30 years ago today, Rain Man, starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise, premiered in New York City. The film won four Academy Awards—Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director (Barry Levinson), and Best Actor in a Leading Role for Hoffman. The highest-grossing movie all year, it depicted a slick car salesman, Charlie Babbitt (Cruise), who learned that his estranged father had died.

He returns home and discovers that he has an autistic brother named Raymond (Hoffman), and the entire family fortune of $3 million is being left to the mental institution where Raymond lives. Motivated by his father’s money, Charlie checks him out of the facility and starts driving him back to Los Angeles. The brothers’ cross-country trip ends up changing both their lives. WATCH the trailer, and learn which actors passed on the roles… (1988)

Some Trivia about who was originally envisioned to play the key roles: The script was sent to Bill Murray, who was offered the title role—with Dustin Hoffman slated to play the ‘LA slimeball’. Mickey Rourke was also offered a role but he turned it down.

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany (1770)
  • Boston Tea Party – Members of the Sons of Liberty disguised as Mohawks dumped crates of tea into Boston harbor to protest tea taxes (1773)
  • British MPs voted overwhelmingly to abolish death penalty (1969)
  • Jean-Bertrand Aristide elected president in Haiti’s first democratic election (1990)
  • The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 was signed into U.S. law, establishing the first national standards for sending commercial e-mail and requiring enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission (2003)
  • Ron Paul, a nearly unknown U.S. presidential candidate, raised a record amount of money online in a single day—over six million dollars in 24 hours—from mostly small donors, introducing a new way for Americans to fund grassroots candidates online, without the need for major party support (2007)
  • Today is Kazakhstan’s Independence Day, and South Africa’s Day of Reconciliation

On this day in 1775, English novelist Jane Austen was born—with a talent for writing stories, plays and poetry. Beginning when she was just 12 years-old, the aristocrat wrote such classics as Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma.

jane austen-drawing by sister-small

The books portrayed an air of English countryside romance, but also a biting social critique and irony. You might have seen the lush Academy Award-winning films based on those books. Although she never married, Austen did become engaged – for one night. The 27-year-old author accepted the proposal of an awkward, socially inept man 5 years her junior, and changed her mind the next day… WATCH a great little biography below that illustrates the lessons she wished to teach others through her novels:

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