Birthdays: Jim Bridger the mountain man, Nat King Cole, film composer Alfred Newman, Mercedes McCambridge, Leslie Ann Down, Patrick Duffy, Rudolph Nureyev, Gary Sinise, Kate Greenaway, John Sebastian, Ben Washam (warner bros. animator), Ken Anderson (Disney animator), John Wayne Gacy, Kurt Russell is 65, Rob Lowe is 52
1394- FREE LANCERS - Sir John Hawkwood died. During a time-out in the Hundred Years War in France Hawkwood formed a company of unemployed English knights and went to Italy to become “condottierie”-mercenaries, fighting for money in the feuds between all the little Italian city-states. Their distinctive brightly polished silver armor gave them the name “The White Company”. Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle wrote a novel by that name about them.
This is around the time the term 'free lance' had been coined, meaning a knight who was free of any Shield-Oath to a noble lord.
1845- Rubber Bands invented.
1901- At a grand exhibition of his paintings at Bernheim-Jeune Palace in Paris, the world discovered the brilliance of a poor Dutch lunatic who had shot himself a few years back- Vincent Van Gogh.
1941- The National Gallery of Art opens in Washington D.C.
1982- Politically conservative Hollywood actors led by Charlton Heston broke with the Screen Actor’s Guild and form a rival group called AWAG ( American Working Actor’s Guild). They were angered by SAG president Ed Asner’s taking their union into national politics by condemning Pres. Ronald Reagan’s policies in Central America, capped by the SAG board refusing Reagan (their former president) the Guild lifetime achievement award.
As a result Ed Asner’s hit TV show “Lou Grant” lost sponsors and was cancelled, and Heston’s career cooled as well, beyond heading the NRA and writing cranky letters to the L.A. Times calendar that Ben Hur wasn’t gay.