MR. BRYAN, MEET PRIVATE RYAN

July 9th in history:

Tom Hanks William Jennings Bryan

On July 9th, 1850, Zachary Taylor became the second U.S. president to die in office. Taylor became sick after eating at a 4th of July celebration – and, to this day, some historians believe he was deliberately poisoned. His body was exhumed for testing in 1991, but the coroner did not find sufficient evidence of poisoning.

Another man who wanted to be president made a famous speech on this date in 1896. William Jennings Bryan delivered what was known as the “Cross of Gold” speech at the Democratic Convention in Chicago, opposing the gold standard.  Following that oration, Bryan became the youngest presidential nominee in Democratic party history at age 36, and earned the nickname the “Boy Orator.”

Tom Hanks became a first-time Oscar nominee at age 32 for “Big,” in which he played a boy suddenly stuck in a man’s body.  Hanks, born on July 9th, 1956, won back-to-back Oscars for “Philadelphia” and “Forrest Gump.”  He has also played astronaut Jim Lovell in “Apollo 13,” commanded G.I.s in the WWII drama “Saving Private Ryan,” and romanced Meg Ryan in “Sleepless in Seattle” and “You’ve Got Mail.”

“Big” was released in 1988, the same year that 11-year-old Fred Savage played a grown-up suddenly stuck in a boy’s body in “Vice Versa.”  Savage, born on this day in 1976, also played Peter Falk’s grandson in “The Princess Bride” and starred as Kevin Arnold on the TV series “The Wonder Years.”  As a grown-up, Savage has shifted from acting to directing.

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