phil McCarten/Reuters

1938: Blues singer and guitarist Robert Johnson dies at age 27 in Greenwood, Mississippi. One of the biggest influences on popular music in the 20th century, he had little commercial success or public recognition in his lifetime. Because of his poorly documented life and early death, many legends have been spread about him, including the story that he gained his musical talent by selling his soul to the devil at a crossroads. Johnson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at its first induction ceremony in 1986 as an "early influence." Among his songs that became well known after his death are "Terraplane Blues," "Sweet Home Chicago," "Cross Road Blues," "Hellhound on My Tail" and "Love in Vain."

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