Today in 1915, Frank Sinatra was born. He’s known today as The Chairman of the Board, Ol’ Blue Eyes… and he could have been known as New York Detective John McClane, the main character in the movie “Die Hard.”
Today in 1938, a California woman took a stand in court for the right to wear slacks instead of a dress in court. Here's the story of Helen Hulick and her campaign against "anti-slackism."
Drive In Theaters Were Invented Partly So People Wouldn’t Have To Dress Up At The Movies (Cool Weird Awesome 787)
Today in 1933, Camden, New Jersey became the site of the very first drive-in movie theater. Here's the story of Richard Hollingshead, who brought movies outside so people could drive right up to the picture.
“The Fastest Cyclist In The World,” Major Taylor, Was A Black Sports Pioneer (Cool Weird Awesome 729)
There's a new exhibit at the Indiana State Museum about Marshall "Major" Taylor, a Black cycling star who became famous before Jack Johnson, Joe Louis or Jackie Robinson. Here's some of his story.
After the landmark movie "Casablanca" became an unexpected hit, Hollywood tried a couple times to make a sequel.
Being Nice Really Can Make The World Around You Nicer, Science Has Shown It (Cool Weird Awesome 655)
A University of Oregon study on what's called the “perceiver-elicited similarity effect" finds that when you’re nice, that can lead to more niceness around you! Plus: today in 1910, what’s believed to be the first movie stunt took place. And it was quite a stunt.
Today in 1966, the official release of "Incubus," the only Esperanto-language movie starring a pre-Star Trek William Shatner. The movie had such bad fortune some people actually thought it was cursed. Plus: a guy buys an airplane, and though he's never flown before, he taxis it down the runway, takes off and has to figure out how to land.
Today in 1934, Paramount Pictures released the movie “Belle of the Nineties,” starring Mae West. And, for some reason, the studio trained several dozen parrots to learn to say the title of the movie so they could appear at theaters and wow the moviegoing public. There was just one problem with the plan, though. Plus: on this World Peace Day, the guy who tried to make the world a more peaceful place by walking backwards.
Today was the birthday of Ray Harryhausen, a pioneer of special effects in movies in the days before computers. And while special effects are more high tech now than in his day, his influence is still all over the world of movies in our time. Plus: a veteran flier from World War II gets to take another flight, some 75 years later.
Why A Stormtrooper Walked Helmet-First Into A Door In The Original “Star Wars” (Cool Weird Awesome 543)
Today in 1977, "Star Wars" premiered in movie theaters, and became a movie, pop culture and merchandising phenomenon. But how is it that, in one scene, an Imperial Stormtrooper walks helmet-first into an overhead door? Plus: in Kent, Ohio, there's a restaurant with a large-scale replica of an X-wing fighter out front. If you visit, stay on target!