Birthdays: Turkish Sultan Mehmed IV-1642, Frederic Opper the cartoonist of Happy Hooligan, Phillip Freneau, Roger Miller, Issac Asimov, Julius LaRosa, Tito Schipa, Renata Tebaldi, Tex Ritter, Dick Huemer, Cuba Gooding Jr, is 49, Tia Carrere, Kate Bosworth is 34
1843- Richard Wagner’s opera The Flying Dutchman premiered in Dresden.
1897- Young writer Stephen Crane survived a shipwreck when the good ship SS Commodore went down off the coast of Florida. He went on to write The Open Boat and The Red Badge of Courage.
1937- Hollywood actor Ross Alexander had hit on tough times. He had been in a few movies like Captain Blood and A Midsummer Night’s Dream but his career seemed to be stalled, he was in debt, and his wife committed suicide. This day the 29 year old went into the barn behind his Valley ranch home and shot himself. The Warner Bros. Studio looked around for a replacement to refill their roster of male leads. They replaced Alexander with an Illinois college sportscaster named “Dutch”- Ronald Reagan.
1975- In a letter to MITS, college kids Bill Gates and Paul Allen offered their computer language adaptation of BASIC for the new Altair personal computer. They called themselves Micro-Soft.
1984- The Zenith Corporation announced it would stop selling video recorders in Betamax format and go over wholly to VHS. Other electronics giants followed suit and VHS won out over the higher quality Beta system.