Birthdays: John Brown, James M. Barrie the creator of Peter Pan, Henry J. Kaiser of Kaiser Aluminum, Frank Frazetta, Glenda Jackson is 83, Billy Joel, Candice Bergen is 73, Mike Wallace, Pancho Gonzales, James L. Brooks, Rosario Dawson, John Corbett, Albert Finney is 83
1662- London diarist Samuel Pepys noted today he first saw a Punch & Judy puppet show in Convent Garden.
1754- THE FIRST NEWSPAPER CARTOON- Ben Franklin in his Pennsylvania Gazette prints a drawing of a segmented snake with each piece named for a colony with the inscription: Join or Die. (Okay, it's not Calvin and Hobbs, but it's a start).
1887- Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show did its first performance in Europe. In London the English public, several European kings and writer Oscar Wilde thrilled to displays of trick riding, wild red Indians, cowboys and little Annie Oakley the trick shooter.
1932 – London’s Piccadilly Circus first lit by electricity.
1935- The First Belch heard on nationwide radio. Melvin Purvis (the FBI man who killed John Dillinger) was doing an ad for Fleischmann’s Yeast when he committed the offense, which was dubbed “The Burp Heard Round the World”.
1937- ACTOR’S SHOWDOWN WITH L.B. MAYER- In a dramatic confrontation the heads of the Screen Actor’s Guild Robert Montgomery and Franchot Tone go to MGM boss Louis B. Mayer’s beach house during a Sunday garden party. While IATSE-Capone mob gangster Willie Bioff stood by to give Mayer support, Montgomery told Mayer he had a 96% strike vote from the actors, so if Mayer didn’t recognize SAG as the sole bargaining agent for actors they would paralyze Hollywood Monday morning!
Mayer thought about it, then gave in. Bioff got from the actors a deal that the IA would back off if the actors would withdraw their support from a rival union to IATSE’s organizing the behind the scene’s technical artists. That night 5,600 actors and friends celebrated at Hollywood Legion Stadium. Next morning 200 waited in line to get their SAG cards including Garbo and Jean Harlow.
1937- Burne Hogarth began drawing the Tarzan comic strip.Hal Foster had been in contract negotiations with the syndicate over money and the right to his originals. He had created Prince Valiant as a bargaining chip when the syndicate called his bluff by giving the Tarzan job to Hogarth. Foster went on to greater glory with Valiant but remained angry at Burne.
1955- HAPPY BIRTHDAY KERMIT THE FROG! Washington D.C. station puts on a young Univ of Maryland grad named Jim Henson as filler before the TODAY Show. He antics with his green frog called Kermit, fashioned from fabric from one of his mothers old green coats. The Muppets are born.
1961- John F. Kennedy's newly appointed head of the FCC, Newton Minow, did his first major address to a luncheon of top television executives. In his speech he blasted them for TV’s mindless content and violence. He called television: " A Vast Wasteland."
What makes it historic is it's the first time anybody had noticed just how lousy TV is and how badly we are all addicted to it. In the show Gilligan’s Island, the boat they were on was named the Minnow for Newton Minnow.