On this day in history, December 5, 1976, Smile Jamaica Concert is held at National Heroes Park in Kingston, Jamaica only two days after Marley had almost been killed by gunmen in his house, Marley agreed to perform one song for the 80,000 people in attendance, but it turned into a whole 90-minute performance despite his injuries.
In December 1976, Marley was involved in a tragic incident in which he, his wife Rita, manager Don Taylor, and a friend, were shot at his Hope Road home.
‘Smile Jamaica’ was promoted in an effort to ease the tension between supporters of the two powers in Jamaica, the then ruling People’s National Party (PNP) and the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).
Some people thought the shooting was politically motivated, as many felt the concert was really a rally in support of Manley who was seeking re-election in national polls scheduled for December 20. In 1978, Bob Marley returned to Kingston and performed at the One Love Peace Concert, again trying to calm warring political factions. Near the end of his performance, he called Manley and his arch-rival, JLP leader Edward Seaga, on stage for a symbolic clasping of hands.