On this day 50 years ago, “2001 A Space Odyssey” directed by Stanley Kubrick made its world premier in Washington, DC. Considered by critics and directors to be one of the top 10 best films of all time, the adapted screenplay, which features an AI computer named “Hal”, was co-authored by the writer and futurist Arthur C. Clarke.

Lauded for its pioneering special effects, philosophic themes, memorable music, and scientifically accurate depiction of spaceflight, the film was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Screenplay—it won for visual effects.

A new 70mm print of the epic man-vs.-computer story will be released in select theaters May 18, to mark the 50th anniversary. WATCH the 2014 re-release trailer… (1968)

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Ludwig van Beethoven‘s Symphony #1 in C was first performed as part of a public benefit concert at the Burgtheater, although reviews were decidedly cool (1800)
  • Hans Christian Andersen, the children’s author, was born in Denmark (1805)
  • American inventor Joseph Dixon of Salem, Massachusetts began manufacturing his now widespread lead pencils (1827)
  • The first Easter Egg Hunt for kids was held on the White House lawn (1878)
  • Rakesh Sharma is launched aboard Soyuz T-11, and becomes the first Indian in space (1984)
  • The first full-time movie theater in the United States opened in Los Angeles, California, with the name “Electric Theatre” (1902)
  • Jeannette Rankin (R-Montana) began her term as the first woman member of the US House of Representatives in Congress (1917)
  • Rita Johnston, the first female Premier of a Canadian province took office (1991)
  • The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are air pollutants under the Clean Air Act (2007)
  • Today is the twelfth annual World Autism Awareness Day (the neural development disorder that affects approximately 1 out of every 150 children around the world), which encourage tolerance for those who have an inability often to socialize normally (2007)

And, on this day in 1974, the egg-rolling race, famous to all modern White House Easter celebrations, was first introduced.

Kids race to push Easter eggs with spoons on White House lawn.
White House Photo by Eric Draper

With spoons borrowed from the White House kitchen and hard-boiled eggs (prepared and dyed by the White House chefs), children push and roll the eggs on their way to the finish line. This year, more than 30,000 people took part in the event, with the First Family’s dog, Bo, the main attraction.

Leave a Reply