Thursday, July 24, 2014

This Day in History - Saving Private Ryan Opens

On this day in 1998, the movie Saving Private Ryan starring Tom Hanks and Matt Damon opened. This World War II film centered on the fictional story of Captain John Miller (Hanks), and his band of seven rangers, who are sent on a mission to rescue Private James Francis Ryan (Damon), a paratrooper missing somewhere behind enemy lines. Because Ryan's three older brothers have been killed in action, military officials order Miller to find Ryan to avoid a public relations disaster.

Saving Private Ryan was partially inspired by the real-life story of the Niland brothers. During World War II, Sergeant Frederick “Fritz” Niland, a member of the 101st Airborne, was accidentally dropped behind enemy lines. He eventually made it back to his unit, where he was informed that two of his brothers had died at Normandy and the third had gone missing in Burma. Niland was sent home to Tonawanda, New York.

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