On this day in pop culture history: the first ‘X-Men’ movie opened in theaters

16 years ago today was (arguably) the beginning of the modern superhero movie era.

Even if you give that distinction to Spider-Man or Iron Man, it”s undeniable that the first X-Men movie paved the way for the proliferation of caped heroes in Hollywood today. In 2000, the only other superhero movies released were negatively received comedies The Specials and Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV, and M. Night Shyamalan”s Unbreakable – a superhero movie in a time before they could be baldfaced superhero movies.

Now, everyone wants in on the superhero genre, which is now producing the buzziest and most lucrative blockbusters of 2016. The ninth and most recent X-Men movie, Apocalypse, ultimately delivered disappointing numbers in the ever-more-crowded superhero line-up, but that didn”t stop Fox from ordering a pilot for what looks to be a series based in the X-Men world.

Other notable July 14 happenings in pop culture history:

• 1966: Alfred Hitchcock”s movie starring Paul Newman and Julie Andrews, Torn Curtain, opened in U.S. theaters.

• 1967: The Who began their first official U.S. tour, opening for Herman”s Hermits.

• 1969: Easy Rider opened in theaters.

• 1978: Talking Heads released their second album, More Songs about Buildings and Food.

• 1984: Eddie Van Halen joined The Jacksons onstage in Dallas to play his “Beat It” guitar solo live.

• 1985: The crime/mystery series Stingray premiered on NBC.

• 1987: Steve Miller was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

• 1987: Prince single “U Got the Look” was released. It eventually reached no. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

• 1989: When Harry Met Sally… opened in theaters. 

• 1993: The U.S. Postal Service introduced four new stamps honoring four classic musicals: My Fair Lady, Porgy and Bess, Show Boat, and Oklahoma!

• 1999: Muppets from Space opened in theaters.

• 2006: The 10th and final season premiere of Stargate SG-1 aired on Sci-Fi Channel.