Thursday, July 29, 2010

This Day in History - July 29 - A Busy Day

1836 – Inauguration of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Although the Arc was erected to celebrate Napoleon’s victories, I always picture American G.I.s of the 28th Division marching through the arc and down the Champs de Elysees to celebrate the liberation of Paris from the Germans in August 1944, and they kept on marching, because they were in pursuit of a retreating German army. They would go on to fight in the Hurtgen Forest, one of the bloodiest campaigns in the European Theater.

1981 – A worldwide television audience of over 700 million people watched the Wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer at St Paul's Cathedral in London.

Nora, Asta, and Nick Charles
1802 - Alexis de Tocqueville, French historian and author of Democracy in America (d. 1859)
1883 – Benito Mussolini, Italian dictator (d. 1945)
1892 – William Powell, American actor (d. 1984) (See picture at right with Myrna Loy.)
1938 – Peter Jennings, Canadian-born journalist - ABC News (d. 2005)
1953 – Ken Burns, American producer and director - the Civil War series

1833 – William Wilberforce, English abolitionist (b. 1759). His story was told in the film, Amazing Grace.
1890 – Vincent van Gogh, Dutch painter (b. 1853) - Poor Vincent. "The world was never meant for one as beautiful as you." Starry, Starry Night by Don McLean.

1983 – David Niven, English actor (b. 1910) - Played the straight man to Cary Grant's angel in The Bishop's Wife. I think Samuel Goldwyn got it backwards. With his devilish grin, Niven would have made a terrific angel. Grant played the angel too seriously, and it fell flat. Even so, I watch this movie every Christmas.

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