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American Filmmaker Oliver Stone Born - 1946

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Oliver Stone, American filmmaker, screenwriter, and producer was born on this day, 15th September, 1946 in New York City.

Stone enlisted in the army in 1967 and saw combat in Vietnam, winning a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart, before studying filmmaking with Martin Scorsese at New York Univ. (B.F.A., 1971).

He adapted the screenplay for Midnight Express (1978 Academy Award) and authored other scripts before directing his first Hollywood film, The Hand (1981). Stone won critical plaudits for Salvador (1986), but it was not until he wrote and directed the grimly realistic Vietnam War drama Platoon (1986 Academy Award, best director) that he catapulted to popular success.

In his exploration of various uniquely American themes, Stone has become a controversial figure, frequently criticized for mingling fact and fiction in some films (e.g., JFK, 1991) and for portraying extreme violence in others (e.g., Natural Born Killers, 1994). His many other movies include Wall Street (1987), Born on the Fourth of July (1989; Academy Award, best director), The Doors (1991), Nixon (1995), and World Trade Center (2006).

Charlie Rose interviews Oliver Stone
(after release of "Nixon" in 1995)

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Princess Grace of Monaco dead at 52 - 1982

Friday, September 14, 2007

Grace, Princess of Monaco née Grace Patricia Kelly (November 12 1929 – September 14 1982) was an Academy Award-winning American film and stage actress who, upon marriage to Rainier III, Prince of Monaco in 1956, became Her Serene Highness The Princess of Monaco, but was generally known as Princess Grace of Monaco. Princess Grace maintained dual American and Monegasque citizenship after her marriage. The principality's current Sovereign Prince, Albert II is the son of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace. The American Film Institute ranked Kelly No. 13 amongst the Greatest Female Stars of All Time.

On this day, September 13, 1982, while driving with her daughter Stephanie to Monaco from their country home, Princess Grace, then 52, suffered a stroke, causing her car to plunge down the mountainside. Princess Grace died the next day without regaining consciousness.

Princess Grace is interred in Saint Nicholas Cathedral, Monaco; Prince Rainier was buried alongside her following his death in 2005. Nearly 100 million people worldwide watched her funeral.

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Tupac Shakur Dead at 25 - 1996

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tupac Amaru Shakur (June 16 1971 – September 13 1996), also known by his stage names: 2Pac, Makaveli, or simply Pac, was an American artist renowned for his rap music, movie roles, poetry, and his social activism. He is recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records as the best selling hip-hop artist, with over seventy-five million albums sold worldwide including over fifty million in the United States alone. Most of Shakur's songs are about growing up around violence and hardship in ghettos, racism, problems in society, and sometimes qualms with other fellow rappers. Shakur's work is known for advocating political, economic, social, and racial equality as well as his raw descriptions of violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and conflicts with the law. Many fans, critics, and industry insiders rank him as the greatest rapper ever.

MTV report on the day of Tupac's death

VH1 - Who Killed Tupac Shakur? pt.1

VH1 - Who Killed Tupac Shakur? pt.2

VH1 - Who Killed Tupac Shakur? pt.3

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Monkees and Maude First Air - 1966/1972

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Monkees TV show first aired on this day, 12th September, 1966 on the NBC television network and lasted for two seasons (58 episodes). The final primetime episode ran on September 9, 1968.

Modeled on The Beatles' theatrical films A Hard Day's Night and Help!, The Monkees featured the antics and music of a fictional pop-rock group. Due to the massive success of the records, and the public's expectations, the four Monkees became a real pop group. The series was sponsored by Kellogg's Cereals and Yardley Cosmetics of London. After leaving NBC, the program would later be rerun on both CBS and ABC on weekend mornings.

The four young men who became The Monkees were British-born David Thomas ("Davy") Jones (vocals/percussion/guitar/{drums-live only}), Hollywood native George Michael ("Micky") Dolenz Jr. (vocals/drums/keyboards/guitar), Texan Robert Michael ("Mike"/"Wool Hat") Nesmith (guitars/vocals), and Peter Halsten ("Peter Tork") Thorkelson (bass/keyboards/banjo/guitar/trombone/vocals), who had lived with his family in both the eastern United States and Canada.

Hey Hey We're The Monkees

The Maude TV show first aired on this day, 12th September, 1972. The program was a spin-off of All in the Family; like that show, it was a sitcom with topical story lines created by producer Norman Lear.

Maude starred Beatrice Arthur as Maude Findlay, a middle-aged, politically liberal, married woman living in suburban Tuckahoe, Westchester County, New York, who embraced the tenets of women's liberation, always voted for Democratic Party candidates, strongly supported legal abortion, and advocated, albeit often clumsily, for civil rights and racial and gender equality.

And then there's Maude!

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Hurricane Iniki Hits Hawaii - 1992

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Hurricane Iniki (Hawaiian for strong and piercing wind) was the most powerful hurricane to strike the U.S. state of Hawaii and the Hawaiian Islands in recorded history.

Forming during the strong El Niño of 1991–1994, Iniki was one of eleven Central Pacific tropical cyclones during the 1992 season. The eye of Hurricane Iniki passed directly over the island of Kauai on this day, September 11 1992, as a Category 4 hurricane.

It was the first hurricane to hit the state since Hurricane Iwa in the 1982 season, and the first major hurricane since Hurricane Dot in 1959.

Iniki caused around $1.8 billion (1992 US dollars) in damage and six deaths. At the time, Iniki was among the costliest United States hurricanes, and it remains one of the costliest hurricanes on record in the eastern Pacific. The storm struck just weeks after Hurricane Andrew—the costliest tropical cyclone ever at the time—struck the U.S. state of Florida.

Due to well-deployed warnings, Iniki caused only six deaths. Damage was greatest on Kauai, where the hurricane destroyed over 1,400 houses and severely damaged over 5,000. Though not directly in the path, Oahu still experienced moderate damage from storm surge.

Watch the complete "Hurricane Force - A Coastal Perspective" video

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Michael Schumacher Retires - 2006

Monday, September 10, 2007

On this day, September 10 2006, world champion German racing car driver Michael Schumacher retired from Formula 1 driving with the Ferrari race team.

Schumacher debuted as a racecar driver in 1988 and within two years had become Germany's Formula Three champion. His first F1 race was the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix, and his first F1 victory was in the same event in 1992. Schumacher has driven the Jordan team (his first race), Benetton (1991-95), and Ferrari (1995-2006). He won the world championship in 1994, repeating the feat in 1995. His career was interrupted in 1999, when he suffered a broken leg in his first severe crash, but in 2000 he began a five-year reign as world champion, becoming the first driver to win the F1 title seven times. He has more than 90 career F1 race wins.

Michael Schumacher: Driven To Win is an ITV doc that was produced right after the end of the 2006 Formula 1 season. Narrarated by Murray Walker

Michael Schumacher: Driven To Win

Enjoy this extremely well put together 20 minute fan tribute video...

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The Attica Prison Rebellion - 1971

Sunday, September 9, 2007

On this day, September 9, 1971 1,500 prisoners took over Attica Prison in upstate New York to protest conditions.

43 hostages were taken. The prison was held for four days. 43 men died from police gunshot wounds in the retaking of Attica, including 10 hostages and 22 inmates, during "Bloody Monday" September 13, 1971

The Attica Rebellion

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