It was on this date, July 8, 1958, that American film and stage actor Kevin Bacon was born. Born Kevin Norwood Bacon and reared in in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at 17 he left for New York City to become an actor. After some struggle, he landed a noteworthy role in Diner (1982), then two years later his breakthrough role as a rebellious teenager in Footloose (1984). This was followed by Tremors (1990), A Few Good Men (1992), The River Wild (1994), Apollo 13 (1995), Murder In the First (1995), Stir of Echoes (1999), Hollow Man (2000), Mystic River (2003), The Woodsman (2004) and Taking Chance (2009), among others. The winner of Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards, and an Emmy nominee, Bacon was named by The Guardian as one of the best actors never to have received an Academy Award nomination.
Bacon and his wife Kyra Sedgwick, whom he directed in four episodes of her hit TV series “The Closer” (2005-2012), appeared in a video promoting the “Bill of Reproductive Rights,” supporting among other things a woman’s right to choose and access to birth control. An outspoken proponent of church-state separation, Bacon told Wendy Ide of The Times of London (12/1/2005), “I think there is a puritanical wind that is blowing. I have never seen such a lack of separation between church and state in America. I don’t believe in God, but if I did I would say that sex is a God-given right. Otherwise it’s the end of our species.” Bacon also performs as a musician with his with his older brother Michael Bacon as the Bacon Brothers. In a 28 March 2008 Fox News interview before one of their performances, Kevin Bacon was asked by host Greta Van Susteren about his views on church-state separation. Bacon replied, “I think that one of the great things about this country is that people of all the religions can come and practice and worship in a way that makes them happy and gives them a peace. And another great thing about it is that our government is not supposed to be based or tied to religious organizations.”
In one of the songs co-written by the Bacon Brothers, the refrain goes,
But please don’t hurt the children, please lay down the rod
Please don’t send your bombs in and say you’re doing the work of God
Faith is not a weapon. Hate won’t set us free
You believe what you believe and that’s OK with me
William Howard Taft (1857) It was on this date, September 15, 1857, that the 27th US President, William Howard Taft, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of a Unitarian. As he grew up, in the late 1850s, Dr. Moncure D. Conway, author of The Life of Thomas Paine, was his church minister. Taft graduated […]