Birthdays: Richard Pryor, Mary Martin, Cyril Ritchard, Dick Shawn, , Lee Trevino, Charlene Tilton, Lou Rawls, Marshal Gyorgi Zhukov, Admiral Stansfield Turner, Rex Stout the author of Nero Wolfe, Gilbert O’Sullivan, Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, Treat Williams, Woody Allen is 80, Bette Midler is 70, Sarah Silverman is 45
1835- Hans Christian Andersen published his first book of fairy tales.
1879- Gilbert & Sullivan’s comic opera HMS Pinafore opened. Sullivan conducted the orchestra while Gilbert was a chorister. “So Stick to your desk and never go to sea, and you will be the leader of the Queen’s Navy..”
1887- The first Sherlock Holmes mystery by Arthur Conan-Doyle "A Study in Scarlet" first published in Beatty’s Christmas Gazette.
1938- In Moscow legendary filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein released his film of Russian patriotism ALEXANDER NEVSKY, with soundtrack provided by Sergei Prokoviev.
1944- Bela Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra premiered by the Boston Symphony and Serge Kousevitsky.
1951- MIT scientists booted up Project Whirlwind, the TX-0 Computer. Called the Tixo, it was as large as a bus and was the first computer that could do more than one program at a time. It also had the first computer screen and first light pen. It calculated everything from synchronizing the gunfire of battleships to how much icing to put in an Oreo cookie.
The TX-2 was used to write the first animation program Sketchpad, and the first interactive game Spacewar, both in 1962.
1953- Ex- Esquire magazine art director and frustrated cartoonist Hugh Hefner published the first issue of Playboy Magazine. It featured a nude centerfold of actress Marilyn Monroe. She joked to the press “ I had nothing on but the radio!” Hefner assembled the layout of the magazine on his kitchen table and borrowed money from his mother-in-law to pay for the printing. The first Playboy had no number or date, because Hef was certain he couldn’t afford to make an issue number two.