Birthdays: St. Thomas Becket, Thomas Jefferson*, Frederick Lord North, Samuel Beckett, Dame Eudora Welty, Al Green, Jack Cassidy, Butch Cassidy, Franklin W. Woolworth, Howard Keel, Don Adams, Ricky Schroeder, Peabo Bryson, Ron Perleman, Stanley Donen, Alfred Butts the inventor of Scrabble, animator Glen Keane
1870- New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art opens.
1902- J.C. Penny opened his first store in Kemmerer Wyoming.
1939- The film Wuthering Heights starring Lawrence Olivier and Merle Oberon premiered. Sam Goldwyn was disgusted by the headaches to bring this Charlotte Bronte novel to the Hollywood Screen. When asked if he planned to adapt more 19th Century novels for film he replied: "Don’t bring me no more scripts by guys who write with feathers!"
1949- Lead character designer and story artist Joe Grant resigned from Disney Studios, not to return until 1989.
1953- A British ex-intelligence officer turned newspaperman named Ian Fleming was bored with his life. He resolved to write a novel about his ideal of the ultimate spy. Looking for a suitably bland name, his favorite book on birdwatching was written by someone named James Bond. Great name! His wife thought the story was too vulgar. This day, the first Bond novel, Casino Royale, came out and was an instant hit.
1964- Sidney Poitier became the first African American to win an Oscar for Best Actor for the film Lilies of the Field. The first Oscar for any black actor or actress went to Hattie McDaniel as Best Supporting Actress for Gone With the Wind in 1939. Best actress was not won until Halle Berry in 2002.
FIFTY YEARS AGO 1967- Columbia Picture’s bizarre satire of Ian Flemings Casino Royale premiered. Several directors, John Huston, Orson Welles, Ursula Andress, Peter Sellers, Woody Allen, George Raft, and David Niven. Richard Williams opening titles, and Dusty Springfield ‘s song “The Look of Love.”