Today in History: Great Garbo born in 1905

Today in History: Great Garbo born in 1905

Greta Garbo (born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson) was a Swedish film actress during the 1920s and 1930s. Garbo was nominated three times for the Academy Award for Best Actress and received an Academy Honorary Award in 1954 for her “luminous and unforgettable screen performances.” Garbo launched her career in Hollywood in 1925. Her 1926 performance in Flesh and the Devil, her third movie, made her an international star. Her success continued in films such as Mata Hari (1931) and Grand Hotel (1932) but declined in the late 1930s when she was one of the many stars labeled “Box Office Poison” in 1938. Her career revived upon her turn to comedy in Ninotchka (1939)but after the failure of Two-Faced Woman (1941), she retired from the screen, at the age of 35, after acting in twenty-eight films. From then on, Garbo declined all opportunities to return to the screen. Shunning publicity, she led a private life until her death in 1990. Source: wikipedia.org.

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Today in History: Titanic found in 1985

Today in History: Titanic found in 1985

On this day in 1985, a team of American and French researchers discovered the sunken wreck of the luxury liner RMS Titanic south-southeast of the coast of Newfoundland in a depth of 12,500 feet (3,800 m). Key to the discovery was a remotely controlled undersea vehicle called Argo which helped verify the ship’s identity with cameras and sonar. The Titanic sunk on April 15, 1912 after hitting an iceberg on her maiden voyage, resulting in the loss of more than 1,500 lives. The ship was the biggest and most luxurious liner of her day.

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Today in History: The Great Moon Hoax

Today in History: The Great Moon Hoax

On this day in 1835, the first in a series of six articles announcing the supposed discovery of life on the moon appeared in the New York Sun newspaper.

Known collectively as “The Great Moon Hoax,” the articles were supposedly reprinted from the Edinburgh Journal of Science. Sir John Herschel, a famous astronomer of the day, was said to have set up an observatory with a powerful new telescope in Capetown, South Africa in January 1834 through which he had found evidence of life forms on the moon, including such fantastic animals as unicorns, two-legged beavers and furry, winged humanoids resembling bats. The articles also offered a vivid description of the moon’s geography, complete with massive craters, enormous amethyst crystals, rushing rivers, and lush vegetation. The NY Sun was one of the new “penny press” papers that appealed to a wider audience with a cheaper price and a more narrative style of journalism. From the day the first moon hoax article was released, sales of the paper shot up considerably. The only problem was that none of it was true. Intended as satire, the articles were designed to poke fun at earlier, serious speculations about extraterrestrial life. Readers, however, failed to recognize it as satire. The craze over Herschel’s supposed discoveries even fooled a committee of Yale University scientists, who traveled to New York in search of the Edinburgh Journal articles. On September 16, 1835, the Sun admitted the articles had been a hoax. People were generally amused by the whole thing, and sales of the paper didn’t suffer. Source: history.com

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Today in History: The Man on the Moon

Today in History: The Man on the Moon

On this day in 1969, 240,000 miles (380,000 km) away from Earth, at precisely 10:56 pm (EDT), during one of the most widely-viewed live broadcasts in television history, American astronaut, Neil Armstrong, became the first human to walk on the moon and spoke to more than a billion people on Earth: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

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Today in History: Marilyn Monroe born in 1926

Today in History: Marilyn Monroe born in 1926
Today is the birthday of American actress, model and sex-symbol, Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson). A supporting role in the film “The Asphalt Jungle” (1950) marked Monroe’s breakthrough in Hollywood. Films like “Niagara” (1953), “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (1953), and “Some Like It Hot” (1959) made her to one of the most successful movie stars of the 1950s.Monroe was found dead from a drug overdose on August 5, 1962 in her home in Brentwood, California. She was 36 years old.

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Today in History: Marilyn Monroe sings Happy Birthday

Today in History: Marilyn Monroe sings Happy Birthday

On this day in in 1962, Marilyn Monroe performed a rendition of “Happy Birthday” for President John F. Kennedy for his 45th birthday during a fund-raiser at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The two were believed to have been engaged in an affair. The dress she wore that night was noted for being sheer and flesh colored with 2500 rhinestones sewn into it and designed by Jean Louis. The dress sold in 1999 at auction in New York for over US$1.26 million.

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Today in History: First Academy Awards in 1927

Today in History: First Academy Awards in 1927

93 years ago today, the first ever Academy Awards of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Awards were handed out at a banquet held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Some 270 people attended, and tickets cost $5 each. After a long dinner, complete with numerous speeches, Douglas Fairbanks, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which had been formed in 1927, handed out 15 awards in a five-minute ceremony. The awards presentation was somewhat anticlimactic compared to today’s Academy Award ceremonies, as the winners had already been announced in February. Starting with the following year’s awards, the Academy began releasing the names of the winners to the press on the night of the awards ceremony to preserve some suspense. That practice ended in 1940, after the Los Angeles Times published the results in its evening edition, which meant they were revealed before the ceremony. The Academy then instituted a system of sealed envelopes, which remains in use today. Source: history.com.

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Today in History: World Premiere of 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968

Today in History: World Premiere of 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968

Stanley Kubrick’s epic about human evolution, technology, and extraterrestrial life has polarized audiences and critics alike. Today, it is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential films ever made.

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Today in History: The Premiere of the “Blue Angel”

 

Today in History: The Premiere of the “Blue Angel” in 1930

90 years ago today, , the German movie Der Blaue Engel (The Blue Angel) celebrated its premiere in Berlin and introduced the world to a new movie star, Marlene Dietrich. The opening was completely sold out, possibly helped by rumors that the movie may not have been allowed to be shown at all due to its disreputable plot: a disciplinarian professor falling for a cabaret singer.

Josef von Sternberg was brought in from Hollywood to be the film’s director; Emil Jannings, who had just won an Oscar, was hired to play the professor. But filling the role of cabaret singer Lola-Lola turned out to be more problematic. Sternberg wanted Metropolis star, Brigitte Helm but she was booked; Jannings preferred theater singer Lucie Mannheim but Sternberg considered her too serious. Author Heinrich Mann would have liked to have seen his girlfriend Trude Hesterberg in the role but she was not sufficiently well-known.

Enter Marlene Dietrich. Supposedly, Sternberg was immediately fascinated by this inexperienced woman from a local drama school. It seems that the young Dietrich embodied Lola-Lola, a seductress with the longest legs and the right smile. It is said that Dietrich did not even prepare a song for her first audition, telling Sternberg that she assumed she would not be seriously considered for the role. Her flippant behavior intrigued the director and because Dietrich was behaving like the film character Lola Lola, she was hired.

Nobody could have predicted the film’s enormous success. A new star was born and immediately following the triumphant premiere in Berlin, the blue angel and her director went off to pursue a career in Hollywood.

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Today in History: King Kong Premiere in 1933

Today in History: King Kong Premiere in 1933

The black and white movie marked a milestone in the history of film, especially due to Willis O’Brien’s stop-motion effects.

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