Friday 19th November 1954
Sammy Davis, Jr., a member of the “Rat Pack”, was involved in a serious auto accident in San Bernardino, California as he was making a return trip from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. The accident occurred at a fork in Route 66 at Cajon Boulevard and Kendall Drive. Davis lost his left eye three days later as a result. Davis wore an eye patch for at least six months following the accident. He appeared on TV’s What’s My Line wearing the patch. Later, he was fitted for an artificial glass eye, which he wore for the rest of his life. While in the hospital, Davis’ friend, performer Eddie Cantor, told him about the similarities between the Jewish and black cultures, and later Davis converted to the Jewish faith. He later referred to the accident as the turning point of his career.