Birthdays: William Wrigley the Chewing Gum king 1868, Truman Capote, Eli Weisel, Lester Maddox, Buddy Rich, David Oistrach, Deborah Kerr, Angie Dickinson is 86, Marylin McCoo, Len Cariou, Johnny Mathis, Rula Lenska, Eric Stolz, Monica Bellucci is 53, Jenna Elfman is 46, Marion Cotillard is 42, Al Leong (Al KaBong) is 65
1868- Louisa May Alcott’s novel Little Women first published in installments.
1919- The Fleischer Brother's first Out of the Inkwell cartoon featuring Koko the Clown. Koko was rotoscoped- meaning traced from live action like Motion Capture does today. Dave Fleischer put on the clown suit and was filmed by his brother Max.
1928- Walt Disney and his crew recorded the final soundtrack and music for the first Mickey Mouse short, Steamboat Willie. Walt was unhappy with the first version of the track, and pawned his car for the money to pay for this second session.
1930- Death Valley Days Show premiered on radio, sponsored by Twenty Mule Team Borax powder. When it moved to television in the 50’s the host was Ronald Reagan.
1935- George Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess premiered at the Colonial Theater in Boston. It flopped originally but after some rewrites it became a major hit.
1952- This Is Cinerama, showcasing the widescreen film process, opened in theaters.
1955- James Dean (24) was killed when his Porsche 550 Spyder crashed head on into a pickup truck driven by college student Donald Turnipseed on Highway 41 outside of Paso Robles, California. Dean was driving 85 mph at dusk without his headlights on, and two hours earlier had been given a ticket for speeding. Until now the American public had only seen him in one movie- "East of Eden" and some TV work. Giant and Rebel Without a Cause had yet to be released, yet the legend endures to this day. In an errie coincidence, Dean filmed a public service announcement promoting automobile safety. His last lines were:” Remember, the life you save may be mine!”
1960- Hanna & Barbera's "The Flintstones" debuted. For six seasons in prime time the inhabitants of 301 Cobblestone Lane, Bedrock, was one of the most successful TV series ever. Originally going to be named the Flagstones, then Gladstones, before Flintstones. Ed Benedicts' designs with Alan Reed as the voice of Fred, Jean Van Der Pyl the voice of Wilma, Mel Blanc doing Barney and Bea Benaderet doing Betty.
The show was so obviously modeled on the live action comedy The Honeymooners, that Jackie Gleason considered suing, especially when two of his old writers went to work for them. But his people dissuaded him, saying if he did he’s be hated by every child in America.
1982- The TV comedy Cheers premiered. The Beacon Street Bar in Boston where everybody knows your name. It made stars of Ted Danson, Woody Harrelson, Kirstie Alley and Kelsey Grammar.