Birthdays: Jules Verne, James Dean, William Tecumseh Sherman, John Williams is 82, Animator Ivan Ivano-Vano, Lana Turner, Jack Lemmon, Alejandro Rey, Ted Koppel, Nick Nolte, Buck Henry, Gary Coleman, Robert Klein, Seth Green is 40
1893- THE FIRST RECORDED STRIPTEASE - discounting Salome. At Paris's famed Moulin Rouge an artist's model named Mona decided to get an edge in a beauty contest judged by art students by disrobing to music while walking up and down the stage. She was arrested and fined 100 francs and the students rioted.
1915- THE BIRTH OF A NATION or The Clansman premiered at Clunes Auditorium in Los Angeles. Film pioneer D.W. Griffith's racist movie was considered for years the first American feature length film. Only the discovery of a 1913 Richard III film predates it. Son of a Confederate veteran it’s been thought that Griffith was making a personal statement, truth is there was a flood of films to mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil War and the book the Clansman by Thomas Dixon was a hot property. President Woodrow Wilson (another son of the South ) called it :"History written with a thunderbolt and I’m afraid all too true."
Birth of a Nations’ inflammatory imagery and this politically incorrect Presidential endorsement helped a rebirth of the defunct Ku Klux Klan, and caused an increase in lynchings. But despite the film’s politics, it’s technique influenced world cinema and established once and for all the feature film length as the standard for all future motion pictures. It’s original running length was 3 hours.
D.W. Griffith in latter years lost his fortune and became a drunken has-been. Watching him at Chasen's Restaurant in the 1940’s beg MGM studio head Dore Schary for work, inspired Billy Wilder to write SUNSET BLVD.
1928- Englishman John Logie Baird transmitted a still television image across the Atlantic from England to Hartsdale New York. It was a still image of a woman. Baird was one of the fathers of Television with Vladimir Zworkin, Lee DeForrest and Deutches Telefunken.
1967- Georgy Girl by the Seekers goes to #1 in pop charts.
1994- Jack Nicholson destroyed the windshield of a neighbor’s car with a golf club, screaming “You cut me off!” He settled the matter out of court.
2001- Walt Disney’s California Adventure theme park opened.