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This Day in Pop Culture for April 16


(Wikimedia)

1889: Charlie Chaplain is Born

On this day in 1889, Charles Spencer Chaplin was born in London, England. When he was very young, Charlie and his brother danced on the streets to collect money. The two were sent to an orphanage and joined a children’s dance troupe. By age 17, Charlie created a trademark with a bowler hat, out-turned feet, mustache and walking cane. His first film was Making a Living where he played a villain. It is said that Chaplain resisted the arrival of sound movies. His 1931 City Lights only featured music and he didn’t speak on film until 1940’s The Great Dictator where he made fun of fascism. Chaplin never became a U.S. citizen. In fact, he, like many others in Hollywood, was accused of having communist ties (which he denied) and was detained while trying to re-enter the country after a vacation trip. He, his wife and eight children lived in Switzerland for 20 years before returning to America to accept a special Academy Award in 1972. He died in 1977.

2012: No Book Won the Fiction Prize

As the Pulitzer Prizes were awarded on this day in 2012, no books in the fiction category won. The three books nominated were The Pale King by David Foster Wallace, Swamplandia! By Karen Russell and Train Dreams by Denis Johnson. Because none of the books received a majority of the votes, the Pulitzer Prize Board decided to not award any of the three. The really odd thing is this wasn’t the first time for this to happen. The last time was in 1977 and there were 10 other times before that in Pulitzer history where no fiction book won. Pulitzer Prizes first began giving awards in 1917.

(Wikimedia)

Birthdays

  • 1921: Peter Ustinov (actor)
  • 1927: Pope Benedict XVI
  • 1935: Bobby Vinton (singer)
  • 1947: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (basketball player)
  • 1963: Jimmy Osmond (singer)
  • 1965: Jon Cryer (actor)
  • 1971: Selena (singer)
  • 1984: Claire Foy (actress)
  • 1993: Chance the Rapper (rapper)
  • 2002: Sadie Sink (actress)

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Jeffrey Totey View All

I write about arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.

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