On This Gay Day: Remembering 9-11 hero Mark Bingham

Mark Bingham was one of nearly 3,000 people killed on 9/11

Twenty-one years ago, on this day the world witnessed one of the most horrific acts of terror ever seen. Terrorists hijacked four passenger airliners and used them to destroy the Twin Towers in New York and damage a significant part of The Pentagon Building in Washington.

The fourth plane, United Flight 93, crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. Mark Bingham was a passenger on the fourth plane.

Bingham, alongside Todd Beamer, Tom Burnett and Jeremy Glick they attempted to take the plane back from the terrorists. According to the 9/11 Commission Report the flight recorder captured the men breaking into the cockpit and trying to regain control of the plane. Sadly, in the struggle the plane pitched sharply to the right, causing it to roll on to its back and plough into the field.

It is believed the terrorists intention was to fly the plane into the White House or US Capitol building.

Through his bravery Bingham is credited with diminishing stereotypes about gay men. Bingham, along with the other passengers on the flight, posthumously received the Arthur She Award for Bravery. The biennial gay rugby competition dubbed The Bingham Cup is named in his honour.

Songwriter Bob Crewe died on this day 2014

Bob Crewe was an American songwriter and record producer best known for creating a string of hits for The Four Seasons, as well as working with Barry Manilow, Peabo Bryson, Roberta Flack, Michael Jackson, Lesley Gore and many others.

In the musical Jersey Boys, which charts the success of The Four Seasons, Crewe is portrayed as being openly gay, but his family have said he was very discreet about his sexuality.

Many of his hits for The Four Seasons were written alongside Bob Gaudio including Sherry, The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore), Big Girls Don’t Cry, Walk Like a Man and Silence is Golden. The pair also wrote Can’t Take My Eyes of You for lead singer Frankie Valli.

He also wrote Let’s Hang On alongside Sandy Lizer and Denny Randell and created the disco hit Lady Marmalade for LaBelle.

Actor Kristy McNichol was born on this day in 1962     

Kristy McNichol was born on this day in 1962, the actor found success as a child actor before moving on to popular sitcoms as an adult.

In the 1970’s she made appearances in many top television shows including The Love Boat, Starsky and Hutch, and The Bionic Woman. In 976 she was cast in the drama Family, the role led to several Emmy wins.

As the 1980s arrived she moved into films appearing including Little Darlings alongside Cynthia Nixon and Tatum O’Neil and Matt Dillon, and The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia with Dennis Quaid and Mark Hamil.

In 1982 she appeared in the widely panned The Pirate Movie alongside Christopher Atkins. The film was shot in Melbourne and featured many well-known Australian actors including Bill Kerr, Rhonda Burchmore, Maggie Kirkpatrick and Garry McDonald.

More success came in 1986 when McNichol joined the sitcom Empty Nest, a spin-off from The Golden Girls. She left the show in 1992 after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder but returned for its final episode in 1995.

In 2001 McNichol announced she had retired from acting. She returned to the spotlight in 2012 when she shared that she was a lesbian and had been happily living with her partner since the early 1990s. McNichol said she wanted to share the information about her sexuality in a hope it would help stop bullying of younger people.

OIP Staff

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