DayBird - May 26th
1907 - John Wayne, an actor who came to epitomize the American West, is born in Winterset, Iowa. He is an jerkface and his movies suck. From wikipedia, in reference to an interview with Playboy magazine published on May 1, 1971, some quotes:
I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them if that's what you're asking. Our so called stealing of this country was just a question of survival. There were great numbers of people who needed new land the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves... I'm quite sure that the concept of a Government-run reservation... seems to be what the socialists are working for now — to have everyone cared for from cradle to grave.... But you can't whine and bellyache 'cause somebody else got a break and you didn't, like those Indians are. We'll all be on a reservation soon if the socialists keep subsidizing groups like them with our tax money.
He then continued to discuss race relations, including his opinions regarding the current civil rights of African Americans:
I believe in white supremacy until blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don't believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.... The academic community has developed certain tests that determine whether the blacks are sufficiently equipped scholastically... I don't feel guilty about the fact that five or ten generations ago these people were slaves. Now I'm not condoning slavery. It's just a fact of life, like the kid who gets infantile paralysis and can't play football like the rest of us.
1913 – Peter Cushing, English actor and hammer film extraordinaire, Star War villian, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Who, is born. He rocks!
1924 - President Coolidge signs Immigration law: restricting immigration. The new law is geared to preserving a predominantly white American population. The new laws favored Scandinavian and UK immigrants. On the other hand, Mexicans, southern and eastern Europeans, and the Japanese were either limited by stringent education standards or barred entirely.
1928 – Happy Birthday, Dr. Death!
1940 – The Dunkirk evacuation, codenamed Operation Dynamo by the British, was the evacuation of Allied soldiers from the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk, France, between 26 May and 4 June 1940, when British, French and Belgian troops were cut off by the German army during the Battle of Dunkirk in the Second World War. On the first day, only 7,010 men were evacuated, but by the ninth day, a total of 338,226 soldiers (198,229 British and 139,997 French) had been rescued by the hastily assembled fleet of 850 boats.
2008 - Film director, producer and actor Sidney Pollack, whose string of hits included Tootsie, Out of Africa and The Firm, dies of cancer at his home in Los Angeles, at the age of 73.