April 9, 1913: Denmark’s Royal Library in Copenhagen establishes the world’s first film archive.
April 10, 1915: The controversy over D.W. Griffith‘s portrayal of blacks in The Birth of a Nation rages on, as thousands protest the film.
April 6, 1925: Passengers on a London-Paris Imperial Airways flight are treated to one of the first “in-flight movies” when they watch The Lost World.
April 7, 1927: Upon the centenary of the military leader’s death, French director Abel Gance releases an epic achievement, the landmark Napoleon.
April 8, 1932: Paramount’s romantic comedy This Is the Night, marking the screen debut of 28-year-old Cary Grant, opens today.
April 6, 1936: Olympic athlete-turned-actor Larry “Buster” Crabbe blasts off as spacefaring hero Flash Gordon in the Universal Pictures serial.
April 5, 1951: The comedy Bedtime for Bonzo, starring future Commander-in-Chief Ronald Reagan and the title chimpanzee, opens.
April 10, 1952: Director Elia Kazan (A Streetcar Named Desire) testifies before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, naming eight colleagues as communists.
April 9, 1952: Gene Kelly eschews bumbershoot and poncho to go Singin’ in the Rain in the movie, opening today, of the same name.
April 4, 1958: Cheryl Crane, 14-year-old daughter of Lana Turner, fatally stabs her mother’s lover, gangster Johnny Stompanato, in self-defense.
April 10, 1959: “Surf’s up!” as Sandra Dee stars in Gidget, first in a line of popular teen comedies.
April 4, 1960: William Wyler’s monumental religious drama, Ben-Hur, takes home a record 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Actor (Charlton Heston).
April 7, 1960: Respected British director Michael Powell comes under fire for his latest, Peeping Tom, a psychological drama about a deranged killer.
April 10, 1972: A grateful Charlie Chaplin, 82, takes the stage at L.A.’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to accept an honorary Academy Award for his body of work.
April 9, 1975: Arthurian legend will never be the same, as the outrageous comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail opens in London.
April 8, 1986: Voters in Carmel, California make actor Clint Eastwood’s day by electing him mayor with an overwhelming 72% majority.
April 8, 1988: Action icon Steven Seagal makes his screen debut as the hero of Above the Law.
April 10, 1992: After several lean years, director Robert Altman scores a career revival with his acerbic Hollywood satire, The Player.
April 5, 2008: Oscar-winning actor Charlton Heston (The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur) dies of complications from pneumonia at 84.
April 8. 2011: Sidney Lumet, director of Dog Day Afternoon and Network, dies at 86 from cancer.
April 4, 2013: Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic, columnist, author and screenwriter (Beyond the Valley of the Dolls) Roger Ebert dies of complications from cancer at 70.
April 8, 2013: Former Mousketeer and Beach Party co-star Annette Funicello passes away from complications of multiple sclerosis at the age of 70.
April 6, 2014: Child star-turned-Oscar-winner Mickey Rooney, star of MGM’s Andy Hardy film series, dies at 93.