Five People Born on March 4

patriciaheatonToday is March 4, 2010 and the 63rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar.  There are 301 days left in the year 2010. According the Mayan calendar, there are 1023 days till the end of the current cycle.  On this date, in 1877, Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake premiers in Moscow.  Here are five people that share a birthday on this day:

 

number1Patricia Heaton (Born 1958)
This Bay Village, Ohio native (near Cleveland) is an actress best-known for her role of Deborah Barone on the television hit show, Everybody Loves Raymond.  She received her bachelor’s degree in theater from Ohio State University in 1980. Soon after graduation, Heaton moved to New York to pursue an acting career.  After making various television appearances on series and movies, she landed the role of Debra Barone, wife and mother, on Everybody Loves Raymond in 1996. Co-starring comedian Ray Romano, the sitcom portrays the comedic happenings of a young family who lives next door to its in-laws. Heaton won an Emmy for Leading Actress in a Comedy Series for her performance on the show in 1999.  After Everybody Loves Raymond ended in 2005, Heaton made a return to television starring opposite Kelsey Grammer in the FOX comedy series Back To You in 2007. The show lasted for a season before its cancelation. She then appeared in the ABC sitcom, The Middle, in 2009. The show, about a middle class family, was picked up for a full season.  Heaton has also branched out to film, appearing in such features as Beethoven (1992), The New Age (1994) and Space Jam (1996). 

 

number2Chastity (Chaz) Bono (Born 1969)
The daughter of Sonny Bono and Cher, Chastity Bono is an actress and gay rights activist. Chastity was named after her mother’s first feature film. The openly gay activist was outed by a tabloid in 1990, and she is currently a member of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Human Rights Campaign. She is the author of two books, Family Outing and The End of Innocence: A Memoir, and was a contestant on VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club 3 in 2006.  As of 2009, she underwent female-to-male gender transition and changed her name to Chaz Bono. 

 

number3Knute Rockne (1888-1931)
Norwegian-born football coach for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. He immigrated with his family to Chicago in 1893. He ran track and played tight end on the University of Notre Dame football team, combining with quarterback Gus Dorias to popularize the forward pass as a major offensive tactic. It is said that the duo perfected this play while working as life guards at Cedar Point, in Sandusky, Ohio.  Although his major in college was chemistry, in 1919 he was named head coach at Notre Dame. In Rockne’s 13 seasons, his “Fighting Irish” posted an impressive record (105–12–5) that included 5 undefeated seasons and 3 national championships. He coached players such as George “The Gipper” Gipp and the members of the Four Horsemen, and his colorful personality captured the public’s imagination.  Rockne is probably best known for his famous speech, made popular by the film Knute Rockne: All American (1940) where he was portrayed by Pat O’Brien.  Rockne was killed in a plane crash in Kansas while he was on his way to participate in the production of the film The Spirit of Notre Dame.  President Herbert Hoover stated that Rockne’s death was “a national loss.”

 

number4Henry The Navigator (1394-1460)
This Portuguese prince was born Henrique Porto was the third son of King John I and was an influential leader in the early days of the Portuguese Empire.  In 1415, Henry encouraged his father to take the Muslim port of Cuerta in North Africa at the Strait of Gibraltar.  This led to an interest in the Saharan trade routes and Africa, in general.   Henry was also intrigued by the Christian legend of Prester John, a fictional king that lived during the time of the Crusades and came to save Christian crusaders in trouble with his invincible armies and vast riches.  Because of Prince Henry, the Portuguese trade expansion became a world power.  He employed navigators and cartographers from all over Europe and helped to create what was known of the world in the Age of Exploration.

 

number5Garrett Augustus Morgan (1877-1963)
 This African-American inventor is responsible for saving thousands, if not millions of lives. Born in Paris, Kentucky, Morgan moved to Ohio when he was 14 years old looking for work.  He worked as a handyman in Cincinnati before moving with his wife to Cleveland.  A self-taught engineer, Morgan holds patents for the gas mask, which was used extensively during World War 1; the traffic light; and a hair-straightening preparation.  In Cleveland, he was known as a guy who could fix almost everything.  His fame came about from his “Safety Hood”, however.  The invention was a breathing apparatus and smoke detector which would later be the inspiration for the gas mask.  After hearing about a terrible fire in New York, he devised a way for people to breathe in unbearable conditions.  He got to test the device, first hand, when a group of miners were trapped when a salt mine, under Lake Erie exploded in 1916.  Donning the hood, like some sort of superhero, he entered the inferno and rescued several of the men.  He was awarded the Gold Medal for Bravery by the city of Cleveland and his fame spread throughout the United States.  In 1923, Morgan patented the traffic light.  While there were other traffic controllers at the time, his device allowed for pedestrian and automobile traffic.   He died in 1963 at the age of 86.  He was named in the Top 100 List of Influential African-Americans in 2002.  One of his last inventions was the self-extinguishing cigarette that put it self out by use of a pellet of water located just below the filter.

 

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