Tagged: It’s a Wonderful Life

HOW THE MIGHTY HAVE FALLEN

July 11th in history:

The first treasury secretary of the U.S., Alexander Hamilton, was felled by a bullet in his famous duel with Vice President Aaron Burr on July 11th, 1804. Hamilton died the next day.

The Skylab space station fell to Earth on July 11th, 1979, after six years in orbit. Pieces of the craft fell on Australia and into the Indian Ocean.

Movie fans remember Thomas Mitchell falling off his horse as Scarlett’s father in “Gone With the Wind.” Actor Mitchell also played Uncle Billy in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” And late in his career, Mitchell portrayed an oddball detective named “Columbo” in a stage play, years before Peter Falk made the same character famous on TV. Mitchell was born July 11th, 1892.

MORE O’ THE EXPLORERS

May 20th in history:

Christopher Columbus died in Spain on May 20th, 1506. Columbus reportedly never thought that he had come upon a new continent, but always believed that he had reached Asia by crossing the Atlantic.

Vasco da Gama reached India on this date in 1498, after starting in Portugal and going around Africa.

Charles Lindbergh began his historic flight across the Atlantic from Long Island on May 20th, 1927. He was the first person to successfully fly solo across the ocean to Europe without stopping.

Lindbergh’s flight began on the 19th birthday of future movie star Jimmy Stewart (1908). In 1957, Stewart would star as Lindbergh in a movie about the flight to Paris, called The Spirit of St. Louis.

Jimmy Stewart won an Oscar for “The Philadelphia Story,” and his hit movies include “Vertigo” and “It’s a Wonderful Life,” but he also starred as a lawyer in the CBS TV series ‘Hawkins’ in 1973.  Another prime-time series on CBS in ’73 was “The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour.”  Cher, born on this date in 1946, moved beyond records and TV to a successful movie career, and won a Best Actress Oscar for “Moonstruck” in 1987.