MILESTONES: May 14 birthdays for George Lucas, David Byrne, Sofia Coppola
NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include Baseball Hall of Famer Tony Perez, who was born in 1942; “Star Wars” creator George Lucas, who was born in 1944; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer David Byrne (Talking Heads), who was born in 1952; Oscar-winning filmmaker Robert Zemeckis, who was born in 1952; “Reservoir Dogs” star Tim Roth, who was born in 1961; former N.Y. Rangers coach Alain Vigneault, who was born in 1961; Poison guitarist C.C. DeVille, who was born in Brooklyn in 1962; two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, who was born in 1969; Oscar-winning screenwriter and director Sofia Coppola, who was born in 1971; “Joan of Arcadia” star Amber Tamblyn, who was born in 1983; Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who was born in 1984; and three-time Super Bowl champion Rob Gronkowski, who was born in 1989.
THE GIIFT OF LIFE: The smallpox vaccine was discovered on this day in 1796. Edward Jenner, a physician in rural England, heard reports of dairy farmers who apparently became immune to smallpox as a result of exposure to cowpox, a related but milder disease. After two decades of studying the phenomenon, Jenner injected cowpox into a healthy eight-year-old boy, who subsequently developed cowpox. Six weeks later, Jenner inoculated the boy with smallpox. He remained healthy. Jenner called this new procedure vaccination, from vaccinia, another term for cowpox. Within 18 months, 12,000 people in England had been vaccinated and the number of smallpox deaths dropped by two-thirds.
BANNER DAY: “The Stars and Stripes Forever” was first performed in public on this day in 1897. John Philip Sousa’s march debuted during the unveiling of a statue of George Washington in Philadelphia.
Special thanks to “Chase’s Calendar of Events” and Brooklyn Public Library.
“Even in high school I was very interested in history — why people do the things they do. As a kid I spent a lot of time trying to relate the past to the present.”
— “Star Wars” creator George Lucas, who was born on this day in 1944
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