Happy 71st Birthday to Steven Spielberg, one of the most popular and successful movie producers in film history. Bullied as an Orthodox Jew growing up in Phoenix, AZ, Spielberg made adventure films with his father’s 8mm movie camera. At 16, he wrote and directed his first independent film, a 140-minute sci-fi adventure that later inspired Close Encounters of the Third Kind. He’s now the highest-grossing director in history, with revenues from all Spielberg-directed films exceed $9 billion worldwide… WATCH a Personal Guided Tour of his Movie Studios… (1946)

He won 2 Oscars for Best Director for Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan, and made blockbuster films like Jaws, E.T., Back to the Future, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Jurassic Park, breaking box office records.

In later years, he co-founded DreamWorks Studios, and began addressing historical issues, in films like The Color Purple (1985), Empire of the Sun (1987), Amistad (1997), Munich (2005), War Horse (2011), Lincoln (2012), and Bridge of Spies (2015). Check out the good news stories about Steven Spielberg on GNN… (Photo by Georges Biard – CC)

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Slavery was officially banned in the United States as the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified by two-thirds of states, with Georgia putting it over the top (1865)
  • Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker premiered in St. Petersburg, Russia and although the production was not originally a success, the music and dance enjoy enormous popularity today (1892)
  • Niger‘s Republic Day celebrates becoming autonomous (1958)
  • The Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Caves were discovered in France containing the earliest known and best preserved cave paintings and engravings in the world, as well as other evidence of Upper Paleolithic life some 17-20,000 years old. (1994)
  • Scotland was granted its own parliament, its first one in three centuries (1997)
  • Environmental activist Julia ”Butterfly” Hill climbed down the ancient redwood in Humboldt Co., Calif., where the 26-yo lived for 2 years (738 days) to protest logging plans to cut the forest; and the tree is still standing today (1999)
  • The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference, held in Copenhagen, Denmark, closed, with the signing of the Copenhagen Accord (2009)
  • The last US military troops left Iraq after a nine year war (2011)

Brad Pitt in front of homes he built for New Orleans - NBC video snapshotMore Birthdays Today: Brad Pitt, 54; Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, 74.