Profile of the Day

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Profile of the Day: Stephen Hawking

Posted January 8, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
Stephen_Hawking_NASA

Today we celebrate the 72nd birthday of the brilliant theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking! Hawking was born January 8, 1942 in Oxford, England. Born into a family of thinkers, both of his parents attended the University of Oxford. At 21, while studying at the University of Cambridge, he was diagnosed with ALS. Despite his debilitating illness, Hawking has done groundbreaking work in the fields of physics and cosmology and is best known for his work regarding black… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Katie Couric

Posted January 7, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy birthday, Katie Couric! Today the popular journalist and talk show host turns 57. Born in Arlington, Virgina to Elinor Tullie and John Martin Couric, Katie has long been one of America’s favorite news correspondents. For 15 years, she co-anchored the highly successful morning news show Today before leaving to become the first woman to anchor CBS Evening News alone. Her maternal grandparents, Bert Hene and Clara Froshin, were the children of Jewish immigrants from… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Rowan Atkinson

Posted January 6, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Are you a fan of Mr. Bean? Today Rowan Atkinson celebrates his 59th birthday! Born in Consett, England, Atkinson was the youngest of four brothers. Consistently named one of the funniest British comedians of all time, Atkinson found great success portraying the hapless Mr. Bean on television and film. Did you know Atkins is also a serious scholar? He earned a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering at The Queen’s College at Oxford. Check out Rowan… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: J.R.R. Tolkien

Posted January 3, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you remember reading The Hobbit as a child? On January 3, 1892, author J.R.R. Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. After the death of his father, Tolkien’s mother moved the young family back to England. As a young man, Tolkien served in World War I and fought in the Battle of the Somme. Tolkien brought his passion for linguistics into his writing by incorporating languages of his own creation into his storytelling. He created… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Isaac Asimov

Posted January 2, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
Isaac_Asimo

Today we celebrate what would have been the 94th birthday of science fiction author Isaac Asimov! Born Isaak Yudovich Ozimov in Petrovichi, Russia, Asimov immigrated with is family to the U.S. as a toddler. A fan of science fiction since he was young, Asimov wrote his own stories at 11 and by the age of 19, was selling stories to science fiction magazines. Known as one of the most prolific writers in history, he wrote… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: John Denver

Posted December 31, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today we remember John Denver, who was born December 31, 1943 in Roswell, New Mexico. The folk musician was born Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr. to Erma Louise and Lt. Col. Henry John, Sr., an Air Force officer who set three speed records in the B-58 Hustler bomber and earned a place in the Air Force Hall of Fame. An avid environmental activist, Denver spent much of the later years of his life focused on humanitarian… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Rudyard Kipling

Posted December 30, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you remember reading The Jungle Book? This day in 1865, author Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay, in the Bombay Presidency of British India. His experiences in India, as both a young child and years later as a young adult, highly influenced much of his writings. Regarded as a major innovator in the art of the short story, today Kipling’s children’s books are regarded as enduring classics of children’s literature. He was awarded the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: President Harry S. Truman

Posted December 26, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today we remember President Harry S. Truman, who died on December 26, 1972 at the age of 88. Truman was born in Larmar, Missouri and spent most of the early years of his life on a farm. He succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt died after months of declining health. Under Truman, the U.S. successfully concluded World War II. President Truman is connected to over 70 million people in Geni’s… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Natalie Wood

Posted December 24, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
Miracle 34 street

Do you remember watching a young Natalie Wood in Miracle on 34th Street? At the tender age of eight, Natalie won the hearts of audiences as Susan Walker, the little girl who comes to believe in Santa Claus. Within a few months of the film’s release, she became so popular that Macy’s invited her to appear in the store’s annual Thanksgiving Day parade. Today the film is still a Christmas favorite. Does the movie make… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Bing Crosby

Posted December 23, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Ranked as one of the best Christmas songs of all time, Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” is a holiday staple for most families. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Bing’s version is the best-selling single in history, with an estimated 100 million copies sold worldwide. He first performed the song live Christmas Day in 1941. The single was later featured in the 1954 classic White Christmas, starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: James Stewart

Posted December 20, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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What’s your favorite holiday film? On this day 67 years ago, the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life premiered in New York City. Starring James Stewart as George Bailey, the film has become a must-see event for many every Christmas. Did you know the movie was Stewart’s first starring vehicle after returning from World War II? He would earn his third Academy Award nomination for what many consider one of the defining roles of his career…. Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Emily Brontë

Posted December 19, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today we remember author Emily Brontë, who died December 19, 1848. The fifth child of Reverend Patric Brontë and his wife, Maria Branwell, Emily was not the only creative one in the family. Her two sisters, Charlotte and Anne, enjoyed literary success as well. She published her defining work Wuthering Heights under the pseudonym Ellis Bell in 1847. It would be her first and only published novel. She died a year later of tuberculosis at the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Brad Pitt

Posted December 18, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
BradPitt

Happy birthday Brad Pitt! Can you believe the star is turning the big 5-0? Pitt was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma and grew up in Springfield, Missouri. He attended the University of Missouri as a journalism major, but felt a love for film that he couldn’t ignore. Just two credits shy of graduating, Pitt left Missouri and headed to Hollywood to become an actor. Today he is one of Hollywood’s most recognizable stars and actively involved… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Charles Dickens

Posted December 17, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you remember Charles Dickens‘ Christmas classic A Christmas Carol? On this day in 1843, Dickens’ novella was published for the first time and since then, the comforting story has never been out of print. Over the years, the story of Ebenezer Scrooge’s transformation after his spiritual visits from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come has been adapted multiple times into a variety of mediums including stage, television and film. The… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Peter O’Toole

Posted December 16, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
O'Toole, Peter

Today we remember Peter O’Toole, who passed away this weekend, at the age of 81. He was born in 1932, with some sources giving his birthplace as Connemara, Ireland while other’s report Leeds, England. Even O’Toole himself wasn’t sure of his birthplace or date, noting that while he accepted August 2 as his birthdate, he had a birth certificate from each country, with the Irish one giving a June 1932 birthdate. One of Hollywood’s most… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Dick Van Dyke

Posted December 13, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy birthday Dick Van Dyke! Today the lovable actor turns 88. He was born in West Plains, Missouri, but grew up in Danville, Illinois. During World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps where he became a radio announcer, later transferring to the Special Services entertaining troops. Over the course of his long and impressive career, he has starred in many memorable roles on both the small and big screen, including the films… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Frank Sinatra

Posted December 12, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Are you a fan of Ol’ Blue Eyes? On this day in 1915, Frank Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. The only child of Sicilian immigrants, Sinatra knew he wanted to be a singer at a very young age. From his early days crooning in night clubs to his award-winning performances on the big screen, Sinatra became one of the most popular entertainers of the 20th century. The epitome of cool, Sinatra was considered… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor

Posted December 11, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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This day in 1936, Edward VIII abdicated the English throne in order to marry Wallis Simpson. His relationship with the twice-divorced socialite was controversial from the start and the announcement of the couple’s engagement caused a constitutional crisis only months into his reign. The British government, the Church of England and the public widely condemned his desire to marry Simpson. As the King and the titular head of the Church of England, Edward VIII was… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Melvil Dewey

Posted December 10, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you remember using the Dewey Decimal Classification system at the library? 162 years ago today, the mastermind behind the library cataloging system, Melvil Dewey, was born in Adams Center, New York. Dewey’s system forever changed the cataloging of books and library materials, and made it easy for patrons and librarians to find any particular book and return it to its proper place on library shelves. The system is currently used in at least 135… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Kirk Douglas

Posted December 9, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today we celebrate actor Kirk Douglas‘ 97th birthday. He was born Issur Danielovitch to poor, Russian Jewish immigrants in Amsterdam, New York on December 9, 1916. He grew up as Izzy Demsky, a surname the family adopted in the United States, and changed legally changed his name to Kirk Douglas before entering the Navy during World War II. After the war, he pursued a career in acting and discovered work on the stage before finding… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Roy Orbison

Posted December 6, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you remember the hit song “Oh, Pretty Woman”? Today we remember music legend Roy Orbison, who passed away on December 6, 1988 in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Growing up in Texas in a working-class family, Orbison showed an interest in music early in life. For his sixth birthday, we was given a guitar that would make music a part of his life forever. Considered one of the most influential musicians in history, Orbison was inducted into… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Martin Van Buren

Posted December 5, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you know who was the first U.S. President to be born a United States citizen? Martin Van Buren, the 8th President of the United States, was born December 5, 1782 in Kinderhook, New York. Before President Van Buren, all previous presidents were born in the British colonies before the American Revolution, and therefore were British subjects. His third great grandfather, Cornelis Maessen van Buren came to the Americas in 1631 from what is today… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Jeff Bridges

Posted December 4, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy birthday to The Dude! Today Jeff Bridges turns 64. He was born on December 4, 1949 in Los Angeles, California to a showbiz family. His father was actor Lloyd Bridges and his mother was actor and writer Dorothy Bridges. He began his career as an infant, with parts on both film and television. Bridges has since taken on challenging roles in an array of films, including The Big Lebowski, The Last Picture Show, and… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Marlon Brando

Posted December 3, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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“Stella!” On December 3, 1947, Marlon Brando cried his famous line for the first time in the Broadway debut of Tennessee Williams‘ play A Streetcar Named Desire at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. Starring a 23-year old Brando as Stanley Kowalski, the drama stunned the audience, who sat in silence once the curtain fell before erupting in applause that lasted 30 minutes. The play turned Brando into a star and he would go on to reprise his role in… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Britney Spears

Posted December 2, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
Britney_Spears

Happy birthday Britney Spears! Today the pop icon turns 32. Born in Kentwood, Louisiana, Britney showed her talent at a very young age. She got her start on the ’90s revival of The Mickey Mouse Club, which featured many future music and film stars. Her career skyrocketed shortly after when she released her first album …Baby One More Time. Although she has experience her share of controversy in the past few years, today she is… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: C.S. Lewis

Posted November 29, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you remember reading The Chronicles of Narnia? Today in 1898, author C.S. Lewis was born in Belfast, Ireland. Known as “Jack” to his friends and family, Lewis went on to teach at Oxford University and become a prolific author. He is remembered around the world as the author of The Chronicles of Narnia fantasy series, which have since been adapted into successful films on the big screen. C.S. Lewis is connected to over 70 million… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: William Bradford

Posted November 28, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy Thanksgiving! While you are gathered with your relatives this holiday, share with them how you’re related to William Bradford, the leader of the early settlers of the Plymouth Colony and organizer of the very first Thanksgiving. A passenger of the Mayflower and a signatory to the Mayflower Compact, Bradford’s journal Of Plymouth Plantation is considered one of the most important historical documents of early American history. Chronicling the early years of the colony’s settlement, his journal… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Bill Nye

Posted November 27, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you remember watching Bill Nye the Science Guy? On November 27, 1955, the mechanical engineer and science educator was born in Washing D.C. Bill Nye was born to Jacqueline Jenkins, a codebreaker during World War II, and Edwin Darby Nye, a World War II veteran. His PBS science show is frequently used in schools as an education medium, helping to teach young children and teens the wonders of science. Bill Nye is connected to… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Humphrey Bogart

Posted November 26, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
Humphrey_Bogart

Do you love the movie Casablanca? On November 26 ,1942, the classic film premiered in New York City.  Staring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, the World War II-era film would go on to become one of the most beloved films in history. On December 25, 1899, Bogart was born to a wealthy and prominent New York family. Early in his career, he established himself by portraying “tough-guy” roles. His career was elevated to a new level when… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Joe DiMaggio

Posted November 25, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
joe dimaggio

Are you a baseball fan? On November 25, 1914, legendary baseball player Joe DiMaggio was born in Martinez, California. He was the eighth of nine children born to Italian immigrants Giuseppe and Rosalia DiMaggio. His father had hoped for Joe to follow in his footsteps and become a fisherman like him., however, Joe had other plans for his future. His humble beginnings as the son of a fisherman helped form his image as the embodiment… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Jamie Lee Curtis

Posted November 22, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy birthday Jamie Lee Curtis! Today the actress turns 55. The daughter of actors Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, Jamie followed in her parents footsepts and became an actress. In 1978, she made her film debut as the star of the horror film Halloween and subsequently went on to star in several more horror films, garnering her the title, “scream queen.” Her career continued to flourish as she took one more versatile roles in films such… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Voltaire

Posted November 21, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
Voltaire

On November 21, 1694, French Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire was born in Paris, France. He was born François-Marie Arouet and was the youngest of five children. He later adopted the name “Voltaire,” which is an anagram of “Arovet Li,” the Latinized spelling of his surname Arouet and the initial letters of “le jenue” (“the young”). As an outspoken advocate of freedom of religion, freedom of expression and separation of church and state, much of Voltaire’s writings resulted… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Leo Tolstoy

Posted November 20, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
Tolstoy

Today we remember author Leo Tolstoy, who passed away on November 20, 1910 at the age of 82. He was born at his family estate Yasnaya Polyana in the Tula region of Russia to a well-known family of old Russian nobility. Widely considered as one of the world’s greatest novelist, Tolstoy is praised for his gift of describing a character’s unconscious motives. Today his most widely acclaimed novels Anna Karenina and War and Peace are considered to… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Jodie Foster

Posted November 19, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy birthday Jodie Foster! Today the versatile actress and director turns 51. She was born November 19, 1962 in Los Angeles, California to Evelyn and Lucius Foster III, a decorated U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel. She started her career at the young age of 3, appearing in a Coppertone commercial. By the time she was 12, she earned her first Oscar nomination for her role in the Martin Scorsese film Taxi Driver. Since her early… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Alan Shepard

Posted November 18, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Ever dream about going into space? On this day in 1923, astronaut Alan Shepard was born in East Derry, New Hampshire. In 1951, he was one of 110 military test pilots invited by NASA to volunteer for the first U.S. manned space flight program. After a series of grueling physical and psychological tests, Shepard was selected to be one of the original seven astronauts for NASA, known as the Mercury 7. In 1961, Shepard made… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Georgia O’Keeffe

Posted November 15, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
Georgia O'Keeffe

On November 15, 1887, American painter Georgia O’Keeffe was born in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. Considered a major figure in American art since the 1920s, O’Keeffe is best remembered for her striking flower paintings and abstract works. After the death of her husband, she moved to to New Mexico, where she was inspired by the landscape and produced some of her most well-known paintings. Georgia O’Keeffe is connected to over 70 million people in Geni’s World… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Claude Monet

Posted November 14, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Are you an art connoisseur? On November 14, 1840, French impressionist painter Claude Monet was born in Paris, France. Known as the founder of the French Impressionist movement, its name derived from Monet’s painting Impression, Sunrise, Monet’s artistic style sought to capture the movement of light and its changing qualities. His work often illustrated ordinary subject matters and nature, including his famous series of paintings depicting haystacks and water lilies. Although Monet struggled with bouts of… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Robert Louis Stevenson

Posted November 13, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you remember reading the fantastic tales of Treasure Island or Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? Today in 1850, author Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. Stevenson spent much of his life traveling abroad, and his global excursions often made their way into his writings. By the time he was 28, he had published his first volume of his work. In 1883, he published Treasure Island and became a literary celebrity. Soon the novel would… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Grace Kelly

Posted November 12, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
GraceKelly

Today we remember legendary icon Grace Kelly on what would have been her 84th birthday. She was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to John B. Kelly, a three-time Olympic gold champion sculler, and Margaret Majer, the first coach of women’s athletic teams at the University of Pennsylvania. After catapulting to stardom during the 1950s, Kelly soon became one of Hollywood’s favorite leading ladies. She starred in many of Alfred Hitchcock‘s classic films, including Dial M for… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: George Patton

Posted November 11, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy Veterans Day! Today we celebrate the men and women who have served in the armed services. In honor of the service of our military veterans, we’re highlighting legendary World War II U.S. General George Patton, who was born on November 11, 1885. During World War II, Patton was instrumental to the liberation of Germany from the Nazis. Patton’s family had an extensive military background. His paternal grandfather George Smith Patton, a Confederate general, commanded the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Bram Stoker

Posted November 8, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Were you frightened by the story of Dracula as a child? This day in 1847, author Bram Stoker was born in Dublin, Ireland. He was the third of seven children and was bedridden with an unknown illness until the age of seven. In 1897, Stoker published his most famous work, the Gothic horror novel Dracula. Although Stoker did not invent the vampire, he defined its modern form. To this day, his story continues to inspire… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Joni Mitchell

Posted November 7, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy 70th birthday Joni Mitchell! On this day in 1943, the iconic musician was born Roberta Joan Anderson in Alberta, Canada. She broke out in the music scene during the 1960s with her unique sound and poetic lyrics. Dubbed one of the greatest songwriters in the last century, Mitchell was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. What’s your favorite song? Did you know Joni Mitchell’s paternal ancestry stems from Norway?… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Sally Field

Posted November 6, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
Sally_Field_Flying_Nun

On November 6, 1946, actress Sally Field was born in Pasadena, California. Her father, Richard Dryden Field, was an Army officer, and her mother Margaret Field (née Morlan) was an actress. From her early start in television on the classics Gidget and The Flying Nun, Sally was destined to become a star. She successfully transitioned to film, tackling diverse roles and earning an Oscar for her starring turn in Norma Rae. What’s your favorite Sally Field… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Vivien Leigh

Posted November 5, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today we celebrate the 100th birthday of actress Vivien Leigh. Vivien was born Vivian Mary Hartley on November 5, 1913 in Darjeeling, India. Did you know that as a child, Vivien attended school with future Tarzan actress Maureen O’Sullivan? At a young age, Vivien knew exactly what she wanted and declared to her friend that she would one day become a great actress. He breakout performance as Scarlett O’Hara in the classic film Gone With… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Will Rogers

Posted November 4, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
Will Rogers vaudeville promotional photo

On November 4, 1879, American cowboy and actor Will Rogers was born. Known as “Oklahoma’s Favorite Son,” Rogers was born to a prominent Cherokee Nation family in Indian territory now a part of Oklahoma. After performing in Wild West shows as a young man, he broke out in vaudeville and film to become one of the most famous actors in the world in the 1920s and ’30s. Will Rogers is connected to over 70 million… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Stephen Crane

Posted November 1, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you remember reading The Red Badge of Courage? On November 1, 1871, author Stephen Crane was born in Newark, New Jersey. Recognized as one of the most innovative writers of his generation, Crane began writing at the age of 4 and had published several articles by the age of 16. His most acclaimed work was his novel The Red Badge of Courage. Taking place during the American Civil War, the story follows a young… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Vlad the Impaler

Posted October 31, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
Vlad

Today the United States celebrates the scariest night of the year, Halloween! In honor of this night of horror, we’re highlighting Vlad the Impaler, Prince of Wallachia. Born in 1431, he was known by his patronymic name Dracula before he was posthumously dubbed Vlad the Impaler due to his reputation for excessive cruelty. The tales were so famous that he became the inspiration for one of the most well known horror figures in history, Bram… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Orson Welles

Posted October 30, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
OrsonWelles

Seventy-five years ago today, Orson Welles broadcasted his radio play of H.G. Wells‘s The War of the Worlds, causing severe anxiety to many audiences across the United States. Presented as a series of news bulletins, many listeners mistakenly believed that Welles’ show was an actual live broadcast of an alien invasion. The widespread panic created by the program and media attention thereafter skyrocketed Welles’s notoriety and became one of the most famous radio broadcasts in… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Winona Ryder

Posted October 29, 2013 by Amanda | One Comment
Winona_Ryder

Today we celebrate actress Winona Ryder‘s 42nd birthday! She was born Winona Laura Horowitz in Minnesota in 1971. Her father’s family was originally named “Tomchin” but took the surname “Horowitz” when they immigrated to America. Winona’s first staring role was Lydia Deetz, the goth teenager in Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice. Afterwards, she continued to pursue diverse characters, including roles in Burton’s Edward Scissorhands, the cult hit Reality Bites and Little Women, for which she eared an Academy… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Julia Roberts

Posted October 28, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
Julia_Roberts

Happy birthday, Julia Roberts! Today the Oscar-winning actress turns 46. Did you know Julia has a fascinating story about her birth? She was born in 1967 in Atlanta, Georgia to Betty Lou Bredemus and Walter Grady Roberts. The one time actors and playwrights  were co-founders of the Atlanta Actors and Writers Workshop in Georgia. While Betty Lou was pregnant with Julia, the couple ran an acting school for children. Among their students were the children of… Read the full story

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