Birthdays: Napoleon Bonaparte, Leon Theremin- inventor of that weird electronic musical instrument that is in all those 1950s flying saucer movies, Samuel Coleridge, Sir Walter Scott, King Frederick Wilhelm Ist of Prussia 1685, Lawrence of Arabia, Ethel Barrymore, Huntz Hall, Bill Baird, Edna Ferber, Sir Robert Bolt, Rose-Marie is 91, Linda Ellerbee, Oscar Peterson, Mike “Mannix” Connors, Nicholas Roeg, Anthony Andrews, Ben Afleck is 42, Debra Messing is 46, Julia Child, Jennifer Lawrence is 24.
1843- Tivoli Gardens opened in Copenhagen. One of the oldest amusement parks in the world. King Christian said “ When people are amused, they don’t worry about politics.
Hans Christian Andersen was a frequent visitor. One hundred years later, Walt Disney visited to get inspiration for his Disneyland.
1885- Sir Richard Burton completed his translation from medieval Persian of One Thousand and One Arabian Nights. There had been earlier attempts like a French edition in 1809, but Burton’s edition introduced the west to Aladdin and his magic lamp, Sinbad the sailor and Scheherazade.
1935- Twentieth Century Pictures and Fox Pictures merge to become Twentieth Century Fox.
1946- Disney’s Make Mine Music, featuring Blue Bayou, All the Cats Join In, and Willie the Operatic Whale.
1958 - Buddy Holly weds Maria Santiago.
1965- The Beatles play their largest U.S. concert yet, at New York's Shea Stadium.
1968- The pirate radio station Radio Free London began transmitting.
1969-WOODSTOCK-Three Days of Peace and Music- The rock concert of the 20th Century opened. The promoters, one of whom was heir to the Polident Denture Cream fortune, were hoping to host 50,000 people and launch a recording studio in the quiet New York farming town. What they got was 500,000 young fans and the social phenomenon that defined an age. At one point the more conservative elements of the community got a court order to block the land to be used, but farmer Max Yasgur offered his cow farm for the site.
Up till then in the tumultuous 1960’s any gathering of young people that big meant violence and riot, and at one point New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller threatened to send in the National Guard. But the magic prevailed and there was no violence outside of 200 bad acid trips and one heroin overdose.
Richie Havens was the first act to play, he did six sets and kept stalling because the crowd was so immense they had to bring in the other bands by helicopter. When he ran out of songs to sing Havens started riffing any thing he could think of. This way Havens created his most famous tune “Freedom” with added in spirituals like “Sometimes I feel like a Motherless Child”. After his death in 2013, his ashes were scattered at the Woodstock site.