Birthdays: Josef Pulitzer, Lew Wallace, George Arliss, Omar Sharif is 83, Harry Morgan, Max Von Sydow is 86, Ken Griffey Sr, Claire Booth Luce, Chuck Connors, John Madden, Don Meredith, Paul Theroux, David Halberstram, Steven Segal is 64, Orlando Jones, Mandy Moore is 31, Haley Joel Osment is 27
1906- O'Henry's story " The Gift of the Magi " first published.
1923- Peeps invented. The sweet Easter marshmallow confection that is shaped like a yellow baby chick and can stick to most surfaces.
1925- F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" published by Scribners.
1947- THE FBI PAY A VISIT to Screen Actor’s Guild president Ronald Reagan and actress-wife Jane Wyman. They accuse them of belonging to Communist Party front organizations. Ronnie agrees to become an informer on his own guild, and just about everyone else in Hollywood. Jane Wyman later divorced him.
1952-ELIA THE FINK-Film director Elia Kazan ( On the Waterfront, East of Eden,etc.) saved his career but earned the lasting hatred of Hollywood by testifying to the House Un American Activities Committee. He named 8 of his friends as Communists, including writers Clifford Odets and Lillian Hellman.
Unlike others who were forced to testify Kazan never expressed any regret for the pain he caused. Many see the irony of 'On the Waterfront' that it's hero is a guy who does the right thing by turning informer. The film was written by Bud Schulberg, who also named names.
In 1999 the Academy gave him an honorary Oscar and caused a new firestorm of protest, when Kazan stood next to visibly uncomfortable Robert DeNiro and Martin Scorcese. There an estimated 40% of the audience did not rise or applaud, although on television it seemed louder. That year the American Film Institute preferred to confer it’s lifetime achievement award on Roger Corman, director of Attack of the Giant Crab Monsters.
1953- The Vincent Price film The House of Wax in 3d premiered.
1961- Singer Joan Baez entered the Greenwich Village club called Folk City and was accosted by a funny young man with a nasaly twang ;”Joan Baez! Here, I wrote a song for you!” His name was Bob Dylan. Baez and Dylan became friends and together changed the image of folk music.
1962- Stuart Sutcliffe was the bass guitarist of the Beatles until creative differences and a marriage made him drop out of the band in favor of George Harrison. This day Sutcliffe died of a brain hemorrhage at age 21.
1971- Rob Reiner married Penny Marshall.
1973- At Xerox PARC, Dick Schoups team of scientists created Superpaint, the first digital paint and surfacing system for CG images. The first picture on the computer was a photo of Dick holding a sign that read “ It works, sort of.”
1985- A new singer named Madonna began her first tour, the Virgin Tour.
1992- Bill Kroyer’s Ferngully the Last Rainforest premiered.
1992- Raunchy- comedian Sam Kinison was killed in a head on collision with a truck on the road to Laughlin Nevada. Ironically, the comedian who had glorified the wild sex, drugs and rock& roll lifestyle was sober at the time, and the truck driver was drunk.