Happy 60th Birthday to the beloved British actress, writer, and comedian Emma Thompson.
She won two Academy Awards (the only person ever to win both)—one for Best Actor for the 1992 film Howards End, and another for Best Adapted Screenplay for her script Sense and Sensibility in 1995, which she also starred in. Her other film credits include The Remains of the Day, In the Name of the Father (both earned her Oscar nominations), Saving Mr. Banks, Much Ado about Nothing, Nanny McPhee, Love Actually, and Stranger than Fiction (with Will Farrell).

In her new film Late Night, hitting theaters June 7th, she plays a legendary TV talk show host whose show is on the verge of cancellation. The role was written specifically for Emma by Mindy Kaling, who also is the co-star and producer of the film, in which she plays the first female writer on the Late Night staff. Thompson herself was the first female member of the sketch comedy troupe ‘Footlights’ at Newnham College, and she went on to do stand up comedy. WATCH the trailer and hear her thoughts on turning 60… (1959)

Photo credits: Amazon Studios

“I’ll tell you what I think is interesting about 60,” she said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “All the roles that have been imposed upon you by society since you were born, from gender roles to mom, whatever they are, start to sort of fray at the edges… I have never really asked, because I always thought it was a bit lame, but ‘Who am I, actually?’”

“I think this decade will be fascinating.”

One of Britain’s finest actors, she became Dame Emma Thompson with an order of the queen last year. She’s also written several books adapted from The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Johann S. Bach’s Matthew’s Passion premiered in Leipzig (1729)
  • Thomas Gallaudet, and deaf Frenchman Laurent Clerc, opened the first American school for the deaf (1817)
  • The city of San Francisco was incorporated (1850)
  • British and Canadian troops liberated the Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen (1945)
  • Beijing pro-democracy protests began with students and intellectuals (1989)

And, on this date in 1960, Ella Baker led a meeting at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina that resulted in the creation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, which became a driving force for whites and blacks in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.SNCC-buttons-biracial

SNCC (“snick”) attracted many supporters in the North who helped raise funds to pay salaries for SNCC’s activists across the South. The group played a major role in the sit-ins, freedom rides, and the 1963 March on Washington, demonstrating that ordinary women and men, young and old, could create extraordinary change. (1960)

da Vinci drawing

And, today is the anniversary of the birth of Leonardo da Vinci, the artist, inventor, polymath, musician, and architect who painted the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. Leonardo kept notebooks — 3,500 pages of drawings, engineering designs, and scientific notations — and much of it was written backward, so that it could only be legible when held up to a mirror. (1452)

And, on this day in 1947, years before the Civil Rights Movement gained prominence in the news, Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier becoming the first black player on any Major League Baseball team, debuting at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Photo by Keith Allison, CC license

His talent earned him the Most Valuable Player award in the league two years later. Every year on April 15, Jackie Robinson Day is honored across the nation with every major league player wearing a #42 jersey. The documentary,  Jackie Robinson, debuted April 11, 2016 on PBS stations… WATCH The Trailer for that Ken Burns Film



  1. One other important good thing that happened on this day was in 1947 when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in major league baseball. Given how race relations are still a problem in our society, it’s important to remember these kinds of things.

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