1. 1975: First woman to reach the summit of Everest
On this day in 1975, Japanese mountaineer Junko Tabei becomes the first female to scale the tallest mountain in the world, Mt Everest. Sitting at just under 30,000 ft, Everest is one of the most difficult climbs in the world and there have been countless people that have perished in their attempts to make the very short list of people that have reached the Summit. Tabei had Showa Women’s University located in Tokyo where she received a degree in English Literature, this was also where she joined the Mountain Climbing Club. Later she would start the Ladies Climbing Club and they would go on to climb some of the major mountain peaks like Mt. Fuji and the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps. Climbing Everest is actually a very expensive expedition and although the group of 15 Japanese women received some funding from a local newspaper and TV station they were required to save the equivalent of the average yearly salary in order to make the expedition. As a way to save money, Tabei and some of the other women purchased goose feathers from China and make their own sleeping bags.
2. 1929: The Academy Awards take place for he first time.
On this day in 1929 a private dinner is held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles California to celebrate the winners of the first academy awards. Unlike today’s award ceremony, the winners were announced beforehand and the dinner was just to give out the awards. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was the brain child of Louis B Mayer, head of the MGM film studios, and was organized in May of 1927. Hosting the event was actor Douglas Fairbanks Jr who also the president of the Academy. During this time sound started to become available for moves but it was determined that no “talkies” would be honored during the award ceremony because it didn’t seem fair to have movies with sound competing against those that did not. The movie Wings was the first and only silent film to win the Best Picture category and was also the most expensive film of its time with a budget of $2 million, which in the late 1920’s was a significant amount of money, probably an estimated $100 million in today’s money. Charlie Chaplin didn’t compete in any of the major categories but only because he was pulled out due to the fact he was receiving a special award for his major impact on the film industry.
3. 2014: Barbara Walters retires
On this day in 2014 legendary TV news anchorwoman Barbara Walters ends her career after over 50 years in front of the camera. She was most famous for her time spent interviewing major political leaders, celebrities, sports legends and even high profile criminals over the years. Walters was one of the few people that have interviewed every President from Nixon to Obama and she even snagged the first interview with Monica Lewinksi which had over 74 million people tuned in, which actually became the highest rated news program. Walters joined up with “The Today Show” in 1961 as a writer but she would eventually become the first official female co-host of the show in 1974. Just ten years later she became the co-host and producer of the hit new show 20/20 where she would continue to do that until 2004. In 1997 she also started the famed daytime talk show called “The View” where she would remain until her retirement. On her last episode of the View she was honored by more than a dozen female anchorwomen such as Katie Couric, Oprah Winfrey and Diane Sawyer. The wanted to show tribute to the legendary newswoman that had essentially blazed the trail for pretty much every female on TV.