Birthdays: Diego Velasquez, Pierre Corneille. Alexandre Pushkin, Nathan Hale, John Trumbull, Thomas Mann, The Dalai Lama, Klaus Tennestedt, Bjorn Borg, Richard Crane, Dr. Karl Braun, Walter Chrysler, Isaiah Berlin, Aram Kharachaturian, Jason Issacs, Sandra Bernhard is 59, Paul Giamatti is 47, Aaron Sorkin is 53
1939- Playright Eugene O’Neill had hit a dry spell of no writing and fears of impending Parkinsons disease. This day he got the inspiration to sketch out two outlines for two potential plays- The Iceman Cometh, and Long Days Journey into Night.
1941- Actor George Raft wrote a memo to studio head Jack Warner reminding him of his contractual commitment to send Raft only good quality scripts. The latest he got: " The Maltese Falcon" he thought was a lousy substandard idea that has no chance." Humphrey Bogart did the film instead.
1944 D-DAY, the NORMANDY INVASION- General Dwight Eisenhower launched 4,000 ships, 11,000 planes and 150,000 troops on the shores of Nazi occupied France with the order: "Okay. Let's go.". In the assault from Toon Town Voiceover actor Paul Frees, Disney key assistant Dale Oliver and Warner artist Victor Haboush. Peanuts creator Charles Schulz was in the second wave to Utah Beach. Max Fleischer animator Willy Bowsky was killed in the hedgerows by tank fire.
On Omaha Beach, war photographer Robert Capa leaped into the surf before the landing barges reached shore and walking backwards with the whole Nazi army shooting at him to photograph the first G.I.s landing. His 22 rolls of film were later ruined by an inept lab developer. Only three photos remain.
1949-Comic strip character Joe Palooka gets married to Ann Howe.
1949-BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING- George Orwell's book about technological tyranny -1984 was first published. Orwell's working title was "The Last Free Man", but the publisher thought it too depressing to sell. So Orwell picked the date 1984, who's only significance was that it was the year he was writing 1948- reversed
1955 - Bill Haley & Comets, "Rock Around the Clock" hits #1.
1972 - David Bowie releases "Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust"
1982- The film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, premiered. Besides Ricardo Montalban as the badguy with the great pectorals, it features the Genesis Effect. This one minute sequence was a landmark of computer graphics effects. Done by the Lucas Graphics Group, who four years later would break off and become Pixar.
1984-In Moscow, 29 year old Mathematics Professor Alexey Pajitnov invented the game Tetris.
1991 - NBC announced Jay Leno would replace retiring Johnny Carson, winning out over David Letterman. Letterman moved to CBS.