Today in History: Oct. 10

John Wesley Hyatt of Albany, New York, was granted a patent for his method of manufacturing billiard balls on this date in 1865. In the search for billiard ball materials other than ivory, Hyatt had invented celluloid, which was found to have many other uses in subsequent decades.

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Orson Welles died on this date in 1985. He had recorded one final talk show appearance the evening of October 9, with Merv Griffin, returned home, and took up typing directions for the next day’s filming. He was found slumped over his typewriter the morning of October 10. Merv Griffin later recounted that Welles had come to him before the interview and told him to “ask me anything” and they taped more than the usual two segments. He wanted to talk:

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Yul Brynner died on this date in 1985 as well.

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Giuseppe Verdi was born 203 years ago today. Helen Hayes was born in 1900 on this date. Alberto Giacometti was born on this date in 1901. Ed Wood of Poughkeepsie, New York, was born in 1924 on this date. Harold Pinter was born on this date in 1930. Kirsty MacColl was born in 1959 on this date.

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Peter Coyote is 75 today. Ben Vereen is 70. John Prine is 70. Jessica Harper is 67. David Lee Roth is 62. Tanya Tucker is 58. Brett Favre is 47. Evgeny Kissin is 45.

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