1997 – “Good Will Hunting” premieres

“Good Will Hunting” was the first film written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Directed by Gus Van Sant, and starring Affleck, Damon, Robin Williams, Minnie Driver and Stellan Skarsgård, the film was an immediate success both commercially and critically. It would go on to win two Oscars, one for Best Supporting Actor (Williams) and the other for Best Screenplay…

…which may account for why Damon is yet to write any other screenplays, and Affleck did not write another movie for a decade (and when he did, it was an adaptation): when you win the most coveted award in your profession the first time out, how do you top that the second time?

Referenced in:

Run This Town — Jay-Z

1876 – Brooklyn Theater fire

The Brooklyn Theater Fire was one of the worst theatre fires in the history of the United States, with at least 278 people, and possibly more than 300 people, killed. 103 of the victims were so badly burnt that they could not be identified, and were buried in a common grave in Green-Wood Cemetery.

Most of the deaths occurred in the family circle – the highest and cheapest seats in the building, which had only one staircase leading from them. As the fire grew, temperatures in this area rose to unbearable levels long before the flames reached it, and trapped smoke led to many of the deaths, although the crush of the stairway also led to injuries and fatalities. Compounding these problems, the flames burned so high and so fast that there was little firefighters could do until they had died down enough that they could be fought – too late for most of the people still inside.

Referenced in:

1876 — Wakey!Wakey!