1836 - Texas declared its independence from Mexico. Felt smothered.
1917 – Desi Arnaz (Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III), Cuban-born actor and bandleader (d. 1986).
Back in the day, studios considered the use of film an unnecessary extravagance. Desi set up a deal, that Desilu would cover the costs associated with the filming process, under the stipulation that Desilu owned/controlled all rights to the film. Arnaz's arrangement is considered to be one of the shrewdest deals in tv history. Smart. Too bad so much of our television history was lost.
1917 - Puerto Ricans granted US Citizenship as President Wood Wilson signed the Jones-Shafroth Act.
1930 - Age 44, D.H. Lawrence dies in France. He is later exhumed, cremated and brought here to Nuevo Mexico, DH Lawrence Ranch near Taos. I’ve never been, but Iris Murdoch has.
1933 – The film King Kong opens at New York's Radio City Music Hall.
1978 - Two men steal the corpse of Sir Charles Chaplin from a cemetery in Switzerland, body-snatching a la machina. Chaplin died on Christmas Day in 1977, at the decrepit age of 88; his wife was like, 10. Two months later his body was stolen, sparking detectives on a mad cap adventure to find the culprits, and his body. Why was he in Switzerland? Good question. Ima tell you. He had settled in Switzerland in 1952 after he was accused of "un-American activities“, a suspected communist sympathizer. The Little Tramp was being denied a reentry visa to the U.S. He was a bad-ass filmmaker whose career spanned the silent era to talkies. Why did we play him like that? Not cool McCarthy, not cool.
Anywho, after a five-week investigation, police arrested two auto mechanics William Abbott and Louis F.Costello, who led them to Chaplin’s body in a cornfield. I wish you into a cornfield. So, yeah that happened today. Plus, vaudevillians rock.
1982 – Philip K. Dick, American author passed into the collective unconscious(b. 1928) Upon a recommendation from Nick Brown, I read, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, and found it to be the most totally awesomest book in the world. The presence of pure evil. Scared me so bad, I stopped doing drugs. Unless someone has some Chew-Z?