1. 1947: Automotive legend Henry Ford passes away
On this day back in 1947, the man who many consider to be the Father of the Automobile, Henry Ford, passes away. Ford was responsible for making the first affordable car available to the public making it possible for the everyday man and woman to own a car. The reason he was able to do this was his brilliant idea of manufacturing the Model T on an assembly line which allowed him to make the cars much fast and cheaper then anything else available at the time. Just 10 years after the Model T was released, it was said that more than half of the cars on the road came off Fords assembly line and by 1927 when the last was produced there were a reported 15 million sold. Ford was at his estate in Dearborn , Michigan, when he died at the age of 83.
2. 1970: John Wayne wins his first and only Academy Award for Best Actor
Today was the day in 1970 that one of the most iconic Hollywood actors, John Wayne, received a long awaited Academy Award for Best Actor. Wayne received the award for his role of Rooster Cogburn, a down on his luck U.S. Marshall with a drinking problem and a nasty temper, in the critically acclaimed movie True Grit. Even though Wayne had been in over 150 movies, this was the first time he was even nominated for any category, let alone Best Actor. Wayne went on to play the role of Rooster again in the sequel to True Grit called Rooster Cogburn, which co-starred Kathrine Hepburn, but never received any awards for it.
3. 1994: The Genocide in Rwanda takes place
Rwanda is an African Country that has suffered some of the worst acts of genocide since the Nazi’s in World War II. The main reason is the civil war taking place between the Hutu Extremists and the Tutsi. This day marks the start of that genocide where the Hutu extremists murdered over 800,000 Tutsi civilians in just three months. Rwandan armed forces killed 10 Belgian peacekeeping officers just to discourage any other interference from outside sources. The Tutsi made up about 10 percent of the population of Rwanda and I guess because of that they didn’t receive any assistance from anyone in Rwanda. It was said that if another country would have sent even 5,000 troops to the area the entire genocide could have been prevented. Of course, that is all speculation though. Hollywood told their version of this story in the heart wrenching tale called Hotel Rwanda.