Today is March 3, 2010 and the 62nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 302 days left in the year 2010. According the Mayan calendar, there are 1024 days till the end of the current cycle. On this date, in 1885, AT&T (American Telephone and Telegraph) is founded. Here are five people that share a birthday on this day:
James Doohan (1920-2005)
Best known for his role as Chief Engineer Montgomery “Scotty” Scott from the popular science fiction genre, Star Trek, James Doohan was a Canadian born in Vancouver, British Columbia. When World War Two broke out, Doohan joined the Canadian Army at the age of 19 and saw action storming Juno Beach in Normandy on D-Day (June 6, 1944). He was wounded several times, almost fatally, had it not been for a cigarette case in his shirt pocket, thus proving smoking isn’t always dangerous for your health. After the war, Doohan returned to Canada and started working in radio, where he was prolific – performing in more than 4000 Canadian radio shows. He also found himself in New York City where he added acting to his resume. Here, he got the opportunity to work with the likes of Tony Randall, Leslie Nielsen, and Lee Marvin. Doohan was not to stay here long, however, venturing out to Los Angeles in the 1960s where he sought to get into the movies. He was able to get some small guest-roles on television, such as Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and the Twilight Zone before he met Gene Roddenberry and landed his most famous role – on Star Trek. He tried out for the part using different accents until they decided that the engineer should be Scottish. Premiering on September 8, 1966, Star Trek offered viewers a science fiction fantasy of the future. It was set in the twenty-third century and followed the exploits of the U.S.S. Enterprise, a starship helmed by Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner). Leonard Nimoy played his first officer Mr. Spock and DeForest Kelley played the ship’s medical officer, Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy. Kirk and the rest of his crew encountered all sorts of challenges and different life forms as they traveled through space. He was part of some of the most famous catch phrases of the show, “Beam me up, Scotty” and “I’m giving her all she’s got, Cap’n!” While the original series only ran for three years, Star Trek became hugely popular in syndication. But Doohan felt typecast as he had difficulty landing new roles. Taking on another Star Trek project, he voiced Scotty for an animated version of the show that ran on Saturday mornings from 1973 to 1975. In 1979, Doohan and much of the original television cast had an opportunity to play their Star Trek characters on the big screen. While Star Trek: The Motion Picture was a box office disappointment, its sequel Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) did well—so well in fact that several more sequels followed. Doohan also played Scotty on some of the television sequels as well, including Star Trek: The Next Generation. In 1996, Doohan became an author with the publication of his autobiography, Beam Me Up, Scotty: Star Trek’s “Scotty”—in His Own Words, written with Peter David, and his first work of science fiction, Rising, done in collaboration with S. M. Stirling. He was always very good to his fans and could be seen around the country at Star Trek conventions. As the twentieth century came to a close, Doohan started having health issues that severely impeded his career and lifestyle. He died at his home in California, remembered as one of Star Trek’s most beloved characters.
Jessica Biel (Born 1982)
This Minnesota-born actress Biel’s first love was musical theater, and she performed in several musicals during her youth. She attended California’s exclusive Le Lycee Francais De Los Angeles and became a successful teen model in 1994. Her print work eventually led to the role that made her famous, that of Mary Camden on the WB television drama 7th Heaven from 1996 to 2002. Biel has also appeared in several films, including 1997′s Ulee’s Gold, 2002′s The Rules of Attraction and 2005′s Stealth. In 2006′s Home of the Brave, Biel portrayed an Iraq war veteran alongside Samuel L. Jackson. More recently the actress has appeared in Next (2006), Powder Blue (2007), Easy Virtue (2008), and Nailed (2009).
Jackie Joyner-Kersee (Born 1962)
Joyner-Kersee, a track and field star athlete born in Illinois, attended UCLA, where she starred in both track and basketball. One of the greatest female athletes in history, she won a silver medal in the heptathlon in the 1984 Olympics and gold medals in the 1988 and 1992 Games. She also won a gold medal in the long jump in 1988 and a bronze at the 1992 Olympics. Joyner-Kersee is the heptathlon world record-holder and American record-holder in the long jump. Jackie married her controversial coach, Bob Kersee, in 1986. Joyner-Kersee’s brother, Al Joyner, is also an Olympic gold medalist, having won the Olympic triple jump in 1984. Her sister-in-law is the late track star Florence Griffith Joyner. A sufferer of exercise-induced asthma, Joyner-Kersee officially retired from track and field in 2001 at age 38. After her retirement, she started the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Youth Center Foundation to encourage kids in her underprivileged hometown to play sports.
Jean Harlow (1911-1937)
Born Harlean Carpenter in Missouri, Jean Harlow lived a short, but fulfilling life on the silver screen. She worked as an extra and played bit parts before her first success, in Hell’s Angels (1930). With her platinum-blonde hair and flashy vulgarity, she became Warner Brothers’ resident sex symbol in The Public Enemy and Platinum Blonde (1931). At MGM she showed herself to be an able actress with a flair for comedy in films such as Dinner at Eight (1933), China Seas (1935), Libeled Lady (1936), and Saratoga (1937). After surviving two divorces, the suicide of her second husband, and public scandal, she died of uremic poisoning at the age of 26.
Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922)
Born on the same day as the anniversary of the founding of AT&T, this Scottish-born inventor and audiologist is most famous for the invention of the telephone (1876). His early years included working for his father, who was a famous audiologist. He had little schooling, being mainly home-schooled and trained by his father. It still did not stop him from getting a post as a professor at Weston House Academy in Elgin, in County Moray. By the early 1870s, Bell was traveling America, lecturing on ways to teach the deaf to speak. This led him to start experimenting with sound and he moved to being a professor of speech therapy at Boston University. Never adept with his hands, Bell had the good fortune to discover and inspire Thomas Watson, a young repair mechanic and model maker, who assisted him enthusiastically in devising an apparatus for transmitting sound by electricity. Their long nightly sessions began to produce tangible results. On March 7, 1876, the United States Patent Office granted to Bell Patent Number 174,465 covering “The method of, and apparatus for, transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically . . . by causing electrical undulations, similar in form to the vibrations of the air accompanying the said vocal or other sounds.” Bell continued his experiments in communication, which culminated in the invention of the photophone—transmission of sound on a beam of light; in medical research; and in techniques for teaching speech to the deaf. Bell also invented the Graphophone – or early record player. Employing an engraving stylus, controllable speeds, and wax cylinders and disks, the Graphophone presented a practical approach to sound recording. Bell’s share of the royalties financed the Volta Bureau and the American Association to Promote the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf (since 1956 the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf). In 1898, Bell succeeded his father-in-law as president of the National Geographic Society. Convinced that geography could be taught through pictures, he sought to promote an understanding of life in distant lands in an age when travel was limited to a privileged few. Again he found the proper hands, Gilbert Grosvenor, his future son-in-law, who transformed a modest pamphlet into a unique educational journal reaching millions throughout the world. The range of his inventive genius is represented only in part by the 18 patents granted in his name alone and the 12 he shared with his collaborators. These included 14 for the telephone and telegraph, 4 for the photophone, 1 for the phonograph, 5 for aerial vehicles, 4 for hydroairplanes, and 2 for a selenium cell. Until a few days before his death Bell continued to make entries in his journal. During his last dictation he was reassured with “Don’t hurry,” to which he replied, “I have to.”
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