Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Anim Fun Facts for Aug 22, 2017



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 44

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 it’s 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 Dance premiered. 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.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Animation fun facts for Aug 21, 2017


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 73, Kim Catrall is 61, Carrie Anne Moss is 50

1887- Mighty (Dan) Casey struck out at his last at bat with the NY Giants. The poem 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.


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, for his favorite bear he saw at the zoo. The child would also mention the name of a swan there he liked named Pooh. This gave his dad A.A. Milne a swell idea for a new book.


1929-Mexican artists 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.

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.


1967 –New York Mets second baseman Ken Harrelson became the first free agent. 


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


1987- The movie Dirty Dancing opened.


1995- Bill Gates announced Microsoft Windows 95.



Sunday, August 20, 2017

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 20, 2017


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 61, Fred Durst, Alan Reed -the original voice of Fred Flintstone, Slobodan Milosovic’, Amy Adams is 43


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.

1971- THE ENEMIES LIST. FBI documents prove this day the Nixon White House began to covertly investigate journalist Daniel Schorr because of his anti-war editorials. President Richard Nixon kept an enemies list of people he imagined to be opponents to his administration. It began with obvious liberals like George McGovern and Ted Kennedy, then expanded as far as June Foray the voice of Rocky the Flying Squirrel.

1972- Star Hollywood directors Francis Ford Coppola, Peter Bogdanovich and William Freidkin announced a partnership in a new production company called "The Director's Company". Young punks Martin Scorcese, George Lucas and Steven Speilberg 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.
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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 19, 2017


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 61, Kyra Sedgwick is 52, Matthew Perry is 48, Jonathan Frakes is 65, Bill Clinton is 71


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 17th in 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.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 18, 2017


 Birthdays: Meriwether Lewis, Austrian Emperor Franz Josef II, Leo Slezak, Shelly Winters, Roberto Clemente, Rafer Johnson, Enoch Light, Coco Channel, Roman Polanski is 84, Patrick Swayze, Madeleine Stowe, Christian Slater, Edward Norton is 48, Martin Mull, Denis Leary is 60, Robert Redford, born Charles Robert Redford Jr, is 81


1939- The movie The Wizard of Oz released 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".


1966- HAPPY BIRTHDAY SLURPEE!  The Ice Slurpee was invented by two Dallas engineers for a failing Oklahoma ice cream store.

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.

1989- Publishing Tycoon Malcolm Forbes flew 800 guests to Tangiers to celebrate his birthday. His birthday party cost $2 million. The soiree' comes to symbolize 1980's excess.

1990- 510 animators pay tribute to Betty Boop creator Grim Natwick on his 100th Birthday. 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.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 17, 2017


Birthdays: Davy Crocket, Mae West, Marcus Garvey, Sam Goldwyn- born Schmuel Gelbfisz, Harry Hopkins, Monte Wooley, Boog Powell, Belinda Carlisle, Guillermo Vilas, V.S. Naipul, Jim Courier, Donnie Wahlberg, Belinda Carlisle, Maureen O’Hara, Sean Penn is 56, Martha Coolidge is 71, Robert DeNiro is 73


1876- Richard Wagner’s 4 hour opera Gotterdamerung- the Twilight of the Gods, premiered.


1908- D.W. Griffith signed a contract to begin directing movies for Biograph Pictures. He was paid $50 dollars a week plus royalties. 


1941- EL GRUPO- Walt Disney and his artists arrive in Rio on a ten week goodwill tour of South America, underwritten by a $70,000 government grant.  President Franklin Roosevelt was worried that some South American countries might be sympathetic to the Nazis, forcing the U.S. to worry about her backdoor. So FDR sent Nelson Rockefeller to give the Latin American countries whatever they wanted to keep them out of the world war. Among other things they wanted Donald Duck. Back in LA the federal mediator Stanley White had worked out with Roy Disney that if they got Walt out of town, they could settle the Disney animators strike. The name comes from hotel footmen in Buenos Aires paging the artists as El Grupo Disney! The Three Caballeros and Saludos Amigos result.

1962- The Beatles replaced drummer Pete Best with Ringo Starr.

1969- The closing day of the Woodstock Rock Concert, Three Days of Peace and Music. Jimmy Hendrix did his famous rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.

1984- The Walt Disney Company informed it’s chairman Ron Miller that they wanted his resignation. Disney had fallen to 14th in film box office by then. Miller had been Walt’s son-in-law and he was he was once a tight end for the LA Rams. Within two years of Michael Eisner taking power Disney was number one.

1985-The Hormel Meat Packing Strike, severely threatening the worlds supply of SPAM.

1986- John Lasseter’s award wining short Luxo Jr, premiered at Siggraph’86 Dallas.


1992- Famed film director Woody Allen admits he is having an affair with Soon Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of his long time lover Mia Farrow. He is 60 and she is 21. But as the unrepentant Allen states: “The Heart wants what it wants.” They’ve been married ever since.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 16, 2017


Birthdays: Fess Parker, Karl Stockhausen, George Meany, Charles Bukowski, Menachim Begin, Otto Mesmer the creator of Felix the Cat, Myron Grim Natwick the creator of Betty Boop, Hal Foster the creator of Prince Valiant, Kathie Lee Gifford, Eydie Gorme, Bill Evans, Leslie Ann Warren, Angela Bassett is 59, Julie Numar is 84, Robert Culp, James Cameron is 63, Bruce Beresford, Steve Carrell is 55, Madonna, aka Louise Ciccone of Bay City Michigan, is 59


1938- In Three Forks Misssissippi, Blues legend Robert Johnson was poisoned by a jealous husband.

1942- Happy Birthday Mighty Mouse. Terrytoon's short: "The Mouse of Tomorrow".

1969- “ Hey Man, we’re gonna serve breakfast in bed for 500,000” So was hippy Wavy Gravy’s announcement on the second day of the Woodstock Rock Concert. He said this was the day Americans learned to eat Granola. It was ladled out en masse in paper cups and has been a diet staple ever since.

1974- The Ramones play their first gig at the NY club CBGBs. Hey-Ho, Lets Go!


1977- E-DAY in Memphis. Elvis Presley, donuts and Pizza Hut box in hand, died of a heart attack while sitting on the toilet. He was reading the book-the Historic Search for the Face of Jesus. He was 42.

1985- On her birthday, Madonna married Sean Penn. They divorced shortly after.

1987- The Harmonic Convergence- Another one of these celestial events that the mainstream media trumpeted as the end of everything. All nine planets of our solar system were in perfect alignment and the subsequent gravitational forces were supposed to knock the Earth into the Sun or something or other that would send us to Hell in a Handbasket. Lots of New Age types flocked to occult sites like Mt. Shasta and Stonehenge to meditate on the End of All Things.  So what happened? Nothing.

1991- The original Shamu the Whale died of respiratory failure at age 16.

2005- Top Pixar story-artist Joe Ranft was killed in an auto accident. He was 42.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 15, 2017


Birthdays: Napoleon Bonaparte, Leon Theremin- inventor of that weird electronic musical instrument that is in all those 1950s flying saucer movies, Samuel Coleridge, Sir Walter Scott, King Frederick Wilhelm Ist of Prussia 1685, Lawrence of Arabia, Ethel Barrymore, Huntz Hall, Bill Baird, Edna Ferber, Sir Robert Bolt, Rose-Marie is 93, Linda Ellerbee, Gene Upshaw, Oscar Peterson, Shimon Peres, Mike “Mannix” Connors, Nicholas Roeg, Anthony Andrews, Ben Afleck is 44, Debra Messing is 48, Julia Child, Jennifer Lawrence is 26.


1843- Tivoli Gardens opened in Copenhagen. One of the oldest amusement parks in the world. King Christian said “ When people are amused, they don’t worry about politics.”
Hans Christian Andersen was a frequent visitor. One hundred years later, Walt Disney visited to get inspiration for his Disneyland.

1885- Sir Richard Burton completed his translation from medieval Persian of One Thousand and One Arabian Nights. There had been earlier attempts like a French edition in 1809, but Burton’s edition introduced the west to Aladdin and his magic lamp, Sinbad the sailor and Shaherazade.

1935- Twentieth Century Pictures and Fox Pictures merge to become Twentieth Century Fox.

1935- Humorist writer Will Rogers and his pilot Wiley Post are killed when their small plane crashed in Barrow, Alaska.

1946- Disney’s Make Mine Music, featuring Blue Bayou, All the Cats Join In, and Willie the Operatic Whale.


1958 - Buddy Holly weds Maria Santiago.

1965- The Beatles play their largest U.S. concert yet, at New York's Shea Stadium.

1968- The pirate radio station Radio Free London began transmitting.

1969-WOODSTOCK-Three Days of Peace and Music- The rock concert of the 20th Century opened. The promoters, one of whom was heir to the Polident Denture Cream fortune, were hoping to host 50,000 people and launch a recording studio in the quiet New York farming town. What they got was 500,000 young fans and the social phenomenon that defined an age. At one point the more conservative elements of the community got a court order to block the land to be used, but farmer Max Yasgur offered his cow farm for the site.

 Up till then in the tumultuous 1960’s any gathering of young people that big meant violence and riot, and at one point New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller threatened to send in the National Guard. But the magic prevailed and there was no violence outside of 200 bad acid trips and one heroin overdose.