Birthdays: Ben Johnson, Richard Strauss, Jacques Cousteau, Nelson Mandela, Bartolomeo Vanzetti, Joe Montana, John Constable, Gustav Courbet, Vince Lombardi, Adrienne Barbeau, William Styron, Chad Everett, race car driver Jackie Stewart, Gene Wilder, Hugh Laurie is 58, Shia LeBoeuf is 31, Peter Dinklage is 48.
1878- At a small track at the Palo Alto Stock Farm, English photographer Edweard Muybridge did the first of his Animal Motion Studies. He lined up 25 cameras and filmed California Governor Leyland Stanford’s favorite mare Sallie Gardner at a full gallop. He invited the press, so none could accuse him of doctoring the photos later. They proved that when a horse was in full gallop, all four hooves leave the ground.
1928 - Alfred Hitchcock's 1st film, "The Case Of Jonathan Drew," is released
1934- the first Mandrake the Magician comic strip.
1936- Shy, quiet, 30 year old Texas writer Robert E. Howard had created the powerful warriors Conan the Barbarian, Kull and single handedly defined the genre we now call Sword & Sorcery. This day after he learned his mother was dying and would never regain consciousness, he went into his garage and blew his brains out. Some say he had an Oedipal fixation, others that he always intended to end his life and was waiting to spare his mother the pain. On his typewriter he left a short message: "All fled, all done, so lift me upon the pyre. The feast is over and let the lamps expire."
1937 –" Getta’ yu tutsie-frutsie Ice-a Creem!" the Marx Brothers' "A Day At The Races" premiered.
1959 – The US Postmaster General banned D H Lawrence's novel Lady Chatterley's Lover as pornography. He was overruled by US Court of Appeals in March 1960.
1964 - Chicago police break up a Rolling Stones press conference.
1964 - Manfred Mann recorded Do Wah Diddy Diddy.
1966 - "Paint It, Black" by The Rolling Stones peaks at #1
1966 - Janis Joplin played her 1st gig in San Francisco.
1972- THE MOST PROFITABLE FILM IN HISTORY. The film Deep Throat premiered. The first full length blockbuster porn film. The film was shot in just three days, by an ex-hairdresser turned director. It cost $22,500 to make and grossed $600 million. Most of that money disappeared into the coffers of the Mafia. It became a counterculture cause celebre. Jacky Kennedy saw it. Frank Sinatra screened a print for Vice President Spiro Agnew. Star Linda Lovelace later disavowed her career and claimed she did the sex scenes under duress from her husband Chuck Trainor. She died in a car accident in the 1982. Today the term Linda Syndrome denotes former porn actresses who deny their past.
1977 - Main Street Electrical Parade premiered at Disneyland.
1979- John Wayne died after a long struggle with cancer. Many believed his condition began as a result of filming the movie "The Conqueror" near the Nevada Atomic Test site. Half the crew of that film including all the stars and director died of cancer. When Wayne made a final appearance at the Academy Awards two months earlier he had purchased a small size tuxedo to hide his emaciated frame, but he was still too thin even then so he filled it out by wearing a scuba wetsuit underneath. He was 73.
1984- In the freewheeling economy of the 1980’s tycoons conducted hostile takeovers of companies by buying a majority of their stock on margin. When Wall Street corporate raider Saul Steinberg announced he intended to target the ailing Walt Disney Company for takeover CEO Ron Miller paid him $23 million just to make him go away. The Disney shareholders are outraged at this payment of "greenmail’ and demanded Miller’s resignation, which some say was exactly as Roy Disney had planned.
1993 –Steven Spielberg’s "Jurassic Park" opened. The film set a box office record of $931 million. It was begun with modelers and puppeteers about to do the dinosaurs with clay and beeswax. But after seeing tests using the new 3D CGI –computer graphic imaging software, Steven ordered all of ILM to do it digitally. Jurassic Park clinched the digital takeover of Hollywood and set the standard for future special effects.
2002- Fox TV’s show American Idol premiered.