Birthdays: Jim Bridger the mountain man, Nat King Cole, film composer Alfred Newman, Mercedes McCambridge, Leslie Ann Down, Patrick Duffy, Rudolph Nureyev, Gary Sinise, Kate Greenaway, John Sebastian, Ben Washam (warner bros. animator), Ken Anderson (Disney animator), John Wayne Gacy, Kurt Russell is 64, Rob Lowe is 51
1898- First test of a practical submarine. Americans had experimented with underwater travel since 1776 with Bushnells "Turtle" then the Civil War CSS Hunley. In the ocean off Staten Island a diesel-electric battery powered sub built by the John A. Holland Electric Boat Company of Georgia ran underwater for an hour and forty minutes then resurfaced. As a child Holland was inspired by Jules Verne's novel Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea".
1901- At a grand exhibition of his paintings at Bernheim-Jeune Palace in Paris, the world discovered the brilliance of a poor Dutch lunatic who had shot himself a few years back- Vincent Van Gogh.
1941- The National Gallery of Art opens in Washington D.C.
1982- Politically conservative Hollywood actors led by Charlton Heston broke with the Screen Actor’s Guild and form a rival group called AWAG ( American Working Actor’s Guild). They were angered by SAG president Ed Asner’s taking their union into national politics by condemning Pres. Ronald Reagan’s policies in Central America, capped by the SAG board refusing Reagan (their former president) the Guild lifetime achievement award.
As a result Ed Asner’s hit t.v. show “Lou Grant” lost sponsors and was cancelled and Heston’s career cooled as well, beyond heading the NRA and writing cranky letters to the L.A. Times calendar that Ben Hur wasn’t gay.
1983- On trial for libel, and refusing to name sources, wheelchair bound porn publisher Larry Flynt showed up in a US Federal court wearing a diaper made from an American flag. This was calculated to mock a conservative demand for a Constitutional amendment against burning the flag.