Royal wedding, 2011
On this day in 2011, Great Britain's Prince William marries his longtime girlfriend Catherine Elizabeth "Kate" Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London. Some 1900 guests attended the ceremony, while another 1 million spectators lined the streets of London and an estimated 2 billion people around the world watched on television. The 29-year-old bride and 28-year-old groom, second in line (behind his father) to the throne, met in 2001 as students at the University of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland. Prince William, the elder of two sons born to Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales, embarked on a military career after college, eventually becoming a helicopter search-and-rescue pilot with the Royal Air Force (RAF).
Disaster strikes, 1991
On this day in 1991, a devastating cyclone hits Bangladesh, killing more than 135,000 people. Even though there had been ample warning of the coming storm and shelter provisions had been built in the aftermath of a deadly 1970 storm, this disaster was one of the worst of the 20th century. "Cyclone" is the name given to hurricane-type storms that arise in the Indian Ocean. Typhoons" are those that start in the Pacific Ocean and "hurricanes" are those found in the Atlantic. Cyclone 2B, as this storm was known, had been tracked for a week as it made its way north through the Bay of Bengal. It slammed into the southeastern coast of Bangladesh on April 29.
In a year marked by as much social and cultural upheaval as 1968, it was understandable that the New York Times review of a controversial musical newly arrived on Broadway would describe the show in political terms. "You probably don't have to be a supporter of Eugene McCarthy to love it," wrote critic Clive Barnes, "but I wouldn't give it much chance among the adherents of Governor Reagan." The show in question was Hair, the now-famous "tribal love-rock musical" that introduced the era-defining song "Aquarius" and gave New York theatergoers a full-frontal glimpse of the burgeoning 60s-counterculture esthetic. Hair premiered on Broadway on April 29, 1968.
Citizen Kane, 1941
Months before its release, Orson Welles' landmark film Citizen Kane began generating such controversy that Radio City Music Hall eventually refused to show it. Instead, Citizen Kane, now revered as one of the greatest movies in history, made its debut at the smaller RKO Palace Theater on this day in 1941. By the time he began working on Citizen Kane, the 24-year-old Welles had already made a name for himself as Hollywood's enfant terrible. He first found success on Broadway and on the radio; his October 1938 broadcast version of the science-fiction classic The War of the Worlds was so realistic that many listeners actually believed Martians had invaded New Jersey.