Birthdays: Caligula 12AD*, Commodus 161AD**, Amilcare Ponchielli, Eldridge Cleaver, Buddy Hackett, James Coburn, Itshak Perleman is 72, Van Morrison, Arthur Godfrey, Richard Baseheart, Rocky Marciano. Alan J. Lerner, Hugh Harman,, Maria Montressori (of the Montressori Method of education), William Saroyan, Richard Gere is 68, Chris Tucker is 45.
1829- Giacomo’s Opera Guglielmo Tell debuted in Paris. The William Tell overture was heard for the first time- Hi Ho Silver!
1837- Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson delivered his American Scholar speech in Cambridge Mass. “Our long apprenticeship to the learning of other lands is drawing to a close.” People called it an intellectual declaration of independence.
1897- Thomas Edison patented the plans for a Kinetoscope, his original version of Motion Pictures using George Eastmans new celluloid roll film. Most of the actual work was done by Canadian scientist W.K.L. Dickson. He drove himself sick designing, building and improving the device as well as the camera and studio, but Edison took all the credit. Edison wrote Edweard Muybridge at the time that he doubted the Kinetoscope would have much commercial value beyond the science lab.
1928- In Berlin the ThreePenny Opera premiered, music by Kurt Weill and lyrics by Bertholdt Brecht with Lotte Lenya as Pirate Jenny. Mackie Messer or Mack the Knife was born.
1935- Disney cartoon Plutos’ Judgement Day.
1938- Walt Disney puts ten thousand dollars down to buy 51 acres on Buena Vista Street in Burbank. He would build his modern studio there.
1941 –The Great Gildersleeve, a spin-off of Fibber McGee & Molly debuts on NBC radio. The voice of Gildersleeve later narrated the UPA cartoon Gerald McBoing Boing.
1946- Looney Toon short 'Walky Talky Hawky' the first Foghorn Leghorn. The character was based on a Fred Allen radio character Senator Beauregard Claghorn, that mocked bombastic Southern conservative congressmen.
1948- Disney's 'Melody Time' premiered.
1948- Movie star Robert Mitchum was busted for smoking pot with a blonde in the Hollywood Hills. This would have normally smoked his career but the new postwar outlaw, noir attitude was in vogue. So bad-boy Mitchum emerged from county jail more popular than ever. When asked what he thought of being in jail, he said it's not much different than being free....but you meet a better clientele of people IN jail.
1955 - 1st microwave TV station operated in Lufkin, Texas.
1964- Young comedian Richard Pryor made his first appearance on TV. He did some of his standup on Rudy Vallee’s Broadway Tonight Show.
1972- Russian Olga Korbut won a gold medal in gymnastics at the Olympics. She was the first of the cutesy little 15 year old girl gymnasts with the bright smile to catch the world’s attention.
1997- PRINCESS DIANA OF WALES died in a high speed car crash in a Paris traffic tunnel. Her Mercedes had been trying to avoid paparrazzi hounding her and her current boyfriend Dodi Al Fayed, the son of the Egyptian tycoon owner of Harrods. The drivers body tested above normal for alcohol and drugs. Princess Di was 36. Britain reacted with an outpouring of grief not seen since the death of Nelson. The rapacious British press worked overtime to absolve themselves of hounding the woman to death. Press baron Rupert Murdoch personally flew to London to direct the spin campaign defending his papers.