Birthdays: King Henry IV of England (1361), Washington Irving, William Marcy " Boss" Tweed, Sally Rand the Fan Dancer, Ma Rainey, Iron Eyes Cody, Wayne Newton, Doris Day, Robert Sherwood, Virgil Grissom, Marsha Mason, Melissa Etheridge, Marlon Brando, Amanda Byrnes, David Hyde Pierce, Alec Baldwin is 59, Eddie Murphy is 56
1869- First performance of Edvard Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minor.
1897-composer Johannes Brahms died.
1968- Stanley Kubrick's epic film "2001: A Space Odyssey" premiered. The N.Y. Times review said it was : " Somewhere between hypnotic and boring". Pauline Kael called it "monumentally unimaginative!" Writer Arthur C. Clarke always said HAL the computer was not a coded reference to IBM. At the Oscars, Clarke and Kubrick lost the best screenplay award to Mel Brooks for the Producers. 2001 won only one Oscar, for visual effects. It was the only Oscar a Stanley Kubrick film ever won.
1973- Standing on the corner of 6th Ave in Manhattan, Motorola scientist Marty Cooper made the first cell phone call. He called his competitor Joel Engel at Bell Labs to tell him he had lost the race to invent the cell phone. He said that first phone, “It was the size of a leg of lamb.”
1994-Disney chief executive Frank Wells was killed in a helicopter crash on a skiing trip. It’s been speculated that blowing snow off some high peaks caused an ice ball to be sucked into the copter’s air intake manifold. Clint Eastwood was supposed to be on that trip but couldn't make it. Billie Joel and Christie Brinkley had a similar scare with their helicopter on the same day. The death of the Disney CEO set in motion the events that would lead to Jeffrey Katzenberg leaving Disney and forming Dreamworks, as well as Michael Ovitz’s brief tenure as a mouseketeer and Michael Eisner’s eventual fall in 2006. In 1999 the Hollywood Reporter estimated that the little iceball cost the Walt Disney Company over one billion dollars.