July 26 in history:
The first launch of a space shuttle since the Columbia disaster of 2003 happened on July 26th, 2005. It was the first time that the shuttle Discovery had flown in almost four years.
The fourth manned landing on the moon occurred during the Apollo 15 mission, which launched on this date in 1971. Astronauts James Irwin and David Scott were the first ones to use a “moon rover” vehicle during this mission.
The Oscar-winning song “Moon River” comes from the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s, directed by Blake Edwards, born on July 26th, 1922. Also born on the same date that year was Jason Robards, one of four Academy Award winning actors or actresses who share this birthday. The others are Helen Mirren (1945), Kevin Spacey (1959), and Sandra Bullock (1964).
Director Stanley Kubrick also was born on July 26th (1928). Kubrick got four Oscar nominations for best director during his career, for films including “Dr. Strangelove,” “A Clockwork Orange,” and “Barry Lyndon.” But his only personal Oscar win was for special visual effects in the 1968 epic “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
Before she became successful in movies, Sandra Bullock starred in a TV sitcom based on the film comedy “Working Girl.” Three famous sitcom wives of the 1950’s had July 26th birthdays: Gracie Allen (born 1895), Vivian Vance (1909), alias Ethel Mertz of “I Love Lucy,” and Marjorie Lord (1918), Kathy Williams on “The Danny Thomas Show.”
March 3rd in history:
“The Star-Spangled Banner” became the national anthem of the United States on March 3rd, 1931.
On this date in 1845, Florida became the 27th star in the flag when it joined the union.
The Apollo 9 mission was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on this date in 1969. It was the first test flight for the lunar landing module, and its three-man crew consisted of Jim McDivitt, Rusty Schweikart, and David Scott.
Another “Mr. Scott” well known for fictional space travels, actor James Doohan of the “Star Trek” TV series was born on March 3rd of 1920.
Another historic video was shot on March 3rd, 1991, when a man in Los Angeles filmed a police beating from his window. The beating of black driver Rodney King by white policemen touched off racial tensions, which led to riots in L.A. the following year when a jury acquitted the police officers.