Happy 79th Birthday to Alex Trebek, the beloved Canadian-American TV host of Jeopardy. Born in Sudbury, Ontario, he earned a university degree in philosophy, but began working in broadcasting, eventually moving to L.A. and hosting a number of game shows starting in 1973. While taping five Jeopardy shows a week for 35 years, Trebek also has taken the show on the road performing for US military troops overseas to boost morale with the USO.

Diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in March, he reported in May that his tumors had shrunk by 50% since undergoing chemotherapy—and he is scheduled to host LIVE movie trivia contests and screenings aboard a cruise setting sail on Oct. 22, with the Turner Classic Movies channel, which is marking its 25th anniversary. WATCH a funny video showing a day in the life of Alex behind the cameras… (1940)

– 2012 Photo of Trebek by the Peabody Awards, CC license 

MORE Good News on this Day:

  • Alexander Mackenzie reached the Pacific Ocean, becoming the first person on record to cross North America over the Great Divide, traveling through Canada, much of the way on foot (1793)
  • Wiley Post, from Oklahoma, became the first person to fly solo around the world, a 15,596 mile flight in the Winnie Mae in less than 8 days (1933)
  • Martial law in Poland was officially revoked (1983)
  • The Citizen’s Charter, launched by British Prime Minister John Major, promised to improve public services (1991)

And, on this day in 1796, the city of Cleveland was founded by General Moses Cleveland on the southern shore of the Great Lake Erie near the mouth of the Cuyahoga River.

The skyline in 2006 by Avogadro, CC license

Its proximity to water helped make it a manufacturing powerhouse in the twentieth century. The Ohio city is home to a world class symphony orchestra, as well as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The year 2016 was the first time in a half century that a sports team from the city claimed a championship trophy, with the Cleveland Cavaliers winning the National Basketball League title. (Click to enlarge the landscape photo, by Avogadro, CC)

Happy 87th Birthday to novelist Tom Robbins. His wildly poetic stories, like Jitterbug Perfume and Still Life With Woodpecker, have strong social and philosophical undercurrents, an irreverent bent, and scenes extrapolated from careful researching of bizarre facts. 

In 2000, Robbins was named one of the 100 Best Writers of the 20th Century by Writer’s Digest magazine. His novel Even Cowgirls Get the Blues was made into a movie in 1993 by Gus Van Sant and stars Uma Thurman, Lorraine Bracco, and Keanu Reeves.

Inspiring quotes include, “Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature,” and “We’re our own dragons as well as our own heroes, and we have to rescue ourselves from ourselves.”

Happy 71st Birthday to the author who birthed the genre known as Young Adult Fiction, S.E. Hinton. She wrote her pivotal novel “The Outsiders” — about a gang of ‘greasers‘ in an Oklahoma high school — when she was sixteen years old. Since 1967, the book has sold 15 million copies, and still sells 500,000 annually as the book is required reading for teens in schools today.

As a student at Will Rogers High School in Tulsa, she experience widespread disdain toward greaser culture and it inspired her to write the empathetic story. In one of her classes there, she was given a D by her creative writing teacher.

Francis Ford Coppola directed two films based on her books, The Outsiders and Rumble Fish, and co-wrote the screenplay with Hinton, who also performed in cameo appearances and worked as a location scout in Oklahoma, where all her novels were set. Coppola chose an amazing lineup of young actors, including Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, Rob Lowe, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze, and Emilio Estevez. She has also written two children’s books (in the 90s), and since 2004 has penned two adult fiction novels, including Some of Tim’s Stories and Taming the Star Runner. (1948)

Other Notable Birthdays: funk music innovator George Clinton (78); actor Danny Glover (73); singer Don Henley (72); writer and comic actor Albert Brooks (72); actor Willem Dafoe (64); singer Selena Gomez (27)


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