Birthdays: Davy Crocket, Mae West, Marcus Garvey, Sam Goldwyn- born Schmuel Gelbfisz, Harry Hopkins, Monte Wooley, Boog Powell, Belinda Carlisle, Guillermo Vilas, V.S. Naipul, Jim Courier, Donnie Wahlberg, Belinda Carlisle, Maureen O’Hara, Sean Penn is 55, Martha Coolidge is 70, Robert DeNiro is 72
1876- Richard Wagner’s 4 hour opera Gotterdamerung- the Twilight of the Gods, premiered.
1908- D.W. Griffith signed a contract to begin directing movies for Biograph Pictures. He was paid $50 dollars a week plus royalties.
1941- EL GRUPO- Walt Disney and his artists arrive in Rio on a ten week goodwill tour of South America, underwritten by a $70,000 government grant. President Franklin Roosevelt was worried that some South American countries might be sympathetic to the Nazis, forcing the U.S. to worry about her backdoor. So FDR sent Nelson Rockefeller to give the Latin American countries whatever they wanted to keep them out of the world war. Among other things they wanted Donald Duck. Back in LA the federal mediator Stanley White had worked out with Roy Disney that if they got Walt out of town, they could settle the Disney animators strike. The name comes from hotel footmen in Buenos Aires paging the artists as El Grupo Disney! The Three Caballeros and Saludos Amigos result.
1962- The Beatles replaced drummer Pete Best with Ringo Starr.
1969- The closing day of the Woodstock Rock Concert, Three Days of Peace and Music. Jimmy Hendrix did his famous rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.
1984- The Walt Disney Company informed it’s chairman Ron Miller that they wanted his resignation. Disney had fallen to 14th in film box office by then. Miller had been Walt’s son-in-law and he was he was once a tight end for the LA Rams. Within two years of Michael Eisner taking power Disney was number one.
1986- John Lasseter’s award wining short Luxo Jr, premiered at Siggraph’86 Dallas.
1992- Famed film director Woody Allen admits he is having an affair with Soon Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of his long time lover Mia Farrow. He is 60 and she is 21. But as the unrepentant Allen states: “The Heart wants what it wants.” They’ve been married ever since.