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

A Historic Film Role, a Premiere Performance and a Favorite Folk Artist

-- On Dec. 12, 1966: The film A Man for All Seasons starring Paul Scofield premiered in New York City. The British film was set in 16th century England and tells the story of Sir Thomas More. In the film, King Henry VIII (played by Robert Shaw) maneuvers to have himself declared the head of the Church of England and seeks to obtain a divorce from his first wife. Rather than support the king's action, Thomas More resigns from his position as lord chancellor of England. More also later refuses to sign an Oath of Supremacy in support of the king, leading to his conviction for treason. Scofield's brilliant performance of Thomas More earned him both a Tony for the Broadway play and an Academy Award for the film version.

-- On Dec. 13, 1928: Composer George Gershwin's song An American in Paris was first performed by the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Gershwin was best known for his songs I've Got Rhythm and Rhapsody in Blue, and his opera Porgy and Bess. An American in Paris inspired the 1951 film of the same name. The film ends with a dance by Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron to Gershwin's song, a scene that has since become famous.

-- On Dec. 13, 1961: Anna Mary Robertson Moses (otherwise known as Grandma Moses) passed away at the age of 101. Proving you're never too old to create art, Grandma Moses began seriously painting in her 70s after arthritis made embroidery too difficult. During her life, she painted more than 1,500 paintings of optimistic scenes of rural America in New England. Several of her paintings can be found in various art museums around the country with some of her highest-priced paintings selling for more than a million dollars.

-- Compiled by M. Moeller

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