birthdays: Woodrow Wilson, Robert Sessions, Earl "Fatha" Hines, Hildegarde Neff, Edgar Winter, Stan “The Man” Lee is 94, Martin Branner the creator of Winnie Winkle, Johnny Otis, Martin Milner (1-Adam-12), Lew Ayres, Lou Jacobi, Terri Garber, Denzel Washington is 62, Maggie Smith is 82, Sienna Miller is 35, Disney animator Rick Farmiloe is 60
1895- THE BIRTHDAY OF CINEMA- In Paris at the Grande Cafe des Capucines the Lumiere brothers combined Edison's kinetoscope using George Eastman’s roll film with a magic lantern projector and showed a motion picture to an audience in a theater. Back in the U.S. Thomas Edison thought the idea of projecting film in a theater was foolish and would never catch on. They called their device a Cinematograph, hence the word Cinema is born. The screening included dancers and people leaving a factory but the biggest reaction out of the audience was from shots of waves crashing on a rocky beach. The audience in the front row jumped for fear of getting wet.
1897- Edmond Rostands famous play Cyrano de Bergerac premiered in Paris. There really lived a poet-duelist in the 1640’s named Cyrano de Bergerac-Servigan but little was known about him. Rostand created the hopelessly lovesick big nosed hero who helps another man romance his girlfriend Roxanne.
1928- Last recording of Ma Rainey, The Mother of the Blues.
1928- Louis Armstrong recorded West End Blues.
1944- On The Town, a musical written by Betty Comden & Adolf Green and young composer Leonard Bernstein premiered in NY.
1951- The British film A Christmas Carol with the memorable performance of Alastair Sim as Scrooge premiered in the USA.
1962- UPA’s Mr. Magoo’s Xmas Carol first premiered on TV.
1968- The Beatles White Album goes to number one on the pop charts.
1973-Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s book “The Gulag Archipelago” first published in Paris. The exposing of the Soviet prison camp and police system was a great success in the west. It gave the word for prison camp-“Gulag” into popular parlance.
1987- The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles premiered.