This week, legendary actor (and father to Michael) Kirk Douglas turns 100 years old. As the Mirror puts it, "The gladiator is about to turn Centenarian. And it's been a tough ride," which included surviving a helicopter crash in 1991 and a stroke in 1996. He has won 2 Golden Globes, been nominated for an acting Academy Award 3 times, and won an honorary Oscar in 1997. He was also awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom for his philanthropic work.
Today, Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for "having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition."
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This week marks the 25th anniversary of the premiere of John Singleton's Boyz n the Hood (1991). The film's writer/director, John Singleton, was nominated for both Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, making him both the youngest nominee and the first African-American nominee for the directing award. It was also the film debut of rapper Ice Cube of N.W.A., who later became hugely successful with both the Friday and Barbershop series.
Today, President Obama laid a wreath at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima since the atomic bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945. His visit was described as an opportunity to "heal the wounds of the past and reaffirm a commitment to nuclear disarmament."
On April 13, 1970, astronauts onboard the Apollo 13 spacecraft, heading to the moon, reported to Mission Control in Houston, Texas that their oxygen tank had exploded. Over 200,000 miles from Earth and with a dwindling water and oxygen supply, the crew, led by commander Jim Lovell, had to devise a plan to reroute the spacecraft back toward Earth while conserving energy.
Gregory Peck, (1916-2003), who would have turned 100 today, appeared in some of the most iconic American films of the 20th century. His portrayal of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird not only won the Oscar for Best Actor in 1962, it also took the top (hero) spot on the American Film Institute’s list of 100 Greatest Movie Heroes and Villains.