Good News in History, March 20 – Good News Network

Happy 70th Birthday to Juilliard-trained actor William Hurt. After making his film debut in the 1980 sci-fi film Altered States, for which he won a Golden Globe nomination, he starred with Kathleen Turner in the neo-noir movie Body Heat. He soon won an Oscar for Best Actor, in Kiss of the Spider Woman—and received two Academy Award nominations for his lead performances in Children of a Lesser God (1986) and Broadcast News (1987, below left).

Often appearing on stage, Hurt won his first Tony Award nomination for Hurlyburly. He earned his fourth Academy Award nomination for A History of Violence and won acclaim in Syriana, Mr. Brooks, and (my favorite) The Big Chill. In 2013 he was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, but got an alternative treatment in 2018 that Hurt says saved his life. WATCH some film highlights… (1950)

– 2008 photo (right) by GabboT, CC license

MORE Good News on this Day:

  • The slavery novel, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was published (1852)
  • Fred Rogers, the musician, puppeteer, writer, producer, and Presbyterian minister, who created and hosted the television series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, was born in Pennsylvania (1928)
  • The United States Senate ratified a peace treaty with Japan (1952)
  • Tunisia gained independence from France (1956)
  • John Lennon married Yoko Ono “in Gibraltar near Spain” (1969)
  • Libby Riddles became the first woman to win the 1,135-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race (1985)
  • The AIDS drug AZT became the first US-approved treatment for HIV to significantly altered the course of the illness, and end the notion that HIV/AIDS is a death sentence (1987)
  • 22 states’ attorneys settled a lawsuit against the U.S. tobacco industry, whose officials admitted marketing cigarettes to teenagers and agreed to warn on every pack that smoking is addictive (1997)
  • Bertrand Piccard of Switzerland and Brian Jones of Britain completed the first nonstop hot-air balloon voyage around the world (1999)
  • After years of Cold War tension, President Barack Obama became first US president to visit Cuba since 1928, further instilling diplomacy between the two countries (2016)

And on this day in 1916, Albert Einstein published his “General Theory of Relativity” with a German scientific journal, after wrestling with it for nearly a decade. Einstein_1921_by_F_Schmutzer-wikipediaHe finally provided the answer to a scientific problem about the relationships between space, time, matter, energy and gravity, and totally changed Newtonian physics in the process. As a consequence of Einstein’s equations, it became clear that time and space comprise a single continuum, whose shape can be bent or warped by gravitation. (Read more)

Carl Reiner 1989 cc Alan Light 326x174 1
Photo by Alan Light, CC license

Happy 98th Birthday to comedian / actor and writer Carl Reiner. From the Dick Van Dyke Show (which he created and wrote for) to a famous comedy bit, 2000 Year Old Man, Reiner collected 12 Emmys over 70+ years—and is still working today. Born in The Bronx, he is the father of actor–director Rob Reiner and best friends with Mel Brooks. In 2000, Carl was honored with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. The next year, he played Saul in Ocean’s Eleven, and later in the Ocean’s series—and published his memoirs. WATCH the tribute… (1922)

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