Happy Birthday to the versatile actress Rachel McAdams who turns 40 today. Ever since her breakthrough 2004-05 run of Mean Girls, The Notebook, Wedding Crashers, Red Eye, and The Family Stone, the Canadian has charted her own course outside Hollywood norms. She walked out on a cover shoot for Vanity Fair that involved two other female superstars when she discovered it would be a nude photo; and later took an unusual two-year sabbatical.
But she reclaimed her momentum starring with Russell Crowe, Helen Mirren and Ben Affleck in the 2009 political thriller State of Play; with Robert Downey Jr. in Sherlock Holmes; in the HBO crime drama True Detective; and, most notably, with her 2015 portrayal of the Boston journalist in Spotlight—which earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. WATCH a video of her Top 10 performances, and see what’s new… (1978)
McAdams returned to comedy to co-star with Jason Bateman in Game Night, a film that was released in January 2018, and she ‘premiered’ as a mother for the first time in April, giving birth to a son in Toronto where she resides. (2016 Photo by Gage Skidmore, CC license)
MORE Good News on this Date:
- The U.S. Capitol building held its first session of the U.S. Congress (1800)
- The Suez Canal opened, linking the Mediterranean and the Red Seas (1869)
- SALT I negotiations in Helsinki began aimed at limiting numbers of strategic nuclear weapons (1969)
- Happy 80th Birthday to Canadian singer Gordon Lightfoot, known for his 1974 hit, If You Could Read My Mind (1938)
- The first computer mouse was patented by Douglas Engelbart (1970)
- The Velvet Revolution dawned in Czechoslovakia when a peaceful student demonstration in Prague was brutally beaten back, sparking the biggest wave of public protests in 20 years and, soon after, the successful overthrow, without weapons, of the oppressive communist regime (1989) *see more below
- Israel’s parliament overwhelmingly approved a land-for-peace accord with the Palestinians (1998)
- U.S. Rep. John Murtha, one of Congress’ most hawkish Democrats, called for an immediate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq (2005)
- Musician–poet Patti Smith won the National Book Award for her memoir Just Kids (2010)
Three days after The Velvet Revolution began, the number of peaceful protesters assembled in Prague had swelled from 200,000 to an estimated half-million. A general two-hour strike involving all Czech citizens was then held on November 27—and the next day the Communist Party announced they would give up their monopoly on political power.
With other communist governments falling and the Berlin Wall opening, the barbed wire was removed from the border with West Germany and Austria in early December. On December 10, Communist President Gustáv Husák appointed the first largely non-communist government in Czechoslovakia since 1948 and resigned. Before the year’s end, Alexander Dubček was elected speaker of the parliament and playwright Václav Havel the president. The first democratic election in 44 years was held in June, 1990, and communism was no more.
And, on this day in 1950, the 14th Dalai Lama became Tibet’s official head of state at the age of 15. Tenzin Gyatso was chosen to become the Dalai Lama when he was two, but had to flee his country for India during the 1959 Tibetan uprising against China. ()
He has since received the Nobel Peace Prize and traveled the world, advocating for the welfare of Tibetans, teaching Tibetan Buddhism, investigating the interface between Buddhism and science, which enthralls him, and authoring books about the importance of compassion and how to live a happy life.