Happy 75th Birthday to Penny Marshall, who co-starred in the hit sitcom Laverne & Shirley. She went on to direct such stellar films as Awakenings, A League of Their Own, and Big. The success of the Tom Hanks film Big made her the first female director who made a film that grossed over $100 million.

WATCH her talk about her legacy, biggest achievements and regrets… (1943) 

(Image from EmmyTVLegends.org; watch the full interview there)

More Good News on this day in History:

  • Mexican chemist Luis Miramontes synthesized the first oral contraceptive (1951)
  • 2 million people across the world joined the Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam, which included a candlelight vigil at the White House (1969)
  • Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to lessen Cold War tensions, lead the peace process, and open up his nation (1990)
  • 25 years ago today, Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to end apartheid and laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa (1993)
  • The humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the French group’s medical work on several continents (1999)
  • Iraqis voted overwhelmingly to approve and ratify the new constitution (2005)

And, on this day in 1920, Mario Puzo was born in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City to a poor family from Italy.

Mario_Puzo-Fair Use-Evan Kafka
Photo by Evan Kafka, CC license

At age 49, his novel The Godfather was published and became a #1 bestseller. He later co-adapted the story into a three-part film saga with Francis Ford Coppola, and received an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for both the first and second movies. Puzo also wrote the original screenplay for the 1978 Superman film. He was still writing as a published author in the 1990s, and died in 1999 in New York.

Also, on this day in 1951, the television sitcom “I Love Lucy” premiered, starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

The beloved Emmy Award-winning comedy sit-com, which ran for nine years, was the first scripted television program to be shot on 35 mm film in front of a studio audience. Watch the assembly line chocolates scene…

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