Birthdays: James Boswell, Sir Walter Raleigh, John Keats, Sir Edmund Halley, Louis Blanc, Fanny Brice, Joseph Goebbels, Richard Dreyfus is 69, Zoot Sims, Winona Ryder, Jesse Barfield, Kate Jackson, Bill Maudlin, Akim Tamiroff, Ralph Bakshi is 78, Rufus Sewell, Neal Hefti-composer of the theme song for TV shows like Batman and the Odd Couple.
1923- The musical Running Wild opened on Broadway, introducing the dance craze the Charleston.
1936- Ella Crawford-Smith was a real estate magnate whose first husband was killed in a gangland hit. She had the Hollywood bungalow where the murder occurred torn down, and brought in Arte-Moderne architect Robert Derrah to create something unique. Today the project, Cross Roads of the World, was dedicated. It was an early form of open-air mall, designed to look like an ocean liner coming into port. It’s still there today.
1957- Louis B. Mayer dies. His last words were: "Nothing Matters..." The head of MGM Studios lorded over Hollywood like a monarch, made and broke moviestars, ordered Judy Garland fed a steady stream of narcotics and had his office redesigned all white to resemble Mussolini, whom he admired. Humphrey Bogart was at his funeral. When asked if he was close to Mayer, Bogie replied: Nah, I'm just here to make sure he's dead!
1969- THE BIRTH OF THE INTERNET- After the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Defense Department asked the Rand Corporation to create a communication system that could survive Russian atomic bombs. They conceived of a “net” of computers all in communication with another around the world. Because there was no center, a bomb could not knock out the entire system.
In the basement of UCLA’s Boelter Hall, Lick Licklider, Vincent Cerf, Robert Kahn, Lawrence Roberts and Bob Taylor set up the first call to Stanford. “ We typed the “L” and we asked on the phone “ Did you see the “L”? “Yes, we see the “L,” was the response. Then we typed O and asked Did you see the O?” Yes, we see the O” was the response. Then we typed G, and then the system crashed!” But when they rebooted, and the system sprung to life again. The people at UCLA were able to type in LOG, to which the Stanford folks replied IN.
They called it ARPANET- Advanced Research Projects Agency-NET, a few years later Internet. By 1978 the Defense Department didn’t want to run the thing anymore so they offered to turn over the entire Internet to ATT for free. AT&T said no thanks, we just don’t see the value in it. In 1992 the US government made the Internet public and the gold rush was on.
1993- Tim Burton’s fantasy A Nightmare Before Christmas, premiered in the US.