Monday, December 31, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Dec 31, 2018

Birthdays: Henri Matisse, General George C. Marshall, Odetta (real name Holmes Felicious Gordon), Simon Weisenthal, Virginia Davis, Pola Negri, Jules Styne, Sarah Miles, Donna Summer, Patti Smith, Elizabeth Arden, Tim Matheson, John Denver, Dianne Von Furstenberg, Psy, Ben Kingsley-born Khrishna Banji is 75, Anthony Hopkins is 81, Val Kilmer is 59, Gong Li is 53 

1879- Thomas Edison did a public demonstration of his new invention the Light Bulb. Special commuter trains brought people to Menlo Park New Jersey for the show.

1881- Los Angeles becomes the first U.S. city to be lit entirely by electricity.

1901-Los Angeles Angel's Flight cable tram opened. It closed down in the 1980's but was restored in 1996, then broke down a few years later.

1923-24-BBC overseas radio service first broadcast the Chimes of Big Ben around the world.

1929- Guy Lombardo and his big band the Royal Canadians first played Auld Lang Syne at midnight for New Years. Lombardo and his band became synonymous with New Years until his death in the 1980s.

1940-41- Avant Garde artists John Sloan and Marcel Duchamp break into the Washington Square Arch in and declare Greenwich Village the Republic of New Bohemia. Like coool, daddy.

1941- A Warner Bros memo dated this day from producer Hal Wallis office announced that the movie to be made from a play by Murray Bennett called “Everybody Goes to Rick’s” has been renamed “Casablanca”. 

1943- Four hundred policemen are called out to control frenzied crowds of bobbysoxers as Frank Sinatra played the Paramount Theater in Times Square. OOHH FRANKIE!!

1946- The first Pismo Beach Clam Festival. 

1947- Roy Rogers married Dale Evans.

1955- Chuck Jone's 'One Froggy Evening'premiered. Director Steven Spielberg called it the "Citizen Kane of Cartoons." If you wonder why you never heard the old time ditty 'The Michigan Rag' anywhere else but here, was because Chuck Jones & Mike Maltese wrote it specifically for the cartoon.

1962- Romanoffs closed. One of the premier hot spots on the Sunset Strip, it was the preferred hangout of Humphrey Bogart, who liked to play chess in the afternoon with Nick Romanoff when he was between films.

1985- Singer Ricky Nelson died when his band's converted old DC-9 airplane crashed near DeKalb, Texas. Nelson had been living on a steady diet of cheeseburgers and Snickers bars.

1995- The last Calvin and Hobbes comic strip by Bill Waterston. He just decided one day to end it, before it became stale.

1997- Will Smith and Jada Pinkett marry.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Dec 30, 2018

Birthdays: Rudyard Kipling, Gen. Hideki Tojo, W. Eugene Smith, Luther Burbank, Anna Magnani, Bo Diddley, Sir Carol Reed, Sandy Koufax, Solomon Guggenheim, Jeanette Nolan, Jack Lord, Franco Harris, Joseph Bologna, Fred Ward, Tracey Ullman, Russ Tamblyn, Tiger Woods is 43, Heidi Fleiss, Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul & Mary, Douglas Engelbart the inventor of the computer mouse, Lebron James is 34, Eliza Dushku is 38

1672- Violinist John Bannister and his orchestra held a concert at Whitefriars chapel in London. It’s the oldest known music concert given not to a royalty, but to the general paying public. 

1689- The opera Dido & Aeneas by Henry Purcell premiered in London.

1816- Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley married Mary Wollenstonecraft. Mary wrote Frankenstein two years later.

1884- Anton Bruckner’s 7thSymphony premiered in Leipzig.

1903 - A fire broke out in the crowded Iroquois Theater in Chicago killing 571. After the tragedy building codes were enforced that public buildings have exit doors that always open outwards and some form of fire fighting equipment on the premises. The Iroquois had a sign over the door that read “Absolutely Fireproof”.

1940- The Arroyo-Seco, the first L.A. Freeway opened by Mayor Fletchor Bowron, connecting downtown and Pasadena. Today called the Pasadena Freeway 110. (interstate U.S. route 66 was in 1932, and The Imperial Highway opened in 1936., the Ventura freeway 101, in 1958.

1941- “I Vant to be Alone..”Film Star Greta Garbo announced she was retiring from motion pictures and all public appearances. She made her disappearing act complete and was only seen fleeting on the streets of her New York neighborhood until her death in 1990. 

1963- T.V. game show "Let's Make a Deal" with Monty Hall premieres.

1988- the Pixar short Tin Toyreleased in theaters. The first CG short to win an Oscar. The film Toy Storyinitially began as an attempt to capitalize on the success of Tin Toy, as a TV special. Tinny’s Xmas.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Dec 29, 2018

Birthdays: Roman Emperor Flavius Titus, Pablo Casals, Madame de Pompadour, Andrew Johnson, Charles Goodyear, Gelsey Kirkland, Dina Merrill, Tom Bradley, Mary Tyler Moore, Jon Voight is 80, Ray Nitschke, Viveca Lindfors, Ed Flanders, Ted Danson is 71, Marianne Faithful, Paula Poundstone, Jude Law is 46, Patricia Clarkson, Animator Duncan Marjoribanks is 66.

1913- Cecil B. DeMille had been sent to the West by his New York partners to scout out a possible place to move to escape Edison's Patents Trust.
After scouting several cities with year round sunshine, this day C.B. telegraphed his partners back in New York:” Flagstaff no good for our purpose. Have proceeded to California. Want authority to rent a barn in a place called Hollywood for $75 a month.”His partner Sam Goldwyn cabled back: “ Rent barn on month to month basis. Do not make long commitment.” DeMille began shooting the Squaw Man, the first official Hollywood Film.

1916-James Joyce’s novel “the Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”published.

1939- Scientist William Shockley first noted in his laboratory notebook that it should be possible to replace vacuum tubes with something called a semi-conductor. Eight years later he led the team that developed the transistor.

1941- Disney animator Bill Tytla tells Time Magazine in an interview about creating "Dumbo": "I don't know a damn thing about elephants!"

1950- Congress passed the Celler-Kefhauver Act, which sought to reign in global companies mega-mergers. It was the last major piece of legislation to try and regulate corporate monopolies in the U.S.   

1964- The first transistorized hearing aid.

1964 – To create the first pilot of the TV series Star Trek, the original model of the U.S.S. Enterprise was delivered by model maker Rick Datin, Jr, based on the design created by Star Trek production artist Walter “Matt” Jefferies.  The “miniature” was 11 feet long!

1965- First day shooting on Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey. It was an indoor set at Elstree Studios in England, and the first setup was the inspection of the excavation of the Monolith in the moon crater Tycho.

1967- The Star Trek episode The Trouble with Tribblesfirst aired.

1968- Animator Bill Tytla died at age 64, from complications of a stroke.

1972- LIFE Magazine ended publication.

1974- While staying at the Polynesian Village in Disneyworld Florida, John Lennon signed the last papers dissolving the Beatles. The band had broke up in 1970, but it took four more years to unravel all of their vast financial holdings. The other three members had already signed.

1975- Euell Gibbons, early natural foods advocate, died of a stomach ailment.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Dec 28, 2018

 birthdays: Woodrow Wilson, Robert Sessions, Earl "Fatha" Hines, Hildegarde Neff, Edgar Winter, Stan “The Man” Lee, Martin Branner the creator of Winnie Winkle, Johnny Otis, Martin Milner (1-Adam-12), Lew Ayres, Lou Jacobi, Terri Garber, Denzel Washington is 64, Maggie Smith is 84, Sienna Miller is 37, Rick Farmiloe is 62

1895- THE BIRTHDAY OF CINEMA- In Paris at the Grande Cafe des Capucines the Lumiere brothers combined Edison's kinetoscope using George Eastman’s roll film with a magic lantern projector and showed a motion picture to an audience in a theater. Back in the U.S. Thomas Edison thought the idea of projecting film in a theater was foolish and would never catch on. They called their device a Cinematograph, hence the word Cinema is born. The screening included dancers and people leaving a factory but the biggest reaction out of the audience was from shots of waves crashing on a rocky beach. The audience in the front row jumped for fear of getting wet. 

1897- Edmond Rostands famous play Cyrano de Bergeracpremiered in Paris. There really lived a poet-duelist in the 1640’s named Cyrano de Bergerac-Servigan but little was known about him. Rostand created the hopelessly lovesick big nosed hero who helps another man romance his girlfriend Roxanne. 

1928- Last recording of Ma Rainey, The Mother of the Blues.

1928- Louis Armstrong recorded West End Blues.

1944- On The Town, a musical written by Betty Comden & Adolf Green and young composer Leonard Bernstein premiered in NY.

1951- The British film A Christmas Carolwith the memorable performance of Alastair Sim as Scrooge premiered in the USA. 

1962- UPA’s Mr. Magoo’s Xmas Carolfirst premiered on TV. 

1963- In the first season of the BBC TV show Dr. Who, this day Dr. Who first met the Daleks.

1968- The Beatles White Album goes to number one on the pop charts.

1973-Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s book “The Gulag Archipelago”first published in Paris. The exposing of the Soviet prison camp and police system was a great success in the west. It gave the word for prison camp-“Gulag” into popular parlance.

1987- The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtlespremiered.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Dec 27, 2018

Birthdays: Johannes Kepler, Linwood Dunn, Marlene Dietrich, Louis Pasteur, Oscar Levant, Sidney Greenstreet, Anna Russell, Dr. William Masters of Masters & Johnson, Leslie Maguire, John Amos, Tovah Feldshuh, Heather O’Rourke, Cokie Roberts, Bollywood star Salman Khan is 54, Gerard Depardieu is 71

1871- The world’s first cat show opened at the Crystal Palace in London.

1887- Beginning of the Sherlock Holmes story the Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle.

1903- The Barbershop Quartet favorite “Sweet Adeline” sung for the first time. It was written in praise of opera star Adelina Patti.

1904- PETER PAN, OR, THE BOY WHO WOULDN’T GROW UP, a play by James M. Barrie, opened at the Duke of York Theatre in London. Barrie reserved seats in the opening night performance for orphaned children who laughed and cheered all night. Michael Llewelyn Davies, the little boy Barrie befriended who was the basis for Pan, used to say:” I am not Peter Pan. Mr Barrie is.” He committed suicide in 1960 at age 75. James Barrie once said to H.G. Wells:” It’s all right and good to write books, but can you wiggle your ears?”

1927-  "ShowBoat" debuted at the Ziegfeld theater. Based on a novel by Edna Ferber, the musical was written by Jerome Kern & Oscar Hammerstein. The play made a star out of a tall black baritone named Paul Robeson.” Ol’ Man River..”

1935- Radio City Music Hall opened. The Art Deco masterpiece was for many years the largest indoor theater in the world, seating over 6,000. 

1940- Al Jolson and Ruby Keeler announced their separation.

1943- The movie The Song of Bernadette premiered.

1947- The "Howdy-Doody Show” debuted on NBC. Buffalo Bob, Howdy and Clarabell the Clown, also known as the Puppet Playhouse.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Dec 26, 2018

Birthdays: Emperor Frederick II Hohenstaufen, Mao zse Tung, Charles Babbage, Admiral Dewey, Richard Widmark, Steve Allen, Henry Miller, Carlton Fisk, Chris Chambliss, Alan King, Phil Spector, Fred Schepsi, Jared Leto is 46

1924- Baby Frances Gumm first appeared on a stage at 2 1/2 years old. Grown up she would change her name to Judy Garland.

1926- Young artist Al Hirschfeld had made his first caricature for the Broadway Stage. A drawing of actor Sasha Guitry. A friend took it to The New York Tribune and sold it. He figured here's a nifty way to make a living, so soon he was selling to all the papers including the New York Times. 
He will keep doing caricatures of Broadway greats into the millennium and became a legend himself. In the American Theater, a Hirschfeld caricature of you meant you had arrived and were a real star. At age 94 he remarried and drew the cast of Ally McBeal for TV Guide. In 2003 he died just shy of age 100, drawing to the end.

1935- The premiere of the Warner Bros swashbuckler Captain Blood, starring a debonair rogue from Tasmania named Errol Flynn. The first pairing of Flynn, 19 year old Olivia deHaviland, director Michael Curtiz. Music by Eric Wolfgang Korngold. 

1938- Young playwright Thomas Williams moved from Saint Louis to New Orleans and changed his name to Tennessee Williams.

1939- Walt Disney Animation moved from Hyperion to the new Burbank Studio lot. The buildings are designed like hospital wards, so in case he hits economic trouble, Disney could sell them to the planned St. Joseph's Hospital across the street. Animator Ward Kimball said it was the first time he worked in a studio where all the furniture matched. The old Hyperion Studio was bulldozed in 1966, the year of Walt Disney’s death.

1941- Goofy cartoon, the Art of Self Defense, premiered.

1944- Tennessee Williams play The Glass Menageriepremiered in Chicago.

1956- The premiere of the Japanese monster movie Rodan. Released in Japan as Radon the Sky Monster.

1963- The death of Gorgeous George Wagner, the first pro wrestler to adopt a flamboyant character.

1966- The first Kwanzaa Festival was organized by African studies professor Dr Marulanga Karenga at Cal State Long Beach to celebrate African-American culture.

1973- The horror film The Exorciststarring Linda Blair premiered. Merry Christmas! Have some pea soup!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Christmas Day Dec 25, 2018

Birthdays: Jesus (observed), Sir Isaac Newton, Clara Barton, Humphrey Bogart, Cab Calloway, Helena Rubinstein, Rod Serling, Charles Pathe’, Jimmie Buffet, Quentin Crisp, Mike Mazurki, Conrad Hilton- Paris’ granddad, Anwar El Sadat. Larry Csonka, Burne Hogarth, Ishmail Merchant, Maurice Utrillo, Kid Ory, Barbara Mandrell, Dame Rebecca West, Clark Clifford, Annie Lennox is 66, Sissie Spacek is 70, CCH Pounder is 67, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

1541- After the Christmas services, Michelangelo’s fresco The Last Judgment was unveiled, done for the Altar wall of the Sistine Chapel beneath his famous ceiling.

1734- Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratoriofirst performed at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig. Bach pioneered writing sacred music in German instead of Latin or Italian. 

1815- At a Christmas concert in Vienna, Beethoven premiered his NameDay Overture.

1836- According to the novel Moby Dick, today is the day the Pequod set sail from Natucket.

1870- Siegfried Idyll, written by Richard Wagner as a birthday gift to his wife Cosima, was first performed by a small ensemble outside her door as she awoke this morning at their home in Lucerne Switzerland. 

1917-"Why Marry?" by Jesse Lynch Williams opened. The first play to win a Pulitzer Prize.

1929- The Fox Atlanta Theater opened on Peachtree St. An Arabian Nights-type fantasy in part financed by the Shriners so they could use it for their meetings.

1931-The first BBC World Service broadcast. An address by King George V called "Around the Empire".

1937-NBC Symphony Orchestra under the baton of the legendary Arturo Toscanini premieres with its first radio broadcast. In the 1970s their studio space became the home of Saturday Night Live.

1940- Rogers & Hart’s musical Pal Joey opened on Broadway. It made a star out of a young dancer named Gene Kelly.

1946- Comedian W.C. Fields died of alcoholism at 67.  While in his hospital bed someone saw him reading a Bible. They said:" W.C., what are you doing with that? " Fields replied:" Looking for loopholes!"

1957- Disney film Old Yellerpremiered. 

1962- The film of the novel To Kill a Mockingbirdpremiered with Gregory Peck, Brock Peters, and Robert Duval.

1963- Walt Disney’s The Sword in the Stonereleased. First animated feature directed by Wolfgang,” Woolie” Reitherman.

1977- Charlie Chaplin died quietly in his sleep at Vevey, Switzerland. He was 86.

1980- Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns finished reading Simon Schaara’s novel about the Battle of Gettysburg called The Killer Angels. He told his father he was inspired to make a documentary about the Civil War. The Civil Wartook six years to make and ran in 1990, but it was one of the most popular documentary films in the US and redefined the medium of documentary filmmaking.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Dec 24, 2018

Birthdays: Roman Emperor Servius Galba, English King John Lackland, Revolutionary Patriot Dr. Benjamin Rush, Kit Carson, Howard Hughes, Ava Gardner, Michael Curtiz, I.F. Stone, Robert Joffrey of the Joffrey Ballet, Mean Joe Green, John Matusak, Susan Lucci, Nicholas Meyer, Ricky Martin, animator Glen McQueen, Ryan Seacrest

200 Years 1818- the song Silent Night first sung at the Church of Saint Nicholas in Obernsdorf, Austria. Its lyrics were written by the minister named Josef Mohr set to music by a teacher named Franz Gruber. Their church could not afford an organ, so this first singing of Silent Night was accompanied on a guitar.

1888- Vincent Van Gogh cuts off a piece of his left ear after an argument with fellow artist Paul Gaugin over the affections of a prostitute named Rachel. He sent his ear to the prostitute. She fainted. In 2009 historians theorized his ear was sliced off by Gaugin drunkenly waving an antique sword. The two men agreed to keep the secret to not get Gaugin in trouble.

1922- The BBC presented it’s first radio play:" The truth about Father Christmas."

1925- The London Evening News published a story “In which we are introduced to Winnie the Pooh, and some Bees.” By A.A. Milne. The first book of stories came out the following year.

1937- Disney short Lonesome Ghosts premiered.

1951- Gina Carlo Menotti’s opera "Amal and the Night Visitors"premiered on NBC TV..

1952- The conservative Republican 80thcongress overturned Pres. Harry Truman’s veto of the McCarren /Walters Immigration Act. It called for more strenuous screening of immigrants for Communist sympathies, but it also redistributed the quota system along more racist lines. Two thirds of the slots allowed for new immigrants to America went to England, Ireland and Germany, with the rest of the world getting one third. 
The objectionable parts of the act were changed in 1965,…. they said.

1952- First draft script completed on the MGM film Terror Planet, changed to “ Forbidden Planet.”

1964- First day shooting on the “Cage” a pilot for a new TV show called Star Trek. Jeffrey Hunter was the first captain, later replaced by William Shatner when Hunter’s wife advised him to skip the series. She was worried he’d be typecast. 

50 Years Ago 1968- Apollo 8 went into orbit around the Moon. Astronauts Jim Lovell, Frank Borman and William Anders become the first men to reach the moon and win the Space Race. They orbited but did not land, that was for Apollo 11 next year. Borman sent a message to Earth Christmas night by reading from Genesis as they sent back the first images of Earth, a little blue gem in a black cosmos: "And God said: Let there be Light, etc." To a world exhausted by the riots, wars, political polarization and assassinations of 1968, Apollo 8’s message ended the year on a positive note. That humans could still dream to be better than they were.

1968- Twentieth Century Fox announced that legendary Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa had been fired from the production of TORA-TORA-TORA. Producer Darryl Zanuck’s original concept was the story of the Pearl Harbor attack told by Kurosawa from the Japanese side and David Lean from the American side. But Lean passed and Richard Fleischer stepped in.  Japanese sections were directed by Kinji Fukusaku and Toshio Masuda, whose previous credit was The Green Slime

1990- Tom Cruise married Nicole Kidman.

1997- 62 year old Film director Woody Allen married 27 year old Soon-Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of his former lover Mia Farrow. When asked to explain himself the director said: " The Heart wants what it Wants.."

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Dec 23, 2018

Birthdays; Joseph Smith, Paul Hornung, Ruth Roman, Otto Soglow -cartoonist of 'the Little King', Frank Morgan (the Wizard of Oz actor) Jose Greco, Elizabeth Hartmann, Harry Guardino, Claudio Scimone, Vincent Sardi of Sardi’s restaurant in NY, Bob Barker, Frederick Forrest is 82, Japanese Emperor Akihito is 85, France’s former First Lady Carla Bruni is 50, Harry Shearer is 75

1823- SANTA CLAUS BORN. This day the poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" was published anonymously in The Troy Sentinel, a New York newspaper. . Several years after the authorship was claimed by a Bronx Bible teacher, the Reverend Clement Clarke Moore, and he was celebrated in his time as the father of Santa Claus until his death in 1863. In 2000 a literary-forensic specialist challenged Clement Moores authorship. He claimed an Revolutionary War veteran from Poughkeepsie named Major Henry Livingston actually wrote the poem. He uses as evidence the poetry style of Livingston being much closer to the anonymous poem than Rev Moores. But we may never know.
The poem completed the synthesis of English and Dutch folk traditions that were merging in New York into our modern concept of Santa. The Dutch Klaus-in-the-Cinders" or Kris Kringle was an elf who climbed down chimneys to give children toys. He merged with the British Father Christmas or Saint Nicholas who was a big fat jolly bishop with a white beard in a red suit. Leaving cookies and milk out for Santa comes from an old Danish Viking custom at Yuletime to leave food out at night for Odin the Wanderer and his 8 legged horse Sleipnir. 

In an 1859 reprint of the famous poem famed cartoonist Thomas Nast (who created the Republican elephant and Democratic donkey) drew the first likeness of Santa Claus. Because of residual rivalry from the Civil War claiming Santa was a Yankee or came from old Dixie, in 1867 Nast ended the argument by declaring Claus’s true address to be the North Pole. The Santa we all recognize was created by illustrator Haddon Sundblom for a Coca-Cola ad campaign in 1934.  

1893- Humperdinck's opera "Hansel und Gretel" debuts in Weimar Germany.

1894- Claude DeBussey’s “Afternoon of a Faun” premiered in Paris.

1912- France’s leading literary magazine Nouvelle Revue Francaise rejected a new novel by an author named Marcel Proust “A La Recherche du Temps Perdu” “Remembrance of Things Past”. 

1912- The Max Sennett short comedy “Hoffmeyer’s Release” premiered, the first comedy featuring the Keystone Cops.

1913- Young Italian Rudolph Valentino arrived in America to seek his fortune. He was so poor, that after a year he sent his parents a photo of himself in a borrowed tuxedo to show he was doing well. He worked as a nightclub dancer and gigolo until becoming a Hollywood film star in 1921.

1930- Young actress Betty Davis signed her first contract with Universal Studio.

1935- Walt Disney sent a detailed memo to art teacher Don Graham outlining his plans for retraining his animators to do realistic feature films.

circa-1935- This was the traditional day for Republic Pictures to fire all their employees and hire them back after New Years so they wouldn't have to pay them holiday pay. Republic billed itself on its business cards as The Friendly Studio.

1947- Two Bell laboratory scientists invent the Transistor. Nobody was quite sure what to do with the little thing until Texas Instruments invented the portable radio in 1954.

1973- Soap Opera “the Young and The Restless” premiered.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Dec 22, 2018

Birthdays: Diocletian 245AD, Josef Stalin- real name Jozef Djugashvili, James Oglethorpe the founder of the State of Georgia, Jean Racine, Giacomo Puccini, Connie Mack, J. Arthur Rank, Ladybird Johnson, Deems Taylor, Jean Michel Basquiat, Barbara Billingsley, Peggy Ashcroft, Emil Sitka, Gene Rayburn, Hector Elizondo, Diane Sawyer, Robin Gibb & Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees, Ralph Fiennes is 56.

1808- DA-DA-DA- DUMMMM- Beethoven premiered his 5thSymphony.

1861- Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) was ordained a deacon in the Church of England.

1882- Thomas Edison introduced the string of electric Christmas Tree lights replacing candles.

December 22, 1932 – The Mummy, directed by Karl Freund and starring Boris Karloff, Zita Johann, David Manners, Edward Van Sloan and Arthur Byron was released.

1937- The day after the triumphant premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, animator Woolie Reitherman ran into Walt Disney at the studio. Instead of complimenting Woolie and telling him to kick back and relax a bit, Walt launched into a detailed analysis of the problems facing the next picture, and how they need to get started right away!

1940- Nathaniel West, novelist author of Day of the Locust and Miss Lonelyhearts, was killed in a car crash in L.A.

1951- Yves Montand married Simone Signoret.

1964- In Chicago, Comedian Lenny Bruce was sentenced to four months in prison on obscenity charges. When the arresting officer read aloud his jokes, the jury laughed out loud. Lenny complained about the policeman’s delivery. After Lenny Bruce no one has ever again been convicted in the U.S. for telling jokes. 

1973- The 55 miles per hour speed limit was set for all US interstate highways.

2000- The Cohen Bros. Depression Era comedy Oh Brother Where Art Thou?Opened.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Dec 21,2018

Birthdays: Benjamin Disraeli, Josh Gibson- the Home Run King of the Negro Baseball Leagues, Pat Weaver-TV exec who created the Today Show and father of Sigourney Weaver, Frank Zappa, Dr. Kurt Waldheim, Florence Griffith Joyner, Chris Evert, Phil Roman, Jane Fonda is 81, Paul Winchell born Pinkus Wilchinski, Keifer Sutherland is 52, Samuel L. Jackson is 70, Ray Romano is 61, Jane Kaszmarek, Judy Delphy is 49, Jeffrey Katzenberg is 68

Happy Winter Solstice. The shortest day of the year.

1375- The writer Boccaccio died, not of the plague, and not during a wild party like in his book the Decameron.

1913- THE BIRTHDAY OF THE CROSSWORD PUZZLE-The first Crossword Puzzle appeared in the New York World.

1914- The premiere of the first feature length film comedy- Tilly’s Punctured Romance, starring Marie Dressler, Mabel Normand and a young Charlie Chaplin.

1925- Sergei Eisenstein’s cinematic masterpiece Battleship Potemkinpremiered in Moscow. The films pioneering use of montage and allegorical imagery intercut inspired a generation of filmmakers.

1933- Twentieth Century Fox signed 5 year old Shirley Temple to a seven year contract.

1937-Walt Disney's " Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" had its grand premiere at the Cathay Circle Theater. The first feature length American cartoon, it became the box office champ of 1938, earning 4 times more than any other film that year.

1937- Ted Healy, former vaudeville partner of the Three Stooges, was killed in a bar fight, while celebrating the birth of his son. One legend has it that actor Wallace Beery and some gangsters did the fatal pounding. Another rumor is one of the gangsters was young Albert “Cubby” Broccoli, who forty years later would produce the Bond movies and win an Irving Thalberg Award at the 1982 Oscars. Healy originated the violent comedy schtick of the Stooges. But by this time The Three Stooges had parted ways with Ted Healy and were doing much better.

1939- In the year of their nonaggression pact, Adolf Hitler sent Holiday Greetings to his new best-buddy Josef Stalin.  "Merry Christmas, you Jewish-Bolshevik untermensch schweinehund! "Thank you and the same to you, you corrupt Fascist tool of International Capitalism, ифыефкв! "

1940- Writer F. Scott Fitzgerald (44) died of a heart attack at Hollywood columnist Sheila Graham's house. She had just left the house to buy him some candy. 
His last words were 'Hershey bars will be fine..."

1944- Walt Disney’s The Three Caballerospremiered in Mexico City. It opened in the US in February.

1959- Joe Oriolo’s TV remake of Felix the Cat debuted on TV.

1971- Richard William's animated TV special "A Christmas Carol"with Alastair Sim reprising his Scrooge.

1973- Ray Harryhausen’s The Golden Voyage of Sinbadpremiered.

1979- Disney’s Sci-Fi flop The Black Holeopened in theaters.

1982- Thom Riley, one of the stars of the TV cop show ChiPS was busted for driving stoned on Quaaludes.

2012- The Walt Disney Company spent $4.06 billion to buy Lucasfilm, ILM and the Star Wars rights. George Lucas retired to do philanthropic pursuits.

2089- According to Ridley Scott, today the good ship Prometheus lands on the Original Planet.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Dec 20, 2018

Birthdays: Bonnie Prince Charlie, Branch Rickey, George Roy Hill, Dr. Samuel Mudd, Jenny Agutter, Uri Geller, Irene Dunne, Cecil Cooper, Albert Dekker, Amby Paliwoda, Charlie Callas, John Spencer, Harvey Firestone, John Spencer, Elsie De Wolfe, Jonah Hill is 35. 

1892- According to Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days this was the day Phileas Fogg returned to London to complete his trip.

1920- English song & dance man Leslie Townes became an American citizen and changed his name to Bob Hope.

1937- Nazis Josef Goebbels noted in his diary that this day he sent his boss Adolf Hitler a Christmas present of a dozen Mickey Mouse Cartoons from America. Officially der Fuehrer called Mickey ‘vermin’ but privately he enjoyed their animated antics.

1950- Harveypremiered starring James Stewart and a 6 foot invisible rabbit. 

1952- Bridgette Bardot married director Roger Vadim.

1955- Sir Lawrence Olivier’s film version of Richard IIIpremiered.

1962- The Osmond Brothers premiered on the Andy Williams Show.

1957- Elvis Presley received his draft notice. G.I. Blues!

1968- Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day premiered.

1971- Twentieth Century Fox chief Darryl F. Zanuck blames his own son CEO Richard Zanuck for Fox's monetary problems and fires him. This sets off a power struggle among the board of directors. When Zanuck's estranged wife Libby throws her support against the mogul, Darryl F. Zanuck is overthrown and fired from his own company. He was the last of the original Hollywood moguls.

1974- Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Toocame out with the film Island at the Top of the World.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Dec 18, 2018

Birthdays: King Phillip V of Spain (1683), Edith Piaf, Edwin Stanton, Thomas 'Tip' O'Neil, Cicely Tyson, Sir Ralph Richardson, Robert Urich, Robert Sherman, Jennifer Beals is 55, David Susskind, Fritz Reiner, Mel Shaw, Alyssa Milano is 46, Jake Gyllenhaal is 38

1732- The Pennsylvania Gazette announced the publication of a new enterprise by Dr. Benjamin Franklin writing under the penname Richard Saunders. The work was Poor Richard’s Almanac, an international best seller that made Franklin famous. 

1914- Earl Hurd patented animation 'cels' (celluloids) and backgrounds. Before this cartoonists tried drawing the background settings over and over again hundreds of times or slashed the paper around the character and tried not to have it walk in front of anything. By the late 1990’s, most cels & cel paint were been replaced by digital imaging. 

1918- Robert Ripley began his "Believe It Or Not"column in the New York Globe.

1926- The U.S. government passed a law that women authors can only legally copyright their works under their husband's names.

1932- BBC Overseas Service Radio broadcasts begin.

1957- The musical ‘The Music Man’starring Robert Preston first debuted. "Seventy Six Trom-bones in the Big Parade…"

1958- First airing of the Disneyland TV holiday special “ From All of Us, to All of You.”

1971- Stanley Kubrick’s ‘A Clockwork Orange’premiered. Based on a novel by Anthony Burgess. In America the film received an X Rating, more for the violence than the sexual situations. The sensation over the film caused so many incidents of urban violence, that with Kubrick’s permission, it was banned in England for three decades.

1974- The first personal computer went on sale. The Altair 8800, named for the planet in the 1955 sci-fi movie classic Forbidden Planet. The computer came in a kit that you had to build and it cost $397. The next year, two kids at Harvard named Bill Gates and Paul Allen created a programming language for it called BASIC.

1997- MTV dropped airing the rap song Smack My Bitch Up, by Prodigy.

2001- Peter Jackson’s film ‘The Lord of the Rings, the Fellowship of the Ring’first opened.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Dec 18, 2018

Birthdays: Antonio Stradivari, Karl Maria Von Weber, Ty Cobb, George Stevens, Ozzie Davis, Diane Disney-Miller, Anita O’Day, Paul Klee, Betty Grable, Willy Brandt, Keith Richards is 76, Leonard Maltin is 68, Alyssia Sanchez-Vaccario, Ray Liotta is 64, Katie Holmes is 40, Brad Pitt is 55, Steven Spielberg is 72

1812- The first volume of stories Children’s and Household Talesby the Brothers Grimm came out. The world learns of Rapunzel, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White.

1917- Universum-Film AG (UFA) was founded as a consolidation of private film companies in Berlin.

1919- in France, composer Cole Porter married divorcee Linda Thomas. They stayed together all their long lives even though she knew that he preferred male companions.

1937- Mae West does a comedy routine on national broadcast radio with Don Ameche about Adam and Eve that was considered so racy CBS banned her from their network.

1939-Max Fleischer's animated classic “Gulliver's Travels”.

1956- TV Game show To Tell the Truth made its debut. Bud Collier hosting, and panelists like Kitty Carlisle, Bennett Cerf, Orson Bean and Dorothy Killgallen as panelists.

1960- A young, eccentric man named Jerry Garcia was dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Army. He had done things like drive a tank into a field then walk away. He had been AWOL 8 times in one year. After leaving the army, Jerry Garcia became a hippie musician in San Francisco. In 1966 formed the rock band the Grateful Dead.

1961-" In the Jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps to-night…a winoweh, etc. " this song by the Tokens goes to #1 in pop charts.

1964- DePatie-Freleng’s The Pink Phink, the first Pink Panther cartoon short.

1966- Chuck Jone's 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas'premiered.

1975- Rod Stewart announced he was leaving the band Faces, for a solo singing career.

1978- SAG strikes Hollywood again for residuals. (again...)

1983- Jean Shephard’s The Christmas Storyopened to tepid acclaim and weak box office, but soon became an annual holiday classic. On Christmas Day many TV stations play it 24 hours straight.

1984- Christopher Guest married Jamie Lee Curtis at Rob Reiner’s house .

1984- Pixar’s first short The Adventures of Andre and Wally-Breleased in theaters. Directed by Alvy Ray Smith and animated by John Lasseter.

1997- Comedian Chris Farley was found dead in his Chicago apartment in the John Hancock Tower, surrounded by empty food containers and porn magazines. The chubby 31-year-old had been partying for 17 straight hours doing cocaine, heroin, vodka and crystal-meth. His last words were to an exhausted prostitute:" Please don’t leave me.” Farley idolized the late John Belushi, who had also died of drugs and hard living at age 31. One writer recalled once a drunken Farley turned to him and asked:" Do you think Belushi is in heaven?"

1988- Don Bluth’s The Land Before Timeopened.

2015- Star Wars VII, The Force Awakensopened. J.J. Abrams reboot of the old Star Wars franchise became a box office phenomenon. It earned $247 million in its opening weekend, and ended way over a billion and a half dollars.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Dec 17, 2018

Birthdays: Paracelsus (otherwise known as Nicholas Paracelsus Theophrastus Bombastus Von Hohenheim) the father of modern medical diagnosis, Antonio Cimmarosa, William Lyon Mackensie-King, Arthur Fiedler, Bob Guccione, William Safire, Cal Ripken Sr., Ford Maddox-Ford, Erskine Caldwell, Tommy Steele, Pope Francis I, Bill Pullman is 65, Eugene Levy is 72, Giovanni Ribisi is 44, Armin Mueller-Stahl is 88, Wes Studi, Sean Patrick Thomas, Mila Jovovich is 43, Bart Simpson is 29.

1843- Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story for Christmas" first published. In the 18th century and earlier the Christmas celebration was a more rowdy affair with public drinking, marching around in costumes “mummery” and mayhem more resembling Mardi Gras. 
The popularity of Dickens story of Scrooge, Marley and Tiny Tim did much to help Victorians change the nature of the Christmas celebration to a more intimate observance centered on the family. Charles Dickens said he wrote the book to make some money. Had two flops and wanted to capitalize on the new fashion for family Christmas celebrations around the tree, from by the example set by the royal family of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

1865- Schubert's Unfinished Symphony (#8) received it's world premiere. In 1822 Schubert wrote the first two movements and 8 measures for the 3rd (Scherzo), then forgot about it when he died in 1828. A friend kept the manuscript in a closet for 43 years.

1892- Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s ballet “The Nutcracker” premiered at the Imperial Ballet in Saint Petersburg. One child dancer playing a candy cane in that first performance was a Georgian boy named Gyorgi Balavadajze- later American choreographer George Balanchine.

1955- Carl Perkins awoke in the middle of a bad nights sleep and wrote Blue Suede Shoes, the first song to be a hit in Country, R&B and Rock n’ Roll charts simultaneously, especially when sing by Elvis Presley” Well you can knock me down, step on ma face, etc.”

1963- Americans began to hear on their transistor radios a new sound from a band in England named the Beatles. “ I wanna hold your hand”  becomes a big hit and heralds the British rock invasion in 1964. 

1969- Tiny Tim, the campy, ukulele strumming crooner, married his Miss Vicky, or Victoria Budinger live on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

1969- Walt Disney re-released Fantasia,and it was embraced by hippy stoners who liked to get high during screenings, Disney did a black-lite poster for it. It was the first time the 1940 film had ever made a profit. 

1989- After appearing in some interstitial shorts on the variety Tracey Ullman Show, The Simpsonsfirst premiered as a regular TV series.

1999- The film Stuart Littlepremiered. 

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Dec 16, 2018

 Birthdays: Ludwig Van Beethoven, Catherine of Aragon (Henry VIII's wife number one), Marshal Gerbhard von Blucher, Lenoid Brezhnev, Jane Austen, Margaret Mead, Noel Coward, George Santayanna, Liv Ullmann is 80, Steve Bochco, Leslie Stahl. Quentin Blake- dean of British illustrators favored by Roald Dahl, Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick, Miranda Otto is 51.

1900 -EARLY ANIMATED FILM "ENCHANTED DRAWINGS', James Stuart Blackton was a New York World cartoonist who used to do a vaudeville act in drag. He came to do an article on Thomas Edison then Edison put him on the payroll. He created this and several other trickfilms. It doesn’t move much more than his vaudeville lightning drawing act, His 1906 film Humorous Phases of Funny Faces is considered the first animated cartoon.

1905- Variety magazine born. 

1913- Young English music hall actor named Charlie Chaplin got a job at Keystone Studios in Hollywood. His first film he would play a villain.

1935- Hollywood movie star Thelma Todd found dead in her car in her garage in Malibu She was 30. She was a sexy comedienne who starred with Laurel & Hardy, Buster Keaton and the Marx Brothers. She loved to party so much she was nicknamed "Hot Toddy". She knew New York mobster Lucky Lucciano. Was she done in by the mob, her jealous director boyfriend, was it a suicide or did she just pass out drunk in her car garage with the motor running? The mystery’s never been answered.

1966- The Jimi Hendrix Experience released the song ‘Hey Joe’.

1966- Sergio Leone’s epic Spaghetti Western, The Good, The Bad and the Uglypremiered in Rome. The last of the Man with No Name trilogy. Clint Eastwood never worked with Leone again. 

1971- Don McClean released the long version of the song ‘American Pie’.

1978- The Disney short The Small One, directed by Don Bluth. 

1980- Colonel Harland Sanders, the Kentucky Fried Chicken founder, died.

1988- Shockjock Howard Stern is fined $100,000 by the FCC for having on his radio show a man who could play the piano with his penis.

1993- Producer Aaron Spelling fired star Shannon Dougherty off the TV soap Beverly Hills 90210.

1999- Julie Andrews, star of Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, sued New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital for destroying her singing voice during a routine throat operation. 

2009- Roy E. Disney died, the Walt Disney nephew who oversaw the animation resurgence of the 1990s. 

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Dec. 15, 2018

Birthdays: Roman Emperor Nero, Roman Emperor Lucius Verus who was known for little else but his really swell haircut, Gustav Eiffel, J. Paul Getty, Jeff Chandler, Alan Freed, Ernie Pintoff, Tim Conway is 85, Helen Slater, Neil DeGrasse-Tyson, Don Johnson is 69, Julie Taymor is 66

1815- Giacomo Rossini received the commission to write a new opera based on Beaumarchais’ play the Marriage of Figaro- The Barber of Seville.

1893-Czech composer Anton Dvorak premiered a symphony he wrote while living in the Minnesota. The New World Symphony.

1939- The gala premiere of Gone with The Windat the Loews Grand Theater in Atlanta Georgia. Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh flew out from Hollywood and the Governor of Georgia declared it a state holiday. Clark Gable called Margaret Mitchell “ The most fascinating woman I ever met.” Hattie McDaniel, the first black woman to win an Oscar for her portrayal, was not invited to the premiere.

1941- Lena Horne recorded her signature tune “Stormy Weather.”

1943- In Harlem jazz great Fats Waller died of alcoholism and heart failure. He was 39.

1954-“Davy Crockett, Indian Fighter” starring Fess Parker was featured on the Walt Disney TV show for the first time. The show created a mania for little kids, all wanting coonskin caps. “ Born on a mountaintop in Tenn- Ah- See..”

1966- Walt Disney died at age 65. He was alone in the room at Saint Joseph's when he died. His brother Roy had been in earlier rubbing his legs. On his desk, scribbled on a piece of paper the name- Kurt Russell. A heavy cigarette smoker- his favorites were Malboro and French Gitanes- he suffered from lung cancer and respiratory failure. Contrary to the legend that he's cryogenically frozen in a room in the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland, he was cremated and interred at Forest Lawn. 

1974- Mel Brooks film Young Frankensteinopened.

1978- Superman the Movie opened in theaters. Richard Donner directed, and it made a star of Christopher Reeve. 

1985- Sylvester Stallone married model Birgit Neilsson.