B-Days: Captain James Cook, Theodore Roosevelt, Dylan Thomas, Nicolo Paganinni, Gerhard Von Gneisenau, Sylvia Plath, Roy Lichtenstein, John Cleese is 79, Freddy De Cordova, Ruby Dee, Roberto Benigni, Bernie Wrightson
1886- Musical fantasy "A Night on Bald Mountain" premiered in Russia. Composer Modest Mussorgsky worked as a florist during the day and wrote music at night. He was convinced he couldn’t make a living otherwise.
1916- The entertainment trade magazine Variety has the blurb: "Chicago has added recently to it’s number of so-called Jazz bands." Now jazz had been around in black neighborhoods for years, but the form was labeled Ragtime or Syncopation. This is the earliest known use in print of the word Jazz.
1947- The "You Bet Your Life" quiz show premiered on radio. "Say the Secret Word and Win Fifty Dollars". Comedian Groucho Marx had struggled after his brothers act the Marx Brothers broke up. During a live radio program with Bob Hope at one point Hope dropped his script. Before he could pick it up Groucho stepped on the pages, threw his own away and the two improvised their conversation. The result was much funnier that anything anybody had written. The producer of the show was so impressed he hired Groucho and built a quiz show around him.
1954- The" Disneyland" television show premieres. Up until then the major Hollywood Studios were all boycotting the new upstart medium of television, then mostly done in New York by blacklisted stage actors and writers. MGM Production head Dori Schary called TV “ the Enemy”. Walt Disney is the first to break ranks with the major film studios and get into television production. He even filmed the show in Technicolor, figuring television will develop color broadcasting eventually.
1964- Sonny & Cher married. I got you babe!
1964- The “ You Choose Speech” Actor and TV pitchman Ronald Reagan made his maiden political speech at a fundraiser for Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. He had made political speeches in the past, but this one marks his shedding his acting and union careers to become a full time conservative politician.
1966- Bill Melendez's Peanuts TV special "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown'.