1. 1973: American Graffiti released in U.S. theaters
It was was on this date in 1973 that the coming of age movie known as American Graffiti opens in theaters all over the united States. The film was directed and co-written by none other than George Lucas and it won all kinds of awards. Interestingly it was the success of this movie that allowed Lucas to do his next big movie, Star Wars. It also helped launch the acting careers of Harrison Ford, Richard Dreyfuss and Ron Howard. To make the film they only had a budget of just under $800,000, but they made a killing in the box office bringing in more than $140 million.
2. 1965: Riots break out in Watts
When the riots broke out in the predominately black neighborhood of Watts in Los Angeles on this date in 1965 nobody knew how bad they would get. It all started when two white police officers allegedly were struggling to get control of a situation with a black motorist suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. A group of people gathered around the offices around the corner of 116th street and Avalon Boulevard to watch the arrest take place getting angrier by the minute. Apparently they felt as if this wan another example of racially motivated abuse by law enforcement. The riot that broke out would last for the next five straight says and would stretch across a 50 square mile area of South Central Los Angeles. Once the National guard regained control of the situation the damage report was staggering. More than $40 million worth of damages, over 1,000 people left injured and 32 fatalities.
3. 2014: Tragic passing of Robin Williams
It was a sad day on this date in 2014 when reports came out that the hilarious actor and comedian, Robin Williams, was found dead in his California home. Apparently the actor that had brought smiles and laughter to millions had suffered from severe depression and was in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease. Many people close to him feel as if this was the reason he had taken his own life. The witty, quick fire delivery that Williams had is unlike any other comedian in Hollywood. He stared in more movies, good movies, that we can even count. He got his big break when he made a guest appearance on Happy Days playing an alien named Mork from the plant Ork. That off course went over so well that it landed him the spin-off series, Mork and Mindy, which ultimately catapulted him into the highest levels of stardom. He will be forever missed, but his spirit will live on and continue to bring happiness and laughter to millions.