Birthdays St. Francis Xavier, William Wordsworth, Mongo Santamaria, Walter Winchell, David Frost, Percy Faith, Daniel Ellsberg, Jerry Brown, Alan Pakula, Billie Holiday, Ravi Shankar, Irene Castle, Wayne Rogers, Stan Winston, James Garner, Olkirk Christenson-the inventor of Lego toys, Francis Ford Coppola is 79, Russell Crowe is 54, Jacky Chan is 64
1891- Showman P.T. Barnum died of old age. The last words of the man who invented kiddie matinees, the Greatest Show on Earth and coined the word “Jumbo” were "How were the box office receipts today?"
1927- An audience at the Bell Laboratory watched a three inch television screen broadcast a sound image of US Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover.
1927- Abel Gance’s classic film Napoleon premiered at the Paris Opera. Gances active camera and wild editing were years ahead of their time, climaxed by a triptych of large images on three movie screens linked by synchronized projectors. One American man in the audience, Walter Wallin, was inspired to develop the Panavision wide screen lens, used in many modern movies.
1933- Hitler's regime passed the Professional Civil Service Restoration Act, which ordered Jews and other political undesirables fired from all government posts including university professorships, museum curators, and arts funded grants. The exile of Germany's intellectual elite began- Bertholdt Brecht, Billy Wilder, George Gropius, Thomas and Heinrich Mann, George Grosz, Michael Curtiz, Lazslo Moholy-Nagy, Max Reinhardt and Otto Klemperer -Colonel Klink's dad.
1939-"The Ugly Duckling" the last Disney Silly Symphony short cartoon.
1945-The SUICIDE MISSION OF THE BATTLESHIP YAMATO- The Japanese superbattleship had just enough fuel to sail into the midst of the American Navy around Okinawa, then it was to sell itself dearly. It never made it though. Because of Ultra, the cracking of the Japanese code, the Americans knew it was coming. The Yamato was bombed and torpedoed by swarms of U.S. planes and went to the bottom before it ever got within range of other surface ships. Later the Yamato had a second career as the star of a kids anime series.
1949- Musical "South Pacific" debuts. Some Enchanted Evening…
1970- The film Midnight Cowboy with Dustin Hoffman and John Voight won the Best Picture Oscar. The only x-rated film ever to do so.
Disney’s It’s Tough to be a Bird” won best animated short.
1990- The Cincinnati Contemporary Art Center opened a show of the photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe that the Corcoran Gallery in Washington DC cancelled. Mapplethorpe’s explicit depictions of gay and s/m lifestyles shocked neoconservative critics of the national endowments for the arts. A media debate on whether government should subsidize or censor art raged, and Dennis Barry the museum director was tried for obscenity. His acquittal was seen as a victory for free expression but the argument cast a pall on future funding of controversial art.
1998- Pop star George Michael was busted after exposing himself to an undercover policeman in a public park men’s room in Beverly Hills.
20 Years Ago 1998- Lead singer for the punk band The Plasmatics, Wendy O. Williams, committed suicide with a shotgun. The outrageously mohawked punk rocker was known for stunts on stage like destroying her amplifiers with a chainsaw, skydiving in the nude, autoeroticism with a sledgehammer, and crashing a burning school bus into a wall of television sets.
2155- According to the show Babylon 5 today marked the first contact between humans and the Centauri Alliance.