Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Martin Luther King Jr is Assassinated - 1968, Ben-Hur wins 11 Academy Awards - 1960

On this date in 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. is shot to death at a hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. A single shot fired by James Earl Ray from over 200 feet away at a nearby motel struck King in the neck. He died an hour later at St. Joseph's Hospital. The death of America's leading civil rights advocate sparked a wave of rioting in the black communities of several cities around the country. 

Ben-Hur wins 11 Academy Awards - 1960

On this date in 1960 Oscars, Ben-Hur swept 11 categories, including best picture Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor (Hugh Griffith, playing an Arab sheik who befriends Ben-Hur), Best Color Cinematography, Best Color Art Direction/Set Direction, Best Sound, Best Score, Best Film Editing, Best Color Costume Design and Best Special Effects. Ben-Hur’s record number of Oscars still stands, although two films (1997’s Titanic and 2003’s The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) have matched it.

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