Miles Davis played club dates, stranded between his first and second great quintets following the departure of John Coltrane.
Marilyn Monroe, disillusioned with fame yet planning new movies, died of a barbiturate overdose at her home in Los Angeles.
Edmund Hillary published High Adventure, an account of his successful ascent of Everest.
Raymond Carver left the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he had drunk often (and worked occasionally) with fellow alcoholic John Cheever, hoping that a change of location would help him sober up.
Siddharta Gautama attained enlightenment following 49 days of meditation, after which he was known to followers as the Buddha.
Marie Curie was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for her researches on radiation.
J.M.W Turner completed Hannibal Crossing The Alps; contemporary critics branded his impressionistic landscapes as “pictures of nothing, and very like.”
Woody Guthrie wrote Deportee, after reading a newspaper report of the death of 28 Mexican farm workers in a plane crash at Los Gatos, California.
Billie Holiday, battling drug addiction, starred in a 15 minute short with a 12-year-old piano prodigy, Frank ‘Sugar Chile’ Robinson.
Bob Dylan finished the Rolling Thunder Revue tour, having released his 17th album Desire; it went to number one in the Billboard Pop Albums chart.
Dorothea Lange traveled to New Mexico with her husband and two children, frustrated that family life had limited her photography.
Gertrude Stein continued to encounter difficulty in selling her writing to publishers, despite critical acclaim for her first novel Three Lives.
Dylan Thomas began work on Under Milk Wood, having completed his first American tour; shortly afterwards he dropped it to script a film for the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company.