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Sternberg was an American film director who was born to a Jewish family in Vienna, Austria. He is… [More] particularly noted for his distinctive mise en scène (translates to “visual theme” or “telling a story,” and depicts the use of lighting and soft lens to create a scene, for example) and seven-film collaboration with actress Marlene Dietrich. His most famous films include: “The Scarlet Empress” (1934); “The Devil is a Woman” (1935); “Morocco” (1930); “Dishonored”(1931); “Shanghai Express” (1932);and “Blonde Venus” (1932). Interesting fact: Between 1959 and 1963 von Sternberg taught a course on film aesthetics at the University of California at Los Angeles, based on his own films. His students included Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek, who went on to form the rock group The Doors. References to Sternberg films appear in some of the group’s songs, and Manzarek describes Sternberg as perhaps the greatest single influence on The Doors. [Less]
JFK was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963.… [More] Kennedy is the only Catholic president, and is the only president to have won a Pulitzer Prize. Events during his presidency included the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the building of the Berlin Wall, the Space Race, the African American Civil Rights Movement, and early stages of the Vietnam War. Before becoming president, JFK served in the military as commander of the Motor Torpedo Boats PT-109 and PT-59 during World War II in the South Pacific. He also served as a Congressman. Interesting fact: He was the youngest president elected to the office (the second-youngest President after Theodore Roosevelt), at the age of 43, and the first person born in the 20th century to serve as president. [Less]
1958: Juliano Mer-Khamis
Mer-Khamis was an Israeli actor, director, filmmaker and political activist of Jewish and Christian Arab… [More] parentage. He was assassinated by a masked gunman in the Palestinian city of Jenin, where he established the Freedom Theatre, in April 2011. He was born in Nazareth and was the son of Arna Mer-Khamis, a Jewish communist, and Saliba Khamis, an Israeli Arab of Palestinian Christian descent who was an intellectual as well as one of the leaders of the Israeli Communist Party in the 1950s. His grandfather was Gideon Mer, a scientist who pioneered the study of malaria during the British Mandate. He also served in the IDF as a combat soldier in the Paratroopers Brigade. In a 2009 interview with Army Radio, Mer-Khamis said of his background: “I am 100 percent Palestinian and 100 percent Jewish.” [Less]