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In the Good Old Days Antiques Corner This Week in History
This Week in History

A Royal Vacation, a Fugitive Seeks Justice, and a Historic Confirmation

-- On Aug. 27, 1953: The film Roman Holiday, starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, premiered in New York City. In her first American film, Hepburn played Princess Ann, a European princess who sneaks away for a break from her royal obligations. Gregory Peck played Joe Bradley, an American reporter in Rome who helps the princess, unaware of her true identity, when he comes across her on the street, thinking she's drunk (she's actually been sedated with sleeping pills). Bradley later discovers the truth and decides to write an exclusive article about a day with the princess, not revealing to her that he knows who she is. He follows her and "accidentally" runs into her while she is out exploring Rome. Bradley has his colleague Irving Radovich (Eddie Albert) take secret photos of them as they explore Rome. The film won three Academy Awards including: Best Actress (Hepburn), Best Costume Design (Edith Head), and Best Writing, Motion Picture Story (Dalton Trumbo). The award was initially given to Ian McLellan Hunter who was originally credited for the film due to Trumbo being blacklisted for his refusal to testify before HUAC (House Un-American Committee). Trumbo received his Academy Award posthumously in 1993.

-- On Aug. 29, 1967: The final TV episode of The Fugitive starring David Janssen as Dr. Richard Kimble aired. Kimble was convicted of his wife's murder and sentenced to the death penalty but escapes when a train transporting him derails. While on the run from authorities, Kimble seeks the one-armed man who actually committed the murder. Lt. Philip Gerard (Barry Morse) is a police detective searching to recover the fugitive Dr. Kimble. Gerard sometimes doubts whether Kimble actually committed the crime, especially when Dr. Kimble helps save others even while he is running from the law. The series finale was watched by more than 25 million households (an estimated 78 million viewers), the record for a final episode at that time. That record held until the last episode of M*A*S*H was aired in 1983; it is said to have drawn 105.9 million viewers. In 1993, a film version of The Fugitive, starring Harrison Ford (Kimble) and Tommy Lee Jones (Gerard), was released.

-- On Aug. 30, 1967: Thurgood Marshall was confirmed as an associate justice on the United States Supreme Court. He was the first African American to serve on the court. Marshall graduated from Howard University Law School in 1933. During his distinguished legal career, he had a private legal practice and served as legal counsel for the NAACP, as a federal appellate court judge, and as the U.S. solicitor general. The U.S. solicitor general was the fourth highest-ranking position in the Justice Department, and Marshall was the first African American to hold that position. Before becoming a Supreme Court justice, Marshall argued a total of 32 cases before the Supreme Court, winning an impressive 29 of those cases, including the historic Brown v. Board of Education case. In the landmark Brown decision, the Supreme Court held that the segregation of public schools violated the constitution's equal protection clause. The Brown decision led to the desegregation of public schools. President Johnson nominated Marshall to the Supreme Court in 1967 and he was subsequently confirmed. Marshall served on the Supreme Court for 24 years before retiring in 1991. He passed away in 1993 at the age of 84 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

-- Compiled by M. Moeller

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