Birthdays: John F. Kennedy, King Charles II (the "Merry Monarch"), Bob Hope, G. K. Chesterton, Patrick Henry, Oswald Spengler, T.H. White, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Josef Von Sternberg, LaToya Jackson, John Hinckley Jr., Al Unser Jr., Beatrice Lilly, Danny Elfman, Annette Bening is 61, Melissa Etheridge is 58, Rupert Everett is 60
1606- Michel Caravaggio the artist shot a man over a tennis match. Caravaggio was a mad-artist before the term was invented. The police records of Rome show the master painter constantly in trouble, seducing man, woman and child, throwing rocks at soldiers, stabbing waiters, etc.
1911 -The first Indianapolis 500
1912- 15 young women were fired by the Curtis Publishing Company for dancing "Turkey Trot" during their lunch break.
1941-THE GREAT WALT DISNEY CARTOONISTS STRIKE.. The picket line and campsite went up across the street where St. Joseph's Hospital is today. Chef's from nearby Toluca Lake restaurants would cook for the strikers on their off time and the aircraft mechanics of Lockheed promised muscle if any ruff stuff was threatened.
Picketers included Hank Ketcham (Dennis the Menace), Walt Kelly and Margaret Selby (later Kelly) (Pogo), Bill Melendez (A Charlie Brown Christmas), Steve Bosustow and John Hubley (Mr. Magoo), Maurice Noble and Chuck Jones (What's Opera Doc?), George Baker (Sad Sack), Dick Swift ("the Parent Trap") Frank Tashlin (Cinderfella) Ade Woolery (Playhouse), and four hundred others. Animators from Warner Bros. MGM and Walter Lantz marched with their Disney brothers and sisters, because they knew this was where the fate of their entire industry would be settled. Celebrities like Dorothy Parker and John Garfield gave speeches. The studio claimed no one of importance was on strike.
The strike was eventually settled by Federal arbitration and a little arm twisting by the Bank of America. Many of the artists who left the studio afterwards set up U.P.A. and pioneered the modern 1950's style.
1942- JOHN BARRYMORE- The great dramatic actor, the first American to dare to play Hamlet in England, died of his many vices at age 60. Whether the infamous prank actually happened where Raoul Walsh, Bertholdt Brecht, Peter Lorre, W.C. Fields and some others (the "Bundy Drive Boys") kidnapped Barrymore's body from Pierce Brothers Funeral Home and propped it up at the poker table to scare the willys out of Errol Flynn is a matter of debate. Flynn and Paul Heinried said it was true, writer Gene Fowler said it was false. .
John Barrymore's last words were to screenwriter Gene Fowler:
"Say Gene, isn't it true you are an illegitimate son of Buffalo Bill?"
1942- Bing Crosby recorded "White Christmas," debatably the greatest selling record of all time.
1954- New York Police raid the studio of Irving Klaw, the photographer of the Betty Page kinky pin-up photos. Klaw tried to appeal to the Supreme Court but couldn’t get a hearing.
1956- Hollywood director James Whale (Frankenstein, The Invisible Man) drowned in his pool. His career was over and his health was deteriorating from a series of strokes. Bruises were found on his head and at first the police suspected foul play. It wasn’t until 1989 his gay partner made his suicide note public. His head had struck the pool’s bottom as he jumped in causing the bruise.
1973 - Columbia Records fired president Clive Davis for misappropriating
$100, 000 in funds, Davis then founded Arista records.
1987 –pop singer Michael Jackson attempted to buy the XIX century remains of Joseph Meredith a.k.a. the Elephant Man.
1999- Hikers in Malibu California discover the remains of Phillip Taylor, the bass guitar player of the 60’s band Iron Butterfly. The musician had disappeared four years before. Now his skeleton was found sitting in his Ford Aerostar at the bottom of a steep ravine.