Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 22, 2019


Birthdays: Sarah Bernhardt, Timothy Leary, Franz Liszt, Doris Lessing, Joan Fontaine, Derek Jacobi, Christopher Lloyd is 81, Annette Funicello, Brian Boitano, Curly Howard of the Three Stooges, Catherine Deneuve is 76, Spike Jonze is 50.

1883- First performance at the New York Metropolitan Opera House. It was Gounod’s Faust with soprano Christine Nillson and tenor Italo Campanini.      

1938-THE BIRTHDAY OF THE XEROX COPY- Chester Carlson working with an amateur chemistry set behind a beauty parlor in Astoria Queens, created the first photo copy. He took his invention to Edison, G.E., RCA and IBM who all rejected it. Finally a little firm that produced photographic paper for Kodak called the Haloid Company bought it. They later changed their named to Xerox.  


1962- Twentieth Century Fox chief Daryl Zanuck fired long suffering director Joe Mankiewicz off of the editing of the spectacle Cleopatra. Mankiewicz had shot a 6 hour movie he wanted shown as two films. Zanuck wanted one big movie at half that size. After a lot of embarrassing feuding in the press, Zanuck rehired Mankiewicz and he recut Cleopatra, When Elizabeth Taylor saw the finished film, she threw up. 
Cleopatra became one of the biggest disasters in Hollywood History.  

1962- At the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis a stand up comic named Vaughn Meador recorded a comedy album called The First Family. It made lighthearted fun of John F. Kennedy and his White House. The record became the fastest selling hit of the pre-Beatles era, 7.5 million copies. Jackie called Meador a rat, but JFK thought it was funny and gave out copies as Christmas presents. He said Meador’s impersonation sounded more like his brother Teddy than him.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Oct 21, 2019


Birthdays: Dizzy Gillespie, Whitey Ford, Alfred Nobel, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Mary Blair, Carrie Fisher, Patty Davis (Reagan's daughter), Benjamin Netanyahu, Sir Malcolm Arnold, Manfred Mann, Sir Georg Solti, Angus McFadyen, Ken Watanabe is 60, Kim Kardasian is 39.


1879- Thomas Edison announced the invention of the Light Bulb. After experimenting with dozens of different type filaments in a vacuum, Thomas Edison perfected the light bulb with carbonized cotton. He and his crew stared at the glowing bulb for 40 hours to make sure it was really worked.
     
1932- The film Red Dust premiered. It made stars out of Clark Gable and Jean Harlow.

1959- Six months after the death of Frank Lloyd Wright his last creation the Guggenheim Museum in New York City opened.

1969- Beat Generation author of On the Road- Jacques Kerouac died of alcoholism and stomach bleeding, a pencil and pad on his lap. He grew bitter about how his call for youth rebellion had been reinterpreted by the 60's generation as hippies and flower power. When he came upon a gathering of kids at an anti-war rally distributing American flags to burn, Kerouac collected them all and folded them neatly.

1972- Curtis Mayfield’s soundtrack theme to the movie “Superfly” debuted at Number #1 in the Billboard charts.

2003- The Great California Brush Fires. Hot dry wind and a lost hunter ignited the worst brush fires in California history. Ten fires from Ventura County north of Los Angeles to Tijuana Mexico burned hundreds of thousands of acres for two weeks, destroyed 3000 homes and killed 20. The smoke clouds were visible from space.

2015- According to Robert Zemeckis 1989 film Back to the Future II, all the events Marty McFly and Doc Brown experience in the future occur on this date. Got your hoverboard, yet?


Sunday, October 20, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 20, 2019


Birthdays: Sir Christopher Wren, Bela Lugosi (born Bela Blasgow from Lugosz), Charles Ives, Arthur Rimbaud, Daniel Sickles, Black Panther Bobby Seale, Juan Marichal, Tom Petty, Art Buchwald, Arlene Francis, Grandpa Jones, Mickey Mantle, Frank Churchill, Thomas Newman, Jerry Ohrbach, Rex Ingram, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Michael Dunn, Snoop Dogg (born Calvin Broadus Jr) is 48, Danny Boyle is 63, Viggo Mortensen is 61

1921- Rudolf Valentino starred in The Sheik, which premiered today.

1939- Frank Capra’s film “Mr Smith Goes to Washington” opened.

1947- 'ARE YOU NOW OR HAVE YOU EVER BEEN...' Judge J. Parnell Thomas banged the gavel opening the House Committee on Un-American Activities investigation into Communist infiltration into the Motion Picture Business. HUAC was set up in 1938 as the Dies Committee to keep an eye on pro-Nazis groups operating in German and Italian immigrant organizations, but by 1944 it's emphasis had switched to Communist espionage. Investigations of the army or top civil servants like Dean Acheson was dull stuff, New Deal hating conservatives knew investigating Hollywood would yield the big headlines and jazz up public interest. 

Jack Warner, Louis B. Mayer, Ronald Reagan and Walt Disney were the first in line to name names. Lucille Ball, Sterling Hayden, Zero Mostel, Ginger Rogers, Ed Wynn, Howard da Silva, and Lloyd Bridges admitted they had once held communist party memberships. The anti-commie hysteria turned Hollywood inside out and the bitter feelings remained for the rest of their lives. 



1951- the CBS Eye logo made its debut. Creative director Bill Golden was inspired when he drove through Pennsylvania Dutch country. He became intrigued by the hex symbols resembling the human eye that were painted on Shaker barns. In show biz slang CBS is still referred to as The Eye.

1955- Harry Belafonte recorded the Banana Boat Song, that made him a star. “ Come Mister Tally-Man, tally me bananas…Dayo!”

1955- J.R.R. Tolkein’s last book of the Lord of the Rings published. The Return of the King.

1973- The Six Million Dollar Man with Lee Majors premiered.


1977- Lynyrd Skynyrd band members Ronnie Van Zandt and Steve Gaines died when their plane crashed into a swamp while en route to a concert at Louisiana University.

1991- The Oakland California Firestorm. Drought and Diablo wind conditions fanned a blaze in the East Bay hills that destroyed 3,000 buildings and killed 25 people.

2013- Saving Mr. Banks with Tom Hanks as Walt Disney, premiered.


Saturday, October 19, 2019

Animations Fun Facts for Oct. 19, 2019


Birthdays: Martha "Patsy" Jefferson, Auguste Lumiere, John Le Carre', Peter Tosh, Amy Carter, Jack Anderson, Peter Max, John Lithgow is 74, Robert Reed of the Brady Bunch, Evander Holyfield, Patricia Ireland, Michael Gambon is 79, John Favreau is 53, Trey Parker of South Park is 49

1845- Richard Wagners’ opera Tannhauser premiered.

1945- N.C. Wyeth, artist and father of Andrew Wyeth, was struck and killed by a train.

1953 – Arthur Godfrey had one of the more popular TV variety shows at the time. One of his headliners was the singer Julius LaRosa. But Godfrey was seen to act more and more imperiously with his cast and crew. This day after a song, Godfrey put his arm around LaRosa and said gently. "Julie lacks humility, So, Julie, to teach you a lesson, you’re fired!" La Rosa and the audience first thought he was kidding but he wasn’t. He had fired LaRosa live, nationwide on the air.

1957- Montreal Hockey great Maurice Rocket Richard became the first player to score 500 goals. 

1964- Doo Wah Diddy Diddy hit the pop charts.

1968- RUPERT MURDOCH INVADED ENGLAND. Never mind the Vikings or William the Conqueror, on this day the little Australian landed at Heathrow to begin a takeover war for his first English newspaper, the News of the World. Until now the Fleet Street press barons were a closed club of rich old gentlemen. Murdoch used Sir Robert Caro as his cover to get in and defeat a hostile takeover bid from Robert Maxwell. He then demoted Caro out of his leadership of the paper. He soon bought the London Times. Rupert Murdoch later became a U.S. citizen so he could build the Fox News and cable TV empires.



1985- Take on Me by Aha hit number one on the pop charts.


1990- Kevin Costner’s film Dances With Wolves premiered.

 


Friday, October 18, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 18, 2019



FEAST OF ST. LUKE. According to ancient sources Luke was actually a physician, but Medieval tradition made him the protector of artists. This is because John of Damascus claimed to have seen Luke draw paintings of the Madonna. In Rome during the Renaissance Titian, Michelangelo, Rubens and El Greco were members of the Guild of St. Luke and paid union dues.

1896- Joseph Pulitzer's N.Y. Journal American created the first Sunday Color Comics supplement.

1922- The British Broadcast Corp or BBC formed.

1926- In Hollywood Sid Grauman's Egyptian Theater opens.

1931- Thomas Edison died peacefully at age 84. His last words were-
"It's beautiful over there..." 

1946- Walt Disney premiered The Story of Menstruation.

1950- In a heated and emotional showdown in the Directors Guild all motions by C.B. DeMille and Frank Capra to extend the Hollywood anti-Communist blacklist to include expulsion from the Director's Guild were defeated. Billy Wilder, John Huston, John Ford and Mervyn LeRoy supported President Joe Mankiewicz who blocked the Blacklist Motions, and they also prevented a recall vote on Mankiewicz' s presidency.

1954- Hi & Lois comic strip debuted.


1967- Walt Disney's last cartoon done under his supervision "the Jungle Book." premiered. Disney had died the previous December. If you remember the film the end sequence Mowgli meets four vultures who talk like the Beatles but sing barbershop quartet. That’s because the characters were supposed to sing a Beatles parody song but Walt felt the group would soon be forgotten so he didn't want to date the film.

1974- Tobe Hooper's low budget cult film Texas Chainsaw Massacre first opened. Despite one film critic calling it " a bunch of sick crap" it became a huge hit. 

1982- President Reagan said during a radio address:" My Fellow Americans, the economy is in a helluva mess....this microphone isn't on, is it?.." 

1984- Handsome young television star John Eric Hexum died after shooting himself with a prop pistol loaded with blanks. The concussion of compressed air shattered his skull at close range. He was playing at mock- Russian Roulette. His last words were "Lets see if I can do myself in this time!"


Thursday, October 17, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Oct 17, 2019


Birthdays: Arthur Miller, Rita Hayworth, Jean Arthur, Montgomery Clift, Jimmy Breslin, Tom Poston, Gary Puckett, Margot Kidder, Evil Knievel, Jerry Siegel (Superman co-creator), Virgil 'Vip' Partch, Charles Kraft the sliced cheese king, Beverly Garland- star of Attack of the Alligator People, George Wendt, Cameron Mackintosh, Mike Judge is 57, Eminem is 47

1904- In San Francisco, Amadeo & Giovanni Giannini opened the New Bank of Italy, which in 1930 became the Bank of America. Among the 40 or so independent banks in California, Giannini’s bank grew because they encouraged immigrants to put their money in, when Anglo bankers refused to deal with foreigners. After the great San Francisco earthquake they buried the banks total assets in a strongbox in their garden until their building could be rebuilt. The Bank of America grew from that garden to become the largest bank in the U.S. and a major Hollywood financier.

1928- Duke Ellington recorded The Mouche, the Fly.

1965- After a two-year run, the New York Worlds Fair in Flushing Queens officially closed.

1967- The Hippy musical “Hair” opened at the Anspacher Theatre on Broadway.

 1989- In the late afternoon, the BAY AREA EARTHQUAKE- called the Loma Prieta Quake, shook San Francisco and vicinity. For the first time since 1906, fires were seen in the Mission District. The epicenter was a little town called Watsonville. 67 people were killed. California was planning to relieve traffic pressure by building upper levels onto existing freeways systems. When one of these new double deckers, the Cypress Freeway, collapsed, crushing motorists, all such plans were abandoned.
  There was a World Series baseball game under way in Candlestick Park, but miraculously no one was hurt. National TV audiences amazed that local fans laughed at the danger. They chanted to the TV cameras: "Welcome to California!".

1990- IMDB.com, the Internet Movie Data Base started up.

2005- The Colbert Report with Steven Colbert premiered on Comedy Central. ---------------------------

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 16, 20019


Birthdays: Lord Cardigan, Eugene O'Neill, Noah Webster, Dave DeBusschere, David Ben-Gurion, Angela Lansbury is 93, Gunter Grass, Linda Darnell, Charles Colson, Susanne Somers is 73, David Zucker, Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tim Robbins is 61.


1847- Jane Eyre, an Autobiography first published. Writer Charlotte Bronte’ did it under the pen-name Currier Bell. 


1923- Walt Disney Studios Born. 22 year old Walt and his older brother Roy signed a deal with M.J. Winkler for six "Alice in Cartoonland" short cartoons. Budget-$1,500 each. 

1952- Charlie Chaplin’s film "Limelight" premiered in London. Chaplin had shot the film in Hollywood but released it in Europe because he had been driven into exile by McCarthyite Red Baiters.

1955- Ann Landers published her first column.

1969- The Miracle Mets. The New York Mets, then possessing some of the worst records in baseball history, defied all 100-1 odds and won the World Series, defeating the Baltimore Orioles in 5 games. Tom Seaver, Cleon Jones, Nolan Ryan. Rusty Staub. Thousands of fans at Shea went crazy and danced and partied on the field with the players. My brother recalled in the parking lot cars were covered with turf because the fans had stolen the bases and ripped up the sod for souvenirs. 


1976- Disco Duck by Rick Dees became #1 on the pop charts.

1992- The Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson filed a $1.4 million dollar lawsuit against a French tabloid for publishing photos of her topless and her boyfriend Texas millionaire John Bryan sucking her toes. 

1997- According to the writers of the 1965 television show 'Lost in Space', this was the date the Jupiter-2 with Will, Penny, Dr. Smith and the Robot took off to colonize deep space. "Danger! Danger! Spare me your insolence, you mechanical ninny..."