Kathryn Bigelow becomes the first female director to win an Oscar


Year
2010
Month Day
March 07

On March 7, 2010, Kathryn Bigelow becomes the first woman to win an Academy Award for best director, for her movie “The Hurt Locker,” about an American bomb squad that disables explosives in Iraq in 2004. Prior to Bigelow, only three women had been nominated for a best director Oscar: Lina Wertmueller for 1975’s “Seven Beauties,” Jane Campion for 1993’s “The Piano” and Sofia Coppola for 2003’s “Lost in Translation.”

Born in San Carlos, California, in 1951, Bigelow graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1972 and later earned a master’s degree in film from Columbia University. She made her feature film debut with 1982’s “The Loveless,” which she co-wrote and co-directed. The film, about a motorcycle gang, starred Willem Dafoe. The next movie Bigelow directed, 1987’s “Near Dark,” was a western-horror hybrid that gained a cult following. She went on to helm 1990’s “Blue Steel,” starring Jamie Lee Curtis as a police officer stalked by a killer, and 1991’s “Point Break,” about bank-robbing surfers, featuring Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves. Bigelow’s other directing credits include 1995’s “Strange Days” with Ralph Fiennes, 2000’s “The Weight of Water” with Sean Penn and 2002’s “K-19: The Widowmaker” with Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson.

At the 82nd Academy Awards in March 2010, Bigelow’s fellow best-director nominees included James Cameron (“Avatar”), whom she was married to from 1989 to 1991, along with Lee Daniels (“Precious”), Jason Reitman (“Up in the Air”) and Quentin Tarantino (“Inglorious Basterds”). After making history by winning the directing prize, Bigelow said, “I hope I’m the first of many [women], and of course, I’d love to just think of myself as a filmmaker. And I long for the day when that modifier can be a moot point.” Her movie “The Hurt Locker,” which starred Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty, also won Oscars for best picture, film editing, sound editing, sound mixing and original screenplay.

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Chilean miners are rescued after 69 days underground

Year
2010
Month Day
October 13

On October 13, 2010, the last of 33 miners trapped nearly half a mile underground for more than two months at a caved-in mine in northern Chile, are rescued. The miners survived longer than anyone else trapped underground in recorded history.

The miners’ ordeal began on August 5, 2010, when the San Jose gold and copper mine where they were working, some 500 miles north of the Chilean capital city of Santiago, collapsed. The 33 men moved to an underground emergency shelter area, where they discovered just several days’ worth of food rations. As their situation grew more desperate over the next 17 days, the miners, uncertain if anyone would find them, considered suicide and cannibalism. Then, on August 22, a drill sent by rescuers broke through to the area where the miners were located, and the men sent back up a note saying, “We are fine in the refuge, the 33.” Food, water, letters, medicine and other supplies were soon delivered to the miners via a narrow bore hole. Video cameras were also sent down, making it possible for rescuers to see the men and the hot, humid space in which they were entombed. As engineering and mining experts from around the world collaborated on the long, complex process of devising a way to bring the 33 men up to the surface, the miners maintained a system of jobs and routines in order to keep up morale.

Rescuers eventually drilled and reinforced an escape shaft wide enough to extract the men, one by one. (Employees of a Pennsylvania-based drilling-tool company played a role in drilling the rescue shaft.) On October 12, the first of the miners was raised to the surface in a narrow, 13-foot-tall capsule painted white, blue and red, the colors of the Chilean flag. The approximately 2,000-foot ascent to the surface in the capsule took around 15 minutes for each man.

The miners were greeted by a cheering crowd that included Chile’s president, Sebastian Pinera; media from around the world; and friends and relatives, many of whom had been camped at the base of the mine in the Atacama Desert for months. Millions of people around the globe watched the rescue on live TV. Less than 24 hours after the operation began, all 33 of the miners, who ranged in age from 19 to 63, had been safely rescued. Almost all the men were in good health, and each of them sported dark glasses to protect their eyes after being in a dimly lit space for so long.

The rescued miners were later honored with trips to a variety of destinations, including England, Israel and Florida’s Walt Disney World, where a parade was held in their honor.

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Stephenie Meyer, best-selling author of “Twilight” novels, is born


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Original:
Year
1973
Month Day
December 24

On December 24, 1973, Stephenie Meyer, author of the “Twilight” novels, a vampire romance series for young adults that became a literary phenomenon, is born in Hartford, Connecticut.

Meyer, born Stephenie Morgan, was raised in Phoenix, Arizona, the second of six siblings. She married at 21 and graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English in 1997. Meyer was a stay-at-home mother of three boys in 2003 when the idea for “Twilight”—the story of teenager Bella Swann and her handsome vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen—came to her in a dream. Three months later, Meyer, who had never written seriously before, finished the manuscript for “Twilight.” After a string of rejections from literary agencies, she landed an agent and a $750,000, three-book deal. “Twilight,” released in 2005, went on to become a huge best-seller. Three more books in the series, which developed a massive following among young girls as well as grown women, followed: “New Moon” (2006), “Eclipse” (2007) and “Breaking Dawn” (2008). The books have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide and been translated into dozens of languages. Meyer’s Mormon faith has influenced her writing: While her “Twilight” characters aren’t Mormons, they don’t drink or smoke and there are no graphic sex scenes in her books.

In the summer of 2008, Meyer released a science-fiction novel marketed to adults, titled “The Host,” which like her earlier books became a best-seller. In November of that year, legions of “Twilight” fans, known as “Twihards,” flocked to movie theaters for the Hollywood adaptation of Meyer’s first novel. The film, starring Kristen Stewart as Bella and Robert Pattinson as Edward, was a box-office hit, and the other three novels in the series later received big-screen adaptations.

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Michael Chabon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel debuts

Year
2000
Month Day
September 19

Michael Chabon’s third novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is published on September 19, 2000. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction the following year. 

Chabon, who was born in Washington, D.C., in 1963, graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and earned a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of California, Irvine. His first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, a coming-of-age story set in the city named in the title, was written as his graduate school thesis. Published in 1988, the book became a best-seller and was later made into a movie.

Among Chabon’s other credits are The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, a 2007 detective novel; Telegraph Avenue, a 2012 novel; and Moonglow, a 2016 novel. He has also written screenplays and several collections of short stories. 

Chabon is married to writer Ayelet Waldman, with whom he has four children. 

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