A NEW WORLD

April 5th in history:

On April 5th of 1614, Pocahontas married English colonist John Rolfe in Virginia.

Seven years later, and farther north in the colonies, the Mayflower took to the open water, beginning its return trip to England, leaving the Pilgrims at their settlement in Plymouth.

On April 5th, 1887, six-year-old Helen Keller discovered how the word “water” was spelled in sign language, and what it meant, from her teacher, Annie Sullivan.

Patty Duke and Anne Bancroft won Oscars for playing Keller and Sullivan in the 1962 movie “The Miracle Worker.” Bancroft could not attend the awards ceremony, and Joan Crawford accepted the award for her, allegedly to spite losing nominee Bette Davis, born on this date in 1908. Davis and Crawford had co-starred the previous year in “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”, but only Davis got an Oscar nomination.

Bette Davis is one of many Oscar-winning performers born on April 5th.  She received two Academy Awards, as did Spencer Tracy (born 1900), and Melvyn Douglas (born 1901).  Two men who played Abraham Lincoln during their careers also shared an April 5th birthday: Walter Huston (born 1883, Oscar winner for “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” and father of director John Huston) and Gregory Peck (born 1916, won the Oscar as Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird”).

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