Birthdays: Henri Matisse, General George C. Marshall, Odetta (real name Holmes Felicious Gordon), Simon Weisenthal, Virginia Davis, Pola Negri, Jules Styne, Sarah Miles, Donna Summer, Patti Smith, Elizabeth Arden, Tim Matheson, John Denver, Dianne Von Furstenberg, Ben Kingsley-born Khrishna Banji is 72, Anthony Hopkins is 78, Val Kilmer is 56, Gong Li is 50, Psy is 37
1881- Los Angeles becomes the first U.S. city to be lit entirely by electricity.
1923-24-BBC overseas radio service first broadcast the Chimes of Big Ben around the world.
1940-41- Avant Garde artists John Sloan and Marcel Duchamp break into the Washington Square Arch in and declare Greenwich Village the Republic of New Bohemia. Like coool, daddy.
1941- A Warner Bros memo dated this day from producer Hal Wallis office announced that the movie to be made from a play by Murray Bennett called “Everybody Goes to Rick’s” has been renamed “Casablanca”. This was to capitalize on an already popular film title “Algiers” with Charles Boyer “come with me to ze Casbah” etc.. Humphrey Bogart got the lead after George Raft first turned it down. Bogie told a friend about his new project: “It’s just some more sh*t like Algiers.”
1943- Four hundred policemen are called out to control frenzied crowds of bobbysoxers as Frank Sinatra played the Paramount Theater in Times Square. OOHH FRANKIE !!
1946- The first Pismo Beach Clam Festival.
1947- Roy Rogers married Dale Evans.
1958-59- As Fidel Castro's guerrillas closed in on Havana, dictator Fulgensio Batista slipped out of a New Year's Party and boarded a plane for Miami, all arranged by the CIA. Fredo, ya broke my heart…
1962- Romanoffs closed. One of the premier hot spots on the Sunset Strip, it was the preferred hangout of Humphrey Bogart, who liked to play chess in the afternoon with Nick Romanoff when he was between films.
1985- Singer Ricky Nelson died when his band's converted old DC-9 airplane crashed near DeKalb, Texas. Nelson it was said had been living on a steady diet of cheeseburgers and Snicker's bars.
1995- The last Calvin and Hobbes comic strip by Bill Waterston
1999-2000 - The Y2K MANIA. While the world prepared to celebrate the new century and the Third Millenium the American media whipped up paranoia over a theory that the change from 1999-2000 would cause most computers to crash. Planes would fall out of the sky, nuclear missiles would launch themselves and marauders would rule the streets like something out of Mad Max. The US Government spent $65 million to prepare for the crisis.
But at midnight absolutely nothing of the kind happened. Even older, less sophisticated computers in Russia and China were unaffected, and everything ran normal. Meanwhile, many of the US public stayed home and watched the rest of the world have fun on television.
**THANKS FOR READING MY LITTLE HISTORIES. I HOPE YOU HAVE AS MUCH FUN READING THEM AS I DO WRITING THEM.
HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016!
- TOM SITO