1981 Falcon Crest debuts on CBS.
1974 Brightest fireball ever photographically recorded 10,000 times brighter than a full moon, by Dr. Zdenek Ceplecha, Czechoslovakia.
1971 Smoke On The Water The Montreux Casino, Switzerland, burns to the ground during a set by Frank Zappa. The group Deep Purple, who were recording there at the time, immortalized the event on their next album.
1947 A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams opens in New York. It starred Marlon Brando in his first major role.
1843 Manila paper is patented.
1154 First English pope Nicholas Breakspear is elected assuming the name Adrian IV.
963 Pope John XII The leader of the Roman Catholic Church is temporarily deposed by the Roman Council for his wrongdoings. He is reputed to have gambled and run a brothel.
1964 Marisa Tomei American Oscar-winning actress. Film: My Cousin Vinny (1992, Oscar).
1949 Jeff Bridges American actor. Film: The Last Picture Show (1971) and The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989).
1944 Dennis Wilson d. 1983 American singer, with The Beach Boys. Music: Surfin' USA (1963), I Get Around (1964, #1), Help Me Rhonda, (1965, #1), and Good Vibrations (1966, #1). He drowned while swimming in Marina Del Rey, California; he should have stayed on the beach.
1942 Chris Hillman American musician, with The Byrds. Music: Mr. Tambourine Man (1965, #1) and Turn! Turn! Turn! (1966).
1937 Max Baer Jr American actor. TV: The Beverly Hillbillies (Jethro and his twin sister Jethrine).
1934 Victor French d. 1989 American actor. TV: Little House on the Prairie (Isaiah Edwards) and Highway to Heaven (Mark Gordman).
1925 Maurice Binder he created the titles for most of the James Bond movies.
1921 Deanna Durbin (Edna Mae Durbin), Canadian-born Oscar-winning actress, singer. Film: Three Smart Girls (1936, the success of which helped saved Universal from bankruptcy).
1915 Eddie Heywood d. 1989 American jazz pianist, composed Canadian Sunset.
1912 Gregory "Pappy" Boyington d. 1988 American World War II flying ace. His book Baa Baa Black Sheep (1958) chronicled his days with the Flying Tigers and the The Black Sheep squadrons.
1892 Generalissimo Francisco Franco Bahamonde d. 1975 Spanish dictator (1939-75). "This just in, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead!" (Chevy Chase on SNL).
???? Jethro Bodine fictional character on the TV show The Beverly Hillbillies, as played by Max Baer, Jr.
1993 Frank Zappa b. 1940 (Francis Vincent Zappa Jr.), American Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, leader of The Mothers of Invention. Music: Yellow Snow (1974), Valley Girl (1982), and Jazz From Hell (1987, Grammy).
1993 Frank Sturgis b. 1925 American private investigator. He was one of the Watergate burglars, for which he served 13 months in prison.
1984 John C. Rock b. 1890 American physician. He and Mirian Menkin achieved the first in vitro fertilization of a human ovum (1944) and he co-developed the birth control pill (1956).
1980 Stella Walsh b. 1911 (Stanislawa Walasiewicz), Polish-born Olympic gold medal winner (1932) and the first woman to run the 100-yard dash in under 11 seconds (10.8 sec., 1930). She received more than 5,000 medals and awards. After her death, it was found that she possessed male genitalia and had a mix of male and female chromosomes and characteristics.
1973 Carl Alfred Fuller b. 1885 Canadian-born American businessman. He founded the Fuller Brush Co. (1906) utilizing door-to-door salesman.
1967 Bert Lahr b. 1895 (Irving Lahrheim), American actor. Film: The Wizard of Oz (1939, the Cowardly Lion).
1945 Thomas Hunt Morgan b. 1866 American zoologist. He won a 1933 Nobel Prize for his discovery of the chromosome's role in heredity.
1732 John Gay b. 1685 English poet, best known for The Beggar's Opera (1727).
1334 John XXII b. 1249 (Jacques d'Euse), 196th Pope (1316-34), in 1317 he prohibited the practice of alchemy.
1131 Omar Khayyam b. 1048 Persian poet and mathematician, first to solve the general cubic equation of the third degree.