This Date in History: Hitch, Julia and The Mick

This Date in History: Hitch, Julia and The Mick

If you had to choose your favorite Alfred Hitchcock movie, which one would you select? Psycho would certainly get a lot of votes, mainly because of the suspenseful shower scene featuring Janet Leigh.

The Birds would be a popular choice too. There's something about seeing a woman's eyes pecked out by a flock of malevolent seagulls. Speaking of that film, many people are unaware that the actress Jessica Tandy is featured in the role of a widowed mother.

Yes, the same Jessica Tandy who would win our hearts over in 1989's Driving Miss Daisy She is the most recent Best Actress winner to have worked with Hitchcock.

We mention the Master of Suspense, because today is the anniversary of his birth in 1899.  For some, Hitchcock is the greatest filmmaker of all time, responsible for treasured movies like Vertigo, Rear Window and North by Northwest.

Today is also the anniversary of Julia Child's death in 2004.

She didn't invent French cooking, but Child did expose the viewing public to it with her television program, The French Chef. It only ran for a decade, but was followed by five other TV series', all featuring Julia's cheery enthusiasm and distinctive voice.

In addition to television, Child authored 18 cookbooks, starting in 1961 with Mastering the Art of French Cooking. A rose was named for Child after her death. She was also featured in a series of stamps from the US Postal Service, titled Celebrity Chefs Forever.

Twenty years ago today, baseball lost the greatest switch hitter of all time when Mickey Mantle died.

To young boys of the 1950s and 60s, Mantle was a god.  In 1956 he won baseball's Triple Crown with a .353 batting average, 52 home runs and 130 runs batted in. He was also chosen American League MVP.

Bob Costas delivered the eulogy at Mantle's funeral, which was carried on ESPN and left this viewer and others of my generation in tears.

Many probably weren't Mickey Mantle fans, but Costas' words brought back memories of our youth, when Little League baseball was all that mattered. Wouldn't it be great to have that same passion today?

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