On This Day December 12
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1967 – “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” a groundbreaking movie about an interracial romantic relationship, starring Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy and Sidney Poitier, opens in theaters. It is the ninth movie to pair Hepburn with Tracy, who died less than three weeks after filming ended.
1972 – The world turns upside down for cruise ship passengers when the epic disaster film “The Poseidon Adventure” opens, featuring a veritable Hollywood ‘Who’s Who’ of a cast, including Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Shelley Winters, Red Buttons, Roddy Mcdowall, Carol Lynley and Jack Albertson.
1980 – American oil tycoon Armand Hammer pays $5.1 million at auction for a notebook containing writings by artist-inventor Leonardo da Vinci. The manuscript, written around 1508, is among over two dozen books da Vinci produced during his lifetime.
1989 – The so-called “Queen of Mean,” hotel operator and real estate developer Leona Helmsley, who once quipped that “only the little people pay taxes,” receives a four-year prison sentence, 750 hours of community service and a $7.1 million fine for tax fraud.
2000 – General Motors (GM) announces that it will begin to phase out its Oldsmobile line of cars, the oldest automotive brand in the United States. The last Olds rolls off an assembly line about four years later.
1992 – Whitney Houston has the No. 1 single with “I Will Always Love You,” which remains a chart-topper for 14 weeks and becomes one of the best-selling singles of all time. The song was written and originally recorded by Dolly Parton in 1973. This version was part of the soundtrack to “The Bodyguard,” a 1992 movie co-starring Houston and Kevin Costner.
2003 – Prince Charles bestows knighthood status upon Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger at Buckingham Palace. Jagger’s 92-year-old father, Joe, and daughters Elizabeth and Karis are on hand for the prestigious event.
2007 – R&B legend Ike Turner, credited by many music historians with making the first rock ‘n roll record in 1951, dies of a cocaine overdose at the age of 76. Turner was the former husband of superstar Tina Turner. The couple enjoyed a string of late 60s-early 70s hits, including “Proud Mary” and “River Deep Mountain High.”