Birthdays: Jim Bridger the mountain man, Nat King Cole, film composer Alfred Newman, Mercedes McCambridge, Leslie Ann Down, Patrick Duffy, Rudolph Nureyev, Gary Sinise, Kate Greenaway, John Sebastian, Ben Washam (warner bros. animator), Ken Anderson (Disney animator), John Wayne Gacy, Kurt Russell is 66, Rob Lowe is 53
1845- Rubber Bands invented.
1874- MACY'S- Jacob and Isadore Strauss, two German Jewish peddlers whose first job in America was selling Confederate War Bonds, buy a dry goods store from a retired Quaker whaling sailor named R.H. MACY. They decide to keep the name to divert anti-Semitic customers. The store was later so successful that in 1904 Macys’s moved to it's present location on 34th St. The location was close by the new Penn. Station and also across the street from the two largest brothels in New York. When Macy was a sailor, he had a red star tattoo on his arm. That red star remains the Macys logo.
1901- At a grand exhibition of his paintings at Bernheim-Jeune Palace in Paris, the world discovered the brilliance of a poor Dutch lunatic who had shot himself a few years back- Vincent Van Gogh.
1941- The National Gallery of Art opens in Washington D.C.
1965- Chicago began the Saint Patrick’s Day tradition of dyeing the Chicago River green.
1982- Politically conservative Hollywood actors led by Charlton Heston broke with the Screen Actor’s Guild and form a rival group called AWAG ( American Working Actor’s Guild). They were angered by SAG president Ed Asner’s taking their union into national politics by condemning Pres. Ronald Reagan’s policies in Central America, capped by the SAG board refusing Reagan (their former president) the Guild lifetime achievement award.
As a result Ed Asner’s hit TV show “Lou Grant” lost sponsors and was cancelled, and Heston’s career cooled as well, beyond heading the NRA and writing cranky letters to the L.A. Times calendar that Ben Hur wasn’t gay.
1983- On trial for libel, and refusing to name sources, wheelchair bound porn publisher Larry Flynt showed up in a US Federal court wearing a diaper made from an American flag. This was calculated to mock a conservative demand for a Constitutional amendment against burning the flag.
Happy St Patricks Day from animation educator Tom Sito (Dublin 1988)