This Day in Pop Culture for April 7

South Pacific

1949: South Pacific Opens on Broadway

It was on this day in 1949 that Rogers and Hammerstein’s musical, South Pacific opened on Broadway. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener, the story featured an American nurse (Mary Martin) who was stationed on a South Pacific island during World War II. The play, which also starred Ezio Pinza, ran for 1,925 performances (the second-longest after Oklahoma!) and it won ten Tony Awards. Perhaps the most memorable song from the show was “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair.” The show has been revived on Broadway several times including 2008’s which ran for 996 performances and won seven more Tonys. (Image: Wikimedia)

2009: National Beer Day

On this day in 1933, the Cullen-Harrison Act was signed bringing an end to the prohibition era. It was now legal to sell beer in the U.S. Fast Forward to this day in 2009. It was Justin Smith of Virginia that created his own National Beer Day to commemorate the event. From there it was recognized by the state of Virginia and now used as an excuse to drink by beer lovers everywhere.

(Main image: Peter Kraayvanger from Pixabay)

1940: The First African American on a U.S. Stamp

Booker Taliaferro Washington was an educator, author, orator, and adviser to multiple presidents of the United States. Washington was from the last generation of black American leaders born into slavery and became the leading voice of the former slaves and their descendants. On this day in 1940, he became the first African American to be depicted on a United States postage stamp.

Booker T Washington stamp
(Wikimedia)

Movies Released

  • 1 Mile to You (2017)
  • A Goofy Movie (1995)
  • Bad Boys (1995)
  • Dead Calm (1989)
  • Gifted (2017)
  • Indecent Proposal (1993)
  • Major League (1989)
  • Smurfs: The Lost Village (2017)
  • The Bad News Bears (1976)
  • The Benchwarmers (2006)
  • The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016)
  • The Sandlot (1993)
  • Wuthering Heights (1939)

TV Series Debuts

  • Granite Flats (2013)
  • Home Economics (2021)
  • Kung Fu (2021)
  • The Manns (2017)
  • Tokyo Vice (2022)
  • Your Family or Mine (2015)

Famous Birthdays

  • 1915: Billie Holiday (singer)
  • 1928: James Garner (actor)
  • 1939: Fracis Ford Coppola (film director)
  • 1948: John Oates (singer)
  • 1954: Jackie Chan (stuntman)
  • 1964: Russell Crowe (actor)
(Wikimedia)

1967: Roger Ebert Publishes His First Movie Review

It was on this day in 1967 that the new unknown film critic, Roger Ebert, would publish his first review for the Chicago Sun-Times. He would continue to publish his reviews for the paper until his death in 2013. In between the two, he was the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 1975. Also that year, he teamed up with fellow critic, Gene Siskel for the PBS show Sneak Previews in 1975. It was later changed to At the Movies. Together, they trademarked the phrase “Two Thumbs Up.” In 2005, Ebert was the first film critic to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His final review in the Chicago Sun-Times was for the film To the Wonder.

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