Ten years ago today, one of my absolute favorite moments in recent history: the day that we all got to meet Batkid.
His secret identity is Miles Scott, and like many other costumed heroes, his origin story is a tough one.
Before he was even two years old, doctors diagnosed him with leukemia, so he spent a lot of his early childhood going through chemotherapy.
When he finished those treatments at age five, his family wanted to celebrate.
And Miles said, if there’s going to be a celebration, I want to be Batman.
So Miles’s family brought him to San Francisco, telling him that he’d get to pick out a Batman costume.
Little did he know that the Make-A-Wish Foundation had set up a Batman adventure just as big as the ones in the movies.
They turned the city of San Francisco into Gotham City, complete with diabolical capers carried out by the Penguin and the Riddler.
The real life police chief of San Francisco recorded video messages calling on Batkid to help save the day, and soon enough, Miles was riding in a real-life Batmobile alongside a full-size Batman while wearing the cape and cowl.
His little brother was their Robin.
Together, they saved a lady who’d been tied to the cable car tracks, defused a pretend bomb, foiled a bank robbery and rescued the San Francisco Giants’ mascot.
Make-a-Wish had also recruited crowds of volunteers, so everywhere BatKid went, he heard crowds chanting his name.
There were tens of thousands of people on hand, and millions more following the day on social media.
That included then-president Obama, who not only posted about Batkid but actually sent him a video message.
Batkid’s day wrapped up outside City Hall, where he got the key to the city and another huge round of cheers from another huge and adoring crowd.
Miles – I mean, Batkid – hasn’t been in the news much lately, though the last news stories I saw a few years ago said he was still in remission and growing up normally.
Which is, of course, the best news of all.
The University of Massachusetts-Amherst is the new home of a set of antique glass photo negatives from the late 19th century.
They were donated by Terri Cappucci, a photographer and preservationist who received the negatives from a collector who said they couldn’t or didn’t want to keep them anymore and was going to throw them away.
Thank goodness she said yes.
Watch Make-A-Wish Turn San Francisco Into BatKid’s ‘Gotham City’ (The Atlantic Wire via Archive.org)