Birthdays: Louis XIV The Sun King, Jesse James, Cardinal Richelieu, Johann Christian Bach, Jacopo Meyerbeer, John Cage, Quentin de la Tour, Darryl F. Zanuck, Jack Valenti, Bob Newhart is 89, George Lazenby, Raquel Welch is 78, Kathy Guisewhite, Dweezil Zappa, Werner Herzog is 78, Michael Keaton is 67, Rose McGowan is 46
1921: FATTY ARBUCKLE. After completing three feature films simultaneously, comedian Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle rented three rooms in San Francisco's St. Francis Hotel for a big party. One attendee, Actress Virginia Rappe, died of peritonitis a few days afterward. Maude Delmont, a professional blackmailer who also attended, spread the story that Arbuckle had raped the actress. She never testified in court.
The Hearst Press took up the story and sensationalized it as an example of Hollywood depravity. Fatty Arbuckle was found innocent after three sensational trials (the last jury actually apologized to him). The Motion Picture Production Code was formed as a direct result. Its first action was to ban Arbuckle from the screen. Fatty Arbuckle directed comedy for ten years under the pseudonym Will B. Good, and appeared in a successful series of short sound films in 1932, but died the same day that Warner Brothers signed him for a feature.
1932- Paul Bern, the studio executive husband of sexy starlet Jean Harlow, was found lying naked on his bathroom floor with a bullet in his head. He had committed suicide and left a note apologizing to Harlow. Harlow called the studio and her agent before calling the police. Bern’s brother revealed that Paul Bern had another wife he was hiding. All jumped to hush up the scandal.
1935- Tumbling Tumbleweeds premiered, the film that made a star out of Gene Autry, the Singing Cowboy.
1943- Young British cartoonist Ronald Searle is captured by the Japanese in Burma. He spent his time as a P.O.W. working on the infamous Bridge on the River Kwai and making sketches of the nightmarish conditions of his fellow prisoners.
1957- Jacques Kerouac’s ode to the beat life ON THE ROAD, first published. Kerouac wrote it in a white heat using one large roll of white paper stuffed into his typewriter instead of individual sheets. When the editor got the novel it had no paragraph breaks of chapter breaks. Another young writer of the time, Truman Capote, was unimpressed. “That’s not writing, it’s typing.”
1958 The novel DR ZHIVAGO by Boris Pasternak published in US. It was banned in Russia until the collapse of Communism.
1965- CBS television network headquarters are moved into a sleek building on 6th Ave. in Manhattan. Because of it's black granite and smoke tinted window's it's nicknamed "Black Rock". NBC's headquarters in Rockefeller Center are called "30 Rock". ABC's, owing to their status as the third network, called their headquarters "Little Rock".
1977- NASA launched the Voyager 1 probe towards the outer planets of our solar system. Among the things Voyager discovered was that Jupiter had many more moons than previously thought and had a ring like Saturn. In 2012 it became the first man-made object to leave our solar system and enter interstellar space.
Part of NASA's program was an explanatory simulation film done on computer by Jim Blinn in 1980 and 1982. The animation was so smooth and the graphics so breathtaking it expanded the use of the CGI medium and inspired a new generation of digital artists.