Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 31, 2018 Halloween


Birthdays: Jan Vermeer, John Keats, Prince Norodom Sihanouk, Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek, John Candy, Dale Evans, Jane Pauley, David Ogden Stiers, Dan Rather, Lee Grant, Ethel Waters, Juliet Low-founder of the American Girl Scouts, Ollie Johnston, 
Vanilla Ice, Stephen Rea, Rob Schneider, Animator Randy Cartwright, Peter Jackson is 57. 



HAPPY ALL HALLOWS EVE- The night before the Feast of All Saints, beginning the Christian season of Advent, was confused in Medieval custom with one of the four Druid fire festivals, All Hallows. In Ireland it was called Samhein, at this time all hearth fires in the land are extinguished then re-lit from the fire at the Druids sacred grove. Add to this the early Church's attempt to eradicate the pagan custom of worshipping departed spirits -Greek Anthesterion in Feb., Roman Feralia and Lemuria in May- by moving the date to honor the dead to the Feast of All Souls on November 2st.  It was considered a good day for pagans to accept baptism. Many cultures had customs of putting food offerings on doorsteps so the spirits would leave you in peace. So today's the last night for the devil and other ghosties to romp before the Holiday Season (Advent) begins. 


1892- Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle gathered all his Holmes mystery stories into its first collection to be published in book form- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

1941-the sculpture group of U.S. Presidents on Mount Rushmore completed. Instead of just their heads artist–designer Judson Borglum wanted the sculpture to go down to the figures waists but he died in early 1941 and with war on the horizon, his son and chief engineer rushed to complete the heads as is.  

 1945- The "War of Hollywood" Ends. The CSU union strike, the film business's longest and ugliest, falls apart and many of the former members drift into IATSE locals. 

1964- Barbara Streisand single “People, People who need People..” goes to number one.


1993- Young movie star River Phoenix overdosed and died on the street in front of the Viper Room night club in LA after partying with Johnny Depp and Alicia Silverstone. The club is owned by movie star Depp. It was once the Melody Room owned by mobster Bugsy Siegel. Ironically, as Phoenix was thrashing spasmodically people walked by unconcerned, because it’s a common enough occurrence on the Sunset Strip. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 30, 2018


 Birthdays: John Adams, Christopher Columbus, English playwright Richard Sheridan,
Ezra Pound, Emily Post, Louis Malle, Henry Winkler is 71, Charles Atlas, Ruth Gordon, 
Claude Lelouche, Dick Gautier, Louis Malle, Ted Williams, Grace Slick, Diego Maradona, Ivanka Trump is 37


1811- Jane Austen’s novel Sense and Sensibility published. 

1931- first day shooting on the movie Tarzan the Ape Man, starring former Olympic Gold Medal swimming champ Johnny Weissmuller.

1936- London publishers George Allen & Unwin had received a manuscript from an Oxford ancient languages professor named J.R.R. Tolkein.  Raynar Unwin, the ten year old son of the publisher, read it and made a report, “ This book will be a very good read for children from ages 5-7.” For his troubles, the young lad was paid a shilling. 
So they published “The Hobbit”. 

1938-"THE NIGHT THAT PANICKED AMERICA- 27 year old Orson Wells broadcast on CBS a radio update of H.G. Well’s story "The War of the Worlds". Despite periodic station announcements that it was only a fictional re-enactment, one million people across the U.S. go bonkers that an actual Martian invasion had landed in Grover’s Mill New Jersey.  

 Interestingly enough, the broadcast was only #2 in the ratings. More people still listened to the Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy Show. 
  

1947- Bertholt Brecht, the playwright of Mother Courage and The Threepenny Opera,
testified to the Hollywood HUAC committee. He smoked a large cigar through the whole
session. Next day, as he had once fled Hitler, he now fled the U.S. and settled
in East Germany.

1973- The Carlin Case- Radical radio station WBAI in New York broadcast hippy comedian George Carlin’s routine about the “Seven Deadly Words” the naughty words you can’t say on the air.  I can’t write them because children read this column but you all know what they are anyway. The FCC slapped a heavy fine and WBAI sued for free speech and the case made it to the Supreme Court. Today the High Court found for the FCC and those 7 deadly words remain banned from airwaves today. Aw, Sh*t!

2002- Rap star of Run-DMC Jam Master Jay was shot dead in the lounge of his recording studio in Queens NY. The killer was never found.

2005- Disney featureChicken Littlepremiered.

2012- The Walt Disney Company announced it was buying out George Lucas holdings (including the Star Wars franchise) for $4.05 billion.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct 29, 2018


Birthdays: James Boswell, Sir Walter Raleigh, John Keats, Sir Edmund Halley, Louis Blanc, Fanny Brice, Joseph Goebbels, Richard Dreyfus is 70, Zoot Sims, Winona Ryder, Jesse Barfield, Kate Jackson, Bill Mauldin, Akim Tamiroff, Ralph Bakshi is 80, Rufus Sewell, Neal Hefti-composer of the theme song for TV shows like Batman and the Odd Couple. Dan Castellenata, the voice of Homer Simpson.

1923- The musical Running Wild opened on Broadway, introducing the dance craze the Charleston.

1929- BLACK TUESDAY-THE STOCK MARKET CRASH AND THE GREAT DEPRESSION BEGINS. The falling stock crisis which had been gaining momentum since early September finally culminated in the greatest ever one day collapse of the U.S. Economy. Millions of people who weren't ruined by last Thursday’s crash were ruined today.  One third of all U. S. banks failed- 2,500. Eyewitnesses to that day all remember the strange low roar echoing through the glass canyons of Wall Street, it was the continuous moans of thousands of investors being simultaneously ruined. Businessmen jumped to their deaths from windows. Two executives held hands as they jumped because they had a joint account. The chairman of General Motors William Durant finished his life managing a bowling alley in Chicago.

1936- Ella Crawford-Smith was a real estate magnate whose first husband was killed in a gangland hit. She had the Hollywood bungalow where the murder occurred torn down, and brought in Arte-Moderne architect Robert Derrah to create something unique. Today the project, Crossroads of the World, was dedicated. It was an early form of open-air mall, designed to look like an ocean liner coming into port. It’s still there today.

1957- Louis B. Mayer dies. His last words were: "Nothing Matters..." The head of MGM Studios lorded over Hollywood like a monarch, made and broke moviestars, ordered Judy Garland fed a steady stream of narcotics and had his office redesigned all white to resemble Mussolini, whom he admired. Humphrey Bogart was at his funeral. When asked if he was close to Mayer, Bogie replied: Nah, I'm just here to make sure he's dead!

1969- THE BIRTH OF THE INTERNET- After the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Defense Department asked the Rand Corporation to create a communication system that could survive Russian atomic bombs. They conceived of a “net” of computers all in communication with another around the world. Because there was no center, a bomb could not knock out the entire system. 

In the basement of UCLA’s Boelter Hall, Lick Licklider, Vincent Cerf, Robert Kahn, Lawrence Roberts and Bob Taylor set up the first call to Stanford. “ We typed the “L” and we asked on the phone “ Did you see the “L”? “Yes, we see the “L,” was the response. Then we typed O and asked Did you see the O?” Yes, we see the O” was the response. Then we typed G, and then the system crashed!” But when they rebooted, and the system sprung to life again. The people at UCLA were able to type in LOG, to which the Stanford folks replied IN.

They called it ARPANET- Advanced Research Projects Agency-NET, a few years later Internet. By 1978 the Defense Department didn’t want to run the thing anymore so they offered to turn over the entire Internet to ATT for free. AT&T said no thanks, we just don’t see the value in it. In 1992 the US government made the Internet public and the gold rush was on.

25 Anniv. 1993- Tim Burton’s fantasy A Nightmare Before Christmas, directed by Henry Selick, premiered in the US.

2012- Disney’s Wreck-it Ralphpremiered.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 28, 2018

Question: What was the first Marvel comic book character to be made the subject of a major motion picture? 

Yesterday’s Question answered below: In Rome today you can see trash bins and manholes with the acronym SPQR on it. The Roman Legions had it on their standards. What does SPQR mean?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
History for 10/28/2018
Birthdays: Elsa Lanchester, Cleo Lane, Charlie Daniels, Evelyn Waugh, Jonas Salk, Bruce Jenner, Joan Plowright, Edith Head, Chef August Escolfiere the great French Chef who created Peche Melba and moved French cuisine to the front rank of world cooking, Charles Grovesnor the founder of National Geographic magazine, Joaquin Phoenix is 44, Dennis Franz, Julia Roberts is 51, Bill Gates is 63, 

Disney animator Don Lusk is 105!



1492- Christopher Columbus reached the island of Cuba. Here the Indians showed him how to smoke tobacco, which they called cochiba.

1726- Johnathan Swift published "Gulliver's Travels"-"To Vex the World rather than Divert it."

1929- Composer Irving Berlin scolded George Gershwin for his lack of patriotism that he unloaded his stocks and bonds. The Great Stock Market Crash the following day bankrupting Irving Berlin but left Gershwin unscathed. Stick to music, Irv...

1949- Kay Kamen, Walt Disney Studios merchandising mastermind, was killed in a plane crash in the Azores. For almost two decades the Baltimore-born ad man was the mastermind behind the creation of Disney merchandising, including the wildly successful Mickey Mouse watch. By the time of his death, Disney merchandising was earning the studio $100 million a year.  


1965- St. Louis Gateway Arch completed.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 27, 2018


B-Days: Captain James Cook, Theodore Roosevelt, Dylan Thomas, Nicolo Paganinni, Gerhard Von Gneisenau, Sylvia Plath, Roy Lichtenstein, John Cleese is 79, Freddy De Cordova, Ruby Dee, Roberto Benigni, Bernie Wrightson

1886- Musical fantasy "A Night on Bald Mountain" premiered in Russia. Composer Modest Mussorgsky worked as a florist during the day and wrote music at night. He was convinced he couldn’t make a living otherwise.

1916- The entertainment trade magazine Variety has the blurb: "Chicago has added recently to it’s number of so-called Jazz bands." Now jazz had been around in black neighborhoods for years, but the form was labeled Ragtime or Syncopation. This is the earliest known use in print of the word Jazz.

1947- The "You Bet Your Life" quiz show premiered on radio. "Say the Secret Word and Win Fifty Dollars". Comedian Groucho Marx had struggled after his brothers act the Marx Brothers broke up. During a live radio program with Bob Hope at one point Hope dropped his script. Before he could pick it up Groucho stepped on the pages, threw his own away and the two improvised their conversation. The result was much funnier that anything anybody had written. The producer of the show was so impressed he hired Groucho and built a quiz show around him.

1954- The" Disneyland" television show premieres. Up until then the major Hollywood Studios were all boycotting the new upstart medium of television, then mostly done in New York by blacklisted stage actors and writers. MGM Production head Dori Schary called TV “ the Enemy”. Walt Disney is the first to break ranks with the major film studios and get into television production.  He even filmed the show in Technicolor, figuring television will develop color broadcasting eventually.

1964- Sonny & Cher married. I got you babe!

1964- The “ You Choose Speech” Actor and TV pitchman Ronald Reagan made his maiden political speech at a fundraiser for Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. He had made political speeches in the past, but this one marks his shedding his acting and union careers to become a full time conservative politician.


1966- Bill Melendez's Peanuts TV special "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown'. 


Friday, October 26, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 26, 2018


Birthdays: Danton, Leon Trotsky, Vladimir “Bill” Tytla - Disney animator who gave life to Dumbo, Grumpy and the Devil from Bald Mountain, Francois Mitterand, Domenico Scarlatti, Charles W. Post of Post Cereals, Bob Hoskins, The last Shah of Iran Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, Mahalia Jackson, Clive Barker, Bootsie Collins, Marla Maples, Count Helmuth Von Molkte the Elder -German strategist of the Franco-Prussian War, Dylan McDermott, Cary Elwes, Jaclyn Smith, Hilary Rodham Clinton, Seth McFarlane is 45, and Pat Sito!



1952- David Wolper’s documentary Victory at Sea, with its majestic score by Richard Rogers first premiered.

1955- The Greenwich Village Voice, later called simply The Voice, first published. It ended in 2018. 

1957- Vatican Radio began broadcasting.


1965- The rock band the Beatles received MBEs ( most excellent Member of the British Empire ) medals at Buckingham Palace.  John Lennon later returned his as a protest.

1970- Doonesbury born. Yale law graduate Gary Trudeau was convinced by Jim Andrews his classmate now an editor at Universal Press syndicate, to recreate his funny comic he did in the campus newspaper. It's original name was 'Bull Tales". 


1984-" I’LL BE BACK…" James Cameron’s sci-fi thriller THE TERMINATOR first released. Arnold Schwarzenegger was considered a Hollywood joke before this film made him a major star.  An interesting what-if, was that before Arnold was cast in the role of the cyborg assassin, the producers were first considering O.J. Simpson. 

1985- The original date Marty McFly time travels from in the film Back to the Future.


Thursday, October 25, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 25, 2018


Birthdays: Pablo Picasso, George Bizet, Johann Strauss Jr., Bobby Knight, Helen Reddy  Minnie Pearl, Whit Bissell, Lyle Lovett. Leo G. Carroll, Bill Barty the famous Little Person actor, John Matusak, Julia Roberts, Katie Perry is 34, Tyrus Wong 

1903- New York’s New Amsterdam Theater opened with a gala performance of A Midsummer’s Night Dream. The New Amsterdam boasted all Art Nouveau decoration, the first theater in a steel girder building and a new style of floating balcony that didn’t obstruct the view with support pillars, an effect to be copied by movie houses throughout the world. The Great Ziegfield staged his great Follies there and in the rooftop garden theater for only the cream of New York society. The theater fell into decrepitude and in the 1970’s was a porno house, but the Walt Disney Company restored it to its Gilded Age glory in 1996.

1917- Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, in a lecture announced his firm belief in spiritualism, divination, and communication with the dead. He called it The New Revelation. “The chasm between this life and the next is not insurmountable.” Other British intellects think Sir Arthur had gone a bit potty.

1921- Bat Masterson, Quebec born gunfighter, marshal of Dodge City, gambler, Indian fighter and outlaw, died over a typewriter as a sports reporter for the New York Morning Telegraph while covering a championship prize fight. He was 67.

1946- President Harry Truman declared a postwar “Housing Emergency” that led to the development of the suburban track house.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Animation fun facts for Oct. 24, 2018


Birthdays: Roman Emperor Domitian, Bob Kane the creator of Batman, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek- the founder of Microbiology, Moss Hart, Jiles Perry Richardson better known as the Big Bopper, F. Murray Abrahams is 77, Enkwase Mfume, Y.A. Tittle, Sara Josepha Hale 1788- who wrote the poem "Mary Had a Little Lamb", animator Preston Blair, Kevin Kline is 70


1902- Author Arthur Conan-Doyle was knighted by King Edward VII. He received the award not for his literary accomplishments but for his doctor volunteer services during the just concluded Boer War. It was also said the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes was one of the few books King Edward ever managed to read from cover to cover.

1937- At Piping Springs NY, composer Cole Porter suffered an accident while horseback riding that broke both his legs. Even after 26 operations he never regained their full use. One leg was amputated in 1958.

1938- The Fair Labor Standards Act established the 40 hour workweek as the law of the land. The 40 hour week, that thing few of us see nowadays.


1947- Walt Disney testified to the House UnAmerican Activities Committee (HUAC) as a friendly witness. He accused members of the Cartoonists Guild and the League of Women Voters –which he mistakenly called the League of Women Shoppers, as being infiltrated by Communists "Seeking to subvert the Spirit of Mickey Mouse'.


1948- In & Out Burgers, the first drive-through restaurant opened in Baldwin Park California. Created by Harry and Esther Snyder, Its still in business today, selling only burgers, shakes, and fries, pretty much like they did back then. Their grandchild Lynsi is CEO. 

1959- The TV program Playboy’s Penthousepremiered. Hugh Hefner hosted a variety show designed to look like a cocktail party in a swinging bachelor’s pad. It was a success despite many stations in the South refusing to show it. That was because they dared to have black celebrities like Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, and Nat King Cole partying along side white ones like Tony Bennett and Lennie Bruce. 

1969- GodfatherProducer Robert Evans married young actress Ali McGraw.


1975- The musical play A Chorus Line opened.


1994- Disney TV series Gargoyles premiered.




Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct 23, 2018


Birthdays; Johnny Carson, Adlai Stevenson, Pele, Zioniev, Weird Al Yankovic, Dwight Yoakham, Michael Crichton, Chi-Chi Rodriquez, Phillip Kaufman, porn star Jasmine St. Claire, Gummo Marx, Ang Lee is 64, Ryan Reynolds is 42, Sam Raimi is 59  

1928- A financial consortium led by Wall St. banker-bootlegger Joseph Kennedy Sr. buys the Keith Albee theater circuit and merged it with the Radio Company and the Orpheum theaters to form Radio-Keith-Orpheum or RKO pictures. After Joe Kennedy met with the other Hollywood moguls he told a friend: ”They’re all a bunch of Austrian Pants Pressers! I can take their businesses away from them!”Kennedy made a quick killing then got out of the picture business in 1930, just before the Depression dropped his studios stock value. RKO made films like King Kong, Fort Apache andCitizen Kanebefore merging into Desilu in 1957.

1930- The first Miniature Golf tournament held in Chattanooga Tenn.

1940- Shooting on the film Citizen Kanewrapped.


1941- Walt Disney’s Dumbo premiered. 

1971-Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida opened.

1983- Jessica Savitch was one of the first women journalists to break the barrier for women getting the top anchor jobs in network news broadcasting. This day she died in a car accident.


2001- Apple Computers launched the ipod.

2007- Massive brush fires north of San Diego California displaced one million people, the largest number of U.S. refugees since the Civil War. 


Monday, October 22, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct 22, 2018


Birthdays: Sarah Bernhardt, Timothy Leary, Franz Liszt, Doris Lessing, Joan Fontaine, Derek Jacobi, Christopher Lloyd is 80, Annette Funicello, Brian Boitano, Curly Howard of the Three Stooges, Catherine Deneuve is 75, Spike Jonze is 49.

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

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

1939-The first televised football game-The Brooklyn Dodger's 23 Philadelphia Eagles 14.

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


Sunday, October 21, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 21, 2108


Birthdays: Dizzy Gillespie, Whitey Ford, Alfred Nobel, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Mary Blair, Carrie Fisher, Patty Davis (Reagan's daughter), Benjamin Netanyahu, Sir Malcolm Arnold, Manfred Mann, Sir Georg Solti, Angus McFadyen, Ken Watanabe is 59, Kim Kardasian is 38.
     
1932- The film Red Dust premiered. It made stars out of Clark Gable and Jean Harlow.

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

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

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

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

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


Saturday, October 20, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct 20, 2018


Birthdays: Sir Christopher Wren, Bela Lugosi (born Bela Blasgow from Lugosz), Charles Ives, Arthur Rimbaud, Daniel Sickles, Black Panther Bobby Seale, Juan Marichal, Tom Petty, Art Buchwald, Arlene Francis, Grandpa Jones, Mickey Mantle, Frank Churchill, Thomas Newman, Jerry Ohrbach, Rex Ingram, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Michael Dunn, Snoop Dogg (born Calvin Broadus Jr) is 47, Danny Boyle is 62, Viggo Mortensen is 60

1890-Retired explorer Sir Richard Burton died at 69. Burton was the first Christian to enter Mecca, he went up the Nile and the Amazon, fought Indians with Kit Carson and did the first modern translation of the Arabian Nights, introducing the western world to Aladdin, Scheherazade and Sinbad the Sailor. Wherever he went in his world travels he collected pornography and erotic poems, documenting of the sexual habits of various cultures. After his death his wife burned all this anthropological material in their backyard. She feared for his soul. It is considered one of the great literary crimes of the century.

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

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

1947- 'ARE YOU NOW OR HAVE YOU EVER BEEN...' Judge J. Parnell Thomas banged the gavel opening the House Committee on UnAmerican Activites investigation into Communist infiltration into the Motion Picture Business. HUAC was set up in 1938 as the Dies Committee to keep an eye on pro-Nazis groups operating in German and Italian immigrant organizations, but by 1944 it's emphasis had switched to Communist espionage. Investigations of the army or top civil servants like Dean Acheson was dull stuff, New Deal hating conservatives knew investigating Hollywood would yield the big headlines and jazz up public interest.  
Jack Warner, Louis B. Mayer, Ronald Reagan and Walt Disney were the first in line to name names. Lucille Ball, Sterling Hayden, Zero Mostel, Ginger Rogers, Ed Wyn,  and Lloyd Bridges admitted they had once held communist party memberships. The anti-commie hysteria turned Hollywood inside out and the bitter feelings remained for the rest of their lives. 

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

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

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


1973- Sidney Australia’s Opera House was dedicated by Queen Elizabeth II.

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

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

Friday, October 19, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 19, 2018


Birthdays: Martha "Patsy" Jefferson, Auguste Lumiere, John Le Carre', Peter Tosh, Amy Carter, Jack Anderson, Peter Max, John Lithgow is 73, Robert Reed of the Brady Bunch, Evander Holyfield, Patricia Ireland, Michael Gambon is 78, John Favreau is 52, Trey Parker of South Park is 48

1845- Richard Wagners’ opera Tannhauser premiered.

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

1964- Doo Wah Diddy Diddy hit the pop charts.

1968- On this day the little Australian Rupert Murdoch landed at Heathrow to begin a takeover war for his first English newspaper, the News of the World. Until now the Fleet Street press barons were a closed club of rich old gentlemen. Murdoch used Sir Robert Caro as his cover to get in and defeat a hostile takeover bid from Robert Maxwell. He then demoted Caro out of his leadership of the paper. He soon bought the London Times. Rupert Murdoch later became a U.S. citizen so he could build the Fox News and cable TV empires.


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

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

1998- Website ClubLove.com published nude photos of conservative radio personality Dr. Laura Schlesinger. She denied the photos were of her, then sued the website for copyright infringement.

 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct 18, 2018


Birthdays: Cannaletto, Lotte Lenya, Wynton Marsalis, George C. Scott, Pierre Trudeau, Lee Harvey Oswald, Mike Dytka, Peter Boyle, Inger Stevens, Violetta Chamorro, Wendy Wasserstein, Wynton Marsalis, Martina Navratilova, Zack Efron is 27, Jean Claude Van Damme, the Muscles from Brussels- is 58. 



FEAST OF ST. LUKE. According to ancient sources Luke was actually a physician, but Medieval tradition made him the protector of artists. In Rome during the Renaissance Titian, Michelangelo, Rubens and El Greco were members of the Guild of St. Luke and paid union dues.


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


1922- The British Broadcast Corp or BBC formed.

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

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

1946- Walt Disney premiered The Story of Menstruation.

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

1954- Hi & Lois comic strip debuted.

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

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


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

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


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct 17, 2018


Birthdays: Arthur Miller, Rita Hayworth, Jean Arthur, Montgomery Clift, Jimmy Breslin, Tom Poston, Gary Puckett, Margot Kidder, Evil Knievel, Jerry Siegel (Superman co-creator), Virgil 'Vip' Partch, Charles Kraft the sliced cheese king, Beverly Garland- star of Attack of the Alligator People, George Wendt, Cameron Mackintosh, Mike Judge is 56, Eminem is 46

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

1928- Duke Ellington recorded The Mouche, the Fly.

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

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


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

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

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

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 16, 2018


Birthdays: Lord Cardigan, Eugene O'Neill, Noah Webster, Dave DeBusschere, David Ben-Gurion, Angela Lansbury is 92, Gunter Grass, Linda Darnell, Charles Colson, Susanne Somers is 72, David Zucker, Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tim Robbins is 60.


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

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


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

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

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

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

Monday, October 15, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 15, 2018


Birthdays: Quintus Virgilius-Virgil 70 BC, Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great 1542, Oscar Wilde, Fredrich Nietszche, Mikail Lermontov, John L. Sullivan, Jane Darnell, Burt Gillett, John Kenneth Galbraith, Robert Trout, Klaus Barbie the Butcher of Lyon, P.G. Wodehouse, Penny Marshall, Mario Puzo, Sarah Ferguson-Fergie' the former Duchess of York, Chef Emeril LeGasse, Chuck Berry

1764- While wandering through the ruins of ancient Rome, British writer Edward Gibbon is inspired to write "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire".

1843- Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens opened to the public. One of the oldest amusement parks in the world and an inspiration to Walt Disney for Disneyland.

1905- First Little Nemo comic strip by Winsor McCay premiered in the NY Herald. McCay modeled the child on his own son Robert, and name Nemo came from a Latin root meaning no one.

1905- Premiere of Claude Debussy’s tone poem La Mer- the Sea.

1930- Duke Ellington first recorded Mood Indigo.

1940- Charlie Chaplin’s film The Great Dictator premiered.

1946- Walt Disney’s film Make Mine Music premiered.

1951- THE FIRST I LOVE LUCY SHOW- The successful family sitcom began its pilot episode this night. CBS and Phillip Morris had wanted Lucille Ball to transfer her popular radio show-“My Favorite Husband” to television. The story of the family life of Ricky Ricardo, a Cuban immigrant nightclub bandleader, his daffy wife Lucy, and their landlord friends Fred and Ethel Murtz became an overnight sensation.

1959- 20th Century Fox signed Elizabeth Taylor to star in their new movie Cleopatra. The first time an actor was paid a million dollars for one movie.

1976- What’s Love got to do with it? Ike and Tina Turner break up.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct 14, 2018


B-Days: William Penn-1644, King James II Stuart, Joseph Plateau, Sword master Masoaka Shiki 1867, Dwight Eisenhower, Lillian Gish, Ralph Lauren, Eamon De Valera, e.e. cummings, Mobutu Sese Seko, C. Everet Koop, John Dean III, Cliff Richards, Jack Arnold the director of the Creature from the Black Lagoon, Ralph Lauren- real name Ralph Lifshitz, Roger Moore.

 1066-BATTLE OF HASTINGS- The Norman army of William the Bastard defeats and kills King Harold Godwinson of the Anglo-Saxons. The occupation and settlement of Norman French into England had a dramatic effect on the language ensuring the language you are now speaking would become English, instead of something between Dutch and Danish.

1670-At a performance before King Louis XIV the Sun King at the Chateau of Chambord Moliere’s satire “Le Bourgeouis Gentilhomme” premiered. Lully wrote the music.


1873- Animation pioneer Edweard Muybridge shot and killed his wife's lover in Calistoga Cal. He was not hanged, because in the code of the Old West, adultery was considered cause for justifiable homicide. Plus, Governor Stanford wanted to win his bet about a horses legs all relaving the gorund during a gallop.

1926- A.A. Milne’s first book of Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet and Christopher Robin debuted this day. The stories had come out earlier in magazine installments.

1934- The Lux Radio Theater premiered.

1950- The LAPD raided a house party of gay men, which was illegal back then. One of the men arrested was future movie star Tab Hunter. This was kept secret until in 1955, when an angry agent Hunter dumped leaked the story to Confidential Magazine.  “ Tab Hunter Busted at Limp-Wristed Pajama Party!” It soon blew over and Tab Hunter went on to have a full movie career.

1954- First day of shooting on Cecil B. DeMille’s remake of the Ten Commandments staring Charlton Heston out in the Egyptian desert. It was so brutally hot that Anne Baxter joked to Vincent Price “ Vin, who do I have to sleep with to get OFF this movie?”

1959- Errol Flynn died of a heart attack in Vancouver. Exhausted by overindulgence in his favorite vices, doctors said the 50 year old movie star had the body of a 70 year old. A descendant of one of the Bounty mutineers, the Tasmanian born actor's last film was ' Cuban Rebel Girls'.

1972 - KUNG FU, starring David Carradine, premiered on ABC TV.

1972- Joe Cocker and his backup band were busted in Australia for drug possession.

1978- Lover Scott Thorsten “outs” pianist Liberace by filing a palimony suit.


Saturday, October 13, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct 13, 2018


Birthdays: Revolutionary War heroine Mary Ludwig nicknamed Molly Pitcher, Lily Langtry-the Jersey Lilly, Lenny Bruce, Larraine Day, Nipsy Russell, Cornel Wilde, Margaret Thatcher, Herblock, Yves Montand, Nancy Kerrigan, Sammy Hagar, Marie Osmond, Kelly Preston, Chris Carter, Paul Simon is 78, Sascha Baron-Cohen is 47

1903- Victor Herbert’s operetta Babes in Toyland premiered.

1904- Sigmund Freud's book 'The Interpretation of Dreams" first published.

1938- RKO Pictures was having a salary dispute with their singing cowboy Gene Autry. So they cast around for another handsome cowpoke. Today they signed a dentist from a vocal group called the Sons of the Pioneers named Leonard Slye. He became a star with the film “Under Western Skies” under his new name- Roy Rogers.

1947- Kukla, Fran & Ollie debuted on television. Burt Tillstrom was the creator and puppeteer and Fran was his wife.


1978- Mickey Mouse gets his star on Hollywood Blvd Walk of Fame.

1982- The computer spreadsheet program Lotus 1-2-3 introduced.

2016 – Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.


Friday, October 12, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 12, 2018


Birthdays: "God's Imp"King Edward VI- only son of Henry VIII, Emperor Pedro Ist of Brazil 1798, Helena Modjeska, Ralph Vaughn-Williams, Alastair Crowley, Luciano Pavarrotti, animator Izzy Klein, Joan Rivers, Dick Gregory, Tony Kubek, Susan Anton, Kirk Cameron, Hugh Jackman is 50

1886- Beginning of Sherlock Holmes story:” Adventure of the Second Stain”.

1920- Thoroughbred racehorse Man O’ War won his last race.

1928- The Winnie the Pooh stories featuring Tigger are first published.

1937- Under pressure from parent Paramount Studio, Max Fleischer signed the first animation union contract and settled the Cartoonist strike begun May 8th. A year later Fleischer tried to escape unions by moving his studio to Right-To-Work State Florida, but the additional expenses and poor box office ruined his studio.

1940-Retired movie star Tom Mix “The King of the Cowboys” died in auto crash outside of Florence, Arizona. The 60 year old actor ignored signs that a bridge was out and drove into a dry gulley. A large overpacked suitcase popped out of his back seat and broke his neck. The “Suitcase of Death” is preserved along with Tony the Wonder Horse at the Tom Mix Museum in Oklahoma.

1966- Sammy Davis Jr. appeared on the Batman TV Show. Sock-it-to-me!

1971-Weber & Rice’s musical Jesus Christ Superstaropened on Broadway at the Mark Hellinger theater. 

1977- Script completed for the classic film comedy Animal House.

1994-Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg announce their new studio  would be named Dreamworks SKG.

1997-53 year old singer John Denver died when he crashed his ultra-light Long E-Z plane into the ocean near Monterrey California. Later reports showed he was flying inebriated. An open sixpack of beer was next to him. The impact was so great his body had to be identified by fingerprints.

2005- Chinese archaeologists near the Yellow River discover the world’s oldest bowl of noodles. Someone’s fossilized noodle lunch from a bowl that tipped over in 2,000BC, and remained that way for four thousand years.


Thursday, October 11, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 11, 2018


Birthdays: Eleanor Roosevelt, Henry Heinz the Ketchup king, Jerome Robbins, Carl Hubbard, Ron Leibman, John Candy, Omar Shariff, Ben Vereen, Art Blakey, Luke Perry, Joan Cusak, Sig Ruman– the fat actor with the goatee and the over-the-top German accent in the Marx Brothers comedies.

1944-“ To Have and to Have Not,” written by Ernest Hemingway. premiered. The movie paired Humphrey Bogart with a sultry Harpers model turned actress named Lauren Bacall. Her beauty worked on Bogart, who fell in love and married her, despite his being 44 and she 20 years old. They nicknamed each other Slim and Steve after the characters in the film. “If you want me, just whistle. You know how to whistle, don’t you? Just put your lips together and blow.”

1960- The Bugs Bunny Show premiered on TV. “Overture, hit the lights! This is it, we’ll hit the heights, and oh what heights we’ll hit…..etc..”


1967-The NY Times printed an image of a female nude by Bell Lab artist-in-residence Ken Knowlton. It was done on a computer as a digital mosaic of thousands of numbers. 
It was an early breakthrough image in CGI.


1975- NBC needed a Saturday replacement for Best Of Carson reruns, so Lorne Michaels’ TV show SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE premiered. Featuring the Not-Yet-Ready-For-Prime-Time Players: John Belushi, Dan Ackroyd, Gilda Radner, Garrett Morris, Chevy Chase, Lorraine Newman, Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin and Mike O’Donaghue. First guest host George Carlin did his opening monologue while stoned.
Albert Brooks did a short film and Andy Kaufman did his Mighty Mouse lip sync bit. 
Paul Shaefer conducted the music and the show was held in NBC’s Studio 8H, which was built originally for Maestro Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony of the Air. At the last moment a sketch by young Billy Crystal was cut from the show. 

The show also revived the career of announcer Don Pardo, who had trouble finding work since the original Jeopardy Show was canceled. He was the announcer for the show until his death in 2014 at age 96.

1978- Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious stabbed his girlfriend Nancy Spungen at the Chelsea Hotel in New York. Sid was too stoned to explain why he had killed the love of his life. It’s assumed they had a suicide pact. Vicious died of an overdose before his trial.

1987- The AIDS Quilt was first displayed on the National Mall in Washington.

1991- Comedian Redd Foxx was famous for doing bits like faking a heart attack. This day on the set of his new series the Royal Family, while joking with Della Reese, he clutched his chest and fell over. Everyone thought he was faking and laughed. He died at the hospital an hour later.
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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 10, 2018

Birthdays: Martin Luther, Giuseppe Verdi, Henry Cavendish 1731- the chemist who discovered Hydrogen, Helen Hayes, Mary Blair, Louis Lumiere, Thelonius Monk, Rod Scribner, LaVerne Harding, Boer leader Paul Kruger, Ed Wood Jr., Alberto Giacometti, Tanya Tucker, Harold Pinter, Richard Tucker, James Clavel, Jodi Benson the Little Mermaid, David Lee Roth, Bradley Whitford is 59, Sharon Osbourne is 64


1953- "Winky Dink and You" show. Children were invited to place a piece of celluloid acetate on their t.v. screens from a kit and help Winky Dink through numerous adventures by drawing on their TV screens. Of course many kids didn’t wait for the acetate but just drew on their family TVs with indelible markers. The birth of Interactive T.V. 

1957- RKO Studios, who produced King Kong, The John Ford Westerns and the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musicals, was sold to Desilu- the television production company owned by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez.

1962- The BBC banned on air play of a novelty record The Monster Mash, by Bobby Picket. For some reason they considered it offensive. 


1968- Jane Fonda does her zero-gravity striptease and runs into a kinky organist Duran-Duran, the film Barbarella premiered.


1980- Actor William 'Billy" Thomas, also known in the Our Gang kiddie comedies as Buckwheat, died at 49. 

1985- Orson Welles and Yul Brynner die one hour apart. They were both 70. Welles had just finished taping yet another appearance on the Merv Griffin Show. Brynner had a furious smoking habit, supposedly leaving one lit cigarette in every room of his house as he paced around thinking. When he knew he was dying of the stuff, he recorded several television spots to be aired after his death. He looked squarely at camera and said: " I smoked. -Don't."


Monday, October 8, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 9,2018


Birthdays: Camille Saint Saens, E. Howard Hunt, Jacques Tati, Alastair Sim, Bruce Catton, Joe Pepitone, cartoonist Mike Peters, Savannah, John Lennon would be 78, his son Sean Lennon, E. Howard Hunt, Scott Bakula, Peter Tosh, Charles Rudolph Walgren-the inventor of the modern Drugstore, Guillermo Del Toro is 53, Tony Schaloub is 65, Pete Doctor is 50.


1609- Invalid Captain John Smith is put on a ship back to England. Smith had earlier gotten stung by a stingray and almost died. This time a powder horn exploded on his hip and blew out part of his side. While Smith was leader of the Jamestown Colony he had many enemies among the jealous gentry. Some don't think he had an accident. 
Opinions also differ as to why the Jamestown settlers put Smith through a two month Atlantic crossing that could kill even healthy men. Some say they were hoping he wouldn't make it. He survived but never returned to Jamestown. Nobody told Pocahontas, and when she visited camp the men told her he was dead and forget about him.  She would meet him ten years later in England when she was a wife and mother of the children of settler John Rolfe.

1855- James Stoddard patents the steam calliope. 

1938- Eugene O'Neill's play 'The Iceman Cometh' opened.

1951- RKO Pictures asked Marilyn Monroe to please wear panties while working, She was upsetting the film crew.

1986- People said there would never be more than three networks. Today the first show of the fourth network, The Fox Network's the Joan River's Show, premiered. That show didn't last, but future hits like The Simpson's, Married With Children and the X-Files made Fox a major network within ten years.

1989- First edition of Penthouse Magazine in Hebrew. Oy Vey!




Animation Fun Facts for Oct 8, 2018


Birthdays: Eddie Rickenbacker, Rev Jesse Jackson, Juan Peron, David Carradine, 
Art Babbitt -the creator of Goofy would be 111, 
Chevy Chase is 75, Paul Hogan, Ruben Mamoulian, Edward Zwick, Johnny Ramone, Bruno Mars, Sigourney Weaver is 69, Matt Damon is 48


100 Years Anniv. 1918- SERGANT YORK- simple Tennessee hillbilly Alvin York was drafted into the U.S. Army where his crack shot talents enabled him this day to shoot up an entire German regiment. When his captain asked “ What did you do Alvin? Shoot the entire German Army?” He replied “ Nossuh, just 132 of them…” He captured 300 prisoners alone with only his single shot Springfield rifle. He got the Medal of Honor and a tickertape parade. Then went back to the Ozarks where he resumed his life of making moonshine, and other rustic pursuits.

1929- British Imperial Airways showed the first in-flight movie.

1933- HOLLYWOOD ACTOR'S FIRST MASS PROTEST- When Franklin Roosevelt created the NRA to fix wages and prices to try and solve the Depression, he even went as far as to try to regulate Motion Picture rates and fees. The catch was the rates were drafted with the advice of friends of the studio heads in Washington. The actors went ballistic when they saw new rules such as a ceiling cap on actors salaries of $100,000 a year (the producers had no such cap), restriction of actors independent agents, and terms of an old salary contract would stay in effect even after the contract expired until it was renegotiated.

   This night at the El Capitan theater on Hollywood Blvd. hundreds of moviestars met to draft a petition calling for rewriting of the codes. The activists included Paul Muni, Frederic March, Jeanette MacDonald, Groucho Marx and Boris Karloff. SAG president Frank Morgan (the Wizard of Oz) was considered politically too far left to face Roosevelt, so he stepped down in favor of comedian Eddie Cantor, who had helped Vaudeville acts unionize. In previous meetings at the El Capitan the earth tremors from the Great Long Beach Earthquake the previous March made actors reconvene in the Grauman's Chinese parking lot across the street.  Cantor went to the president's retreat at Warm Springs Georgia with the petition and had the hated articles taken out of the code.

1935- Ozzie Nelson married Harriet.

1945- "Bloody Monday" During a big strike three hundred and fifty armed thugs club their way through picketing Warner Bros. film workers.  Similar scenes were happening in front of Fox and MGM.

1957- Walter O'Malley announced the move of the Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles.

1957- Jerry Lee Lewis recorded his hit Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Fire.

50 Years Ago 1968- The movie Romeo & Juliet premiered. Director Franco Zefirelli caused a sensation by casting young people to play the young people! Olivia Hussey was 16, and Leonard Whiting was 17. Romeo & Juliet was the last time a film of a Shakespeare play was ever nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. 

1971- John Lennon first released the song Imagine.
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