Birthdays: Torquato Tasso, Marius Pretipa, Raoul Walsh. Rupert Murdoch is 85, Charlie Ruggles, Lawrence Welk, former British PM Harold Wilson, Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Bobby McFerrin, Sam Donaldson, Antonin Scalia, Jerry Zucker, Vannevar Bush- MIT scientist who in 1945 predicted personal computer workstations. Joey Buttafuco, Jules Engel, Douglas Adams, Rob Paulsen is 60, Terence Howard is 47
1818- Mary Shelly's great novel "FRANKENSTEIN, or the Modern Prometheus" first published. It’s considered the first true science fiction novel. The heroes are not knights or kings but modern scientists. Whether you believe 21 year old Ms. Shelly invented the story one dark and stormy night in 1816 while smoking opium with her homeboys Percy Shelly and Lord Byron is a matter of conjecture. Still, it's a good story.
1927- The first Roxy Theater opens at 50th st. & Seventh Ave. in New York. Roxy was a nickname of theater owner Samuel L. Rothaphel who pioneered the movie palace and is called the father of De-Luxe presentation.
1943- The Broadway musical team of Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein opened their first collaboration “Away We Go!”
1971- Philo Farnsworth died of pneumonia at 64. As a young man in 1922 he had invented the television set, but by the 1960’s he was forgotten, broke and addicted to painkillers. The only recognition he got was as a contestant on the quiz show I Got a Secret. He won an $80 check and a carton of Winston Cigarettes. Today Farnsworth is considered one of the true inventors of Television, along with John Logie-Baird, Lee DeForrest and Vladimir Zworkin.
1977- Film director Roman Polanski (Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown) was arrested for having sex with a 13 year old girl in Jack Nicholson’s home after he got her stoned on quaaludes. Polanski was charged with statutory rape. He jumped bail and fled Hollywood for exile in Paris. LA tried unsuccessfully to get him extradited in 2009.