Happy Birthday to Harry Potter—the actor Daniel Radcliffe—who turns 30 years old today. At age 11, he was cast as Potter in the debut film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone—and he learned the life-changing news while in the bathtub chatting with his mum in London. While starring in all 8 films of the series for 10 years, until 2011, he became one of the highest paid actors in the world, and earned critical acclaim in his role as the young wizard.

Later, he portrayed Allen Ginsberg, the famed beat poet, in the 2013 independent film Kill Your Darlings, and won praise in the Broadway revival of the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Currently, he co-stars with Steve Buscemi (who plays God) in the new TBS comedy series Miracle Workers about working in heaven as a low-level angel responsible for handling all of humanity’s prayers. WATCH the trailer… (1989)

Radcliffe, whose girlfriend from Detroit co-starred with him in Kill Your Darlings, has contributed to many charities, including the Demelza Hospice Care for Children, and The Trevor Project for suicide prevention among LGBTQ youth, which gave him its Hero Award in 2011.

– 2015 Photo by Gage Skidmore, CC license

MORE Good News on this Day:

  • The ice cream cone was invented by Charles E. Menches on the occasion of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri (1904)
  • The first successful liver transplant was performed by Dr Thomas Starzl at the University of Colorado on 19-month-old Julie Rodriguez, a cancer patient who lived for 400 days with her new liver (1967)
  • Democracy returned to Greece as military factions, which forced him out, invited the former prime minister Constantine Karamanlis to return and huge crowds gathered to greet him ar the Athens airport as jubilation arose in the streets (1974)
  • More than 25 countries joined together to end commercial whaling following more than a decade of public pressure, with major whaling forces like the US becoming strong proponents of the anti-whaling convention (1982)

And, on this day in 2000, Tiger Woods became the youngest golfer to win a complete Grand Slam. At age 24, he held all four modern major championships simultaneously — the U.S. Open, The British Open Championship, the PGA Championship and the Masters. He won the British Open that year at St. Andrews, with the best score ever recorded—19-under par. His father Earl, a retired lieutenant colonel and Vietnam War veteran who was a formidable amateur golfer, first lost to his son in a golf match when Tiger was 11 years years old–with his dad trying his best–and lost to the boy every time from then on. (Read a story about Tiger’s kindness toward boy who stutters.)

Happy 48th Birthday to the amazing musician, singer, and producer Alison Krauss, who has won more Grammys than almost anyone.

Alison Krauss-fiddle-violin-youtube

Born in Decatur, Illinois to a German immigrant, the bluegrass singer and multi-instrumentalist was winning contests by the age of ten and recording her fiddle playing with a band at 14. Her soundtrack performance for O Brother, Where Art Thou? was credited with helping renew interest in bluegrass music in America. As of 2012, she had won 27 Grammy Awards from 41 nominations, tying her with Quincy Jones as the most awarded living recipient, second only to classical conductor Georg Solti, who won 31 and holds the record. Check out her fiddle skills in “Man of Constant Sorrow” on YouTube, playing with her longtime band, Union Station. (1971)

35 years ago today, an Air Canada 767 jet ran out of fuel at 41,000 feet elevation but, thanks to the pilot’s experience in flying gliders, it made a miraculous deadstick landing at Gimli, Manitoba, with no injuries to the 61 passengers or the festival goers attending a drag-racing event at the closed air force base where Captain Bob Pearson, 47, had planned to land. The plane was dubbed ‘The Gimli Glider’. (1983)

This TV show segment from The National produced five years ago on the 30th anniversary didn’t include some of the juicier details about the pilots’ calculations and the landing, which you can read on Wikipedia. They encountered good fortune when the nose landing-gear did not stay open and they were able to use a guardrail that had been installed down the center of the old runway to produce added friction for stopping the plane’s momentum.

WATCH the dramatic video from CBC News…

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