1890: Stan Laurel is Born
Stan Laurel, half of the comedy duo, Laurel and Hardy, was born on this day in 1890 in Lancashirem now Cumbria, England. He with his bowler hat and comedic expressions and his good friend, Oliver Hardy, starred in 107 short films throughout their career. Their last film together was the French film Atoll K (known as Robinson Crusoe-land and/or Utopia in the United States) which was released in 1951. Though the pair had planned to star in a new TV project for NBC, both were quite ill during their later years. Hardy suffered two massive strokes and would never work again. He died in 1957. Though Laurel was given numerous opportunities to act in other film projects, he refused to do any acting without his friend. A bronze statue of the pair was placed in Laurel’s hometown in 2009. (Image: Wikimedia)
1884: The Very First Roller Coaster
America’s thrill seekers were treated to the very first roller coaster which opened on this day in 1884 at Coney Island, in Brooklyn, New York – although it didn’t quite resemble the thrills we are used to day. The switchback railway, invented by LaMarcus Thompson, traveled at a top speed of just six mile per hour. Still, it was an instant success and by the turn of the century, hundreds of other roller coasters had popped up across the country. In 1927, the historic Cyclone wooden coaster made its debut at the Coney Island and despite plans for new 4,000 foot long coaster, it is reported that the Cyclone will continue to operate.
- 1907: Jack Albertson (actor)
- 1955: Laurie Metcalf (actress)
- 1966: Phil Vischer (co-creator of VeggieTales)
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.