Birthdays: Guy de Maupassant, Amboise Thomas, William- first black child born in British America, Neil Armstrong, John Huston, Robert Taylor, Conrad Aiken, Roman Gabriel, Selma Diamond, Patrick Ewing, John Merrick the Elephant Man, Loni Anderson, John Saxon, Jonathan Silverman is 42
1667- Moliere’s famous comedy “Tartuffe” first played for the public. The next day the Parliament of Paris ordered the theater closed and it’s posters ripped down. The Archbishop of Paris threatened excommunication of anyone who saw it or performed it. It seemed the local religious community didn’t like all the jokes about a con man who steals everything from a family by pretending to be a man of the cloth. But the King Louis XIV thought it was funny. He overruled the prelates and ordered the play resumed.
1769- Marching up the California coast, Gaspar de Portola discovered the San Fernando Valley. He came down out of the Sepulveda pass, made a left at Ventura Blvd. and went over to the Chumash village by a spring. They called it Encino, Spanish for grove of oaks. The original Indian word for this valley was “Valley of Smoke” because of all the brush fires creating a lingering haze.
1775- 1st Spanish ship, the San Carlos, entered San Francisco Bay.
1847 -Author Herman Melville met Nathaniel Hawthorne. They went for a hike together in the Berkshires.
1910- The first Traffic Light set up on Euclid and 105th sty. in Cleveland.
1921-KDKA Pittsburgh does the 1st radio baseball broadcast Pirates-8, Phillies-0.
1924 Arf, Arf ! the first Little Orphan Annie comic strip drawn by Harold Gray.
1926 Magician Harry Houdini stays in a coffin under water for one hour.
1927 Victrola Record producer Ralph Peer realized there might be a market for “Hillbilly Music”. So he set up a makeshift recording studio above a furniture store in Bristol Tennessee and put an ad in the local papers for talent. In one day he recorded future stars Jimmy Rogers the Singing Brakeman, The Carter Family, The Tennessee Mountaineers and Ernest Pop Stoneman. This session has been called the “ Big Bang of Country Music.”
1953- The film “From Here to Eternity” opened, starring Deborah Kerr, Burt Lancaster and Montgomery Clift. But the big story was Frank Sinatra’s Oscar winning performance as Maggio that signaled the turnaround in his slumping career.
1955- The Screen Actor’s Guild strikes Hollywood for television residuals. Their president was Walter Pidgeon who had played Dr. Morbius in Forbidden Planet.
1957- American Bandstand featuring the eternally teenage Dick Clark debuts on television.
1962- GOODBYE, NORMA JEAN. Marilyn Monroe found nude in bed, dead of barbiturate overdose. She was 36. Whether you think the starlet overdosed by accident, suicide, or was done in by the Mafia, the Kennedys, a Svengali like personal physician, lovesick lesbian physical therapist or space aliens, it is still a mystery. She made a call to Attorney General Bobby Kennedy’s office in Washington several hours earlier but was rebuffed. Her last call was to her hairdresser Mr. Guilaroff. She left the bulk of her belongings to her drama teacher Lee Strassberg and her funeral was organized by ex-husband Joe Dimaggio. Her Westwood cottage suite had a tile over the doorway which read :"All my troubles end Here."
1964 - Actress Anne Bancroft & Comedian Mel Brooks wed.
1966- Caesar’s Palace Hotel & Casino first opened to the public. This was the first of the super-resort casinos, with a total theme park design and three times the space and accommodations of anything yet seen on the Vegas Strip. It’s success ushered in an accelerated era of building for Las Vegas casinos.
1966 –It a moment of youthful indiscretion, John Lennon says his band the Beatles are now more popular than Jesus. This flippant comment provoked a firestorm of nationwide protest among conservative elements in the US. Beatles albums were publicly burned in the streets. Lennon apologized, then followed up by saying he was being crucified over the comment. Paul McCartney rush up to the mike to insist that wasn't the choice of words they preferred.
1967- Bobby Gentry released “Ode to Billy Jo”.
1980- The Osmond Brothers break up.
1984- Welsh actor Richard Burton died of cerebral hemorrhage at 64. With a tumultuous career and two marriages to Elizabeth Taylor, the hard drinking Burton was the most famous English-speaking thespian of his day. But unlike Olivier and Gielgud, he was never knighted. The monarchy objected to their portrayal, when Burton starred in a TV miniseries on Winston Churchill. Burton was buried with a copy of Dylan Thomas’ poems.
1986 - It's revealed painter Andrew Wyeth had secretly created 240 drawings & paintings of his neighbor Helga Testorf, in Chadds Ford, Pa