Thursday, June 21, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for June 21, 2018


Birthdays: Martha Washington, Alexander Pope, Berkeley Breathed, Al Hirschfeld, Al Martinez, Jean-Paul Sartre, Judy Holliday, Benazir Bhutto, Jane Russell, Mariette Hartley, Bernie Koppel, Rick Sutcliffe, Maureen Stapleton, Joe Flagherty, Juliet Lewis, Tony Scott, Chris Pratt is 39, Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge is 36. 


1871- The Los Angeles Star newspaper announced the first trainload of pretzels had reached town!

1893- The FERRIS WHEEL -George Washington Ferris, Jr. decided that the Columbia Exhibition, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus' discovery, needed to surpass the French Eiffel Tower (introduced in 1889 during the centennial celebration of the French Revolution). So he created his wheel so each compartment could hold 12 people plus a butler in a parlor-like atmosphere and rotate them 250 feet in the air.  People were afraid they would gasp for oxygen up so high but it was a big hit anyway. 

1907 - E W Scripps founded United Press Agency.


1939- Eugene O’Neill’s wife Carlotta wrote in her diary- “Gene kept me up all night talking about his outline for a new play about his family”- The Long Days Journey into Night. It took him two years to write and it almost killed him.

1948- The Mark I computer,built at the Victoria University of Manchester by Frederic C. Williams, Tom Kilburn and Geoff Tootill, and ran its first program this day. The first computer that could store a program and re-open it.

1948- Columbia Records introduced the 33 1/3-rpm long playing record, the LP. Inventor Peter Goldmark was annoyed that he had to change his 78 rpm records several times to hear just one Brahms Symphony. He decided to invent a way to fit all of a symphony on one side of a record.  His immediate supervisors told him to stop it because people would not throw away all their 78 rpm records to replace them with his. So Goldmark went over their heads to CBS chief William Paley and Paley loved the idea. RCA and David Sarnoff tried to compete with the 45-rpm record, but all it was good for was singles. The 33 1/3 dominated recording until replaced by the Compact Disc in the 1980’s.


1965- The Byrds release record Hey Mr. Tambourine Man

1978 - Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice's musical "Evita," premieres in London.


1988- Who Framed Roger Rabbit?premiered at Radio City Music Hall.  It opened generally three days later.

2002- Lilo & Stitch premiered.


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for June 20, 2018


Birthdays: Wolf Tone, Jacques Offenbach, Lillian Hellman, Errol Flynn, Audie Murphy,
Andre Watts, Cyndee Lauper, Bob Vila, Chet Atkins, Stephen Frears, Brian Wilson, Robert Rodriquez, John Goodman, Martin Landau, John Mahoney, Nicole Kidman is 50

1936- Mickey short Moving Daypremiered.

1940- Artist Alberto Vargas signs a contract with Esquire Magazine to paint the ‘Vargas Girls’ pin ups that made the magazine famous. He replaced artist George Petty who was demanding $1,500 a week. Vargas was paid $75 a week. Today an original Vargas goes for $350,000.

1941-Walt Disney's "the Reluctant Dragon" premiered, with cartoonist's pickets around the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. Police actually have to close part of Hollywood Blvd. out of concern for what the rampaging animators might do. Future UPA producer Steve Bosustow drove up in a limo and picketed in tuxedo and top hat. His chauffeur was Maurice Noble, the designer of the RoadRunner cartoons. Ironically the movie was part documentary about how wonderful life was working at the Disney studio.

1947- Benjamin Bugsy Siegel, the gangster creator of modern Las Vegas, was murdered while reading his evening paper in his Beverly Hills home. He had bought the mansion from opera singer George London for his girlfriend actress Virginia Hill. The order to whack Bugsy was probably given by his old friend Mayer Lansky. The Mob was fed up with Bugsy’s cost overruns to build Las Vegas. The second owner of his Flamingo casino, Gus Greenbaum, had his throat cut with a butcher knife. Despite all, the Flamingo and the Las Vegas Strip went on to become a great success.


1948- The Ed Sullivan Show "Toast of the Town" later to be “the Ed Sullivan Show” premiered. Sullivan's show was the showcase that brought new acts like Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Signor Winces and the Rolling Stones into the average American living room. Prior to this, Mr. Sullivan was a columnist and radio show personality who co-authored "Red Channels", a book accusing dozens of his Show Biz compatriots as Communists..

1975- Steven Spielberg’s movie Jawsopened, bringing back the monster-hit event movie. 

Monday, June 18, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for June 19, 2018


Birthdays: Euclid, Blaise Pascal, King James I Stuart, Wallis Simpson Duchess of Windsor, Moe Howard, Kathleen Turner, Lou Gehrig, Guy Lombardo, Mildred Natwick, Charles Coburn, Pat Butram, Louis Jourdan, Pauline Kael, Salman Rushdie, Dame Mae Whitty, Lucie Sloane, Ang Sung Soo Chi, Paula Abdul is 56, Zoe Saldana is 40, Gena Rowlands is 88

1921- Distributer Amadee van Beuren announced production of a new series of "Aesop’s Fables" cartoons to be done by former Bray director Paul Terry. Terrytoons studio is born.

1923 - "Moon Mullins," a Comic Strip, debuts.

1934-The Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, created.

1941 - Cheerios Cereal invented. Originally called Cheeri-Oats, it was changed to Cheerios in 1945. 

1952 - "I've Got A Secret" debuts on CBS-TV with Garry Moore as host.

1956- The comedy team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis announce their breakup.

1960- Freedomland amusement park opened in New York City. 


1963- The Ray Harryhausen fantasy film Jason and the Argonauts premiered.

1973 The Rocky Horror Show stage show opened in London. The film version became a midnight cult classic. Writer Richard O’Brien himself plays the bald doorman Riff-Raff. Let’s do the Time Warp Again.

1978 – Garfield the Cat, created by Jim Davis, 1st appears as a comic strip.

1983- Don Bluth’s video arcade game Dragons Lair debuted.

1987 - Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream & Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia announce a new Ice Cream flavor, Cherry Garcia.

1987 –David Geffen Records signed their 1st artist -Donna Summer.

1998- Disney’s Mulan opened in theaters. 


Animation Fun Facts for June 18, 2018


Birthdays: M C Escher, Charles Gounod, James Montgomery Flagg, Kay Kayser, William Lassell 1799- English astronomer who discovered Neptune's moon Triton,  Richard Boone,  Jeanette MacDonald, Key Luke, Isabella Rosselini, E.G. Marshall, Roger Ebert, Eduard Daladier, Carol Kane, Sammy Kahn,  The Quay Brothers, Paul McCartney is 76

1898 - 1st amusement pier opens in Atlantic City, NJ

1913- composer Cole Porter graduated from Yale.


1931- The Metropolitan Museum of NY had in its collection a little blue statue of a Hippo from the tomb of the Egyptian Steward Senbi from the Twelfth Dynasty. People nicknamed it Willie and this day an article about it with a color picture appeared in Punch Magazine. Soon museum craftsmen made little replicas of Willie that they gave as gifts to donors and eventually started selling to the public. The massive retail business in museum reproductions and merchandise we have today, all began with little Willie the Hippo.


1959 - 1st TV telecast transmitted from England to US.


1967- At the Monterey Pop Rock festival Jimi Hendrix electrified the audience then finished his set by burning and smashing his guitar on stage. Until then musicians didn’t behave in such a way towards their instruments. Ravi Shankar was particularly shocked.

1980 –"We are on a mission from God." John Landis movie " The Blues Brothers" with Dan Ackroyd & John Belushi premiered.



Sunday, June 17, 2018

Animation fun facts for June 17, 2018


Birthdays: King Edward I "Longshanks", John Wesley the founder of the Methodists, , Wally Wood, Ralph Bellamy, Dean Martin, Barry Manilow, Joe Piscopo is 68, Newt Gingrich, Martin Bormann, Jason Patric, Ken Loach, Greg Kinnear is 55, Venus Williams, Thomas Haden Church is 58, Will Forte is 48


1893- Cracker Jacks invented by RW Reuckheim. Their name came from Teddy Roosevelt sampling the caramel corn, and exclaimed “These are Crackerjack!”- popular slang back then for something very good.

1919 - "Barney Google" cartoon strip, by Billy De Beck, premiered.

1946- The first mobile telephone was installed in an automobile in St. Louis, Missouri.

1964- The first Universal Studios tram car tour. Carl Laemmle had been inviting tourists in for a nickel to watch movies be filmed as early as 1915.

1968- Ohio Express’ single “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy I got love in my Tummy” went gold.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for June 16, 2018


Birthdays: Stan Laurel, Willy Boskovsky, Joyce Carol Oates, Nelson Doubleday, Brian Eno, animator Pete Burness, Martha Graham, Erich Segal, Jack Albertson, Helen Traubel, Ron LeFlore, Laurie Metcalf, Sonia Braga is 68, John Cho is 46.


1902- A musical play of L Frank Baum’s fantasy story the Wizard of Oz premiered at Chicago’s Grand Opera House. When Baum was writing down the stories at one point he was stuck for a name for the magical kingdom. He looked down at his desk files that were labeled A-N and O-Z. 

1903 – The Pepsi Cola Company formed.

1920- International Telephone and Telegraph incorporates- IT&T.

1932- Broadway star Mae West heads west for Hollywood to make movies.


1943- 54 year old actor Charlie Chaplin married his fourth wife, 18 year old Oona O’Neill. In Hollywood, Chaplin’s nickname was “Chickenhawk Charlie” for his fondness for underage girls. Oona did remain his wife until the end of his life in 1971.

1947 –The 1st regular broadcast network news show began-Dumont's "News from Washington".

1952- The CBS television comedy My Little Margie premiered. It starred Gale Storm and Charlie Farrell. 

1955- Disney’s Lady and the Tramp premiered.


1959- Actor George Reeves, who played the 1950s television Superman, went upstairs during a dinner party and shot himself with a Luger pistol.  Actor Gig Young, who was a friend of Reeves, said the actor 's career was going well and his love life was fine. He never believed the actor would shoot himself. Gig Young shot himself in 1981. 


1960- Alfred Hitchcock's thriller "Psycho" premiered. 

1967- The film “The Dirty Dozen” debuted.

1987- Italian porn star Ciccolina announced that since all politicians were whores and she was a whore, she would run for office. This made sense to Italians who this day elected her overwhelmingly to a seat in Parliament.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for June 15, 2018


Birthdays: Edward the Black Prince of England, Rachael Donelson Jackson- Andy Jackson’s First Lady, Edvard Grieg, Saul Steinburg, Mario Cuomo, Jim Varney, Wade Boggs, Waylon Jennings, Xaviera Hollander the Happy Hooker, Jim Belushi, Roger Chiasson, Michael Barrier, Ice Cube is 49, Neil Patrick Harris is 45, Courtenay Cox is 54, Helen Hunt is 55



1849- Three months after leaving office President James K. Polk died. The President who fought the War with Mexico to get California and the southwest was a lifelong teetotaler and died of cholera from drinking bad water.  Sam Houston, who was one of the great alcoholics of American history, reacted “That’s the natural end of all Water-Drinkers!"

1945- Judy Garland married director Vincente Minnelli. Lisa Minnelli was one result.

1951- Comedian Lenny Bruce married a stripper named Honey Stuart.

1969- The country music comedy TV show Hee-Hawpremiered as a summer replacement for the Smothers Brothers Hour. Hee Haw ran for two years with high ratings but CBS cancelled the show anyway. This was because CBS chief Bill Paley disliked country music.  CBS had so many shows like Mayberry RFD, Beverly Hillbillies and Hee Haw, that insiders joked that CBS stood for the Country Broadcasting System. Hee Haw had the last laugh, going on to a successful syndication run until 1997. 

1977- Everybody Disco! KC and the Sunshine band release “I’m your Boogie Man”

1994- Walt Disney’s The Lion King opened. 

1999- In San Diego, Nicholas Vitalich was arrested for slapping his wife with a large tuna.

2001- Disney’s Atlantispremiered.

2002- Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones was knighted.


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for June 14, 2018


Birthdays: Tomaso Albinioni, Fighting Bob LaFollette, Margaret Bourke-White, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Sam Wanamaker, Cliff Edwards the voice of Jiminy Cricket, Dorothy McGuire, Burl Ives, Gene Barry, Jerzy Kosinski, Diablo Cody is 39, 
Pres. Donald Trump is 71.

1816- Writers Percy Shelley, Lord Byron and Mary Shelley were spending the summer at the Villa Deodati on Lake Geneva. This day among the revels, drinking, partner swapping and opium taking, Byron suggested they all write a ghost story. They all failed except for 19 year old Mary, who invented a story of a Swiss scientist who created an artificial man. She called it Frankenstein.

1822- Charles Babbage presented a paper to the Royal Astronomical Society in London proposing to build a "Difference Engine" a machine that could calculate equations and print the results-i.e. a computer. His early machine required 8,000 moving parts. After ten years and a small fortune it never quite comes off, but today it is considered the ancestor of the computer.

1834- Isaac Fischer Jr. of Vermont invented sandpaper. 

1846-THE GREAT BEAR REBELLION- U.S. citizens living in Spanish California led by a school teacher named William Ide and Ezekiel Merritt declared themselves an independent country, not knowing that back east the U.S. government had already declared war on Mexico and annexed California to the U.S. Remember information took months to get back East across Indian territory and burning deserts. The Anglo-Californians seized a Sonoma military post and arrested the owner of the largest hacienda in the area, a retired Mexican General named Mariano Vallejo. Ironically Senor Vallejo himself desired AltaCalifornia to have independence from Mexico City.  

1951- Univac I, built by John W, Mauchly and J. Prosper Eckert Jr. of the Remington Rand Company to be the first U.S. commercial built electronic computer, went on line for the census bureau in Philadelphia.

1959- Three new rides are debuted at Disneyland in Anaheim. The first monorail the Disneyland-Alweg Monorail System, Matterhorn Mountain and the Submarine Voyage, today called the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. Back then the submarines were named and painted to be the US navy nuclear submarines Nautilus, Triton, Skipjack, Skate, Patrick Henry, Sea Wolf, George Washington and Ethan Allen. The ride took visitors for an adventure under the North Pole, an achievement which the real USN Nautilus had just accomplished the previous year. The subs were repainted the more pacific yellow color after the Vietnam era.

1964- THE FIRST HIPPY BUS- Ken Kesey, the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, bought an old school bus, painted it psychedelic colors, took of troupe of 14 fellow free spirits called the Merry Pranksters and spent the next few months driving across the country taking LSD and staging Happenings in various cities and towns.
The Bus’s name was Further and its driver was Neil Cassidy, friend of Beatnik author Jack Kerouac. A book documenting the escapades of the "hippy bus" was "The Electric Koolaid Acid Test." Ken Kesey became interested in LSD when he volunteered for a college program to experiment with the drug, secretly funded by the CIA. The Merry Pranksters were invited in 1969 to be the security for the Woodstock Rock Festival.

1966- The Vatican officially abolished the Index of Forbidden Books. 


1989- Elderly actress Zsa Zsa Gabor was arrested for slapping a Beverly Hills policeman who was writing her a traffic ticket.

1995, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MP3.  The researchers at Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits decided to use "mp3" as the file name extension for their new audio coding technology. Development on this technology started in 1987. By 1992 it was considered far ahead of its times. MP3 became the generally accepted acronym as the popular standard for digital music on the on the Internet.


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for June 13, 2018


Birthdays: Gnaeus Agricola- 40AD, Harriet Beecher Stowe, W.B. Yeats, Red Grange, Basil Rathbone would be 125, Dorothy Sayers, Ralph Edwards, Paul Lynde, Tim Allen, Darla Hood, Ally Sheedy, Simon Callow, Christo, Malcolm McDowell is 75, Stellan Skarsgard is 67, the Olsen Twins are 32. 


1920-The US Government rules Americans cannot mail their children through the Parcel Post System.

1941-The American Federation of Labor the AF of L called for a nationwide boycott of all Disney products and films. This was to support the Disney Cartoonists strike.

1958- Frank Zappa graduated Antelope Valley High School.


2010- Pixar’s Toy Story III premiered.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for June 12, 2018


Birthdays: Egon Scheile, John Roebling the builder of the Brooklyn Bridge, Uta Hagen, Chick Corea, Sir Anthony Eden, Jim Nabors, Vic Damone, David Rockefeller, Irwin Allen, Marv Albert, Arthur Fellig-better known as Weegee, Sherry Stringfield,  Former President George Herbert Walker Bush is 94, if Anne Frank had survived she would be 89 today, Clyde Geronimi, Richard Sherman of the Sherman Bros is 90

1616- Pocahontas, now called Lady Rebecca Rolfe, landed in England with her husband and son Thomas. 

1949- The first LA parking ticket.

1962- In Modesto California, a teenage film student named George Lucas was almost killed in a car accident.

1963- Twentieth Century Fox premiered the Elizabeth Taylor -Richard Burton epic CLEOPATRA. Costing $44 million, $400 million in modern money, four times more than the average film, it remains in comparable dollars the costliest disaster in movie history.
Fox had to cut 2,000 jobs and almost went bankrupt. The area of LA known as Century City with its huge shopping mall used to be the Fox backlot before Cleopatra. 

On the plus side, Andy Warhol said Cleopatra was the most influential movie of the 1960s because suddenly every woman had to have heavy black eyeliner, light lipstick and Egyptian style straight bobbed hair and bangs.


1981- Steven Spielberg’s movie Raiders of the Lost Arkpremiered.


1999- Disney’s Tarzanpremiered.


Monday, June 11, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for June 11, 2018

Birthdays: Ben Johnson, Richard Strauss, Jacques Cousteau, Nelson Mandela, Bartolomeo Vanzetti, Joe Montana, John Constable, Gustav Courbet, Vince Lombardi, Adrienne Barbeau, William Styron, Chad Everett, race car driver Jackie Stewart, Gene Wilder, Hugh Laurie is 59, Shia LeBoeuf is 32, Peter Dinklage is 49.

1878- At a small track at the Palo Alto Stock Farm, English photographer Edweard Muybridge did the first of his Animal Motion Studies. He lined up 25 cameras and filmed California Governor Leyland Stanford’s favorite mare Sallie Gardner at a full gallop. He invited the press, so none could accuse him of doctoring the photos later. They proved that when a horse was in full gallop, all four hooves leave the ground.

1927- Charles Lindbergh Day. After his historic flight, the young aviator was welcomed home to America by President Coolidge and huge throngs of well-wishers at Washington’s Navy Yard. Battleships boomed, bands blared and two dirigibles floated overhead. The radio announcer covering the event did one of the very first coast-to-coast broadcasts. He reached thirty million people. 

1928 - Alfred Hitchcock's 1st film, "The Case Of Jonathan Drew," is released

1934- the first Mandrake the Magician comic strip.

1936- Shy, quiet, 30 year old Texas writer Robert E. Howard had created the powerful warriors Conan the Barbarian, Kull and single-handedly defined the genre we now call Sword & Sorcery. This day after he learned his mother was dying and would never regain consciousness, he went into his garage and blew his brains out. Some say he had an Oedipal fixation, others that he always intended to end his life and was waiting to spare his mother the pain. On his typewriter he left a short message: "All fled, all done, so lift me upon the pyre. The feast is over and let the lamps expire."

1937 –" Getta’ yu tutsie-frutsie Ice-a Creem!" the Marx Brothers' "A Day At The Races" premiered.

1959 – The US Postmaster General banned D H Lawrence's novel Lady Chatterley's Lover as pornography. He was overruled by US Court of Appeals in March 1960. 

1964 - Chicago police break up a Rolling Stones press conference.

1964 - Manfred Mann recorded Do Wah Diddy Diddy.

1966 - "Paint It, Black" by The Rolling Stones peaks at #1

1966 - Janis Joplin played her 1st gig in San Francisco.


1972- THE MOST PROFITABLE FILM IN HISTORY.  The film Deep Throat premiered. The first full length blockbuster porn film. The film was shot in just three days, by an ex-hairdresser turned director. It cost $22,500 to make and grossed $600 million. Most of that money disappeared into the coffers of the Mafia. It became a counterculture cause celebre. Jacky Kennedy saw it. Frank Sinatra screened a print for Vice President Spiro Agnew. Star Linda Lovelace later disavowed her career and claimed she did the sex scenes under duress from her husband Chuck Trainor. She died in a car accident in the 1982. Today the term Linda Syndrome denotes former porn actresses who deny their past.

1977 - Main Street Electrical Parade premiered at Disneyland.

1979- John Wayne died after a long struggle with cancer. Many believed his condition began as a result of filming the movie "The Conqueror" near the Nevada Atomic Test site. Half the crew of that film including all the stars and director died of cancer.  When Wayne made a final appearance at the Academy Awards two months earlier he had purchased a small size tuxedo to hide his emaciated frame, but he was still too thin even then so he filled it out by wearing a scuba wetsuit underneath. He was 73.

1984- In the freewheeling economy of the 1980’s tycoons conducted hostile takeovers of companies by buying a majority of their stock on margin. When Wall Street corporate raider Saul Steinberg announced he intended to target the ailing Walt Disney Company for takeover CEO Ron Miller paid him $23 million just to make him go away. The Disney shareholders are outraged at this payment of "greenmail’ and demanded Miller’s resignation, which some say was exactly as Roy Disney had planned.



1993 –Steven Spielberg’s  "Jurassic Park" opened. The film set a box office record of $931 million. It was begun with modelers and puppeteers about to do the dinosaurs with go-motion and clay. But after seeing tests using the new 3D CGI –computer graphic imaging software, Steven ordered all of ILM to do it digitally. Jurassic Park clinched the digital takeover of Hollywood and set the standard for future special effects.

2002- Fox TV’s show American Idol premiered.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for June 10, 2018


Birthdays: Charles James Stuart the Old Pretender, Yamaoka Tesshu (1832- Japanese swordsman), Saul Bellow, Judy Garland, Hattie McDaniel, Frederick Loew (of Lerner & Loew), Howlin’ Wolf, Maurice Sendak, Gina Gershon is 56, Leilee Sobieski is 35, Jean Triplehorn is 55, Jurgen Prochnow, Elizabeth Hurley is 52, Britain’s Prince Phillip is 97!

1776- The great English actor David Garrick went on stage for the last time, playing in a benefit for the Decayed Actor’s Fund. Hmm, I wonder if we could start a Decayed Animator’s Fund….


1910- The first Krazy Kat comic strip- Cartoonist George Herriman was doing a strip for Hearst called "The Family Upstairs". He was amused at the idea of a friendship between a cat and a mouse. So Herriman put them in the corner playing marbles while the family quarreled. First an office boy and later editor Arthur Brisbane suggested they have their own strip. The immortality of the denizens of Coconino County follows, loved by the likes of H.L. Mencken, e.e.cummings, and Jacques Kerouac. Krazy herself explains:" It's wot's behind me that I am."

1926- Artist Antonio Gaudi was run over by a streetcar while crossing in front of his famous cathedral in Barcelona. Construction begun in 1886, The Cathedral Sacreda Familia is still scheduled for completion- in the year 2035.

1939 - Barney Bear, cartoon character, by MGM, debuts

1944- A USO troop was entertaining soldiers in Normandy from the back of a truck but they lacked a piano player. They called out to the G.I. audience if anyone could play. A shy cattle rancher’s son from Modesto California came up and played. He did so well his colonel ordered him out of the line and told him to form his own G.I. band. 
Dave Brubeck’s jazz career began.


1957- “Tom Terrific and Manfred the Wonder Dog” cartoon debuted on the Captain Kangaroo show.
1967-The Arab-Israeli Six Day War ends. Israel defeated five Arab countries at once and occupied all of Jerusalem, the West Bank, Sinai, Gaza and the Golan Heights.


1995-110,000 people jam Central Park in New York to see Disney's Pocahontas,the largest audience ever to attend an animated movie premiere. 


Saturday, June 9, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for June 9, 2018


Birthdays: Ernesto "Che" Guevara, Harriet Beecher Stowe,Cole Porter, John Bartlett of Bartletts Familiar Quotations, BoyGeorge O’Dowd, Les Paul, Burl Ives, Lash LaRue, Happy Rockefeller, Robert MacNamara, Major Bowes, Carl Neilsen, Jerzy Kosinski, Pierre Salinger, Steffy Graff, Marvin Kalb, Charles-Augustin de Coulomb, physicist who formulated Coulomb's Law, Dr. Alois Alzheimer, Michael J. Fox is 57, Johnny Depp is 55, Natalie Portman is 37


1860- DIME NOVELS & PULP FICTION.  Mr. Erastus Beadle (don’t you love 19thcentury names?) published the first dime novel, Maleska, Indian Wife of the White Hunter by Anna Stephens. Sometimes called the Penny Dreadfulls, pocket-sized stories printed on cheap pulp paper became popular reading. They fantasized the West, extolling two-gun chivalry and virtuous maidens, roaring desperadoes and wild savages. This early form of mass media made celebrities out of characters like Buffalo Bill, Wild Bill Hickok, Black Bart, Billy the Kid and Belle Starr.

1918- Louella Parsons began her Hollywood Gossip column. Louella became one of the most powerful and widely read columnists in Hollywood’s golden age. Stories say Louella got as much pull as she did in the Hearst newspaper empire for helping cover up the killing of director Thomas Ince and also trying to stifle the release of Orson Welles’ film Citizen Kane. 



1934- Happy Birthday Donald Duck! Walt Disney's short cartoon "The Little Wise Hen". 


1934- The film The Thin Man with William Powell. Myrna Loy and Asta the dog went into general release.


1938 - Dorothy Lathrop wins the 1st Caldecott Medal for outstanding children’s books.

1941- First day shooting on the film, the Maltese Falcon. It was John Huston’s first directorial effort. The story had already been made into a movie twice before, so nobody had high hopes for it. The studio budget was so low, Humphrey Bogart had to wear his own suits on camera.


1950- After all appeals fail the first of the Hollywood Ten, screenwriters Dalton Trumbo, Philip Dunne, Alvah Bessie, Waldo Salt, Edward Dymytrk, David Ogden Stewart, Ring Lardner and John Howard Lawson are sentenced to prison. In the L.A. Municipal Jail one felon greeted the leftist writers with a smile and said: "Hi Ya, Hollywood Kids!”

1953 - Elvis Presley graduates from L.C. Humes High School in Memphis, Tennessee.


1976 – Chuck Barris’ the" Gong Show" premiered. Where’s Jean-Jean the Dancing Machine?

1989 - Queen Elizabeth II knighted Ronald Reagan. 

2006- Pixar film Carsreleased.

2160 - Montgomery Edward Scott, called Scotty or Mr. Scott, born in Aberdeen, Scotland, the engineer of the Starship Enterprise in Star Trek. “ Cap’n, Ah dunno know how much more the engines can take!”



Friday, June 8, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for June 8, 2018


Birthdays: Robert Schumann, Frank Lloyd Wright, Barbara Bush, Admiral David Dixon Porter, Leroy Neiman, Emmanuel Ax, Alexis Smith, Nancy Sinatra, Boz Scaggs, Jerry Stiller is 90, Dana Wynter, British cricketeer Ray Illingsworth, Juliana Margulies, Joan Rivers, Keenan Ivory Wayans is 60, Scott Adams (the creator of Dilbert) is 60. Gary Trousdale is 58, Kanye West


1889 –The Red Car cable car began service in LA.

1889 - Start of the Sherlock Holmes Adventure "Boscombe Valley Mystery"


1900 - Start of Sherlock Holmes story the "Adventure of 6 Napoleons"


1912- Carl Laemmle formed Universal Pictures Studio.

1942 - Bing Crosby records "Silent Night".

1942- In a private meeting at the White House, President Franklin Roosevelt asked movie mogul Jack Warner to make a movie showing our new ally the Soviet Union to the American people in a positive light. The movie “MISSION TO MOSCOW” starring Walter Huston put a rosy spin on Stalin’s regime and even made excuses for his genocidal political purges. After the war and FDR’s death, angry conservative politicians conducting the House un-American Activities Committee went after Warner Bros over MISSION TO MOSCOW. Everyone who worked on the film got in trouble with HUAC and had to apologize.



1946- Bob Clampett's cartoon 'Kitty Kornered', the first Sylvester the Cat cartoon debuted.

1948 - "Milton Berle Show" Uncle Miltie- premiered on NBC TV.

1949- During the Hollywood Blacklist, today an FBI report named actors Paul Muni, Frederick March, Edward G. Robinson, Paul Robeson and Dorothy Parker as reds. They had no proof, mostly anonymous accusers.  Robinson was blacklisted, but never called upon to testify before the committee to clear his name. He said “ It’s like I was accused of being a rabbit. I am not a rabbit, but how do we know if you cannot prove you’re not a rabbit?” 

1950- Universal pictures released 'Winchester '73', the first film in which the star James Stewart negotiated for a backend percentage of the profits. Stewart's agent was Lew Wasserman, the head of MCA and mentor of Steven Spielberg.

1962- Twentieth Century Fox fired Marilyn Monroe for her erratic, druggy behavior on the set of “Something’s Got to Give”, and cancelled the picture. Monroe went into a tailspin that would lead to her suicide four weeks later. Even after her death, Fox sued her estate for $80,000. 

1968 - Rolling Stones release "Jumpin' Jack Flash".

1969  "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour," last airs. The show was canceled by CBS, not for bad ratings, but because its format highlighted liberal and anti-Vietnam War performers like Buffy Saint-Marie, Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger.  Producer Tommy Smothers was constantly battling nervous network executives to let Seeger sing songs like “Big Muddy”, a direct criticism of U.S. war policy. Finally when former President Lyndon Johnson personally called CBS chief Bill Paley to complain, the show was yanked.  When writer/singer Mason Williams learned the Smothers Brothers Show was canceled, he planned to make an enormous pie to throw at the eye logo on the CBS building, but they threatened to sue him for trespassing if he actually staged the stunt...

1969 - Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor replaces Brian Jones.


1983- The films "Trading Places," & "Gremlins,"premiered.

1984- Ivan Reitmans’ film "Ghostbusters" premiered.

1984- Donald Duck officially became a member of the Screen Actors Guild- SAG.

1986- NBC was bought by General Electric. David Letterman joked about now having to interview toaster ovens on his show. 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for June 7, 2018


Birthdays: Pope Gregory XIII, Beau Brummel, Paul Gauguin, Chick Corea, George Szell, Watergate congressman Peter Rodino, Tom Jones, Jessica Tandy, James Ivory, Virginia McKenna, Prince, Mike Pence, Liam Neeson is 66


1860- Workmen in San Francisco began laying track on Market Street for a light rail system, the famous Cable Cars.


1932- During the Great Depression about one third of the independent banks in the U.S. failed. On this day Hollywood was affected because the First Bank of Beverly Hills went under, erasing the assets of many important Hollywood figures. 
Greta Garbo lost one million dollars overnight. Louis B. Mayer, ever one to capitalize on a situation, offered her an advance if she would sign an exclusive 7 year contract with MGM. Garbo's back was to the wall, so she signed. But she got her revenge in her own way- she immediately went on a 6 month vacation to Europe and took a lesbian lover Mercedes DeAcosta, whom she tongue-kissed in front of cameras.

1955- The TV quiz show, The $64,000 Question premiered.


1975- This day Sony announced the first home videotape playing system, the Betamax. They were about $25,000 each, but we were promised as they became more popular the price would come down. 

1993- Rockstar Prince celebrated his birthday by changing his name to that funny symbol no keyboard can reproduce and no one can say. He did it because of a dispute with Warner Records who said because of his contract he could not issue recordings under his own name. In 2000 he switched back to Prince.

2002 –Kim Possiblepremiered on TV.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for June 6, 2018


Birthdays: Diego Velasquez, Pierre Corneille. Alexandre Pushkin, Nathan Hale, John Trumbull, Thomas Mann, The Dalai Lama, Klaus Tennestedt, Bjorn Borg, Richard Crane, Dr. Karl Braun, Walter Chrysler, Isaiah Berlin, Aram Kharachaturian, Jason Issacs, Sandra Bernhard is 63, Paul Giamatti is 51, Aaron Sorkin is 57

1884- Nikola Tesla arrived in the United States. 


1929- Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali’ surrealist masterpiece Un Chien Andalou( The Andalusian Dog) at the Teatre des Ursulines in Paris. All the modernist artists were present like Picasso, Andre Breton and Cocteau. Bunuel filled his pockets with stones, in case the crowd hated the film and he needed to defend himself, but it was warmly received.

1933-The first Drive In movie opens in Camden, New Jersey.

1939- Playright Eugene O’Neill had hit a dry spell of no writing and dread of impending Parkinsons disease. This day he got the inspiration to sketch out outlines for two plays- The Iceman Cometh, andLong Days Journey into Night.

1941- Actor George Raft wrote a memo to studio head Jack Warner reminding him of his contractual commitment to send Raft only good quality scripts. The latest he got: " The Maltese Falcon"he thought was “a lousy substandard idea, that has no chance." Humphrey Bogart did the film instead.

1944- D-DAY, the NORMANDY INVASION- General Dwight Eisenhower launched 6,000 ships, 14,000 planes and 156,000 troops on the shores of Nazi occupied France with the order: "Okay. Let's go."  
 In the assault were voiceover actor Paul Frees, Disney key assistant Dale Oliver, Marvel cartoonist Jack Kirby, and Disney/Warner development artist Victor Haboush. Peanuts creator Charles Schulz was in the second wave to Utah Beach. Max Fleischer animator Willy Bowsky was killed in the hedgerows by enemy tank fire. Sergeant Baumgarden drew on his jacket a large Star of David and wrote "Bronx, N.Y." under it to let Hitler know who was coming.  Many of the infantry had rolled condoms onto the muzzles of their guns to keep sand and water out of them. On Omaha Beach, war photographer Robert Capa leaped into the surf before the landing barges reached shore and walking backwards with the whole Nazi army shooting at him to photograph the first G.I.s landing.  His 22 rolls of film were later ruined by an inept lab developer. Only three photos remain.

1949-Comic strip character Joe Palooka gets married to Ann Howe.

1949-BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING- George Orwell's book about technological tyranny -1984 was first published. Orwell's working title was "The Last Free Man", but the publisher thought it too depressing to sell. So Orwell picked the date 1984, who's only significance was that it was the year he was writing 1948- reversed

1955 - Bill Haley & Comets, "Rock Around the Clock"hits #1.

1972 - David Bowie released "Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust"

1976- The Glendale Galleria shopping mall in Glendale Cal. opened.

1978- Proposition 13 property tax cut approved by California voters

1984- In Moscow, 29 year old mathematics Professor Alexey Pajitnov invented the game Tetris. 


1991 - NBC announced Jay Leno would replace retiring Johnny Carson, winning out over David Letterman. Letterman moved to CBS.

2007- The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim California, named for a Disney movie, win the Stanley Cup after defeating the Ottawa Senators. It is the first Stanley Cup won by a west coast team since 1925.



Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for June 5, 2018


Birthdays: Socrates, Pancho Villa, Thomas Chippendale -furniture maker, not the male strip club owner, Igor Stravinsky, Little archduchess Anastasia Romanov, Frederico Garcia Lorca, Dean Acheson, Bill Moyers is 87, Hopalong Cassidy, Tony Richardson, Lancelot Ware the founder of Mensa, Kenny G., Spaulding Gray, Ron Livingston is 51, Mark Wahlberg is 47


1876- At the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition, Americans first discovered an exotic new food- Bananas.

1964 - Davie Jones & King Bees debut "I Can't Help Thinking About Me," The group disbanded but Davie Jones went on to success after changing his name to David Bowie.


1981- The U.S. Center for Disease Control published the findings of scientist Michael Gottlieb on the pneumonia’s of six L.A. patients to be something new called Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS. Cases had been reported as early as 1975 and there is an ongoing argument whether Gottlieb or a French team at the Pasteur Institute discovered the disease first. 

1998- Walt Disney’s Mulan premiered.

1998- Reuters and ABC News erroneously reported the death of 96 year old Bob Hope. Arizona Congressman Robert Stump announced the comedian’s death on the floor of the House, to the great surprise of Bob Hope who was eating breakfast while watching TV at the time.  Bob Hope lived four more years, dying at age 100.

2010- The Dr. Who episode where the Doctor (Matt Smith) takes Vincent van Gogh in the Tardis to the present day to see his paintings in the Louvre. 

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for June 4, 2018


Birthdays: King George III, Alvah Bessie, Rosalind Russell, Gene Barry, Dennis Weaver, Robert Merrill, Bruce Dern, Andrea Jaeger, Dr Ruth Westheimer, Freddy Fender, Rachael Griffiths, Noah Wylie is 47, Russell Brand is 43, Angelina Jolie is 43

1666- Moliere’s play "Le Misanthrope" premiered. 

1916 - Mildred J Hill, one of the two Hill sisters who composed the song Happy Birthday To You, died at 56.

80th Anniversary 1938- Date of the famous Walt Disney Studio Norconian crew party to celebrate the success of the film Snow White. The young, mostly single artists (average age 26), released of tension and filled with free booze, partied, swapped bedrooms and galloped horses through the Hotel Norconian sending Walt and Roy fleeing the scene for fear of bad publicity. 
Walt picked the resort because when he first held a party at the studio, the crew trashed the place. One animator drunkenly fell out of a window. It was a first floor window, so he was unhurt.


1938- That morning Walt Disney was awarded the first of many honorary college degrees, this one an honorary MFA from USC at their commencement at the LA Colosseum. Walt later was awarded degrees from Harvard and Yale. Walt himself dropped out of high school in 1917 to join the army.

1942- Capitol Records opened for business.

1944- American armies at last enter Rome. An Allied beachhead had been established at Anzio last February only a few miles away and scouts had reported the Eternal City wide open, but the American generals Lucas and Clark hesitated until the Germans could bring up reinforcements and bog them down for weeks. But this day they entered the city to the cheers of the populace.  
A NY animator turned G.I. named Johnny Vita solicited laughs from the troops by appearing on Mussolini’s balcony on the Via Del Corso and doing a mock imitation of Il Duce.

1947- The film "A Miracle on 34th St." opened. Starring Maureen O’Hara, Edmund Gwen and 8 year old Natalie Wood.

1951- Tony Curtis married Janet Leigh. The result was to produce Jamie Leigh-Curtis. 

1965- The Rolling Stones release the single "Satisfaction".

1967- The television show "The Monkees" win the Emmy award for Best Comedy.
go figure... The producers of the Pre-Fab Four raised enough money and clout to fund later projects like the hit movie Easy Rider.This same ceremony saw Bill Cosby become the first African-American to win an Emmy, this for his role in the series I-Spy.

1977- The Apple II went on sale. 

1982- The film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, premiered. Besides Ricardo Montalban as the badguy with the great pectorals, it features the Genesis Effect. This one minute sequence was a landmark of computer graphics effects. Done by the Lucas Graphics Group, who four years later would break off and become Pixar.


2003- Martha Stewart, the self-made millionaire leader of a home recipe empire, was indicted for insider trading. 

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Animation Fun Facts for June 3, 2018


Birthdays: John Paul Jones, Jefferson Davis, Josephine Baker, King George V, Henry Shrapnel, Allen Ginsburg, Collen Dewhurst, Alain Renais, Curtis Mayfield, Paulette Goddard, Maurice Evans, Jack Oakey, Jan Peerce, Zoltan Korda, John Dykstra, Tom Arnold, Hale Irwin, Chuck Barris, Tony Curtis


1888-The poem: "Casey at the Bat" by Edward Lawrence Thayer published in the San Francisco Examiner.

1924- THE FIRST D.J.- Moses Biaritz, working for the BBC affiliate in Manchester England, started a radio program where he spun records and chatted in-between song cuts, inventing the Disc Jockey format.

1924- Writer Franz Kafka died in Keirling Austria. He left instructions to
Friends to burn all his unfinished manuscripts including The Trial, but
Fortunately, his friends did not.

1929- Movie stars Douglas Fairbanks Jr married Joan Crawford.

1939- Movie director Alexander Korda married movie star Merle Oberon.


1943- First Day of the ZOOT SUIT RIOTS- In Los Angeles, Navy and Marine servicemen awaiting embarkation to the Pacific battlegrounds clashed with Hispanic gangs. Truckloads of off-duty servicemen drove up from San Pedro Harbor to enlarge the fight. The servicemen would choose whom to beat up based on whether they were wearing a fashionable zoot-suit. They beat up two 13 year olds sitting in a theater watching a movie. Downtown L.A. became an urban war zone for several days.

1946- A consumer study finds there are only 10,000 television sets in America.
 A follow up study five years later finds the number at 12 million.

1949 - Dragnet is 1st broadcast on radio (KFI in Los Angeles ). Creator Jack Webb wanted to capture the dry, non-theatrical delivery he heard real cops use. He ordered his actors to “stop acting, just read the lines”. Webb wrote the scripts from real LAPD cases and starred as well.


1967 - Aretha Franklin's "Respect"reaches #1. Sockittome, sockittome, sockittome.

1968- Artist Andy Warhol was shot in the gut three times by Valerie Solanas, author of the "SCUM Manifesto". Warhol barely lived. Solanas was institutionalized.

1976 –Galileo-Galileo Fig-a-ro!  Queen's single "Bohemian Rhapsody" goes gold.

1980- President Jimmy Carter announced the United States would boycott the 1980 summer Olympic Games in Moscow because of the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan. All programming related to the Olympics was dropped, including Steve Lissberger's animated special Animalympics.


2001- Disney’s Atlantis the Lost Empire opened in theaters.
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