Saturday, April 30, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for April 30, 2016

Birthdays: Elector Johann-Frederich the Magnanimous, Franz Lehar, Joachim Von Ribbentropp, Max Skladanowsky, Jaroslav Hasek, Eve Arden, Jill Clayburgh, Alice B. Toklas, Isaiah Thomas, Cloris Leachman is 90, Jane Campion, Al Lewis, Bill Plympton is 69, Lars von Trier, Burt Young, Willie Nelson is 83, Kirsten Dunst is 33

1945- "Arthur Godfrey Time" debuts on CBS radio. Godfrey was a local Washington D.C. deejay who gained nationwide fame for his emotional coverage of the funeral of FDR. He then went from radio to television, hosting the first regularly successful television entertainment program. Godfrey in later life got increasingly hard on his employees and in an infamous incident actually fired singer Julius LaRosa live on the air.

1952 - Mr Potato Head is 1st toy advertised on television. In 2000 Rhode Island declared itself the Mr Potato Head State. the Hasbro Toy Company is headquartered in Pawtucket, a city just outside of Providence.

1976- Great Disney animator Milt Kahl retired.

1988- Tom Hanks married actress Rita Wilson.

1992- BERN, the Geneva particle lab where the World Wide Web was developed by Tim Berners-Lee, declared that WWW. aka the Web would be open and free to all with no restrictions or royalties to be paid to them.

1993- The Walt Disney Company announced its’ purchase of top independent film producer Miramax. Ten years later a feud with Michael Eisner caused Miramax founders the Weinsteins to leave and form another company. By the time Miramax was sold off in 2010, it was a shadow of it’s former self.

1997- In the last show of the season, comedian Ellen Degenere’s character Ellen admits to Laura Dern that she’s gay. Disney promptly canceled the Ellen Show. Ellen returns with a talk show that is even more popular.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for April 29, 2016

Birthdays: Emperor Hirohito, Duke Ellington , Duke Wellington, Sir Thomas Beacham, Zuben Mehta is 79, Tom Ewell, Rod McKuen, Fred Zinnemann, Jerry Seinfeld is 60, Michelle Pfeiffer is 57, Daniel Day Lewis is 58, Uma Thurman is 45

1771- Artist Benjamin West unveils his painting of the “Death of General Wolfe” at the Royal Academy in London. Wolfe was killed in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, which decided that Canada would be English. West’s portrayal of Wolfe in his actual uniform instead an idealized Grecian god was considered scandalously realistic and revolutionized painting.

1944- Dancing Romeos, the last Our Gang comedy short was produced by MGM, which had bought the franchise in 1938 from Hal Roach.

1949- MGM chief Louis B. Mayer fired Frank Sinatra for making a joke about him. Mayer hurt his hip riding, and Sinatra joked he got hurt not falling off his horse, but falling off Jean Howard, a young actress Mayer was chasing.

1986- Los Angeles Central Library burns down. A lot of the costs of rebuilding was raised by private donation, much raised by a wild local televangelist named Dr. Gene Scott. Scott would preach his own strange brand of Bible study while smoking a cigar and wearing funny hats on camera. He also liked to laugh at other evangelists.

1992- THE GREAT LOS ANGELES RIOT- Los Angeleanos go berserk after an all white jury in Simi Valley acquitted the policemen who beat up drunk motorist Rodney King while being videotaped. 58 killed, 2500 businesses destroyed, $1.5 billion dollars in damage, 13,200 arrests and large sections of Los Angeles put under martial law. Even Rodney King was moved to go on TV and proclaim: " Can't we all just get along?"

Part of the reason the disturbance spun out of control was the autocratic chief of the LAPD Darryl Gates was incommunicado for several hours at the beginning of the crisis at a fundraising party in Bel Air to get money to fuel his quarrel with Mayor Tom Bradley.  One irony was the loot-crazed mob ran right past the L.A. County Art Museum to sack a department store on the next corner. I guess they felt that there was nothing of value in it, which is in agreement with many art critics.  The Beverly Hills Police, a separate entity, kept the peace by simply arresting everyone they saw.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for April 28, 2016

Birthdays: English King Edward IV (1442), President James Monroe, Lionel Barrymore, Oskar Schindler, Carolyn Jones-aka Morticia Addams of the TV Addams Family, Ann Margaret is 75, Jay Leno is 66, Saddam Hussein, Jean Redpath, James Baker III, Penelope Cruz is 42, Jessica Alba is 37, Godzilla is 62- see below.

1925- T.S. Elliot landed a job at Faber & Fabers Publishing. His enabled the poet to quit his job as a bank teller at Lloyds and continue his literary career.

1937- Italy’s famed movie studio Cinecitta’ opened.

1954- Happy Birthday Godzilla! The movie by Ichjiro Honda was inspired when a Japanese fishing boat was fatally exposed by radioactive fallout from a U.S. hydrogen bomb test. Godzilla is an Anglicized version of the Japanese Kohjira, which is a combination of Gorilla and Whale. The parallels to the Hiroshima experience reached eerie levels when the film has a long sequence of a funeral dirge sung to the dead of Tokyo as we survey the devastation.
The famous roar was done by rubbing a resin-covered glove down some bass fiddle strings. The film was later released in the U.S. with American actor Raymond Burr (actually, Canadian actor..) acting in inserted scenes. The complete Japanese version of the film was not seen in North America until 2004.

1961-At La Scala, When tenor Guiseppi Di Stefano took ill, a young schoolteacher from Modena took the lead role in the opera La Boheme. Lucciano Pavarotti debuted.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for April 27, 2016

Birthdays: Ulysses S. Grant, King Edward IV, Samuel Morse, Mary Wollenstonecraft, Edward Gibbon, Anouk Aimee, Sheena Easton, Sandy Dennis, Coretta Scott King, Kasey Kasem, Jack Klugman

1667- Blind poet John Milton sold his masterpiece "Paradise Lost" to publisher Samuel Simmons for ten pounds. Ten years earlier under Oliver Cromwell’s patronage Milton was getting over a thousand pounds each for his poems

1970- THE FIRST ATM- Automatic bank teller machine, opened at the Surety National Bank in downtown Los Angeles.

1981- Ringo Starr married Barbera Bach, his costar on the film 'Caveman'. UngaBunga!

1986- Reporter Geraldo Rivera hosted a primetime TV special in an old Chicago Hotel that was once a headquarters for gangster Al Capone. After wasting an hour speculating on discovering buried treasure or mobster skeletons, they broke into a room sealed since 1932. All they found were some old dusty bottles.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for April 26, 2016

Birthdays: Marcus Aurelius, French Queen Marie De Medicis, Pasquale Paoli, John James Audubon, Frederick Law Olmstead, Eugene Delacroix, Syngman Rhee, Dr. Lee DeForrest, John Grierson founder of the National Film Board of Canada, Rudolf Hess, Bobby Rydell, Anita Loos, I. M. Pei, Carol Burnett is 83, Eyvind Earle, Giancarlo Esposito is 60, Kevin James, Amos Otis, Joan Chen is 54, Jimmy Giuffre, Rocker Duane Eddy- 76, Jet Li- born Li Lian jie is 53

1928- Los Angeles City Hall dedicated.

1965- Fred Smith, a student at Yale, got his economics paper back with a "c'" and a note stating the idea he espoused was impractical. The idea was an overnight air-freight service which he founded six years later as Federal Express.

1969- PAUL IS DEAD. The height of a strange rumor that excited the rock & roll world that Paul McCartney of the Beatles had died and the news was being kept a secret. Evidence was presented in the cryptic lyrics of "I am the Walrus", songs played backwards and the record album photo where Paul is the only figure with his back to the camera.
A TV special hosted by attorney F. Lee Bailey, the Nancy Grace of his day, explored the controversy. Finally, this day Paul and Linda McCartney held a news conference and declared he was very much alive and what on Earth was everyone on about?

1977- In New York City, Studio 54, the mecca of 70’s Disco culture opened.

1986- Arnold Schwarzenegger aka Conan the Republican, married Maria Shriver, the niece of John F. Kennedy. They separated in 2011 when he revealed he was schtupping the maid.

1993- NBC announced former Simpsons and Saturday Night Live comedy writer Conan O’Brien would take David Letterman’s old Late Show spot.

2004- Michael Eisner of Disney named to Forbes list of the Worst CEO’s in America.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for April 25, 2016

Birthdays: Roman emperor Otho -32ad, English King Edward II-1284, Oliver Cromwell-1599, Guiseppi Marconi, Edward R. Murrow, Ella Fitzgerald, Al Pacino is 76,  Jason Lee is 46, Meadowlark Lemon, Talia Shire, Paul Mazursky, Hank Azaria is 52, Rene Zellwellger is 47,  Disney animation director Ron Clements is 63

1719- The Life and Strange Adventures of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe first published.

1926- Giacomo Puccini's last opera Turnadot premiered in Milan. Puccini died before it's completion so students had to finish the work based on the masters notes. Conductor Arturo Toscanini put down his baton at the beginning of the Third Act, turned to the audience and said:" Here is where the Maestro died." He then left the podium and let another finish. He was too upset to complete the performance.

1956- Elvis Presley’s song Heartbreak Hotel goes to #1 in the pop charts.

1970- Policeman Frank Serpico’s story of rampant corruption in the NYPD explodes on the pages of the New York Times. The practices of decades of graft are exposed by the Knapp Commission and the police commissioner and several captains resign in disgrace.
Serpico’s story was made into a film starring Al Pacino.

1972- Witty, urbane actor George Sanders (All About Eve, Samson & Delilah, Sher Khan in Jungle Book) had turned age 65. He complained he had been famous and rich and was not looking forward to old age and having a nurse wipe his bottom. So he committed suicide and left a witty, urbane note. "Dear World: I am leaving because I am bored. Adieu, I leave you with your worries in this sweet cesspool."

1981- Dixie, the worlds oldest living mouse died at age 6  1/2.

1996- "Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk" opened on Broadway.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for April 24, 2016

Birthdays: Daniel Defoe, William de Kooning, St. Vincent de Paul, Morgan Earp, Jack E. Leonard, Dame Ethel Smyth, Jill Ireland, Eric Bogosian, Sue Grafton, Robert Penn Warren, Barbera Streisand is 74, Cedric the Entertainer is 53, Shirley McLaine is 82

1833- The Soda Fountain is patented.

1933- Ub Iwerk's "Fiddlesticks" the first Flip the Frog cartoon, done in a simple two-color process. Iwerks was the first designer and animator of Mickey Mouse, who had left Walt Disney to open his own studio.

1961- First day of shooting on the film King of Kings, the Christ story starring Jeffrey Hunter. Called by one critic” I was a Teenage Jesus” In 1966 Jeffrey Hunter turned down a TV series after doing the pilot episode. His wife worried that he’d be typecast. The role of Star Trek’s Captain Kirk, went instead went to William Shatner.

1981- Small companies like Apple and Commodore had dominated the personal computer market while giants like IBM stuck with large business systems. Now IBM weighed in with The IBM PC –personal computer, with basic software language DOS provided by Microsoft. It soon came to dominate the market.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for April 23, 2016

Birthdays: William Shakespeare, James Buchanan, Sergei Prokoviev, J.M.W. Turner, Vladimir Nabokov, Senator Stephen Douglas the Little Giant, Shirley Temple, Roy Orbison, Halston, Sandra Dee, Valerie Bertinelli, Lee Majors is 75, Judy Davis, Simone Simon, Michael Sporn, Tony Esposito, Michael Moore is 62, Herve Villechaise

Four hundred years ago. 1616-After a night out partying with Ben Johnson, John Draydon and other old buddies from Ye Old Mermaid Tavern, William Shakespeare caught a fever and died on his fifty third birthday.

1867- William Lincoln patents the zoetrope, an optical toy predating motion pictures..

1896-THE FIRST PROJECTED MOVIES IN THE U.S.- The first projection of Thomas Edison’s kinetoscope film by means of Thomas Armat’s Vitascope at Koster & Bials Music Hall on 28th street and Broadway in New York City. Edison had to be nagged into this by his engineer W.K.L. Dickson. Edison thought projecting movies like the Lumiere Brothers were doing in Europe would never catch on and the future of film was nickelodeon machines.  The movie show featured the sultry Annabella the Dancer and a boxing match, but the real hit of the evening was footage of Waves Hitting the Rocks on Shore, which made people instinctively duck to keep from getting wet.

1951- Comedian Lenny Bruce was arrested for a stunt where he dressed as a priest and solicited funds in a leper colony.

2005- The first You-Tube video was uploaded- Me At the Zoo.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for April 22, 2016

Birthdays: Queen Isabella I of Castille, Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, Immanuel Kant, Madame De Stael, Alexander Kerensky, Aaron Spelling, Eddie Albert, Glen Cambell, Betty Page, Marilyn Chambers, Charlie Mingus, Peter Frampton, John Waters is 70, Jack Nicholson is 79

1876- Composer Peter Tchaikovsky completed his score for the ballet Swan Lake.

1940- Writer Ernest Hemingway cabled his editor Max Perkins from Havana about a new novel he was writing.-" Title is "For Whom the Bell Tolls" from passage John Donne Oxford Book of English bottom page seventy one STOP Please register immediately."

1952- The first nuclear bomb test shown on network TV -Tommy Turtle says duck and cover!

1970- The first Earth Day. The idea was started by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin "The objective was to get a nationwide demonstration of concern for the environment so large that it would shake the political establishment out of its lethargy," Senator Nelson said, "and, finally, force this issue permanently onto the national political agenda."

1972- Magnavox announced the Magnavox Odyssey. Created by Ralph Baer in his spare time, it was the first home videogame console.

1978- Comic actors Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi debut two new characters on the Saturday Night Live TV show, Joliet Jake and Ellwood Blues. The Blues Brothers are born.

1996- Christopher Robin Milne dies at age 75. The young boy who’s fascination with a bear in the London Zoo called Winnie inspired his father A.A. Milne to write the Winne the Pooh stories. Christopher Robin wasn’t always appreciative of all the attention. He said of his father: "Someday I’ll write some verses about him and see how He likes it!"

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for April 21, 2016

Birthdays: Edwin S. Porter, Charlotte Bronte', John Muir, Freiderich Froebel the inventor of kindergarten-1782, Anthony Quinn, Patti Lupone, Iggy Pop, Charles Grodin, Anna Magnani, Andie MacDowell is 58, Tony Danza, Elaine May, James McAvoy is 37, Rob Riggle is 46, Queen Elizabeth II is 90

1910- Mark Twain died of congenital heart failure at 75 as Haley's comet appeared overhead. He once wrote: " When arriving in Heaven feel free to ask all the questions you want of Saint Peter. You may ask for his autograph, however don’t take any Kodak photos or bring your dog. Admittance to Heaven is based on favor, not merit, else the dog would be allowed to go in and you kept out."

1921- The Coconut Grove nightclub opened in Hollywood.

1938- Disney animator Bill Tytla married artists model Adrienne LeClerc.

1961- Two groups of British teenage rock bands meet each other for the first time- The Beatles met the Rolling Stones.

1964- British TV viewers double their pleasure- BBC 2 goes on the air. Their first program is Play School.

1997-The first Intergalactic Funeral.  The ashes of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and 1960's drug guru Dr. Timothy Leary were shot into space.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for April 20, 2016

Birthdays: Harold Lloyd, Juan Miro', Adolf Hitler, Tito Puente, Nina Foch, Gregory Ratoff, Ryan O'Neal, Daniel Day Lewis, Jessica Lange, Luther Vandross, Don Mattingly, Rosalyn Summers, Crispin Glover, Betty-Lou Gerson the voice of Cruella da Vil, George Takei, Carmen Electra is 41, Andy Serkis, Bob Kurtz

1859- " It was the Best of Times, It was the Worst of Times..." Charles Dicken's novel "A Tale of Two Cities" began to be published in magazine form.

1909- Mary Pickford, the first Movie Star, goes in front of a camera for the first time.

1925-The Warner Bros. Moving Picture company merged with Vitagraph,  and began experimenting with fixing sound on to film

1935- Radio program “Your Hit Parade” premiered.

1938- On Hitler’s birthday was the Berlin premiere of Leni Reifenstahl’s film Olympia, about the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

1939- RCA president David Sarnoff dedicated RCA pavilion at World's Fair in New York City. First U.S. news event filmed on television. Sarnoff predicted that one day everyone would have a television in their home!

1970- San Rafael Cal, started a tradition of smoking marijuana en masse at 4:20, supposedly the police code for a drug bust. The Greatful Dead took up the tradition and now everyone tokes at 4:20PM.

1974 - Paul McCartney and Wings releases "Band on the Run"

1976 - George Harrison sang the Lumberjack Song with the Monty Python comedy troop.

1977- Woody Allen & Diane Keaton starred in the film “Annie Hall”.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for April 19, 2016

Birthdays: Paulo Verronese, Elliot Ness, Jayne Mansfield, Dudley Moore, Paloma Picasso, Iwao Takamoto, Ashley Judd, James Franco is 38, Kate Hudson is 37, Tim Curry is 70, Anna Porchicova is 29

1927- Mae West found guilty of indecent behavior in writing, producing and starring in a Broadway musical entitled “SEX”.   She said:” Everyone thinks I am opposed to censorship. Actually, I’m in favor of censorship. I’ve made a fortune from it!”

1956-Movie star Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco.

1970- XEROX PARC – The Xerox Company announced the set up of a research group in Palo Alto Cal. This group pioneered the development of the personal computer and laser printer.

1973- Three years later Xerox Parc booted up the Alto, the first personal computer. They invented a new mouse, point and click windows, graphic interface and digital printer. President Carter installed one in the White House. Yet Xerox didn’t know what to do with them, they were in the copier business. The Alto cost $16,500 each, too expensive for most, so the idea bombed. One day in 1979 a group from Apple visited led by Steve Jobs. The group was inspired by their progress, and they went back to Apple and put what they learned into the development of the Lisa and Apple II Computer.

1987- The first Simpsons short aired today, 29 years ago. "Good Night Simpsons" MG01 was on the 3rd episode of The Tracey Ullman Show, airing Sunday, 4/19/87 at 9pm. Animated by Wes Archer, Bill Kopp, and David Silverman.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for April 18, 2016

Birthdays: Lucrezia Borgia, Franz Von Suppe’, Haley Mills, Leopold Stokowski, Miklos Rosza, Herb Sorell, Wahoo Sam Crawford, Conan O’Brien is 53, James Woods is 69, Eric Roberts, Rick Moranis is 64, Maria Bello is 49, David Tennant is 45.

1914-. The full feature length movie premiered in Turin, Italy. "Cabiria" directed by Giovane Patrone. It was believed to be the first full length movie ever until the discovery of a 1912 version of Quo Vadis.  D.W. Griffith’s 1915 classic the Birth of a Nation popularized the format for feature films.

1983- The Disney Channel went on the air.

1994- Disney’s first theatrical musical based on an animated film,  Beauty and the Beast A New Musical, opened on Broadway.