Thursday, February 28, 2013
Birthdays: Michel de Montaigne, The Marquis de Montcalm, Samuel 'Zero" Mostel, Vasclav Nijinsky, Molly Picon, Gavin MacCleod, Sir John Tenniel, Bernadette Peters, Bubba Smith, Mario Andretti, Milton Caniff- the creator of Terry and the Pirates", Ben 'Bugsy' Siegel, Tommy Tune, Vincente Minelli, Linus Pauling, Dorothy Stratton, Rae Dong Chong, John Tarturro, Jack Abramoff 1920 Maurice Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin debuted.. 1940- At the Oscars ceremony Hattie McDaniel became the first black actress to win an Oscar for her role in Gone With The Wind. When the NAACP criticized her for portraying a stereotyped black mammy, McDaniel snapped:” I’d rather make $5000 a week playing a maid than $5 a week being a maid!” 1953-Chuck Jone’s short cartoon “Duck-Amuck” debuts- called by Steven Speilberg the Citizen Kane of Animation. 1983- The last episode of the television series M*A*S*H. It was the single most watched TV episode in history.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Constantine 280AD, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Steinbeck, Ralph Nader, Marion Anderson, Chelsea Clinton, Franchot Tone, William Demarest, James Worthy, Mirella Freni, Judge Hugo Black, David Sarnoff the founder of NBC network, Adam Baldwin, Arial Sharon, Joanne Woodward, Elizabeth Taylor 1919- Gustav Holst’s orchestral piece The Planets first premiered in London. 1958- Columbia Pictures mogul Harry Cohn died of old age. His ruthlessness was legend in Hollywood. He once said " I don't get ulcers, I give them!" Hedda Hopper said:' You have to wait in line to hate him." The entire Columbia staff was ordered, not asked, to attend a memorial service. Looking at the large crowd around the coffin, Red Skelton quipped: "You see, give the people what they want, and they'll show up." 1973- 200 members of the American Indian Movement led by Russell Means and Dennis Banks take over the Wounded Knee historical site. The hold it and attract world attention to the plight of the Native American before surrendering to the F.B.I. and Army in May. 1977- In Toronto the Canadian Mounties bust Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones and his girlfriend Anita Pallenberg for heroin possession. The Stones agree to do two benefit concerts as punishment. 1991- The Mitchell Brothers were tops in the pornography business, producing blockbusters like Behind the Green Door and running the O’ Farrell Theater in San Francisco. This day after doing a lot of drugs, Jim Mitchell shot his brother Arnie to death with a rifle. The Mitchell Brothers Court case marked the first use of 3D computer animation as a scenario tool.
Birthday:King Wenceslas of Bohemia-1361, Victor Hugo, Buffalo Bill Cody, Emma Destin, Levi Strauss, Jackie Gleason, Fats Domino, Betty Hutton, Johnny Cash, William Frawley (Fred Murtz), Robert Alda, Tony Randall, Erhyke Bahdu, Tex Avery 1962- First day shooting on the first James Bond film Dr. No. The scene was in M's office and featured Bernard Lee, Peter Burton and the new discovery, Sean Connery. 1965- First day of shooting on the Beatle's second film 'Help!" 1983- Michael Jackson’s album Thriller went to #1 in the pop charts and stayed for weeks. In the weeks after his death in 2009, Thriller again went to #1. 1991- At a meeting in Switzerland, Tim Berners-Lee introduced the first Web Browser.
Monday, February 25, 2013
Birthdays: Enrico Caruso, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Zeppo Marx, St. Louis (King Louis IX of France), Bobby Riggs, Carl Eller, Sir Anthony Burgess, Neil Jordan, Larry Gelbart, Tom Courtenay, Sean Astin is 42, Tea Leoni, John Foster Dulles, Neil Jordan is 63 1932- TOONTOWN SCANDALS. Former Australian prizefighter Pat Sullivan was the producer of the Felix the Cat cartoons, the first true animation star. Although animator Otto Mesmer actually created him, Sullivan's name is the only one on the titles. Felix was one of the top film stars of the 1920s. Lindbergh supposedly had a Felix doll with him in the Spirit of St. Louis and his body shape was the prototype of Mickey Mouse and dozens of other characters.While Mesmer quietly drew pictures Sullivan lived the fast life of a roaring twenties celebrity. Mrs. Marjorie Sullivan had been having an affair with her chauffeur. After a nasty scene when husband confronted wife and the chauffeur fled, Mrs. Sullivan mysteriously fell out of her window to her death. The scandal was front page news and Sullivan never got over it. He soon drank himself to death which during Prohibition was difficult to do. Sullivan's death and his failure to get Felix into sound cartoons doomed his studio. Otto Mesmer went on to animate the first Broadway light signs but did not receive any recognition for his contributions to animation until he was re-introduced to the public at a Bob Clampett night at the Museum of Modern Art in 1975. Kid animators Eric Goldberg and Tom Sito were in the audience. 1943- Master animator Bill Tytla resigned from Disney. 1971- Oh Calcutta, the first play with lots of actors shedding their clothes, premiered on Broadway at the Belasco. 1983- Famous playwright Tennessee Williams was found dead in a New York hotel room. He died when he choked on a nose spray bottle cap that fell into his mouth while he was using the spray. Others say it was a Pepsi bottle cap. 1996- Dr Haing Ngor, the doctor who survived the Cambodian Killing Fields holocaust and won an Academy Award in a movie of the same name, was killed in a robbery attempt outside his Los Angeles home. 2004- Movie star uber-Catholic Mel Gibson’s movie the "The Passion of the Christ" opened in North America. The film was criticized for it’s perceived anti-Semitism, it was the first movie in which Jesus spoke his real language –Aramaic. Pastors bought blocks of tickets for their congregations. The film earned nearly a billion dollars, most of the profit earned by Mel Gibson, who was the films sole investor. -------------------------
Sunday, February 24, 2013
B-Dazes: Roman Emperor Hadrian, Winslow Homer, Arrigo Boito, Wilhelm Grimm (a brother of the brothers Grimm), Honus Wagner- early 1900’s baseball player called the Flying Dutchman, Admiral Chester Nimitz, Edward James Olmos, Barry Bostwick, Michel Legrand, James Farentino, illustrator Zdzislaw Beskinski, Joe Leiberman, Michael Radford, Billy Zane, Steve Jobs, Abe Vigoda is 92 1852- Russian writer and hypochondriac Nicolai Gogol burns the second half of his masterpiece DEAD SOULS on advice of a religious mystic to atone for his sins. He died two weeks later of "brain fever". 1937- MGM studio announced it acquired the rights to L. Frank Baum’s book The Wizard of Oz, to be made into a movie for their new star Judy Garland. 1987- US Robotics sold the first 56k modems. 1988- The US Supreme Court defended the right of public figures to be satirized by throwing out a lawsuit Rev Jerry Fallwell brought against Hustler Magazine owner Larry Flynt. Flynt published a drawing describing Rev Fallwell having sex with his mother in an outhouse. The Court ruled a public figure can be lampooned, so long as it is not portrayed as factual. 1989- According to the David Lynch television series Twin Peaks this is the day Laura Palmer’s body was found and F.B.I. agent Dale Cooper came to town to investigate.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Birthdays: George Fredrich Handel, Samuel Pepys (pronounced 'peeps'), Mayer Amschel Rothschild-1743- founder of the Rothschild banking dynasty, Victor Fleming, W.E.B. DuBois, Johnny Winter, Peter Fonda is 73, William Shirer, Allan MacLeod Cormack-inventor of the CAT Scan, Kelly MacDonald, Tom Bodet, Neal McDonough, Kristin Davis is 48, Dakota Fanning is 19. 1935- Walt Disney Mickey & Donald cartoon "The Band Concert". This was the first color Mickey Mouse cartoon. 1942- In the dead of night a Japanese submarine surfaced off the California coast and fired it's cannon at lights it thinks is a city. In reality it's an oil refinery near Goleta (Ellwood) just north of Santa Barbera. The brief bombardment caused $150 dollars in damage. The sub breaks radio silence to report to Tokyo that " Enemy coast sighted. Los Angeles is in Flames." The incident fueled the panic that Californians had that the West Coast was ripe for enemy invasion. The incident was lampooned in the Steven Spielberg comedy "1941."
Friday, February 22, 2013
Birthdays: George Washington, Frederic Chopin, Edward St. Vincent Millay, John Mills, cartoonist Edward Gorey, Luis Bunuel, Ted Kennedy, Dr. J- Julius Erving, Dwight Frye- Renfield in Dracula, Sparky Anderson, Sheldon Leonard, Charlie O. Finley, Nicky Lauda, Don Pardo, Jonathan Demme, Jeri Ryan, Kyle McLachlan is 53, Rachael Dratch, Steve Erwin, Drew Barrymore is 37 1911-The Kester Ranch in the San Fernando Valley becomes the town of Van Nuys, named for early settler Issac Newton Van Nuys. 1924- President Coolidge becomes first president to address the nation over the radio.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Birthdays: Leopold Delibes, C. Brancusi, Anais Ninn, W.H. Auden, Hubert de Givenchy, Era Bombeck, Sam Peckinpah, Nina Simone, Robert Mugabe, Joe Oriolo, David Geffen, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Kelsey Grammar is 58, Jennifer Love Hewitt is 34, Alan Rickman is 67, Ellen Page is 26. 1838- The first telegraph message sent by Samuel Morse "What hath God wrought?" He strung electric cables up and down several floors of his art studio using wood stretchers normally used for oil paintings. Morse was an artist and never wanted to be an inventor, he just did it to finance his painting.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Birthdays: Honore' Daumier, Nancy Wilson, Ansel Adams, Sidney Poitier, Cindy Crawford, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Robert Altman, Roger Penske. Phil Esposito, Jennifer O’Neill, Ivanna Trump, Mike Leigh, Lili Taylor 1816- "Fee-Garr-Row! Fig-Ar- Roww- Figaro-Figaro,Figaro,Figaro"- Giacomo Rossini's opera 'The Barber of Seville' premiered. Rossini endured bad press and heavy criticism at the time because the another opera of the Marriage of Figaro had just been premiered by Paisiello, an inferior composer who then was more popular. 1845- The Battle of the Cahuenga Pass. Angry Spanish Californians led by rancher Juan de Alvarado clashed with the regular Mexican governor Miguel de Micheltorena. The only casualty was a mule. The story of Alvarado may be one of the origins of Zorro. 1925- Willis O’Brien’s silent movie the Lost World premiered. The stop motion animation of dinosaurs and exploding volcanoes issued in a new era of special effects films. 1936- The film “Follow the Fleet” premiered, with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Birthdays: Copernicus is 540, Luigi Boccherini, Smokey Robinson, Andre Breton, Lee Marvin, Sir Cedric Hardwicke. Karen Silkwood, Paul Terry, Paul Krause, Merl Oberon, Amy Tam, John Frankenheimer, Jeff Daniels, Benicio Del Toro is 46, Hilary Duff is 27 1944- Writer John Steinbeck asked that his name be taken off of the credits for the Alfred Hitchcock film version of “Lifeboat”. “In view of the fact that my script for the picture was distorted in production.” 1951-Poet philosopher Andre Gide died in Paris. Several things were quoted as his last words, my favorite is " Before you quote me, please make sure I'm conscious." 1954- The prototype Ford Thunderbird auto completed. 1960- Bill Keane's "Family Circus" cartoon strip debuts. 1963- Fifty Years Ago- The book The Feminine Mystique was published. Betty Freidan’s analysis of contemporary women’s issues is considered the first shot of the modern Women’s Movement. 1968- “ It’s a beautiful day in the Neighborhood…” Mister Roger’s Neighborhood debuted on National Education Television, later called PBS. Ordained Presbyterian minister Fred Rogers had been doing children’s shows similar in Pittsburgh and Canada since the 50’s but today was the start of his show that would run unchanged for thirty-five years. 1995- Busty actress Pamela Anderson married rocker Tommy Lee. On their honeymoon they shot a notorious sex video on Lake Powell, that when leaked onto the internet, became the first viral video. By 2000, one sixth of everything viewed on the world-wide web was about Pamela Anderson.
Monday, February 18, 2013
Birthdays: Queen Mary I Tudor -Bloody Mary, Pietro Guarnieri the violin maker, Harry Grover- Seeley one of the founders of Paleontology, Louis Tiffany, Andre Segovia, Wendell Wilkie, Billy de Wolfe, Enzo Ferrarri, Yoko Ono, Jack Palance, Milos Forman, Bobby Bachman of the Bachman Turner Overdrive, cartoonist Gahan Wilson, cartoonist Johnny Hart, Matt Dillon is 49, John Travolta is 59, John Hughes, Dr. Dre 1885-Mark Twain's 'Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' published. 1950- First Mr. Magoo cartoon "Ragtime Bear". 1953- First 3-D stereoscopic movie, "B'wana Devil" starring Robert Stack.
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, Montgomery Ward, Red Barber, Michael Jordan, Marian Anderson, Chaim Potok, Jim Brown, Rene Russo, Michael Bay, Jerry O’Connell, Cybil Shepard, Lou Diamond Phillips is 51, Denise Richards is 42 and Paris Hilton is 32, Hal Holbrook is 88, Joseph Gordon Levitt is 44. 1925- First issue of Harold Ross’s The New Yorker magazine. 1942- Ernst Lubitsch’s screwball comedy about the Nazis "To Be , Or Not To Be" debuted. Adolf Hitler enters a room and after everyone "Seig Heil" salutes him, he replies "Heil Myself!" But the comedy flopped, in part because it’s female star Carole Lombard had died tragically in a plane crash shortly before the film opened. 1958 – Johnny Hart’s comic strip "BC" 1st appears 1967 – The Beatles release "Penny Lane" & "Strawberry Fields" 1979- A Prairie Home Companion radio show starring Garrison Keilor was first broadcast nationally. It was a feature on Minnesota Public Radio since 1974. 1989- "Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure" premiered starring the most excellent Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter. Whoah-Dude!
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Birthdays: The Great Elector Frederick William of Brandenburg-Prussia, Henry Adams, Charles Taze Russell founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Edgar Bergen, Sonny Bono, John MacEnroe, Frank Welker, John Schlesinger, Faith Hubley, Katherine Cornell, John Corligiano, Kim Jong Il, Levar Burton is 56, Ice-T is 55 1923- Bessie Smith made her first recording-"Downhearted Blues". 1937- Chemist Wallace Caruthers working for the Dupont Company received the patent for Nylon. He was trying to find something to replace horsehair bristles for toothbrushes. What he got was a fabric that could replace expensive silk. By World War Two nylon stockings for women were so popular that limited by shortages resourceful women would draw a seam in pencil down their bare leg to impersonate the effect. 1978- The first computer bulletin board goes on live. Ward Christensen and Randy Seuss's Computerized Bulletin Board System was an S-100 motherboard and CP/M, and a Hayes 300 baud modem. It still runs to this day, but the Internet has taken the place that BBS's used to have 1987-"Family Dog" episode on Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories show. The first direction by Brad Bird. 1994- Apple announced the introduction of the digital camera, the first camera that needed no film but could load images directly into a computer.
Friday, February 15, 2013
Birthdays: Galileo, French King Louis XV, Michel Praetorius, Susan B. Anthony, Charles Tiffany, John Barrymore, Jane Seymour, Cesar Romero, Gale Sondergard, Melissa Manchester, Chris Farley, Claire Bloom, Chris MacDonald, Marissa Berenson is 66, Matt Groening is 59 1947- During the anti-Communist witchhunts, the FBI revoked the visa of famed documentary filmmaker and founder of the National Film Board of Canada John Grierson because they thought his politics were too lefty. 1954- Future President and b-movie star Ronald Reagan tried doing a stand-up act at the Las Vegas Ramona Room with the "Honey Brothers", a comedy troupe similar to Abbot & Costello. 1984- Touchstone Pictures created so the Walt Disney Company could do more adult movies. Their first film was Splash, starring a tastefully topless Darryl Hannah. 1994- After months of insane bidding, Viacom’s Sumner Redstone beat out QVC’s Barry Diller to buy Paramount Pictures. The cost is $20 billion, although the studio’s net worth was estimated at $8 billion. When asked, Diller replied: “What’s done is done. Next.”
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Birthdays: Joshua Norton aka Joshua Ist Emperor of the United States 1819, Jack Benny- real name Benjamin Koubeilsky, Frederick Douglas, Christopher Latham Scholes- inventor of the typewriter, George Washington Ferris inventor of the Ferris Wheel, Pier Francesco Cavalli, Jimmy Hoffa, Vic Morrow, Skeezix Wallet (character in Gasoline Alley comic strip), Gregory Hines, Ignaz Friedman, Thelma Ritter, Carl Andersen, Hugh Downs, Jim Kelly, Florence Henderson, Meg Tilly, Alan Parker, Margaret Knight the inventor of the flat bottom paper bag still in use in supermarkets today. The character Lara Croft, 1967. Happy Valentines Day! This holiday was originally the Roman fertility festival LUPERCALIA, when the young men of Rome wearing olive oil and not much else, would run through the streets waving oak branches over the heads of young girls to inspire fertility. Then they would all go to the orgy. Keeping with the custom of the early Church to sanctify pagan holidays with saints days-. Pope Gelasius Ist decided to rename the holiday for St.Valentine, who was martyred by Emperor Claudius II Gothicus in 295 A.D.. The olive oil and the orgy was out, but tradition has it that Valentine in prison kept communicating with his flock by writing little notes and tossing them through the bars.. These notes or "Valentines" fused with the romance notion of the old Roman party and became a custom for lovers as early as the 14th century. 1907- Golden Books incorporated. One of their artists was Gustav Tennegren, who would become the stylist of Walt Disney's Pinnochio. 1927-Alfred Hitchcock’s first suspense film “The Lodger” opened in London. 1931- Tod Browning's film of the play Dracula, starring Hungarian actor's union organizer and recreational morphine addict Bela Lugosi, premiered. 1946-Enniac, the first all electronic circuited computer, started up at the university of Pennsylvania. 1962- First Lady Jackie Kennedy gave a tour to network television cameras of the private living quarters of the White House. It’s the first time most Americans had ever seen the inside of the Executive Mansion. She worked mostly without a script, adding her own details as she went along. The day after the broadcast, Pres. Kennedy called the FCC just to see how here Nielsen ratings were. They were much higher than his speeches ever were. 1967- Former kinky pinup model Betty Page married Harry Lear. 1979- Digital music composer Walter Carlos, who scored the film A Clockwork Orange, announced he had undergone a sex change and was now Wendy Carlos. 1991-Meg Ryan married Dennis Quaid. .
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Birthdays: Giambattista Piazzetta, Bess Truman, Grant Wood, Lord Randolph Churchill, Fyodor Chaliapin, Peter Tork, Oliver Reed, Chuck Yeager, Woody Hayes, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Carol Lynley, Kim Novak, George Segal is 78, Peter Gabriel, Jerry Springer is 68, Stockard Channing is 68, Kelly Hu, Mena Suvari 1867- The Blue Danube Waltz by Johann Strauss Jr premiered in Vienna. 1886- Artist Thomas Eakins resigned his professorship at the Philadelphia Academy of Art in disgust when he was attacked for having male nudes in his art class with women as students. 1932- Free Eats, the first Our Gang short comedy to feature Spanky MacFarland. 1933-comic character Blondie married Dagwood Bumstead. 1939- Producer David O. Selznick replaced directors on Gone With the Wind. George Cukor was out, Victor Fleming was in after completing The Wizard of Oz. Vivien Leigh liked Cukor who was known for directing women, but Clark Gable convinced the producers that they needed an action director. About 15 minutes of George Cukor’s work remains in the picture. Victor Fleming loved Clark, but didn't get along with Vivien Leigh and came to hate the controling Selznick. David O. brought in Sam Wood to direct second unit when Fleming fell behind. 1937- Hal Foster's comic hero Prince Valiant first appeared. 1959 -Happy Birthday BARBIE ! Mattel introduces the plastic nymph, originally named by the German artist who created her 'Lily" but changed to 'Barbie" by an exec who's daughter Barbara was nicknamed that. 1964- The Invention of Cool Whip. 1996- The off-Broadway musical Rent by John Lawson, premiered
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
BIRTHDAYS-Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin are born on the same day in 1809, although an ocean apart; Austrian Emperor Francis II, Thaddeusz Kosciuszko, Joe Garagiola, Luigi Boccherini, John L. Lewis, Bill Russell, Franco Zeffirelli, Lorne Greene, Joe Don Baker, Arsenio Hall, Christina Ricci is 33, Josh Brolin is 45. 1809 -Happy Lincoln's Birthday, Because of Richard Nixon’s law creating President’s Day in 1970, you do not have today off as a holiday. One of my favorite Lincoln quotes is :" If I'm supposed to be two-faced why did I settle for this one?" 1924- RHAPSODY IN BLUE- Band leader Paul Whiteman had commissioned a rhapsody for Jazz Band from the famous composer George Gershwin. Tonight at a concert at the Aeolian Hall in New York City it premiered in a long bill of "Modern Music". Also on the bill was jazz interpretations of "Yes We have no Bananas" and "Kitten on the Keys." Sergei Rachmaninoff, Fritz Kriesler, Igor Stravinsky and Leopold Stokowski were in attendance. Interestingly enough Gershwin’s orchestrator was Ferde Grofe’ the composer famous for the Grand Canyon Suite. It was Grofes’ idea to bring in a jazzman named Ross Gorman to do the opening clarinet solo. While rehearsing the piece Gorman took Gershwin’s opening 17 note ascent and ‘smeared’ the riff to the long high note, creating the famous opening. Gershwin liked it so much he told him to play it always that way. Gershwin was originally going to call his piece Concert Rhapsody for Jazz Band & Piano or American Rhapsody but his brother Ira Gershwin was inspired by some Whistler paintings he saw recently at a museum called Nocturne in Blue and Green and Harmony in Grey and Green. He suggested Rhapsody in Blue.
Monday, February 11, 2013
Birthdays: Thomas Edison, Leslie Nielsen, Eva Gabor, Tina Louise-Ginger on Gilligan’s Island, Rudolph Firkusny, Joe Mankewicz, Sidney Sheldon, Burt Reynolds, Sergio Mendes of the band Brazil 66, Al Eugster, Brandy Norwood, Bobby Picket -who recorded the Monster Mash, Jennifer Aniston is 44, Sheryl Crow is 51, Sarah Palin is 49 1936- Famed German Expressionist animator Oskar Fishinger escaped Nazi Germany for the U.S. 1948- Famed Russian film director Sergei Eisenstein died of a heart attack. 1963- Bell Jar author Sylvia Plath laid out bread and butter and two glasses of milk for her children, then stuck her head into an oven and committed suicide. Her poet husband Ted Hughes who had abandoned her, waited until 1998 to tell his side of the story. Hughes wrote stories for his children like The Iron Giant. 1976-Chuck Jone’s TV special "Mowgli’s Brothers." 1995- Disney Studios planned neighborhood suburban community Celebration opened. 2003- A small satellite named U-Map, while studying the faint glow at the center of the Universe, calculated the exact age of our Universe to be 13.7 billion years old. That stars first appeared at 200 million years after the Big Bang, and that the Universe will ultimately expand forever, not crunch back in on itself or explode in one big cataclysm. Since then, more scholars now believe ours may not be the only Universe. 2005- Playwright Arthur Miller died at 90.
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Birthdays: Former British PM Harold Macmillan, Jimmy Durante, Bertholdt Brecht, Leontyne Price, Roberta Flack, tennis great Bill Tilden, Lon Chaney Jr., Stella Adler, Mark Spitz, Boris Pasternak, Dame Judith Anderson, Greg Norman, Donavan, Dr Alex Comfort author of the Joy of Sex, Michael Apted, Jerry Goldsmith, Robert Wagner, Laura Dern is 46 1722- Bartholomew Roberts died fighting the Royal Navy. Although not as famous as Blackbeard or Captain Kidd, Bartholomew Roberts was one of the most notorious pirates that ever flew the Jolly Roger. J.M. Barrie used him as the model for Captain Hook. 1870- The town of Anaheim Cal founded. No Disneyland yet. 1929- Elsa Lanchester married Charles Laughton. 1938- RKO screwball comedy with Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant “ Bringing Up Baby” premiered. 1940-MGM's "Puss gets the Boot" the first Tom and Jerry cartoon and the first collaboration of the team of Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera. 1949- The premiere of Arthur Miller’s play "Death of a Salesman". 1966- CBS co-ops broadcasting the senate Kennan Hearings on the conduct of the Vietnam War with reruns of "I Love Lucy'. CBS news division president Fred Friendly quits in protest. 1966-Jaqueline Susanne’s novel The Valley of the Dolls first published. Although critics considered it cheap and trashy- Time Magazine called it “Dirty Book of the Month”, and Truman Capote called Susanne in her heavy sixties eye shadow, a “Truck Driver in Drag” Valley of the Dolls sold like wildfire. Its frank portrayal of single women enjoying casual sex and taking drugs was a big step in the sexual revolution of the 1960’s. 1992- The children’s book- The Stinky Cheese Man debuted.
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Birthdays: Constantine XI Paleaologus- the last Byzantine Emperor 1404, President William Henry Harrison, Samuel Tilden, Carmen Miranda, Alban Berg, Ronald Colman, Mia Farrow, Ernest Tubb, King Vidor, Mamie Van Doren, Roger Mudd, Alberto Vargas, Carole King, Bill Veeck, Fred Harman, Joe Pesci is 70, Zhang Zhu-Yi., Frank Frazetta, Mia Farrow is 68, Mena Suvari is 34, Ciaran Hinds is 60, Jerry Beck. 1964- Ed Sullivan introduced the English rock band the Beatles to a nationwide TV audience. It was a "Rrrreally Big Shewww!" ( Sullivan’s signature line) 1967- The" Lindsay Snowstorm". John Lindsay was the handsome if confused mayor of New York in the sixties of whom the Robert Redford character in "The Candidate" was partially based. He tried to cut budget expenses by stripping New York of it's snowplow fleet, thinking they were unnecessary. The city was immediately paralyzed by 14 inches of snow. Plows had to be brought from as far as Montreal. 1968-"You did it! You Finally did it! Oh, Damn you all to Hell!!" the film the Planet of the Apes with Charlton Heston premiered. 1971- The Sylmar Quake (6.8) rocks L.A. 1989- In testimony before the New Jersey State Senate World Wrestling Federation President Vince McMahon admit that the sport of wrestling is purely entertainment, and no one actually gets hurt. I’m shocked, shocked! 1990- Singer Del Shannon, who had a hit with the 1961 song Runaway, shot himself with a 22 rifle. Del Shannon was supposed to replace Roy Orbison in the Travelling Wilbury's, the group that featured Dylan, George Harrison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynn. Orbison had died the previous year of heart failure and the Wilburys were starting to rehearse with Del Shannon. After Shannon's suicide, the group decided to disband. 1996- German World War II fighter ace Adolf Galland died at age 86. While other aces had skulls or dice painted on their planes, Galland preferred a Mickey Mouse on the tail of his Messerschmidt ME109F. Ach Adolf, ist dat der RAF on your tail? Nein, izt der Disney Legal Department! Himmel! 2001- Actor Tom Cruise filed for divorce from Nicole Kidman.
Friday, February 8, 2013
Birthdays: St Proclus of Constantinople 412AD, Jules Verne, Dmitri Medeleyev- inventor of the Periodic Table of Elements, James Dean, William Tecumseh Sherman, John Williams, Ivan Ivano-Vano, Lana Turner, Jack Lemmon, Alejandro Rey, Ted Koppel, Nick Nolte, Buck Henry, Gary Coleman, Robert Klein. 1893- THE FIRST RECORDED STRIPTEASE - discounting Salome. At Paris's famed Moulin Rouge an artist's model named Mona decided to get an edge in a beauty contest judged by art students by disrobing to music while walking up and down the stage. She was arrested and fined 100 francs and the students rioted over her arrest. Vive le France! 1915- THE BIRTH OF A NATION or The Clansman premiered at Clunes Auditorium in Los Angeles. Film pioneer D.W. Griffith's racist movie was considered for years the first American feature length film. Only recently the discovery of a 1913 Richard III film predates it. Son of a Confederate veteran it’s been thought that Griffith was making a personal statement, truth is there was a flood of films to mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil War and the book the Clansman by Thomas Dixon was a hot property. President Woodrow Wilson ( another son of the South ) called it :"History written with a thunderbolt and I’m afraid all too true." Birth of a Nations’ inflammatory imagery and this politically incorrect Presidential endorsement helped a rebirth of the defunct Ku Klux Klan, and caused an increase in lynchings of African Americans. But despite the film’s politics, it’s technique influenced world cinema and established once and for all the feature film length as the standard for all future motion pictures. It’s original running length was 3 hours. D.W. Griffith in latter years lost his fortune and became a drunken has-been. Watching him at Chasen's Restaurant in the 1940’s beg MGM studio head Dore Schary for work, inspired Billy Wilder to write SUNSET BLVD. 1928- Englishman John Logie Baird transmitted a still television image across the Atlantic from England to Hartsdale New York. It was a still image of a woman. Baird was one of the fathers of Television with Vladimir Zworkin, Lee DeForrest and Deutches Telefunken. 1961- Nebraska teenager and future movie star Nick Nolte was busted for the first time. He was accused of selling fake Draft cards so his friends could buy alcohol. 1967- Georgy Girl by the Seekers goes to #1 in pop charts. 1994- Jack Nicholson destroyed the windshield of a neighbors car with a golf club, screaming “You cut me off!” He settled the matter out of court. 2007- Anna Nicole Smith, centerfold, pole dancer, heiress and reality TV star, died from an overdose of prescription drugs. She was 39.
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Birthdays: St. Thomas Moore, Eubie Blake, Sinclair Lewis, Larry "Buster" Crabbe, Laura Ingalls Wilder writer of Little House on the Prairie, Gay Talese, James Spader is 53, Chris Rock is 48, Eddie Izzard is 51, Ashton Kutcher is 36 1910- The Town of Hollywood annexed into the City of Los Angeles. 1939, Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep was published. Chandler was a 51 year old ex-oil company executive who had taken up writing at the age of forty-five, after being fired for alcohol-soaked absenteeism. Over the previous five years he had published enough crime stories in the pulp magazines to survive, but this was his first novel, the first of seven featuring the inimitable Philip Marlowe. 1940- Disney's classic "Pinocchio" opened nationwide. 1964- The GI Joe action figure born. In 1974 it got the Kung-Fu Grip.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Birthdays: Christopher Marlowe, Eva Braun, Ronald Reagan, Francois Truffaut, Babe Ruth, Elias Disney- Walt’s dad, Bob Marley, Queen Anne Ist of England, Aaron Burr, Robert Townsend, Mike Farrell, Tom Brokaw, Mike Maltese, Haskel Wexler, Axel Rose, Patrick McKnee- Mr Steed of the Avengers, Thurl Ravenscroft the voice of Tony the Tiger, Kathy Naijimy is 56, Rip Torn is 82, Zsa Zsa Gabor is 96 1847- The Treaty of Waitangi- Britain settled New Zealand from the Maoris. Hobbits to follow…. 1926-Oliver Hardy tried once to be a dancer in a minstrel show, but wound up running a movie theater in his home town of Millidgeville, Georgia. He watched the comics on screen and thought" I am better than those guys.." He went to Hollywood, and this day signed a contract with the Hal Roach Studios to appear in short comedies, usually as a villain. Next year director Leo McCarey teamed the rotund Hardy with skinny British music hall comedian Stan Laurel, and a legendary team was born- Laurel & Hardy. Interesting Note: Laurel & Hardy were both over 6 feet tall.. 1935- The board game Monopoly is announced by Parker Brothers. The prototype monopoly board was round oilcloth and had street names derived from Atlantic City NJ. It now is in the toy collection of Forbes Magazine in New York. 1937- John Steinbecks novel “Of Mice and Men” published. In a result Mr Steinbeck probably didn’t anticipate was the stereotype image of a mildly retarded man as the big dumb sidekick Lenny, cartoonists used so often. “Duh, tell me about da rabbits, George.” 1943-“GET ME GEISLER!” Actor Errol Flynn was acquitted of two counts of sex with adolescents, which even if it is consensual is still considered statutory rape. The two women who brought the charges had actually tried this shakedown with other celebrities. They weren't exactly adolescents, despite testifying in court with pigtails and a lollypop. Flynn hired lawyer to the stars Jerry Geisler and he slowly took the women story apart. Geisler discovered one had a prior conviction for 'public lewdness' and the other had had an abortion which then was illegal. So Flynn got off- literally. Flynn had just finished a film called "Gentleman Jim" and at the end of the film when he says to Alexis Smith:"I never said I was a Gentleman." Peals of knowing laughter rang out from audiences. This is also the time the slang term for living it up was coined- to be “In Like Flynn”. Flynn’s limo soon sported the license plate- R U 18? 1985- Steve Wozniak, the young engineer who started Apple Computer with Steve Jobs in his garage, resigned from the company. He’d rather be an engineer and teach children.
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Birthdays: Sir Robert Peel founder of London’s police force- the Bobbies, outlaw Belle Starr, John Carradine, William Burroughs, Arthur Ochs Schulzburger, Hank Aaron is 80, Tim Holt, Barbera Hershey, Charlotte Rampling, Roger Staubach, Michael Mann is 70, Bobby Brown, H. R. Giger, Red Buttons, Christopher Guest, Jennifer Jason Leigh is 52, Laura Linney is 49, Michael Sheen is 44 1919- Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith form the United Artists Studio. 1921- The Loews State Theater in Chicago opened. 1922- The Reader’s Digest began publication. 1936-THE BATTLE OF JARAMA - Spanish General Franco’s Fascist army was thrown back from the gates of Madrid with help from the Republic’s newly arrived foreign volunteers, called the International Brigades. The idealistic young Europeans and Americans (the Abraham Lincoln Brigade) were thrown into the battle with no training as they had just arrived. They suffered 50% casualties but won the day. The Lincolns sang a tune to Popeye the Sailor Man: "In a green little vale called Jarama, We made all the fascists cry "Mama!; we fight for our pay, just six cents a day, and play football with a bomb-a " 1937- Charlie Chaplin’s film Modern Times premiered. Chaplin was inspired to lampoon modern technological madness when he was invited to view the auto assembly production lines in Detroit and saw men moving like machines. 1952-New York City is the first to adopt the three light traffic lights-red, yellow, green. 1953- 60 years ago- Walt Disney’s "Peter Pan" premiered. 1956- Darryl Zanuck resigned from 20th Century Fox, the studio he built into a powerhouse. He later won back the chairmanship in 1962 only to be ousted finally in 1970. 1957- Mel Lazarus’ comic strip Miss Peach debuted.
Monday, February 4, 2013
Birthdays: Francois Rabelais, Big Bill Haywood, Fernand Leger', Charles Lindbergh, the Agha Khan, Betty Friedan, Rosa Parks, Erich Liensdorf, Alice Cooper is 64, Dan Quayle, Ida Lupino, Conrad Bain, McKinlay Kantor, George Romero, Lisa Eichhorn, boxer Oscar De La Hoya, Clyde Tumbaugh amateur astronomer who discovered the Pluto in 1930. 1826- James Fenimore Cooper’s novel “The Last of the Mohicans” was published. The character of wild frontiersman Natty Bumpo called Hawkeye has been referred to as the first American superhero. 1961- United Artists released the Misfits, the last film of stars Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift. John Huston directed and Arthur Miller wrote the screenplay. The film flopped in its initial run but has since gained classic status. 1968- Old beatnik Neal Cassady was found dead in Mexico. Cassady was not an intellectual but his wild non-conformist lifestyle was the inspiration for his companion author Jack Kerouac to write his greatest novel " On the Road'. While Kerouac disliked hippies, Cassady drove the first Hippie Bus filled with LSD advocates like Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters. 1983- Pop singer Karen Carpenter died of anorexia-nervosa. She was 32 and weighed only 77 pounds. Her death brought to national prominence how the societal pressure to stay thin could lead to this deadly condition. 2003-Legendary rock and roll producer Phil Spector shot his girlfriend B-Movie actress Lana Clarkson at his LA mansion. Spector created the Wall of Sound concert technique and produced for the Beatles among many others. The few days before, Phil Spector said to the British Daily Telegraph, “. I would say I'm probably relatively insane, to an extent. I take medication for schizophrenia, but I wouldn't say I'm schizophrenic. I have a bipolar personality, which is strange.” 2004-Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo Saverin, and Chris Hughes launch the social networking site called Facebook.
Sunday, February 3, 2013
Birthdays- French King Charles VI the Mad –1380, Felix Mendelson-Bartoldy, Horace Greely, Gideon Mantell 1790-pioneer British fossil hunter that named the Iguanadon, Pretty Boy Floyd, Gertrude Stein, Norman Rockwell, James A. Michener, Joey Bishop, Shelley Berman, John Fiedler the voice of Piglet, Victor Buono, Blythe Danner is 70, Morgan Fairchild is 63, Nathan Lane is 57 1930- Roy Disney signed a deal with M. George Borgfeldt Co. of New York to sell figurines of Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Disney merchandising is born! 1945- Walt Disney’s the Three Caballeros premiered. 1986- Steve Jobs bought the George Lucas Film Graphics Division, now under their new name Pixar Inc. 1989- Swiss firm L'Oreal/Nestle bought animation studio Filmation from Westinghouse and shut it down laying off 229 artists the day before a new federal regulation requiring a company give it's employees 60 day notice before closing went into effect. CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE 2013 ANNIE AWARD RECIPIENTS!! .
Saturday, February 2, 2013
Birthdays: Tallyrand, Charlie Halas a co-founder of the NFL, James Joyce, Ayn Rand, Fritz Kreisler, Jascha Heifitz, Abba Eban, Farrah Fawcett, Garth Brooks, Christie Brinkley, Tommy Smothers, Stan Getz, James Dickey, Liz Smith, Elaine Stritch is 88, Brent Spinner is 64, Shakira is 36 1910- D.W. Griffith's' In Old California', sometimes called the first Hollywood film. 1922- the novel "Ulysses" is published. James Joyce had finished the book months earlier but delayed publishing until his birthday, when it would be 2/2/22, which he considered lucky. 1922-Twenty one year old Walt Disney starts his own business, Newman's Laff-O-Grams in Kansas City. 1957- Elizabeth Taylor married producer Mike Todd. Todd was killed in a plane crash a year later. Despite her famous association with Richard Burton, Taylor later said Mike Todd was the only one she ever truly loved. 1961- In a little Greenwich Village nightclub called the Blue Angel a young stand up comic got his first debut. His name was Woody Allen 1971- Murakami-Wolf's TV special "The Point" with Dustin Hoffman narrating and Harry Nilsson's music. In 1973, Hoffman's track was rerecorded by Ringo Starr for some reason. “Me and my Ar-row…” 1985- O.J. Simpson married Nicole Brown Simpson. 1997- Nationally known sportscaster Marv Albert allegedly had an evening of sex and porn with a prostitute. At one point he bit the lady on the back. He was tried for lewd behavior and his career tanked. 2006-The Cartoon Riots. A Danish newspaper printed a political cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed with his turban shaped like a bomb. This so offended the Moslem world that rioting broke out in Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jakharta and European capitols. Grenades were thrown at Danish embassies and Danish nationals made to flee. ===================================================================== SEE YOU ALL AT TONIGHT'S ANNIE AWARDS!
Friday, February 1, 2013
Birthdays: Victor Herbert, Langston Hughes, Renata Tebaldi, Clark Gable, John Ford, George Pal, Terry Jones is 71, Jim Thorpe, Sherman Helmsley, Lisa Marie Presley, Garrett Morris, Boris Yeltsin, Billy Mumy is 59, Pauly Shore, Sherilyn Fenn is 48, Michael C. Hall is 42 1887- California land developer Harvey Wilcox takes out a county deed for a new ranch he calls 'Hollywoodland' after the name of an estate his wife admired back in Connecticut. It gave its name to the new Los Angeles town- Hollywood. 1893- In New Jersey Thomas Edison and his engineer W. K. Dickson built the FIRST MOTION PICTURE STUDIO in New Jersey. It was covered with black tar paper and nicknamed"The Black Mariah" because that was the nickname of police paddy wagons that it resembled. It's debatable how much of the inventing effort was more Dickson than Edison. Edison was only marginally interested in the movies. He was more concerned with how to extract New Jersey iron ore from rocks using magnets. Dickson worked himself into the hospital to make the studio work, and resenting Edison’s apathy started experimenting on his own. When Edison found out he fired him. 1915-The Fox Film Company formed (Later Twentieth Century Fox). 1990- Siegfried & Roy open their exclusive show at the Mirage Casino in Las Vegas. They and their white tigers have performed for Hollywood stars, presidents and Pope John Paul II. One Vegas columnist notes: “When Elvis performed in Vegas there were some empty seats. But there are nothing but full houses when Siegfreid & Roy perform.” The act was finally ended by Roy’s throat being slashed by a tiger in 2003.