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The Maundy Monday Newsletter - This Week in History March 14-20
The Godfather turns 50 this week, and we can't help but think it feels older than that. Happy Birthday, Godfather!
It is based on the book by Mario Puzo and starred Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, James Caan, and look; you know who was in this movie.
Francis Ford Coppola finally agreed to direct the film after he initially passed on the project, along with about a dozen other directors.
At the time, Coppola was business partners with George Lucas, and both men had set up a film production company that they hoped would rival traditional studios. The idea was whatever money the film made, it would help bankroll future projects.
Well, it worked.
The Godfather would gross about $287 million and win a couple of awards for Best Film and Best Adopted Screenplay. The American Film Institute ranks it second on the all-time list, behind Citizen Cane, a film we actually have never seen.
It's considered the standard for the gangster genre. The Godfather Part II, at least to us, is an even better movie, premiered in 1974, and The Godfather Part III never happened.
As we mentioned last week, Fredo was the middle child. He almost got his dad murdered and then was surprised when he passed up for the more talented youngest child.
Okay, let's highlight what else happened this week. Here's what we got:
The first Blood Bank was established at Cook County Hospital on March 15, 1937. World War I proved that blood transfusion from person to person was possible. Cook County took it a step further and developed the method of blook preservation. This is as far as I am willing to describe this.
The first St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York took place on March 17, 1762. Irish immigrants and the Irish military serving in the British army dressed in green and marched downtown. An interesting tidbit, Irish people were not allowed to wear green in Ireland.
Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin was published on March 20, 1852. The abolitionist novel was the second best-selling book of the 19th century. First? The Bible.
By now, we know who is in the NCAA basketball tournament. We hope your brackets have a safe and healthy month of March and if by some reason, Xavier made the field, bet the house on them.
To lose in the first game.
Have a great week!