The Movie: American Graffiti (1973)
What Is It?: After seeing his buddy’s ice-cold sci-fi experiment THX-1138, Francis Ford Coppola bet George Lucas that Lucas could not make a goofy, lighthearted, popcorn flick. No, Georgie didn’t immediately go to work on Star Wars; he made American Graffiti, a plot-less romp about driving cars, flirting, and listening to great, pre-British Invasion Rock & Roll right before the Vietnam War fucked everything up for young people. Lucas went mainstream, had a massive hit, and never looked back.
Why Today?: In the movie, this is the date in 1962 on which the kids go racing and flirting.