Wednesday’s History: August 12
A famous movie premieres, a dinosaur skeleton was found, and a dividing wall begins to go up all happened today, Aug. 12, according to history.com.
- In 1939, the world premiere of The Wizard of Oz was shown in Oconomowoc, Wis. The characters came alive from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, written by L. Frank Baum in 1900.
- Judy Garland's "Over the Rainbow," written by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg, won the 1940 Academy Award's Best Song Oscar. In 2001, it was listed as No. 1 on Songs of the Century.
- In the 1950s and early 60s, people from East Berlin were leaving to reunite with families in West Berlin. East Berlin, in 1961, sealed the entrance to West Berlin. The construction of a concrete wall began and was completed with sentry towers and minefields, sealing off the two sections of Berlin.
U.S. troops were planning to bulldoze the wall, but then the Soviets began protecting it with armored units. The Berlin Wall symbolized the Cold War, 80 people were killed escaping East to West.
Not until 1989 was the Wall demolished, ending the Cold War.
- After discovering three bones in 1990, Susan Hendrickson's discovery actually was a 90 percent complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton. Now known as Sue's Skeleton, it was extracted, cleaned and transported to Black Hills Institute of Geological Research, Hendrickson's employer.
A long legal battle began. The skeleton was found on Maurice Williams' land. A member of Cheyenne River Sioux tribe, Williams traded his land to avoid paying property taxes, which turns out the skeleton actually was found on government land.
Chicago's Field Museum purchased the skeleton in 1997 for more than $8 million. In May 2000, the skeleton -- at 13 feet high at the hips and 42feet long head to toe -- went on display. The T. rex has 58 teeth in a skull weighing 2,000 pounds.
- During a preseason game in 1978, Oakland's Jack Tatum at free safety hit wide receiver Darryl Stingley of New England. This hit at the time was not illegal, however, it broke 26-year-old Stingley's neck between the fourth and fifth vertebrae. He was paralyzed from the neck down, a quadriplegic.
John Madden, Oakland's head coach, visited Stingley daily. Tatum was denied to see him by his family, for not showing remorse. Darryl Stingley died in 2007.
The NFL revised rules to protect receivers in response to criticism they received after the hit. Helmet-to-helmet hits were ruled illegal.
Stingley's friends went on to work for disabled NFL players to secure better benefits.