Birthdays: Lorenzo da Ponte -librettist of Mozart's operas, Barry Fitzgerald, Claire Booth Luce, Heywoud Hale Broun, James Herriot, Pablo de Sarrasate, Osama Ben Laden, Chuck Norris is 78, Shannon Tweed, Sharon Stone is 60, John Hamm is 47
1926- The First Book of the Month Club – The Lovely Willows by Sylvia Townshend Warner.
1933- The LONG BEACH EARTHQUAKE. There had not been a serious quake in LA since 1857, so everyone thought it a thing of the past. Today the buildings swayed and brick walls collapsed. It was the last big shift in the San Andreas Fault. 200 people were killed, and if the schools had not been empty for Easter break, the casualties could have been much worse.
Actors convening early SAG union meetings in the El Capitan Theater moved out into a parking lot because of the aftershocks. The quake sparked the first serious earthquake building codes.
1935- The First Smokey Stover comic strip (notary sojac).
1947- Ronald Reagan becomes President of the Screen Actor's Guild after President George Montgomery and V.P. Franchot Tone resign to become independent producers. In the violent gangster-ridden atmosphere of Hollywood unions in those days Reagan took to wearing a .32 Smith & Wesson in a shoulder holster under his coat.
1948- Zelda Fitzgerald, the socialite wife of writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, died in a fire at the mental hospital where she had been committed for more than a decade.
1954- In a letter to studio heads director Elias Kazan worried that young actor James Dean was “too odd” and unpredictable to star in his movie “Rebel Without a Cause”.
1954- First day of shooting on Stage 3 of the Giant Squid battle on Walt Disney’s production of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. The director was Richard Fleischer, the son of Disney’s onetime competitor Max Fleischer.
1988- Andy Gibb of the BeeGees died at age 30. It was reported he died of a drug overdose, but he actually died of heart failure brought on by years of heavy drug abuse.