Today in History


by Michael Sikand, Social Media Editor

Today marks natural disaster, celebrity birthdays, famous movie debuts and international celebrations in history, events that define March 27.

Famed musical comedy “Singin’ in the Rain”, considered by many critics to be the best movie musical of all time, debuted this day in 1952. Starring silver-screen legends Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen and Debbie Reynolds, the movie documents the transition of three actors experiencing the change in the Hollywood scene from silent films to “talkies.”

World Theatre Day is celebrated internationally today, this year at the UNESCO hall in Paris. Declared by the International Theatre Institute (ITI) in 1962, the day honors theater around the globe and celebrates its influence as an important social medium. The aim of the ITI in founding the occasion was to “act as a wake-up call for governments, politicians and institutions which have not yet recognised [theater’s] value to the people and to the individual and have not yet realized its potential for economic growth,” according to the organization’s website. Celebrants will organize a number of national and international theater events. The most important custom of the occasion is the dissemination of the World Theatre Day International Message, in which a world leader reflects on the theme of theater and its culture of peace.

Acclaimed American film director and producer Quentin Tarantino turns 54 today. His films, which are known for non-linear storylines, graphic violence and long dialogues, have earned a cult following. He is best known for blockbusters “Reservoir Dogs” (1992), “Pulp Fiction” (1994), “Inglourious Basterds” (2009) and “Django Unchained” (2012). In 1994, he won an Oscar for best original screenplay with “Pulp Fiction” and later in 2012 with “Django Unchained.” According to movie ratings by Rotten Tomatoes, Tarantino averages an 84 percent score across his eight movies. Tarantino revealed last year that his next two movies will be his last, ending his career with 10 major films. He is looking to focus his later years as a writer in film literature.

The 1964 Great Alaskan Earthquake, also known as the Good Friday Earthquake, occurred 53 years ago today in south-central Alaska at around 5:36 p.m. Taking nearly 139 lives, the tremor wreaked havoc across Alaska’s structures, most of which had been built without sufficient earthquake reinforcement architecture. The power of the earthquake generated a sweeping tsunami that peaked at 220 feet and affected over 20 countries. The tsunami crashed into the Oregon and California coast, killing five people in the former state and 13 in the latter. With a 9.2 magnitude, the Alaskan earthquake was the largest ever in North American history and the second largest earthquake recorded in history, second only to the 9.5 magnitude Great Chilean Earthquake in 1960.

American singer, songwriter, producer and actor Mariah Carey was born this day in 1969 in Huntington, New York. Since the start of her career, Carey has sold over 200 million records, a number that makes her one of the best-selling artists in history. After releasing “Touch My Body” in 2008, Carey gained her 18th number-one single in the United States, the most of any solo artist ever. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Carey is the the third-best-selling female artist in the United States. Her musical awards include five Grammy Awards, 19 World Music Awards, 11 American Music Awards and 14 Billboard Music Awards.

This piece was originally published in the pages of The Winged Post on March 28, 2017.