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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.

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.

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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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