Birthdays: King Louis XI of France "the Spider King"1423, Franz Kafka, Mr. Preserved Fish -New York Congressman 1819, Dave Barry, Leos Janacek, John Singleton Copley, Ken Russell, Tom Stoppard, George Sanders, Peter Fountain, Tom Cruise is 57, Kevin Hart is 39
1931- The Cab Calloway Orchestra recorded 'The St. James Infirmary Blues."
1937- In California the Del Mar Racetrack opened. Owner Bing Crosby personally welcomed the first customers to his track.
1943- Chuck Jones short Wackiki Rabbitdebuted.
1946- Millionaire aviator Howard Hughes crashed an experimental airplane into four homes in Beverly Hills. Hughes had crashed planes before without much injury, but this crash left him near death. His slow recuperation left him with a lifetime addiction to morphine and codeine.
1969- Brian Jones, having been kicked out of the Rolling Stones just days before -- drowned in his swimming pool. His home was once the estate of Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne.
1969- On the same day, John and Yoko Lennon were almost killed in a car crash, along with John's son Julian and Yoko's daughter Kyoko.
1971- In Sweden, the first laser eye surgery was performed.
1985- Robert Zemeckis’ film Back to the Future opened.