40 years ago today, Star Wars, the film that heralded a new era of special effects for fantasy-adventure movies, was released. Created by George Lucas, the franchise became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon through the merchandising of charismatic saga. The film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won 7, including Best Original Score, by John Williams. WATCH the original film trailer, which looks ancient when viewed today… (1977)
Oscar nods included: Alec Guinness nominated for Actor in a Supporting Role, George Lucas for Director; other nominations for Makeup; Sound Editing; Screenplay; and Best Picture. The film won the award for: Art Direction-Set Decoration, Costume Design, Film Editing, Sound (Mixing), Visual Effects, and a Special Achievement Award for its Alien, Creature and Robot Voices.
MORE Good News on this Day:
- Delegates convened a Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia to write a new Constitution for the United States, with George Washington presiding. (1787)
- Jesse Owens of Ohio State University broke five world records and ties a sixth at the Big Ten Conference Track and Field Championships (1935)
- The first public television station in the U.S. officially began broadcasting as KUHT from the campus of the University of Houston (1953)
- President Kennedy announced before a special joint session of the U.S. Congress his goal to initiate a project “to put a man on the Moon” before the end of the decade—NASA launched the Apollo program, and Kennedy achieved his goal (1961)
- The Organization of African Unity was established in Ethiopia giving 32 nations a united voice for the first time in Africa’s history (1963)
- Erik Weihenmayer, 32, of Boulder, Colorado, became the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest (2001)
And, in 1935, in the waning days of his career, a 40-year-old Babe Ruth had been dragging down his team with lousy fielding, sluggish running, and spotty hitting. This day, however, he hit three monster home runs in a single game. The next week he retired.
He proved himself the ‘Sultan of Swat’ when he hit a ball so perfectly it soared over the mammoth right-field roof of Forbes Field, a feat no one else had ever achieved — a “prodigious drive” estimated at more than 500 feet. It was his last home run. It topped his lifetime tally at 714 and set a baseball record that stood for 39 years.