Birthdays: Miles Davis, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Josef Broz Tito, Igor Sikorsky, Pontormo, Bennett Cerf, Claude Akins, Leslie Uggams, Bill Bojangles Robinson, Frank Oz (Richard Frank Oznowicz), Beverly Sills, Robert Ludlum, Anne Heche, Irwin Winkler, Mike Myers is 56, Ray Stevenson is 55, Ian McKellen is 80
1878- Gilbert & Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore premiered at the Savoy in London.
1911- Thomas Mann visited Venice Italy. On the Lido Beach he was inspired to write A Death in Venice.
1932-Mickey’s Revue, the first Disney cartoon that featured the character that would eventually be called Goofy.
1942- First day shooting on the film “Casablanca”.
1946- Chuck Jones cartoon Hare Raising Hare, where Bugs meets a large shaggy monster named Gossamer “ Monsters are such interesting people…”
1957- Sid Caesar's Your Show of Show's canceled after nearly a decade. The show used future star writers like Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Woody Allen and Neil Simon. They pioneered the executive strategy of producer Sylvester “Pat” Weaver to not let the show be owned by an entire sponsor, but the network would produce the show and would sell the sponsor commercial time in 30 second chunks. Pat Weaver’s daughter is Sigorney Weaver. Your Show of Showswas finally bested in the ratings by The Lawrence Welk Show.
1968- The Rolling Stones release the song Jumping Jack Flash.
50 Anniv. 1969- John Schlesinger’s film Midnight Cowboy premiered. The first X-rated film to ever win the Oscar for Best Film. “ Hey! I’m walking here!”
1977- The premiere of George Lucas’ movie Star Wars. The movie opened on the 28th. After Universal passed, Twentieth Century Fox picked up the distribution but let the backend go to Lucas, because they didn't think the film would do any serious business. Even George Lucas didn’t expect the film to break even. Fox's market research department told studio head Alan Ladd Jr: a. don't make this movie; no one will go see a science fiction movie; and b. change the title; no one will go see a movie with "War" in the title. Fox executives had predicted the studios monster hit for that summer would be "Dirty Mary and Crazy Larry" with Peter Fonda and Susan George.
Star Warswas a monster hit. It was like there were no other movies playing that summer. It sold out Grauman’s Chinese in Hollywood 50 weeks in a row. George Lucas became a seriously rich man and developed THX sound, digital animation and Industrial Light and Magic special effects. The film’s popularity ran so ahead of expectations, that at Christmas when you purchased a Star Wars game you got a box with a pink IOU note in it pledging to get you the game when they printed more.
1979- Ridley Scott's sci-fi classic Alienopened. It featured the exotic designs of Swiss artist Giger, and John Hurt with a classic case of chest pains!
1983- Return of the Jediopened. It was originally Revenge of the Jedi, but George Lucas changed the name just a month before.