Birthdays: King Charles II (the "Merry Monarch"), John F. Kennedy, Bob Hope, G. K. Chesterton, Patrick Henry, Oswald Spengler, T.H. White, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Josef Von Sternberg, LaToya Jackson, John Hinckley Jr., Al Unser Jr., Beatrice Lilly, Danny Elfman, Annette Benning is 61, Melissa Etheridge is 55, Rupert Everett is 57
1606- Michel Caravaggio the artist shot a man over a tennis match. Caravaggio was a mad-artist before the term was invented. The police records of Rome show the master painter constantly in trouble, seducing man, woman and child, throwing rocks at soldiers, stabbing waiters, etc.
1941-THE GREAT WALT DISNEY CARTOONISTS STRIKE.. The picket line and campsite went up across the street where St. Joseph's Hospital is today. Chef's from nearby Toluca Lake restaurants would cook for the strikers on their off time and the aircraft mechanics of Lockheed promised muscle if any ruffstuff was threatened.
Picketers included Hank Ketcham (Dennis the Menace), Walt Kelly and Margaret Selby (later Kelly) (Pogo), Bill Melendez (A Charlie Brown Christmas), Steve Bosustow and John Hubley (Mr. Magoo), Maurice Noble and Chuck Jones (What's Opera Doc?), George Baker (Sad Sack), Dick Swift ("the Parent Trap") Frank Tashlin (Cinderfella) and four hundred others. Animators from Warner Bros. MGM and Walter Lantz marched with their Disney brothers and sisters, because they knew this was where the fate of their entire industry would be settled. Celebrities like Dorothy Parker and John Garfield gave speeches. The studio claimed no one of importance was on strike.
The strike was eventually settled by Federal arbitration and a little arm twisting by the Bank of America. Many of the artists who left the studio afterwards set up U.P.A. and pioneered the modern 1950's style.
1942- JOHN BARRYMORE- The great dramatic actor, the first American to dare to play Hamlet in England, died of his many vices at age 60. Whether the infamous prank actually happened where Raoul Walsh, Bertholdt Brecht, Peter Lorre, W.C. Fields and some others (the "Bundy Drive Boys") kidnapped Barrymore's body from Pierce Brothers Funeral Home and propped it up at the poker table to scare the willys out of Errol Flynn is a matter of debate. Flynn and Paul Heinried said it was true, writer Gene Fowler said it was false. .
John Barrymore's last words were to screenwriter Gene Fowler:
"Say Gene, isn't it true you are an illegitimate son of Buffalo Bill?"
1942- Bing Crosby records "White Christmas," debatably the greatest selling record of all time.
1954- New York Police raid the studio of Irving Klaw, the photographer of the Betty Page kinky pin-up photos. Klaw tried to appeal to the Supreme Court but couldn’t get a hearing.
1956- Hollywood director James Whale (Frankenstein, The Invisible Man) drowned himself in his pool. His career was over and his health was deteriorating from a series of strokes. Bruises were found on his head and at first the police suspected foul play. It wasn’t until 1989 his gay lover made his suicide note public. His head had struck the pool’s bottom as he jumped in causing the bruise.
1973 - Columbia Records fired president Clive Davis for misappropriating
$100, 000 in funds, Davis then founded Arista records.
1978 - Bob Crane, (Hogan-Hogan's Heroes), died at 49 under mysterious circumstances. He was found in a Tucson hotel room surrounded by pornography bludgeoned to death by a camera tripod. The murder was never solved.
1987 –pop singer Michael Jackson attempted to buy the nineteenth century remains of Joseph Meredith a.k.a. the Elephant Man.