Birthdays: Sophocles, Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach, Hannah Hoes Van Beuren- the First Lady for Martin Van Beuren, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., Alan Hovhannes, Kenneth Grahame the author of the Wind in the Willows, Cyd Charisse, Charlie Pride, Mickey Dolenz, Alan Hale Jr., Jim Rice, Aiden Quinn is 56, Freddy Prinze Jr is 39, Jim Bouton- baseball player, author, and inventor of Big League Chew bubble gum
1886- A small time doctor in Portsmouth England named Arthur Conan-Doyle had been trying his hand at writing fiction. He had sold a few stories to magazines and tried to publish a historical novel “Firm of Girdlestone” with lackluster results.
This day he began a new novel “ A Tangled Skein” which had a new character named at first Sheridan Hope, then Sheringford Holmes. By the time he finished his story month later, he had changed the title to “A Study in Scarlet” and the main protagonist name had become SHERLOCK HOLMES.
Conan Doyle was an admirer of the American writer Oliver Wendel Holmes who was touring Britain that year. Like him, Holmes was a doctor who turned writer. No one is sure where he got the name Sherlock. It may have been a neighbor. Conan Doyle’s professor in Edinburgh college Dr Joseph Bell excelled at deductive reasoning and had an assistant named Dr Watson.
1933- As a result of President Roosevelt's Nationwide Bank shutdown, Hollywood Studios go into a cash panic. MGM, RKO and the others ask for 30-50% salary cuts from their stars and artists. At one point they announced the salary cuts at the Oscar banquet ( betchya that made for a real fun party!)
Louis B. Mayer, tearful and unshaven pleaded his case to his contract-stars, who reluctantly accepted the cuts. Lionel Barrymore called out "We're with ya. L.B. !" Afterwards Mayer winked to his secretary and giggled:” So how’d I do?” A week later Mayer hired his new son-in-law David Selznick as a producer at $4000 a week. Production chief Darryl Zanuck quit Warner Bros. over the cuts and went on to build Twentieth Century Fox.
1941- The National Television System Committee set up by the FCC to standardize television technology recommended an industry standard of 525 scan lines at 30 frames a second- what we now call after their name- NTSC. England later adopted the PAL (Phase Alernation Line) of 625 lines, 25 frames per second and France the SECAM System (Systeme Electronique Couleur Avec Memoire).which is also a 625 line, 25fps system. This is why British t.v. shows like the Prisoner always looked so grainy on American sets and American shows look so garish on British sets. By garish I mean the color, not the content.
It also speeds up the film during video from 24 frames to 25fps (i.e. 4%)...which is why in England and the rest of Europe, all Hollywood movies are 4% shorter and the voices of the actors all sound a little squeaky. The way to remember NTSC is "Never-The-Same-Color'. DVD and BluRay went to a thousand- scan lines. The invention of digital screens is making most of this irrelevant.
1973- Paul McCartney was fined 100 pounds for growing marijuana on his farm Mull of Kintyre.
1977- Ralph Bakshi’s film Wizards premiered.
1980- H&B’s “Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels’ show.