On this day 46 years ago, George Lucas started writing the treatment for a new film called “The Star Wars”. He had just finished his first major film, American Graffiti, and began the 13-page treatment using thematic parallels with Akira Kurosawa’s 1958 film The Hidden Fortress. Numerous studios passed on the “weird” film idea, until Alan Ladd, Jr., the head of 20th Century Fox, believed enough in the young filmmaker to fund its development. The result was galactic gold at the box office. WATCH the new trailer for Solo, due out May 25… (1973)

More Good news on this Day:

  • The Peak District became the United Kingdom’s first National Park (1951)
  • Jerrie Mock became the first woman to circumnavigate the world by air–using a single-engine Cessna airplane (1964)
  • The Ford Mustang first hit showroom floors, for sale to the public (1964)
  • Apollo 13, which had been in trouble while in space, returned safely to Earth (1970)
  • All four of The Beatles had solo singles on the UK charts–Paul McCartney with ‘Another Day’, John Lennon ‘Power To The People’, George Harrison ‘My Sweet Lord’ and Ringo Starr ‘It Don’t Come Easy’ (1971)
  • FedEx, then known as Federal Express, began operations (1973)
  • Pink Floyd’s album, The Dark Side of The Moon, went gold on the US charts –and stayed there more than ten years, becoming the longest charting rock LP of all time (1973)
  • The Three Hundred and Thirty Five Years’ War between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly ended (1986)
  • Jamie Moyer became the oldest Major League Baseball player ever to pitch a wining game, throwing seven strong innings at age 49 to help the Colorado Rockies win 5-3 (2012) Read about his camp for kids on GNN

And, on this day in 1907, more immigrants entered the U.S. than on any other date in history — 11,747 people — which is why it is commemorated as Ellis Island Family History Day.

Ellis IslandOver 40 percent of the U.S. population — 100 million Americans — can trace their roots back to the 17 million immigrants who took their first steps towards freedom and opportunity at the Ellis Island processing center. A small sampling of those who came through Ellis Island between 1892–1924 — some immigrants and some simply travelers — reveals some of the greatest names in literature, entertainment, politics, and science.

… The list includes composers and conductors, Gustav Mahler, Arturo Toscanini, Leopold Stokowski and Sergei Rachmaninoff; physicians Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud; future presidents Woodrow Wilson, William H. Taft, Theodore Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover; writers Joseph Conrad, Rudyard Kipling, and F. Scott Fitzgerald; songwriters George Gershwin, George M. Cohan, Irving Berlin, and Cole Porter; entertainers Walt Disney and Charlie Chaplin, and the great scientist Albert Einstein.

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