2012: Man Walks a Tightrope Over the Falls
The “King of the Wire,” Nik Wallenda, an American acrobat holds seven Guinness World Records for various feats but on this day in 2012, he conquered his most famous to date: he became the first person to walk a tightrope stretched across Niagara Falls. That was the final feat. The first feat was winning a two year battle for approval to do so. During the television broadcast of the event, Wallenda wore a microphone so that he could communicate with the TV crew. Short prayers to God were heard as well as he considers what he does is a gift from God. The born-again Christian credits God for his success…and safety.
1960: ‘The Apartment’ Opens in Theaters
Billy Wilder’s next directing job after Some Like It Hot was 1960’s The Apartment which starred Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine and a cringe-worthy performance by Fred MacMurray. Opening on this day in 1960, the film was not only a financial success (making $25 million in theaters) but it was also nominated for ten Academy Awards winning five including Best Picture. Not everyone liked the film though. It was quite controversial with themes of infidelity. Even MacMurray was stopped in the street by women who saw the film and were offended. His role was in stark contrast to the character he had played in numerous Disney films and his My Three Sons TV series which would begin to air the fall of 1960. The Apartment was later turned into a Broadway musical in 1968 titled Promises, Promises with a book by Neil Simon.
- 1937: Waylon Jennings (singer)
- 1949: Jim Varney (actor)
- 1954: Jim Belushi (actor)
- 1955: Julie Hagerty (actress)
- 1963: Helen Hunt (actress)
- 1964: Courteney Cox (actress)
- 1969: Ice Cube (rapper)
- 1971: Jake Busey (actor)
- 1973: Neil Patrick Harris (actor)
I write about arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.