Happy Birthday to Tom Cruise, who turns 55 today. The actor and producer won awards for his roles in Born on the Fourth of July, Jerry Maguire, and Magnolia. His other well known films include Top Gun, Risky Business, Rain Man, Mission Impossible, The Last Samurai, The Firm, and A Few Good Men. Cruise grew up in near poverty with an abusive father until his parents separated. He planned to become a priest before choosing acting, a skill he began honing in fourth grade.  WATCH him act out his entire film career with the funny TV host James Corden… (1962)

(2014 Photo by Georges Biard, CC)

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • 250 years ago, Norway’s oldest newspaper still in print, Adresseavisen, published its first edition (1767)
  • The Battle of Gettysburg ended after three days in a major victory for the North, marking a turning point in the Civil War when the Confederates retreated southward (1863)
  • Joshua Slocum, from Nova Scotia, became the first person to complete a solo circumnavigation of the earth (1898)
  • President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Eternal Light Peace Memorial and lit the eternal flame at Gettysburg Battlefield (1938)
  • Algeria became independent after 132 years of French rule (1962)
  • David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash played together for the very first time at an impromptu gathering at Joni Mitchell’s house in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles,  (1968)
  • Back to the Future, a sci-fi comedy by Robert Zemeckis, featuring Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly and Christopher Lloyd as the eccentric scientist “Doc” Brown who creates a time machine out of a DeLorean, was released in theaters (1985)
  • The Statue of Liberty, a gift from France to the American people, ceremoniously had its torch re-lighted after a renovation (1986)
  • Same-sex marriage is declared legal in Spain (2005)



And, on this day in 1996, England announced they would, at long last, return The Coronation Stone of Scone to Scotland after 700 years of intrigue, animosity, and thievery back-and-forth during British royal history.


In 1296, the stone, also known as the Stone of Destiny, was captured from Scone Abbey near Perth, Scotland by Edward I, as part of the spoils of war. It was taken to Westminster Abbey, where it was fitted into a wooden chair—known as King Edward’s Chair—atop which most subsequent English kings and queens were crowned.


On Christmas Day 1950, a group of four Scottish students removed the stone from Westminster Abbey, at the same time breaking it in two pieces, and brought it back to Scotland. Various officials and church leaders worked as custodians of the stone, repairing and guarding it, but when English police learned of its whereabouts, back to London it was taken. In a symbolic gesture of goodwill, it was given back to the Scottish people in 1996 for safe keeping, and transported to Edinburgh Castle where it resides alongside the crown jewels of Scotland. Learn more at Wikipedia… (Photo above: replica of stone – CC, Bubobubo2; The Coronation Chair, an engraving)