Birthdays: Henri Matisse, General George C. Marshall, Odetta (real name Holmes Felicious Gordon), Simon Weisenthal, Virginia Davis, Pola Negri, Jules Styne, Sarah Miles, Donna Summer, Patti Smith, Elizabeth Arden, Tim Matheson, John Denver, Dianne Von Furstenberg, Psy, Ben Kingsley-born Khrishna Banji is 75, Anthony Hopkins is 81, Val Kilmer is 59, Gong Li is 53
1879- Thomas Edison did a public demonstration of his new invention the Light Bulb. Special commuter trains brought people to Menlo Park New Jersey for the show.
1881- Los Angeles becomes the first U.S. city to be lit entirely by electricity.
1901-Los Angeles Angel's Flight cable tram opened. It closed down in the 1980's but was restored in 1996, then broke down a few years later.
1923-24-BBC overseas radio service first broadcast the Chimes of Big Ben around the world.
1929- Guy Lombardo and his big band the Royal Canadians first played Auld Lang Syne at midnight for New Years. Lombardo and his band became synonymous with New Years until his death in the 1980s.
1940-41- Avant Garde artists John Sloan and Marcel Duchamp break into the Washington Square Arch in and declare Greenwich Village the Republic of New Bohemia. Like coool, daddy.
1941- A Warner Bros memo dated this day from producer Hal Wallis office announced that the movie to be made from a play by Murray Bennett called “Everybody Goes to Rick’s” has been renamed “Casablanca”.
1943- Four hundred policemen are called out to control frenzied crowds of bobbysoxers as Frank Sinatra played the Paramount Theater in Times Square. OOHH FRANKIE!!
1946- The first Pismo Beach Clam Festival.
1947- Roy Rogers married Dale Evans.
1955- Chuck Jone's 'One Froggy Evening'premiered. Director Steven Spielberg called it the "Citizen Kane of Cartoons." If you wonder why you never heard the old time ditty 'The Michigan Rag' anywhere else but here, was because Chuck Jones & Mike Maltese wrote it specifically for the cartoon.
1962- Romanoffs closed. One of the premier hot spots on the Sunset Strip, it was the preferred hangout of Humphrey Bogart, who liked to play chess in the afternoon with Nick Romanoff when he was between films.
1985- Singer Ricky Nelson died when his band's converted old DC-9 airplane crashed near DeKalb, Texas. Nelson had been living on a steady diet of cheeseburgers and Snickers bars.
1995- The last Calvin and Hobbes comic strip by Bill Waterston. He just decided one day to end it, before it became stale.
1997- Will Smith and Jada Pinkett marry.