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This Day in Pop Culture for November 9

The Mayflower

1620: Pilgrims on the Mayflower See Land

The Mayflower left London with about 65 passengers in July of 1620. It was to travel with the Speedwell, but after springing two different leaks, the passengers of the Speedwell joined those on the Mayflower making the total traveler count to about 130. It wasn’t until this day in November that our forefathers actually saw land. It was Cape Cod. The ship dropped anchor on November 21 with two less people. The first exploration took place on November 27. The crew and guests lived on the Mayflower throughout the winter and lost about half of people due to illness, but on March 21, 1621, the remaining disembarked onto their new home.

1994: Disney’s Skyways Last Stops

The skyway, one of Disneyland’s most popular rides, opened on June 23, 1956 – almost a year after the park itself opened. Built by Von Roll, Ltd in Bern Switzerland, it was the first of its kind in the U.S. It provided a new way of getting across the park with a wide view from Fantasyland to Tomorrowland. It was only open for a little over the year before it was closed as the Matterhorn Bobsleds ride was being built. When finished in 1959, the “mountain” left room for the skyway ride to travel through. Sadly, the ride made its last journey on this day in 1994. It had been rumored that the ride was shut down after a stunt made by a park guest who leapt from one of the ride’s gondola’s unto a tree below. In truth, it was because of safety concerns of metal fatigue of the ride’s towers. Ironically, the sister attraction at the Magic Kingdom in Florida closed on the same day in 1999. In 2015, Disneyland gave a tribute of sorts to the Skyway by placing a number of wrecked gondolas within the Matterhorn ride near the Abominable Snowman who lurks there. Then in 2009, the ride was revived in Disney World. Sort of. A new Disney Skyliner was built to provide transportation from some of the resorts’ hotel properties to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot. It opened in 2019. (Image: Disneyland Resort)

My Fair Lady

1964: ‘My Fair Lady’ Comes to Theaters

My Fair Lady, the movie adapted from the stage musical of the same name adapted from the play, Pygmalion, was released in theaters on this day in 1964. The story centers on Professor Henry Higgins who bets that he can refine the loud, poor, Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle. Though Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews starred in the recent stage version, Jack L. Warner (the head of Warner Bros. at the time) chose to cast Audrey Hepburn instead of Andrews because he wanted “a star with a great deal of name recognition” and Andrews did not have any film experience. Ironically, the star with no film experience then became the lead in a little film by Walt Disney called Mary Poppins. And it is not Hepburn’s voice you hear singing in the movie. That voice belonged to Marni Nixon as Hepburn’s was considered “inadequate.” Directed by George Cukor, My Fair Lady had a budget of $17 million and was the most expensive movie to be shot in the U.S. at that time. The film was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and won eight including Best Picture, Best Directing and Best Actor. It also won three Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture, Best Director and Best Actor. (Image: HBO)

Movies Released

  • A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
  • Child’s Play (1988)
  • Fred Claus (2007)
  • J. Edgar (2011)
  • Lincoln (2012)
  • Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas (1999)
  • My Fair Lady (1964)
  • No Country for Old Men (2007)
  • Shallow Hal (2001)
  • Skyfall (2012)
  • The Grinch (2018)

TV Series Debuts

Famous Birthdays

  • 1926: Zig Ziglar (author)
  • 1946: Sally Field (actress)
  • 1972: Rebecca Romijn (model)
  • 1988: Emma Stone (actress)

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Jeffrey Totey View All

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

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