Year
1983
Month Day
August 05

"Risky Business" debuts, launches Tom Cruise to stardom

On August 5, 1983, the comedy Risky Business, starring Tom Cruise in a breakout performance, opens in U.S. theaters. In the film, Cruise played Joel Goodsen, a suburban Chicago teen who has a series of misadventures when his parents go out of town and leave him home alone. Written and directed by Paul Brickman, Risky Business featured a now-famous scene in which Cruise’s character dances around his house in a dress shirt and underwear to the accompaniment of Bob Seeger’s hit song “Old Time Rock and Roll.” The movie poster for Risky Business, which showed Cruise looking over a pair of black Ray-Ban sunglasses and a woman reclining on the hood of a Porsche, also became iconic. Following the success of Risky Business, Cruise went on to appear in a long list of hit films and emerge as one of Hollywood’s A-list actors.

Thomas Mapother Cruise IV was born July 3, 1962, in Syracuse, New York, and made his feature film debut at age 18 in Endless Love (1981). After first earning notice for Risky Business, Cruise achieved international fame with his role as fighter pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in 1986’s Top Gun. He received Oscar nominations for his performances in Born on the Fourth of July (1989), Jerry Maguire (1996) and Magnolia (1999). Other notable credits include TheColor of Money (1986) with Paul Newman, Rain Man (1988) with Dustin Hoffman, A Few Good Men (1992) with Jack Nicholson, The Firm (1993) and Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994). Cruise starred as the superspy Ethan Hunt in 1996’s blockbuster hit Mission: Impossible, as well as its sequels in 2000, 2006, 2011, 2015 and 2018. He acted in three films with the Australian actress Nicole Kidman, to whom he was married from 1990 to 2001: Days of Thunder (1990), Far and Away (1992) and Eyes Wide Shut (1999), the final film of the legendary director Stanley Kubrick. Other Cruise movies include Minority Report (2002), War of the Worlds (2005), Valkyrie (2008) and American Made (2017).

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Divers recover U.S.S. Monitor turret

On August 5, 2002, the rusty iron gun turret of the U.S.S. Monitor broke from the water and into the daylight for the first time in 140 years. The ironclad warship was raised from the floor of the Atlantic, where it had rested since it went down in a storm off Cape Hatteras, ...read more

Ronald Reagan fires 11,359 air-traffic controllers

On August 5, 1981, President Ronald Reagan begins firing 11,359 air-traffic controllers striking in violation of his order for them to return to work. The executive action, regarded as extreme by many, significantly slowed air travel for months. Two days earlier, on August 3, ...read more

First transatlantic telegraph cable completed

After several unsuccessful attempts, the first telegraph line across the Atlantic Ocean is completed, a feat accomplished largely through the efforts of American merchant Cyrus West Field. The telegraph was first developed by Samuel F. B. Morse, an artist-turned-inventor who ...read more

This Day In History: Marilyn Monroe is found dead

Marilyn Monroe is found dead

On August 5, 1962, movie actress Marilyn Monroe is found dead in her home in Los Angeles. She was discovered lying nude on her bed, face down, with a telephone in one hand. Empty bottles of pills, prescribed to treat her depression, were littered around the room. After a brief ...read more

Hundreds of Jews are freed from forced labor in Warsaw

On August 5, 1944, Polish insurgents liberate a German forced-labor camp in Warsaw, freeing 348 Jewish prisoners, who join in a general uprising against the German occupiers of the city. As the Red Army advanced on Warsaw in July, Polish patriots, still loyal to their ...read more

German assault on Liege begins first battle of World War I

On August 5, 1914, the German army launches its assault on the city of Liege in Belgium, violating the latter country’s neutrality and beginning the first battle of World War I. By August 4, the German 1st, 2nd and 3rd Armies—some 34 divisions of men—were in the process of ...read more

NBA merges with ABA

On August 5, 1976, the National Basketball Association (NBA) merges with its rival, the American Basketball Association (ABA), and takes on the ABA’s four most successful franchises: the Denver Nuggets, the Indiana Pacers, the New York (later Brooklyn) Nets and the San Antonio ...read more

Abraham Lincoln imposes first federal income tax

On August 5, 1861, President Lincoln imposes the first federal income tax by signing the Revenue Act. Strapped for cash with which to pursue the Civil War, Lincoln and Congress agreed to impose a 3 percent tax on annual incomes over $800. As early as March 1861, Lincoln had begun ...read more

"American Bandstand" goes national

Television, rock and roll and teenagers. In the late 1950s, when television and rock and roll were new and when the biggest generation in American history was just about to enter its teens, it took a bit of originality to see the potential power in this now-obvious combination. ...read more

Mother charged with smothering her eight children

On August 5, 1998, Marie Noe, age 70, is arrested at her Philadelphia home and charged in the smothering deaths of eight of her children, who died between 1949 and 1968. Each of the eight infants was reportedly healthy at birth, but later died when home alone with Noe. At the ...read more

Nuclear Test Ban Treaty signed

Representatives of the United States, the Soviet Union and Great Britain sign the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which prohibited the testing of nuclear weapons in outer space, underwater, or in the atmosphere. The treaty was hailed as an important first step toward the control of ...read more

Union scores a victory at the Battle of Mobile Bay

On August 5, 1864, at the Battle of Mobile Bay, Union Admiral David Farragut leads his flotilla through the Confederate defenses at Mobile, Alabama, to seal one of the last major Southern ports. The fall of Mobile Bay was a huge blow to the Confederacy, and the victory was the ...read more

First electric traffic signal installed

The world’s first electric traffic signal is put into place on the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 105th Street in Cleveland, Ohio, on August 5, 1914. In the earliest days of the automobile, navigating America’s roads was a chaotic experience, with pedestrians, bicycles, horses ...read more