April 28th in history:
On April 28th, 1947, explorer Thor Heyerdahl and five crewmates began a voyage on the raft “Kon-Tiki,” to prove that people from South America could have settled Pacific islands. Heyerdahl wrote a popular book about his 101-day journey.
The 1932 novel “Mutiny on the Bounty” described the mutiny of April 28th, 1789, against British Captain William Bligh. He and 18 sailors were set adrift after an uprising aboard the Bounty in the South Pacific.
The Marlon Brando movie version of “Mutiny on the Bounty” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” both received Oscar nominations for best picture in 1962. The author of the book “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Harper Lee, was born April 28th, 1926.
March 30th in history:
On March 30th, 1981, President Ronald Reagan and three other men, including his press secretary, James Brady, were shot and wounded outside the Washington Hilton by gunman John Hinckley. Reagan became the first U.S. president to survive being shot while in office. The Academy Awards, scheduled for that night, were postponed for one day because of the shooting.
Reagan never received an Oscar nomination during his movie career, but his first wife, Jane Wyman, was nominated four times and won the award once. Wyman’s last nomination for Best Actress was for “Magnificent Obsession.” She lost that award to Grace Kelly (for “The Country Girl”) during the Academy Awards presented on March 30th, 1955. “On the Waterfront” won the Best Picture Oscar, along with acting honors for Marlon Brando and Eva Marie Saint.
When John Hinckley shot President Reagan, he claimed he did it to impress actress Jodie Foster. On March 30th of 1992, Foster won her second Oscar, for playing FBI agent Clarice Starling in “The Silence of the Lambs.” The movie also won awards for Best Picture, and for Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Hannibal Lecter.
Warren Beatty was nominated against Hopkins that night for the film “Bugsy.” Beatty, born on this date in 1937, has been Oscar-nominated for acting, writing, and directing. He took home the statue for directing “Reds” in 1981.