" I ransack public libraries, and find them full of sunk treasure. "
Virginia Woolf

Back in the day


Director Skips Bail and Flees to France

Internationally renowned director Roman Polanski's films are marked by depictions of dramatic, sexually charged situations, alienation, and black humor. Polanski, a Polish-French Holocaust survivor, moved to Hollywood in 1968 to pursue his filmmaking career. Shortly thereafter, his pregnant wife was murdered by the Charles Manson "family." In 1978, he fled to France to avoid sentencing after pleading guilty to statutory rape. Polanski recently received an Academy Award for his work on what film?



Bruce Lee

Born in the year of the dragon, Bruce Lee grew to become one of the most influential martial artists of the 20th century. His action films sparked the first major surge of interest in Chinese martial arts in the West. Though Lee spent countless hours training and improving his physique, he was also a philosopher and avid reader. He collapsed while working on his final film Enter the Dragon and died a short time later. His son, Brandon, was killed while filming a scene for what 1990s film?

Born on a day like today


Boris Yeltsin

Yeltsin, a populist advocate of radical reform, became Russia's first democratically elected president in 1991. Just days after the dissolution of the USSR, Yeltsin embarked on a program of radical economic reform, converting the world's largest socialist planned economy into a market-oriented capitalist one. The skyrocketing prices, heavy taxes, and credit crunch that followed produced a protracted depression that devastated Russia. How, then, did Yeltsin manage to win a second term in 1996?

Last updated on Friday, 1st February 2008

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