Birthdays: Sir Robert Peel founder of London’s police force- the Bobbies, outlaw Belle Starr, John Carradine, William Burroughs, Arthur Ochs Schulzburger, Hank Aaron is 84, Tim Holt, Barbera Hershey, Charlotte Rampling, Roger Staubach, Michael Mann is 74, Bobby Brown, H. R. Giger, Red Buttons, Christopher Guest, Jennifer Jason Leigh is 56, Laura Linney is 53, Michael Sheen is 48
1887- Verdi’s opera "Otello" debuted. Guiseppi Verdi had retired from composing after 1875, but was goaded by a new generation of composers like Arrigo Boito to take up his pen once more.
1916- Enrico Caruso recorded O Solo Mio for the Victor Talking Machine Co.
1919- Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith form the United Artists Studio.
1921- The Loews State Theater in Chicago opened.
1936-THE BATTLE OF JARAMA - Spanish General Franco’s Fascist army was thrown back from the gates of Madrid with help from the Republic’s newly arrived foreign volunteers, called the International Brigades. These idealistic young Europeans and Americans (the Abraham Lincoln Brigade) were thrown into the battle with no training as they had just arrived. They suffered 50% casualties, but still won the battle.
The Lincolns sang a tune to Popeye the Sailor Man:
"In a green little vale called Jarama, We made all the fascists cry "Mama!; we fight for our pay, just six cents a day, and play football with a bomb-a "
1937- Charlie Chaplin’s film Modern Times opened in theaters. Chaplin was inspired to lampoon modern technological madness when he was invited to view the auto assembly production lines in Detroit and saw men moving like machines.
1944- British scientists at Bletchley Park booted up the Colossus Mark I, a huge early computer used to decode Hitler’s secret messages. Eleven more Colossus computers were built. After the war all but one were destroyed with sledgehammers, and the scientists put under a vow of secrecy for thirty years.
1953- Walt Disney’s "Peter Pan" premiered.
1956- Darryl Zanuck resigned from 20th Century Fox, the studio he built into a powerhouse. He later won back the chairmanship in 1962 only to be ousted finally in 1970 by a consortium led by his own wife and son.
1957- Mel Lazarus’ comic strip Miss Peach debuted.