Sunday, August 25, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 25, 2019


Birthdays:  King Ludwig II the Mad of Bavaria, Walt Kelly, Bret Hart, Lola Montez (flamenco dancing mistress of Ludwig I, King of Bavaria), Alan Pinkerton, Elvis Costello is 66, Clara Bow, Ruby Keeler, Monty Hall, Van Johnson, Willis Reed, Frederick Forsythe, Wayne Shorter, Billy Ray Cyrus, Dr. Bruno Bettleheim, Rolly Fingers, Gene Simmons, Anne Archer, Tim Burton is 61, Sean Connery is 89, supermodel Claudia Schiffer is 48, Leonard Bernstein



1835- The New York Sun newspaper ran a story that British astronomer Sir William Herschel, the discoverer of Neptune, had observed little men living on the surface of the Moon!  The story proved false, but it boosted the sales of the paper.

1970- A young singer named Elton John did his first US tour, opening at the Troubadour in LA.

1980- The premiere of the Broadway musical version of the classic movie 42nd Street. In a moment of Broadway melodrama producer David Merrick came out on stage and startled the cast and audience by announcing that the director of the play Gower Champion had died that very day. 42nd Street went on to be a smash hit. The play itself is about a Broadway director who works himself to death creating a hit musical.

1991- At the Emmy ceremony, comic Gilbert Gottfried upset the audience by a flood of masturbation jokes about Pee Wee Herman. Fox Network apologized the next day.

2001-Beautiful 22 year old R&B singer Alleiya was killed, when her overloaded chartered plane crashed on the island of Abaco in the Bahamas.




Saturday, August 24, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 24, 2019


Birthdays: Jorge Luis Borges, William Wilberforce, Marlee Matlin, Yasir Arafat, Max Beerbom, Cal Ripken Jr, Joshua Lionel Cowan the inventor of Lionel toy electric trains, Kenny Baker-C3PO in Star Wars, Stephen Fry is 62, Durward Kirby- 1960s T.V. announcer, Duke Kahanamoku-1890- Olympic medalist who popularized the Hawaiian sport of Surfing. Kirk Wise, Dave Chappelle is 46, Steve Guttenberg is 61

1847 - Charlotte Bronte finished the manuscript of her novel "Jane Eyre".

1853 – Saratoga Springs hotel resort chef George Crum invented Potato Chips, or crisps.

1939- Mr. Leslie Mitchell became the first British Television announcer.


1942- Walt Disney’s film Saludos Amigos received its world premiere in Rio De Janiero.

1951- Akira Kurosawa’s film Rashomon premiered at the Venice International Film Festival. The film won the Grand Prize and first showed the world that Japanese Cinema was a new creative force in the film world.

1966- The effects fantasy Fantastic Voyage directed by Richard Fleischer opened. The submarine in the film was designed by Harper Goff, who designed the Nautilus for Walt Disney’s Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea, also directed by Richard Fleischer, the son of Max Fleischer.

1973- One month after Bruce Lee’s death, his last film Enter The Dragon opened in the US to wild acclaim. It renewed interest in the late star and helped spawn the Chinese Martial Arts craze in the US.

1993- LAPD announced an investigation of pop star Michael Jackson for possible child molestation. The investigation never led to any indictments but the publicity tarnished his image. Equally damaging to his public image were revelations of his eccentric lifestyle, like his keeping chimps and mannequins around the house to talk to, and all the tap water and showers of his mansion spouting Evian water. Jackson was tried and acquitted of all charges in 2005.

1995- Microsoft's Windows 95 introduced.

1997- According to the 1984 James Cameron film The Terminator this was the day the Skynet computer system became self aware, and began the War of the Day of Judgement.

2011- Washington D.C. and much of the east coast was shaken by an earthquake. The first in 121 years. Californians were told not to laugh too hard.

2011- Steve Jobs announced he was resigning his positions at Apple, Pixar and Disney due to his failing health.


Thursday, August 22, 2019

Animation fun facts for Aug 22, 2019


Birthdays: George Herriman the creator of Krazy Kat, Dorothy Parker, Claude DeBussy, Johnny Lee Hooker, Denis Papin 1647 inventor of the Pressure Cooker, Leni Reifenstahl, General Stormin’ Norman Schwarzkopf, Paul Molitor, Bill Parcells, Max Vilander, Carl “Big Yaz”Yazstremski, Dyanna Nyad, Deng Xiao Ping, Henry Cartier Bresson, Valerie Harper, Cindy Williams, Ray Bradbury, Kristen Wiig is 46

1611- Galileo made a group of Venetian senators and noblemen climb to the top of Saint Marks Basilica in Venice with him to demonstrate to them the new invention, the telescope.

1715 – Handel’s "Watermusic" premiered on the Thames River to mark celebrations of the Peace ending the War of Spanish Succession. 

1806- elderly French painter Jean Fragonard died of a cerebral seizure after eating a large fruit ice on a hot day..

1882- American showman P.T. Barnum bought the largest elephant in the London Zoo. He created a new name for the beast- he called it JUMBO. It was the highlight of his circus for years. After Jumbo was hit by a freight train and killed, PT Barnum had its bones bleached and charged people admission to come look at its skeleton.

1906 - 1st Victor Victrola manufactured, using Emile Berliners flat record turntable system. The Victrola was so cheap and easy to use it became standard in many homes and finished off any competition from Thomas Edison’s rival talking cylinder system.

1929- Walt Disney’s Silly Symphony The Skeleton Dancepremiered. The tight dancing synch inspired a generation of animators. 

1935- Father Charles Coughlin, “the Radio Priest” addressed ten thousand in Madison Square Gardens. At the height of his popularity almost one third the American public tuned into his weekly radio address. But as his influence waned after the 1936 presidential elections. He turned increasingly to racist Anti-Semitic hate mongering and soon faded away.

1942- Tex Avery’s first cartoon for MGM, The Blitz Wolf.


Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 21, 2019


Birthdays: Christopher Robin Milne-1920, King Phillip II Augustus of France- 1165, King William IV of England- 1765, Aubrey Beardsley, Count Basie, Wilt (Wilt the Stilt) Chamberlain, Friz Freleng, Kenny Rogers, Princess Margaret, Matthew Broderick, Vance Gerry, Peter Weir is 75, Kim Catrall is 63, Carrie Anne Moss is 52

1887- Mighty (Dan) Casey struck out at his last at bat with the NY Giants. The poem by Ernest Lawrence Thayer was written many years later.

1911- CafĂ© waiter Vincenzo Perugia walked into the Louvre and stole the Mona Lisa.  After trying to fence it for two years, he tried to ransom it back. He was arrested and the painting recovered.

1912- Arthur Eldred of Oceanside New York became the first Eagle scout. 


1921- On his first birthday, Christopher Robin Milne was given a Farrell teddy bear from Harrods. His parents first called it Edward, but when he could speak Christopher Robin named it Winnie, after Winnipeg, his favorite bear he saw at the London zoo. The child would also mention the name of a swan there he liked named Pooh. This gave his dad A.A. Milne a neat idea for a new book.

1922 – The Curly Lambeau & Green Bay Football Club formed in 1919 was granted an NFL franchise. Foreigners have pondered the Great American Mystery: Why are the Packers the only US football team not situated near a major American City? That is because at a time when professional football was in its infancy, a Green Bay meat packing company paid for the team’s uniforms.

1929- Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo marry.

1930- Pardon Us,the first feature length film starring Laurel & Hardy. In 1926, Hal Roach director Leo McCarey noticed the Briton Stan Laurel and Georgia born singer Oliver Hardy looked funny together, and put them in a series of shorts. Laurel & Hardy became one of the greatest comedy teams in film history. 

1935- Big band leader Benny Goodman was having a tough time. His band lost its radio gig when the show Let’s Dance was canceled. So he and his musicians drove across the country in a small caravan of cars playing various venues on the road. They were told in small towns to stop playing that newfangled Swing music and stick to old standards. One manager in Denver told him:” Don’t you guys know any waltzes? ” By the time they arrived in Los Angeles this day they were thoroughly demoralized. But today when they set up in the Palomar Ballroom in Hollywood the crowd was immense! And these kids wanted to jitterbug to the new Swing music! 

1944- Moviestar James Cagney, star of Yankee Doodle Dandy, was cleared of charges of Communism. The accusations probably had less to do with Cagney's politics and more to do with his actor’s union activism, and his fighting in court the restrictive personal contracts studios put their stars under. 

1972 - Rock singer Grace Slick was sprayed with mace by police after one of her band called the cops pigs.


1987- The movie Dirty Dancingopened.


1995- Bill Gates announced Microsoft Windows 95.


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 20, 2019


Birthdays: President Benjamin Harrison, Sukenoba Nishikawa, Bernardo O’Higgins, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, H.P. Lovecraft, Art Tatum, Issac Hayes, Connie Chung, Jacqueline Susanne, Rajiv Ghandi, Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, Joan Allen is 63, Fred Durst, Alan Reed -the original voice of Fred Flintstone, Slobodan Milosovic’, Amy Adams is 45

1882 -Peter Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" premiered in Moscow. The composer said of all his works the two pieces he liked the least were the 1812 Overture and the Nutcracker Suite. Overture 1812 was Richard Nixon’s favorite classical piece.

1972- Star Hollywood directors Francis Ford Coppola, Peter Bogdanovich and William Friedkin announced a partnership in a new production company called "The Director's Company". Young punks Martin Scorsese, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg were also involved. The partnership lasted two years then collapsed.


1982- Ralph Bakshi's film Hey Good Lookin'.

1989- George and Joy Adamson, the naturalists who inspired the book Born Free, were murdered by Somali poachers with machetes in Kampi Ya Simba, Africa.

1994- Studio head Jeffrey Katzenberg resigned from the Walt Disney Company.


Monday, August 19, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 19, 2019


B-Days: Roman Emperor Probus (232AD), Orville Wright, Ring Lardner, Ogden Nash, Alfred Lunt, George Enesco, jockey Willie Shoemaker, Malcolm Forbes, Tipper Gore, Gene Roddenberry, Colleen Moore the It Girl, Jill St. John, Ginger Baker, Dawn Steel, John Stamos, Peter Gallagher is 63, Kyra Sedgwick is 54, Matthew Perry is 50, Jonathan Frakes is 67, Bill Clinton is 73

1692- Salem Mass, The pilgrims executed four people as witches. One was a senile old woman who just looked scary like a witch, and another was a Caribbean servant named Tituba who liked to tell children ghost stories. One Rev George Burroughs, was a distant ancestor of Walt Disney.

1886- Joseph Conrad got his British citizenship. The author of Nostromo, Heart of Darkness, and Lord Jim was born in Poland as Jozef Konrad Korzenieowski, but he went into exile when his nationalist father was arrested by the Czars police and sent to Siberia.

1909- The Brickyard is born. The first Indianapolis 500 autorace.

1929-  the Amos and Andy show premiered on radio.

1955 - WINS radio, announces it will not play "copy" white cover versions of black R&B.  DJs must play Fats Domino's "Ain't It A Shame," not Pat Boone's. In 1957 Little Richards “Tuttie-Fruitie” never got higher than 17thin the Billboard Charts while Pat Boones version, by his own admission awful, went to number one.

1973 - Kris Kristofferson wed Rita Coolidge.

1977- Groucho Marx, the last surviving Marx Brother, died at age 86. In his final years Groucho had rewrote his will in favor of his young personal secretary Erin Fleming. This spawned a furious legal battle between Fleming and the Marx family.

2004- Google stock first went public on the stock market.

2012- Director Tony Scott (Top Gun, Days of Thunder) jumped to his death off a bridge in Los Angeles. He was 68.

2335 – According to Star Trek the Next Generation, this is the birthday of William T Riker, in Valdez Alaska, first officer of the Enterprise.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 18, 2019


 Birthdays: Meriwether Lewis, Austrian Emperor Franz Josef II, Leo Slezak, Shelly Winters, Roberto Clemente, Rafer Johnson, Enoch Light, Coco Channel, Roman Polanski is 85, Patrick Swayze, Madeleine Stowe, Christian Slater, Edward Norton is 51, Martin Mull, Denis Leary is 62, Robert Redford, born Charles Robert Redford Jr, is 83

1939- The movie The Wizard of Ozreleased and made a star of Judy Garland. Frank Morgan, the actor playing the Wizard, needed to wear a shabby old coat so a studio costume designer went through some L.A. thrift stores until she found the good candidate. When Morgan looked in the lining he discovered the coat was previously owned by L.Frank Baum, creator of the Oz stories.  Morgan was first president of the Screen Actor's Guild, but stepped down when he was considered too lefty to work with the Roosevelt administration. Lyricist Yip Harburg (Somewhere over the Rainbow ) was later blacklisted as a communist. "And yer little dog, too!!"

1953- The first MacDonalds franchise restaurant opened in Downey California. 

1955- Folksinger Pete Seeger appeared before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. He refused to cooperate, and was blacklisted. But he still managed to have a successful career on the folk scene, and appeared on TV in 1967. 

1956- Actress Vivien Leigh suffered a mental breakdown after a miscarriage.

1958 - "Lolita," by Vladimir Nabokov, published. The novel was rejected by four publishers before Putnams picked it up. It became a best seller and allowed Nabokov to quit teaching and focus on writing.

1958 – The TV Game Show Scandal investigation starts. Allegations that popular quiz shows like 21 were rigged turned out to be true.

1962 - Peter, Paul & Mary release their famous folk song "If I Had a Hammer".

1969- Woody Allen’s first movie “ Take the Money and Run”, opened. 


1969- The closing day of the Woodstock Rock Concert, Jimmy Hendrix did his famous rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Of the original 500,000 attendees, many were already headed home. Only 30,000 stragglers were left to hear him. Originally scheduled instead of Hendrix , was old cowboy Roy Rogers, to sing his signature tune “ Happy Trails to You..”

1974- The Xerox Company decided not to seriously market the Alto, the first personal computer that had a GUI, ethernet and mouse, long before anyone else. Xerox decided to stick with copying machines and let go of many of their Palo Alto development team Xerox PARC. Most of their breakthroughs wound up in other computers like the Lisa, Macintosh and the IBM PC.

1977- The rock band the Police make their debut in a Birmingham nightclub. The lead singer Gordon Sumner started to get the nickname Sting, from the black & yellow striped shirt he habitually wore.

1990- 510 animators pay tribute to Betty Boop creator Grim Natwick on his 100thBirthday. It was the last big gathering of the Golden Age artists of Hollywood Animation. Chuck Jones, Walter Lantz, Disney’s Nine Old Men, Friz Freleng. 

1999- TV psychic Kriswell predicted that day would be the End of the World.