On This Day, Video

Daily Video for June 24 – Mary Pickford Makes Millions


The First Female Million DOllar Film Star

On June 24, 1916, Mary Pickford, arguably the first female film mega-star, signs a million dollar contract with Adolph Zukor’s Famous Players (later Paramount Pictures), giving her full control over what films she can star in and earning her a salary of $10,000 a week (over $235,000 today).

Already one of the biggest stars of silent film, her fame will only grow as a result.  She will go on to become one of the first female film directors and producers, and in 1920 will invest in 1/4 of her own film studio, United Artists, along with stars Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, and director D.W. Griffith.

Check out these videos about Mary, her early films, and United Artists:

On This Day, Video

Daily Video for June 9 – Happy Birthday Donald Duck!



On June 9, 1934, Walt Disney released a Silly Symphonies short entitles “The Wise Little Hen”.  In this short a very familiar white bird in a blue sailor’s outfit makes an appearance.  He will prove so popular that soon he’s having adventures with a certain big-eared mouse and a star is born!

Happy 86th birthday, Donald Duck!

Check out his debut performance here:

On This Day

TODAY IS MAY 29, 2020!

MAY 29, 2020

Today is:

End of the Middle Ages Day

National Heat Awareness Day

Learn about Composting Day

 National Biscuit Day

  Paper Clip Day



PATRICK HENRY (1736-1799) — American attorney, politician, & orator.  Best known for his “Give me liberty or give me death” speech.
BOB HOPE (1903-2003) — British-American actor and comedian best known for his stand-up routines and shows as part of the USO from WWII through the Gulf War.
JOHN F. KENNEDY  (1971-1963) — 35th President of the United States.
MELISSA ETHERIDGE (1961) — American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and LGBT activist.



1453 – The Byzantine capital of Constantinople falls to forces of the Ottoman Empire after a long siege.  This is seen as the end of the Middle Ages.
1790 – Rhode Island is the last of the original Thirteen Colonies to ratify the Constitution and become a US state.
1848 Wisconsin is admitted to the United States as the 30th state.
1953 – Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay become the first people to reach the summit  of Mount Everest.
2004 – The National World War II Memorial is dedicated on Washington D.C.’s National Mall.
On This Day

TODAY IS MAY 27, 2020!

MAY 27, 2020

Today is:

Cellophane Tape Day

National Grape Popsicle

Nothing to Fear Day

 Sunscreen Protection Day



WILD BILL HICKOK (1837-1876) — American West folk hero, lawman, gunfighter, and entertainer.
DASHIELL HAMMETT  (1895-1961) — American crime novelist & short story writer.  Best known for novels The Maltese Falcon The Thin Man.
RACHEL CARSON  (1907-1964) — American marine biologist, conservationist, and author.  Her book Silent Spring is credited with kicking off the modern environmentalist movement.
SIR CHRISTOPHER LEE (1922-2015) — English actor, best known for portraying villains in films.  He starred as Count Dracula many times, Saruman in Lord of the Rings, and Count Dooku in Star Wars.



1703 – Tsar Peter the Great of Russia founds the city of St. Petersburg.  It will be the Russian capital until the 1917 Revolution.
1927 – Ford Motor Company ceases production of its Model T after almost 20 years, retooling the factory to produce the new Model A.
1933 – Walt Disney releases it’s cartoon short The Three Little Pigs, featuring the hit song “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?”.
1937 – The Golden Gate Bridge in California opens to pedestrian traffic, linking the city of San Francisco and Marin County, CA.  Vehicles will be allowed to cross the next day.
1962 – The Centraila mine fire begins as the town’s landfill is burnt and underground dust from a vacant coal mine is ignited.  This will cause the town to be mostly abandoned by 1980 and is still burning underground.


On This Day

TODAY IS MAY 26, 2020!

MAY 26, 2020

Today is:

National Blueberry Cheesecake Day

National Cherry Dessert Day

National Paper Airplane Day

World Redhead Day

  World Dracula Day



AL JOLSON (1886-1950) — Lithuanian-American comedian and actor.  Best known for his lead role in the first “talkie”, The Jazz Singer.
DOROTHEA LANGE (1895-1965) — American photojournalist, best known for her Great Depression-era photos of struggling workers.
JOHN WAYNE  (1907-1979) — American actor, director, and producer.  Most well known for his roles in Westerns over 3 decades.
PETER CUSHING (1913-1994) — English actor best known for his roles in horror films and as Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars.
STEVIE NICKS (1948) — American singer-songwriter.  Known for her career with the band Fleetwood Mac and solo work..
HANK WILLIAMS, JR.  (1949) — American country singer-songwriter known widely for his Monday Night Football themes.



1868 – The impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson ends with his acquittal by one vote.
1896 – Charles Dow first publishes the Dow Jones Industrial Average (“The Dow”)
1897 – Bram Stoker’s Dracula is first published.
1967 –The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heats Club Band album is released.
On This Day

TODAY IS MAY 22, 2020!

MAY 22, 2020

Today is:

International Day for Biological Diversity

National Buy a Musical Instrument Day

National Maritime Day

 National Vanilla Pudding Day

  National Solitaire Day

  National Title Track Appreciation Day

  Sherlock Holmes Day



RICHARD WAGNER (1813-1883) — German composer & conductor best known for his operas.
SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE (1859-1930) — British author.  Most famous as the creator of detective Sherlock Holmes.
HARVEY MILK (1930-1978) — American politician and LGBT activist.
MAX BROOKS (1972) — American author, screenwriter, & actor.  Best known for his zombie-related titles, like World War Z.
APOLO OHNO (1982) — American short track speed skater & Olympic champion.  Most decorated American Winter Olympian.



1804 – The Lewis & Clark Expedition officially begins as the Corps of Discovery departs from St. Charles, Missouri.
1856 – South Carolina Senator Preston Brooks severely beats Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner with his cane on the floor of the US Senate for an anti-slavery speech Sumner made earlier.
1900 – The non-profit news cooperative, The Associated Press, is organized in New York City.
1964 – President Lyndon Baines Johnson launches his Great Society program.
On This Day

TODAY IS MAY 21, 2020!

MAY 21, 2020

Today is:

Hummus Day

Global Accessibility Awareness Day

National Memo Day

 National Notebook Day

  National Strawberries and Cream Day

  National Waiters and Waitresses Day



ALEXANDER POPE (1688-1744) — English poet & translator. Second-most quoted author in the English language, after Shakespeare.
HENRI ROUSSEAU (1844-1910) — French post-impressionist painter.
AL FRANKEN  (1951) — American comedian, actor, and former politician.
MR. T (1952) — American actor, professional wrestler, and TV personality (The A-Team, Rocky III, Mister T)
THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G. (1972-1997) — American rapper.  Known for becoming embroiled in the mid 1990s, East Coast-West Coast hip-hop feud.



1881 – The American Red Cross is founded in Washington DC by Clara Barton.
1927 Charles Lindbergh lands The Spirit of St. Louis  in Paris, completing the world’s first nonstop solo trans-Atlantic flight.
1932 Amelia Earhart is forced by bad weather to land her plane in Derry, Northern Ireland, becoming the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
1946 – Physicist Louis Slotin is fatally irradiated during a criticality incident while working on the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos.
2005 – The world’s tallest roller coaster, Kingda Ka, opens at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ.
2017 – The Ringling Brothers and  Barnum & Bailey Circus holds its final performance.
On This Day

TODAY IS MAY 20, 2020!

MAY 20, 2020

Today is:

Flower Day

National Rescue Dog Day

Pick Strawberries Day

World Bee Day

  International Clinical Trials Day

  Weights and Measures Day



HONORÉ DE BALZAC (1799-1850) — French novelist and playwright.
JIMMY STEWART (1908-1997) — American actor and military officer (Brigadier General). Best known for: It’s a Wonderful Life, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Vertigo, Rear Window.
CHER  (1946) — American singer actress and TV personality (The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, Moonstruck, Mask, The Witches of Eastwick)
DAN ABRAMS  (1966) — American web entrepreneur & TV host. Chief Legal Analyst for ABC News & host of Live PD.
BUSTA RHYMES (1972) — American rapper, record producer, and actor.
JACK GLEESON  (1992) — Irish actor best known as Joffrey Barathron on Game of Thrones.



325 – The First Council of Nicaea is formally opened, beginning the Catholic Church’s first ecumenical council.
1570 – Barbatian cartographer Abraham Otrelius publishes Theatrum Oribs Terrarum, the world’s first modern atlas.
1609 – Shakespeare’s sonnets are (allegedly illicitly) first published in London.
1873 – Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis are awarded a patent for denim blue jeans with copper rivets.
1940 – The first prisoners arrive at the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz.
1983 – The discovery of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS is first published in the journal Science.
On This Day

TODAY IS MAY 19, 2020!

MAY 19, 2020

Today is:

Boys and Girls Club Day

Dinosaur Day

National Devils Food Cake Day



HO CHI MINH (1890-1969) — Vietnamese politician and revolutionary.  First president of socialist Vietnam.
MALCOLM X (1925-1965) — American Muslim minister & civil  and human rights activist.
PETER MAYHEW  (1944-2019) — English-American actor.  Most famous for portraying Chewbacca in the Star Wars films and media from 1977-2015.
ANDRE THE GIANT (1946-1993) — French professional wrestler and actor. (The Princess Bride)
JODI PICOULT (1966) — American novelist (My Sister’s Keeper, Nineteen Minutes)
SAM SMITH  (1992) — English singer-songwriter.



1743 – French physicist Jean-Pierre Christin first publishes his centigrade temperature scale, with 0 as the freezing point of water and 100 its boiling point (the reverse of that developed by Andres Celsius).
1921 – The US Congress passes the Emergency Quota Act, placing for the first time limits on the number of immigrants allowed to enter the United States.
1963 – The New York Post Sunday Magazine publishes Martin Luther King, Jr’s “A Letter from a Birmingham Jail“, written on April 16, 1963.
On This Day

TODAY IS MAY 18, 2020!

MAY 18, 2020

Today is:

I Love Reese’s Day

International Museum Day

National No Dirty Dishes Day

 National Cheese Souffle Day

 Send an Electronic Greeting Card Day



MATTHEW BRADY (c1822-1896) — American photography pioneer.  Most famous for his presidential portraits and  Civil War photography.
NICHOLAS II of RUSSIA (1868-1918) — Last Tsar of the Russian Empire.  Forced to abdicate during the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.
FRANK CAPRA  (1897-1991) — Italian-American film director, winner of three Academy Awards. Best known for It Happened One Night, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, It’s a Wonderful Life.
POPE ST. JOHN PAUL II  (1920-2005) — Head of the Catholic Church from 1978-2005, the second longest reign in history.  Canonized as a saint in 2014.
GEORGE STRAIT (1952) — American country singer-songwriter, actor, and producer.  Dubbed the “King of Country”
TINA FEY  (1970) — American actress, comedian, author & producer (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)



1652 – Rhode Island passes the first law in English-speaking North America declaring slavery illegal.
1804 Napoleon Bonaparte is declared the Emperor of France by the French Senate, becoming Napoleon I.
1860 – Abraham Lincoln becomes the Republican Party’s nominee for President, over William Seward who will later become his Secretary of State.
1896 – The US Supreme Court rules in the Plessy v. Ferguson case that the doctrine of “separate but equal” is constitutional.
1980 Mount Saint Helens erupts in Washington State, killing 57 people and causing over $3 billion in damage.