45 years ago today, ‘The Sting’, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, premiered. The caper film set in 1936 depicts a complicated plot by two professional grifters to con a mob boss. The movie was hugely successful, nominated for ten Oscars and winning seven, including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Director, which went to George Roy Hill, who previously directed Newman and Redford in ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’. The film is noted for its use of ragtime, particularly the melody ‘The Entertainer’ and others by Scott Joplin, adapted by Marvin Hamlisch for a chart-topping soundtrack. WATCH the trailer… (1973)

Inspired by real-life cons perpetrated by two brothers, the title phrase refers to the moment when a con artist takes the money, but no one realizes they have been cheated.

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Clara Barton, the Civil War volunteer nurse who founded the American Red Cross, was born (1821)
  • US President Andrew Johnson granted unconditional pardon to Civil War Confederate soldiers who met certain conditions (1868)
  • John Philip Sousa wrote his now-famous marching band tune Stars & Stripes Forever (1896)
  • Humphrey Bogart, who starred in films like Casablanca (“Here’s looking at you, kid”), was born in New York City (1899)
  • Screenwriter and director Rod Serling, best known for creating and hosting the Twilight Zone TV anthology series, was born (1924)
  • Richard Starkey (later known as Ringo Starr) received his first drum set (1959)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, a film adaptation of the novel starring Gregory Peck (who won an Oscar for the role), was released (1962)
  • Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin met in Egypt with President of Egypt Anwar Sadat (1977)
  • The first successful trial run of the system which would become the World Wide Web (1990)

And today, millions are celebrating Christmas around the world, the holiday that commemorates the birth of Jesus of Nazareth in Bethlehem, some time around the year 1 BCE. On this day in 1223, St. Francis of Assisi enacted one of the first Nativity scenes, having been inspired by a recent visit to the Holy Land where he was shown Jesus’s traditional birthplace.

The scene’s popularity inspired communities throughout Catholic countries to stage similar pantomimes. Nativity scenes depict the birthplace as a stable with animals nearby and a large star in the sky overhead.

And on this day in 1776, General George Washington, with a band of hungry and cold soldiers, set out to cross the Delaware River to surprise 1,400 British troops in the American Revolutionary War. The challenging logistics and dangerous obstacles did not prevent Washington from successfully defeating the Hessian soldiers asleep and hungover in Trenton, New Jersey the following morning.

And, on this day in 1946, Jimmy Buffett, the singer-songwriter known for his Caribbean-inspired songs about island living, was born. jimmy-buffett-public-photo

With a devoted following of fans known as Parrotheads, he is best known for his 1977 hit “Margaritaville,” as well as “Come Monday”. Aside from his career in music, Buffett is also a best-selling author and is involved in two restaurant chains named after two of his best-known songs, “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and “Margaritaville”.

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