• On Aug. 14, 1912, the first double-decker bus appears on the streets of New York, traveling up and down Broadway. The double-decker originated in London as a two-story horse-drawn omnibus where passengers climbed onto the roof.
• On Aug. 19, 1921, TV producer Gene Roddenberry, best known as the creator of “Star Trek,” is born in El Paso, Texas. Roddenberry’s sci-fiseries became a cult classic and spawned four television series and nine movies. Following his death at age 70, Roddenberry was one of the first people to be “buried” in space.
• On Aug. 13, 1942, Walt Disney’s classic film “Bambi” premieres at Radio City Music Hall in New York. The company had released its first featurelength animated film, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” in 1937.
• On Aug. 18, 1958, Vladimir Nabokov’s controversial novel “Lolita” is published in the U.S. The novel, about a man’s obsession with a 12-year-old girl, had been rejected by four publishers before G.P. Putnam’s Sons accepted it. The novel became a bestseller that allowed Nabokov to retire from his career as college professor at Wellesley and Cornell.
• On Aug. 15, 1969, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, “An Aquarian Exposition,” opens at Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in upstate New York. Promoters expected the music festival to attract up to 200,000 for the weekend, but nearly a half a million people converged on the concert site.
• On Aug. 15, 1977, popular music icon Elvis Presley dies in Memphis, Tenn. He was 42. Doctors said he died of a heart attack, largely brought on by his addiction to prescription barbiturates, but some labeled it a suicide.
• On Aug. 17, 1987, Rudolf Hess, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s former deputy, is found strangled to death in Spandau Prison in Berlin at the age of 93, apparently the victim of suicide. Hess was the last surviving member of Hitler’s inner circle and the sole prisoner at Spandau since 1966.
(c) 2007 King Features Synd., Inc.