John Lennon continues to be one of the most influential pop culture figures in history. With every new generation, more individuals discover his work, both artistically and as an activist.
Lennon and his activist work really started to take off upon his marriage to Yoko Ono. The two famously spent their honeymoon in March 1969 at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel, where they held their “Bed-In for Peace.” Another “Bed-In” took place two months later at the Queen Elizabeth Fairmont in Montreal. This became the site of the recording of “Give Peace A Chance.”
Peace and anti-war causes remained at the forefront of the movements Lennon supported. This was often reflected in Lennon’s music, from “Gimme Some Truth” to “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).” Additionally, Lennon started to befriend a number of counterculture leaders. Notably, Lennon and Ono performed at the “John Sinclair Freedom Rally” in Ann Arbor, Mich. in December 1971. These actions and more led to Lennon becoming a target of the U.S. government and the FBI, which was explored in the 2006 documentary The U.S. vs John Lennon.
There are many lessons to be learned from Lennon’s life and career. Perhaps, the greatest lesson is to always strive for peace, even when the odds are against you. Few causes are as noble and honorable as peace. After all, war is over, if you want it.
In his honor, consider doing one of these five things in memory of John Lennon.