On this day: July 12

Published On: Jul 09 2012 11:05:02 AM CDT   Updated On: Jul 12 2013 01:00:00 AM CDT

The Medal of Honor is authorized, The Cos and a favorite toy are both born, Walter Mondale makes a historic choice, and "E.T." breaks box office records, all on this day.

OTD July 12 - Louis Mayer
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Los Angeles Times photographic archive, UCLA Library

1884: Film producer Louis B. Mayer, generally cited as the creator of the "star system" within Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios in its golden years, is born Lazar Meir in Minsk, Russian Empire. Mayer, seen here with Joan Crawford in 1953, was the first person in American history to earn a million-dollar salary and was the highest-paid man in the United States for the nine years from 1937.

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