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Birthdaze: King Louis XI of France "the Spider King" 1423- dramatized by Hugo in the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Franz Kafka, Cartoonist Dave Barry, Composer Leos Janacek, Artist John Singleton Copley, Director Ken Russell, playright Tom Stoppard, George Saunders the voice of Sher-Khan in Disney's The Jungle Book, Peter Fountain, Tom Cruise is 44

Today is the Feast day of Saint Thomas the Apostle, “Doubting-Thomas,” the patron saint of architects.

1863-Pickett's Charge, the climax of the battle of Gettysburg. Disney animator Mark Henn, when not doing beautiful animation on films like Little Mermaid and Lilo and Stitch, is a Civil War buff. He participated in the 125th recreation of Picketts CHarge in Pennsylvania in 1987. Check out his historical paintings and sculptures of the period at

1898-Battle of Santiago Harbor- U.S. fleet under Admiral Sampson defeated the Spanish in Cuba. The U.S fleet so heavily outgunned the Spanish ships that the Spanish admiral is remembered at home as a hero for even attempting the fight to keep up the national honor. James Stuart Blackton, the first American animator, was down in Cuba with other correspondents covering the war. He went back to New York and claimed to have live, eyewitness movie footage of the battle. Of course, he didn't, so he faked it on a set with toy boats, sparklers and cigar smoke. Since no one had seen real footage yet, he got away with it. Blackton added to his resume by inventing the movie newsreel.

1931- The Cab Calloway Orchestra recorded 'The St. James Infirmary Blues."

1971- Rock singer Jim Morrison 28, found dead of a heart attack in his bathtub in Paris.

1978- The Supreme Court upheld the FCC’s reprimand of N.Y. Pacifica radio station WBAI’s airing of a George Carlin comedy routine called the “7 Deadly Words”, reciting expletives you cannot say on radio or television even today.