Birthdays: Beau Brummel, Paul Gauguin, Chick Corea, George Szell, Tom Jones, Jessica Tandy, James Ivory, Virginia McKenna, Liam Neeson is 62, Prince is 56
1932- During the Great Depression about one third of the independent banks in the U.S. failed. On this day Hollywood was affected because the First Bank of Beverly Hills went under, erasing the assets of many important Hollywood figures.
Greta Garbo lost one million dollars overnight. Louis B. Mayer, ever one to capitalize on a situation, offered her an advance if she would sign an exclusive 7 year contract with MGM. Garbo's back was to the wall so she signed, but then got her revenge in her own way- namely she immediately went on a 6 month vacation to Europe and took a lesbian lover named Mercedes DeAcosta whom she tongue-kissed in front of cameras.
1954- Scientist Alan Turing helped break the WWII German Enigma Code, and was considered one of the fathers of the computer. Early computers were called Turing Machines. He predicted one day computers would be able to think like humans, and one day we would play games on our computers. But when Turing was revealed to be gay, was sentenced to a mental institution to undergo chemical castration. He was convicted with the same law used to jail Oscar Wilde in 1895. Alan Turing was a fan of the Disney film Snow White. This day he laced an apple with cyanide and bit into it. He was 42.
1955- The TV quiz show The $64,000 Question premiered.
1975- This day Sony announced the first home videotape playing system, the Betamax. They were about $25,000 each, but we were promised as they became more popular the price would come down.
1993- Rockstar Prince celebrated his birthday by changing his name to that funny symbol no keyboard can reproduce and no one can say. In 2000 he switched back to Prince.
2002 –Kim Possible premiered on TV.