Birthdays: Meriwether Lewis, Austrian Emperor Franz Josef II, Leo Slezak, Shelly Winters, Roberto Clemente, Rafer Johnson, Enoch Light, Coco Channel, Roman Polanski is 81, Patrick Swayze, Madeleine Stowe, Christian Slater, Edward Norton is 45, Martin Mull, Denis Leary is 57, Robert Redford, born Charles Robert Redford Jr, is 78
1939- The movie the Wizard of Oz released and made a star of Judy Garland. Frank Morgan, the actor playing the Wizard, needed to wear a shabby old coat so a studio costume designer went through some L.A. thrift stores until she found the good candidate. When Morgan looked in the lining he discovered the coat was previously owned by L.Frank Baum, creator of the Oz stories. Morgan was first president of the Screen Actor's Guild, but stepped down when he was considered too lefty to work with the Roosevelt administration. Lyricist Yip Harburg ( Somewhere over the Rainbow ) was later blacklisted as a communist. "And yer little dog ,too!!"
1947- Hewlett-Packard file papers to incorporate their electronics company. They began doing business in 1937.
1953- The first MacDonalds franchise restaurant opened in Downey California.
1955- Folksinger Pete Seeger appeared before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. He refused to cooperate, and was blacklisted. But he still managed to have a successful career on the folk scene, and appeared on TV in 1967.
1956- Actress Vivien Leigh suffered a mental breakdown after a miscarriage.
1958 - "Lolita," by Vladimir Nabokov, published. The novel was rejected by four publishers before Putnams picked it up. It became a best seller and allowed Nabokov to quit teaching and focus on writing.
1958 – The TV Game Show Scandal investigation starts. Allegations that popular quiz shows like 21 were rigged turned out to be true.
1962 - Peter, Paul & Mary release their famous folk song "If I Had a Hammer".
1966- HAPPY BIRTHDAY SLURPEE! The Ice Slurpee was invented by two Dallas engineers for a failing Oklahoma ice cream store.
1974- The Xerox Company decided not to seriously market the Alto, the first personal computer that had a graphic window interface, ethernet and mouse, long before anyone else. Xerox decided to stick with copying machines and let go of many of their Palo Alto development team Xerox PARC. Most of their breakthroughs wound up in other computers like the Macintosh and the IBM PC.
1977- The rock band the Police make their debut in a Birmingham nightclub. The lead singer Gordon Sumner started to get the nickname Sting, from the black & yellow striped shirt he habitually wore.