Birthdays: Raphael of Urbino, Sacajawea, Ram Dass, Butch Cassidy, Gustav Moreau, Lowell Thomas, Merle Haggard, Billy Dee Williams, George Reeves, Michelle Phillips, Andre Previn, Barry Levinson, Roy Thinnes, John Ratzenberger, Zamfir, Paul Rudd is 48, Zach Braff is 42.
1906 - Cartoonist James Stuart Blackton created sensation when Edison filmed him doing sequential drawings and they seemed to come alive. The film was The Humorous Phases of Funny Faces. Blackton made a fortune, lost it and was hit by a bus in 1940. But his animated antics paved the way for Mickey, Bugs, Bart, Gollum and Laura Croft.
1931- The Little Orphan Annie radio show premiered. Remember kids to drink your Ovaltine and get out your de-coder rings.
1933- the Screen Writer's Guild, later the WGA, formed. It took about seven years for them to unionize screenwriting in Hollywood. Jack Warner called them : "Communists, Radical Bastards and Soap Box Sons of B*tches !" David O. Selznick, who prided himself on running a writer-friendly studio, told them: “You put a picket line in front of my studio and I'll mount a machine gun on the roof and mow you all down!!" Despite these protestations, the Guild today represents all Hollywood writers.
1936- Episode One of the Flash Gordon series of movie serials premiered. This introduced Flash, Dale, and Emperor Ming the Merciless of the Planet Mongo. It made a star out of Olympic gold medalist Larry “Buster” Crabbe.
1951- Happy Birthday AstroBoy! According to the 1951 comic book by Osamu Tezuka, today Professor Elephant completed the little boy with the suction cup feet and pointed hairdo. Originally called Tetsuwan Atomo, he was named Astro Boy when Mushi Prod released the animated version in the US in 1961.
1956- Elvis Presley signed his first movie deal with Paramount Pictures.
1974- ABBA, a new disco phenomenon from Sweden is introduced to the world when they win a Eurovision song contest. Mama Mia!
1991- The first episode of Darkwing Duck premiered.