Friday, June 14, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for June 14, 2019


Birthdays: Tomaso Albinioni, Fighting Bob LaFollette, Margaret Bourke-White, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Sam Wanamaker, Cliff Edwards the voice of Jiminy Cricket, Dorothy McGuire, Burl Ives, Gene Barry, Jerzy Kosinski, Diablo Cody is 40, 
Pres. Donald Trump is 72.


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

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


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

1954- The Eisenhower Administration ordered the adding of the words "Under God" to the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance.

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

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

1977- Skinny Carnaby Street fashion model Twiggy got married to Michael Whitney.

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



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

2001- The Oxford English Dictionary admitted the slang expletive of Homer Simpson "D’OH!" into its august pages.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for June 13, 2019


Birthdays: Gnaeus Agricola- 40AD, Harriet Beecher Stowe, W.B. Yeats, Red Grange, Basil Rathbone would be 125, Dorothy Sayers, Ralph Edwards, Paul Lynde, Tim Allen, Darla Hood, Ally Sheedy, Simon Callow, Christo, Malcolm McDowell is 76, Stellan Skarsgard is 68, the Olsen Twins are 33.


1958- Frank Zappa graduated Antelope Valley High School.


2010- Pixar’s Toy Story III premiered.


Monday, June 10, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for June 10, 2019

Quiz: Britain’s Prince Phillip was not born British. What was his original nationality?


Yesterday’s Question answered below: What was Josef Stalin’s real name?
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History for 6/10/2019

Birthdays: Charles James Stuart the Old Pretender, Yamaoka Tesshu (1832- Japanese swordsman), Saul Bellow, Judy Garland, Hattie McDaniel, Frederick Loew (of Lerner & Loew), Howlin’ Wolf, Maurice Sendak, Gina Gershon is 57, Leilee Sobieski is 36, Jean Triplehorn is 56, Jurgen Prochnow, Elizabeth Hurley is 53, Britain’s Prince Phillip is 98!
1190- Emperor Frederick III Barbarossa (red-beard) died. Barbarossa (not to be confused with the Algerian-Barbary pirate Nur Al Din of the same name in the 1700's) was the great Hohenstaufen German Emperor who decided to go on Crusade at the same time as Richard Lionheart and Phillip Augustus of France. Frederick was very old but insisted he make the trip. This day while crossing a stream in Turkey, Frederick Barbarossa had a fatal heart attack and fell into the water. His men, never being that thrilled about the whole thing and taking their king's death as the clincher, turned around and went home.

1682- English colonists in Connecticut observed a unique weather phenomenon, a dark windstorm taking the form of a funnel. The first recorded Tornado in America.

1688- THE BABY IN THE WARMING PAN- King James II of England has a son born named Charles James Stuart. The anger of English society that their King and head of the reformed Anglican Church, namely James, was a Catholic, was pushed past the point of endurance by his having a son who would become in all probability be another Catholic king. The lords of England began to openly plot to bring James' protestant daughter Mary and her Dutch husband William of Orange over to overthrow the King.  A rumor created to support this effort was that James' child was born dead and switched with a baby smuggled in a warming pan.
1720 - Mrs Clements of England markets the 1st paste-style mustard.

1750- Francois Voltaire accepted the invitation of King Frederick the Great of Prussia to come live at his court. French King Louis XV laughed: “ Now there will be one less nut in Versailles and one more nut in Berlin.” The friendship between Frederick and Voltaire is fascinating- night after night over dinner, the enlightened gay despot matched wits with the commoner who was the greatest philosophical mind of his time. When Voltaire argued that the world would be better off with no religion or belief in God, King Frederick retorted:” But my dear Voltaire, if you did away with God, then common people would raise statues to you and pray to them.”At times Voltaire’s arguments would get Frederick so angry that the Frenchman would flee fearing for his life. Frederick ordered the borders closed and sent a troop of cavalry to drag him back, so they could finish their argument.
1752- BEN FRANKLIN FLIES HIS KITE- The wizard of Philadelphia was not the actual discoverer of electricity, Leyden Jars and Volta's experiments predate him. He did make the connection between lightning and electric currents and created the lightning rod and the first electric battery. He didn't tell anyone about the kite experiment until 15 years later for fear people would think him a silly fellow. There’s a famous painting of Ben with his kite being assisted by his young child William. In actuality William was about thirty at the time. During the American Revolution, William became a royalist and couldn’t stand his old man.

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

1776- The Continental Congress appointed a committee of Ben Franklin, John Adams ,William Rutledge and Thomas Jefferson to write the Declaration of Independence. Most of the hard work devolved upon Jefferson. Franklin glibly noted:`It has been my practice to avoid being the author of any paper which would be reviewed by a public body. Tom Jefferson borrowed much from enlightened European writers like Burke and Montesqiou. There were 46 revisions before the final draft was voted on, including taking out any references to outlawing the slave trade. Yet Jefferson’s great prose put it perfectly “All Men are Created Equal, endowed by their Creator with certain Inalienable Rights, among them Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”Ever since these words were thrown at tyrants and inspired leaders as diverse as Ho Chi Minh and Fidel Castro.

1782- John Adams negotiated a huge loan from Holland to get the rebellious American colonies out of bankruptcy.
1801- The Barbary Pirates of Tripoli declared war on the little nation called the United States. These Mediterranean buccaneers would extort tribute money from countries whose ships passed through their waters. So long as Yankee shipping was protected by the British Navy this wasn't a problem, but America was on its own now and the Dey of Algiers demanded payment. One senator's famous cry was Millions for Defense, but not one cent for Tribute!

1847 –The Chicago Tribune begins publishing

1854- First graduating class at Annapolis Naval Academy. The first commandant of the Academy Captain Brown later joined the Confederacy and became the commander of the rebel ironclad Arkansas in the Civil War.
     
1860- The Comstock Lode- Near Virginia City Nevada Two grubstake miners, one named Old Pancake McGaughlin hit a vein of silver so big and pure that it will eventually yield $300 million dollars worth of ore and make millionaires of men like William Randolph Hearst's father.
1865- Wagners opera Tristan und Isolde premiered in Munich. To meet the demands of Wagner’s music the orchestra needed to be so much larger than usual that they had to take out the first two rows of seats to enlarge the orchestra pit. Conductor Franz Von Bulow, whose wife Cosima was busy schtupping Maestro Wagner at the time, committed a brilliant blunder when he announced within earshot of reporters:" Take out the seats! One or two extra schweinhunds won't matter!"  Not the way to get good reviews..

1865- Surrendered Confederate leader Robert E. Lee was indicted for treason by the United States district court in Norfolk Virginia. Ulysses Grant was told and immediately sent a note threatening to resign from the army and start a public scandal if Lee’s indictment wasn't dropped. Once Grant had considered all rebels to be traitors, but he had promised Lee in his surrender terms at Appomattox that no one would be subject to further penalties from federal authorities. The indictment was put aside but never formally dropped, and Lee’s request for his restoration of full U.S. citizenship was never granted. In 1995 Senate leader Trent Lot tried unsuccessfully to get Robert E. Lee’s citizenship restored.
1892- Republican Benjamin Harrison nominated for President. When Harrison was in office the White House was wired for Electric Lights. However Harrison and the First Lady were so terrified of electrocution that if a butler neglected to shut them off at bedtime, the Harrisons would quiver in bed all night rather than touch the switch. 

1902 - Patent for the window envelope granted to H F Callahan.

1905- Japan and Russia accept the offer of peace talks to be mediated by American President Teddy Roosevelt. For helping end the Russo-Japanese War Roosevelt received the first Nobel Peace Prize.
1910- The first Krazy Kat comic strip- Cartoonist George Herriman was doing a strip for Hearst called "The Family Upstairs". He was amused at the idea of a friendship between a cat and a mouse. So Herriman put them in the corner playing marbles while the family quarreled. First an office boy and later editor Arthur Brisbane suggested they have their own strip. The immortality of the denizens of Coconino County follows, loved by the likes of H.L. Mencken, e.e.cummings, and Jacques Kerouac. Krazy herself explains:" It's wot's behind me that I am."

1921- Babe Ruth became top HR champ with #120 runs passing then champ Gavvy Cravath. But the Bambino was just getting started. 

1924- Italian Socialist leader Giacomo Mateotti was kidnapped and murdered by Mussolini's fascists. 

1926- Artist Antonio Gaudi was run over by a streetcar while crossing in front of his famous cathedral in Barcelona. Construction begun in 1886, The Cathedral Sacreda Familia is still scheduled for completion- in the year 2035.
1935- A New York stockbroker Bill W., and an Ohio physician Dr. Bob S, both recovered alcoholics, invented a twelve step recovery program called Alcoholic's Anonymous. This day was their first meeting.

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

1940-With Hitler’s Blitz of France almost complete and English armies escaped across the channel to Dunkirk, Mussolini decided the time was right and declared war on England and France. Italian forces crossed the border and occupied Nice.

1942- LIDICE- In occupied Czechoslovakia the Czech underground scored a big victory when they assassinated the Nazis occupation Gauleiter or governor Richard Heydrich, a personal friend of Hitler. Hitler ordered in revenge a Czech village selected at random and destroyed. The SS surrounded the village of Lidice and shot the whole population of 1,300, then burned and tore down the buildings.

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

1945- General Eisenhower was given a massive ticker tape parade down Broadway in New York City. Looking down on Ike from an office building 20 floors up, was a rumpled Navy Reserve Second Lieutenant named Richard Nixon.

1947- Sweden’s Saab motorcar company introduced its first model car. Saab in neutral Sweden had made planes and tanks for World War Two, but after the war was over they recognized that combat was not a growth industry and they switched to autos.

1948- THE JOHNSON CITY WINDMILL- Congressman Lyndon B. Johnson was trying to win a senate seat from Texas but he was lagging far behind a popular ex-governor named Coke Stevenson. So he hit upon a novel way of campaigning. He hired a helicopter and barnstormed the rural towns and districts of the Texas hill country. People came out just to see the newfangled flying machine land and take off, and this gave Johnson a captive audience. They nicknamed it the Johnson City Flying Windmill. Johnson also mounted a massive outlay of posters and pamphlets. He told his staff:” Ah don’t want a voter to wipe his ass with a piece of paper that ain’t got my face on it!” He pulled even to Stevenson and with a little extra ballot box skullduggery won the election.

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

1980- Comedian Richard Pryor had been doing so much cocaine even his dealers were worried about him. This day, while trying to freebase he exploded, and ran screaming down his street on fire. Another version of the story said he tried to commit suicide by pouring tequila on himself and setting it alight. During his long recovery in the Sherman Oaks burn unit, his nurse once put on the news and he watched CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite report his death. `He thought to himself: "If Walter Cronkite said I died, it must be true! Ahhh!" He recovered, but suffered from Muscular Dystrophy until he died in 2005.

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

2014- A radical new Sunni Muslim group captured the key Iraqi city of Mosul and declared a new Caliphate. They called themselves ISIS, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. They take advantage of the chaos of war torn Iraq and Syria to amass power and property and eclipse Al Qaeda as the West’s number one threat for several years. By 2018, they were pretty much gone.
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Yesterday’s Question: What was Josef Stalin’s real name?

Answer: Josef Djugashvili.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for June 9, 2019


Birthdays: Ernesto "Che" Guevara, Harriet Beecher Stowe,Cole Porter, John Bartlett of Bartletts Familiar Quotations, BoyGeorge O’Dowd, Les Paul, Burl Ives, Lash LaRue, Happy Rockefeller, Robert MacNamara, Major Bowes, Carl Neilsen, Jerzy Kosinski, Pierre Salinger, Steffy Graff, Marvin Kalb, Charles-Augustin de Coulomb, physicist who formulated Coulomb's Law, Dr. Alois Alzheimer, Michael J. Fox is 58, Johnny Depp is 56, Natalie Portman is 38

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

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

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

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

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

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

1942 - Anne Frank began her diary.

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

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

2006- Pixar film Cars released.

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


Saturday, June 8, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for June 8, 2019


Birthdays: Robert Schumann, Frank Lloyd Wright, Barbara Bush, Admiral David Dixon Porter, Leroy Neiman, Emmanuel Ax, Alexis Smith, Nancy Sinatra, Boz Scaggs, Jerry Stiller is 91, Dana Wynter, British cricketeer Ray Illingsworth, Juliana Margulies, Joan Rivers, Keenan Ivory Wayans is 61, Scott Adams (the creator of Dilbert) is 61. Gary Trousdale is 59, Kanye West


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

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

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

1912- Carl Laemmle formed Universal Pictures Studio.

1942 - Bing Crosby records "Silent Night".

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

1946- Bob Clampett's cartoon 'Kitty Kornered' premiered, one of the earliest Sylvester the Cat. 

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

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

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

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

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

1968- James Earl Ray, the man accused of assassinating Martin Luther King the past April, was arrested in London, England.

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

1969 - Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor replaces Brian Jones.

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

1984-Ivan Reitmans’ film "Ghostbusters" premiered.

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

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

2018- John Lasseter, director of hit movies like Toy Story, stepped down from the leadership of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation due to “Me-To” harassment complaints made against him. 

Friday, June 7, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for June 7, 2019


Birthdays: Pope Gregory XIII, Beau Brummel, Paul Gauguin, Chick Corea, George Szell, Watergate congressman Peter Rodino, Tom Jones, Jessica Tandy, James Ivory, Virginia McKenna, Prince, Mike Pence, Liam Neeson is 67


1927- A daredevil named Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly climbed on top of a flagpole on top of a bank in Newark, New Jersey, and sat there for eight days straight. This stunt was covered by the media almost as much as Charles Lindbergh’s flight. It made the 1930s craze for flagpole-sitting.

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

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

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


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

2002 –Kim Possiblepremiered on TV.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for June 6, 2019


Birthdays: Diego Velasquez, Pierre Corneille. Alexandre Pushkin, Nathan Hale, John Trumbull, Thomas Mann, The Dalai Lama, Klaus Tennestedt, Bjorn Borg, Richard Crane, Dr. Karl Braun, Walter Chrysler, Isaiah Berlin, Aram Khachaturian, Jason Issacs, Sandra Bernhard is 64, Paul Giamatti is 52, Aaron Sorkin is 58

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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



Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for June 5, 2019


Birthdays: Socrates, Pancho Villa, Thomas Chippendale -furniture maker, not the male strip club owner, Igor Stravinsky, Little archduchess Anastasia Romanov, Frederico Garcia Lorca, Dean Acheson, Bill Moyers is 88, Hopalong Cassidy, Tony Richardson, Lancelot Ware the founder of Mensa, Kenny G., Spaulding Gray, Ron Livingston is 52, Mark Wahlberg is 48

1455- Poet Francois Villon gets thrown out of Paris again, this time for stabbing a priest in a bar fight. 

1502- LEONARDO GETS A JOB- This day Leonardo Da Vinci was hired by Cesare Borgia as a military engineer. Borgia was the son of Pope Alexander VI, and wanted to conquer Italy for the Church. The artist-scientist Leonardo had promised Borgia he could design horrific war making machines like tanks, flame-throwers and poison gas. Most of these things were unrealistic for the technology of the time, so Borgia used him to draw maps of the topography of the lands he intended to conquer. After a few months Pope Alexander died, and the new Pope Julius kicked out Cesare Borgia. 
Leonardo went back on Renaissance Craigslist again.

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

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

1998- Walt Disney’s Mulan premiered.


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

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for June 4, 2019


Birthdays: King George III, Alvah Bessie, Rosalind Russell, Gene Barry, Dennis Weaver, Robert Merrill, Bruce Dern, Andrea Jaeger, Dr Ruth Westheimer, Freddy Fender, Rachael Griffiths, Noah Wylie is 48, Russell Brand is 44, Angelina Jolie is 44

1938- Date of the famous Walt Disney Studio Norconian crew party to celebrate the success of Snow White. The young, mostly single artists (average age 26), released of tension and filled with booze, swapped bedrooms and galloped horses through the Hotel Norconian sending Walt and Roy fleeing the scene for fear of bad publicity. Walt picked the resort because when he first held a party at the studio, the crew trashed the place. 

1942- Capitol Records opened for business.

1944- American armies at last enter Rome. Animator/GI  Johnny Vita went up to Mussolini's podium overlooking the Piazza Venezia and did a mocking impersonation of Il Duce to the laughter of the troops.

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

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

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

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

1977- The Apple II went on sale. 

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

1990- The New York Daily News quietly discontinued its long running comic strip Ching Chow. Besides being unbelievably racist and offensive, the little one panel strip of a stereotype Chinese man with a long hair queue saying silly Confucian platitudes, also was the source of racetrack and numbers racket tips.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for June 3, 2019


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


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

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

1929- Movie stars Douglas Fairbanks Jr married Joan Crawford.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


2001- Disney’s Atlantis the Lost Empireopened in theaters.


Sunday, June 2, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for June 2, 2019


Birthdays: John Randolph, The Marquis DeSade, Martha Custis Washington, Thomas Hardy, Ludwig Roselius the inventor of decaf coffee 1874, Hedda Hopper, Sir Edward Elgar, Johnny Weismuller, Charlie Watts, Disney story artist Dick Heumer, Lotte Reinniger, Marvin Hamlisch, Barry Levinson, Jon Peters, Dana Carvey, Garo Yepremian, Jerry Mathers the Beaver of the old TV show Leave it to Beaver is 71, Dayvid Haysbert is 65, Lasse Halstrom is 73


1896- Gugielmo Marconi took out a patent on wireless broadcasting - radio.
 At the time his device could be heard from almost 12 miles away!

1920- Eugene O’Neill won a Pulitzer Prize for his first play Beyond the Horizon.

1918 - Velveeta Cheese was invented by Swiss immigrant Emil Frey as a way to recycle damaged and partially used cheese wheels. 

1932- The Screen Publicists Guild formed

1940- Will Eisner's "The Spirit" comic first appears.

1952 - Maurice Olley of General Motors began designing the Corvette.

1952- Queen Elisabeth II of England crowned. The date was set by meteorologists who predicted it would be one of the few days that year that would have bright sunshine. And-you guessed it... it rained all day. It was also the first Royal Coronation to be seen on television.

1956- Elvis Presley introduced his hit song “You Ain’t Nothin But a Hound Dog” on the Milton Berle TV show.

1961- Humorist writer George S. Kaufman died. Playwright, humorist and critic who wrote Dinner at Eight, You Can’t Take it With You, andStage Door.
He wanted on his headstone: "Over My Dead Body!"


1973- London animator Richard Williams closed down his Soho studio for a month so his staff could be tutored by old Hollywood animation legends Art Babbitt, Chuck Jones and Ken Harris. 

1996- Ray Combs, who took over the job as host of the TV game show Family Feud after Richard Dawson, hanged himself with his bed sheets at Glendale Adventist Hospital. 

1999- Pope John Paul II blessed the new Vatican Parking garage. 




Saturday, June 1, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for June 1, 2019

       

Birthdays: Brigham Young, Marilyn Monroe, Pat Boone,Mikhail Glinka,Red Grooms, Karl Von Clausewitz, Andy Griffith, Morgan Freeman is 82, Nelson Riddle, Lisa Hartman, Cleavon Little, Frederica Von Stade, Powers Booth, Rene Aubergjenois, Lisa Hartman, Jonathan Pryce is 72, Brian Cox is 73, Heidi Klum is 46

1931- 48 year old Swiss artist Albert Hurter joined the Disney staff, giving the look of cartoons like Snow White a more Germanic storybook look. His hiring created a new type of job at the studio, an Inspirational Sketch Artist, what we call today a Vis-Dev artist.

1933 - Charlie Chaplin wed actress Paulette Goddard.

1933- Eric Larson’s first day at Walt Disney Studio. One of the Nine Old Men, he retired  53 years later in 1986.

1936 - "Lux Radio Theater" moved from NY to Hollywood.

1938- SUPERMAN- Joe Seigel and Jerry Shuster were two aspiring cartoonists in a Cleveland High School. Jewish kids, they had read about the Nazi concept of the Aryan Superman. They wanted to show a Superman could be on the American side. So they created a new hero named Superman in 1933. The scrambled about as cartoonists in NYC for a few years and in 1938 sold Detective Comics (D.C.) on their Superman idea for $130. The first Superman in Action Comics came out this day. Part of the contract was they gave DC all rights to the Man of Steel. 

When the first megabudget Superman movie was being made in the 1975, the National Cartoonist's Society spokesman Neal Adams pointed out that Seigel & Schuster were now destitute. Seigel was blind on disability, and Schuster delivered sandwiches from a local deli. The bad publicity forced Warner Bros and DC Comics to award them and their families pensions for their life.

1942- British actor Leslie Howard, who played Ashley in" Gone with the Wind "was killed. The movie star was doing diplomacy in Spain, but on the flight home his commercial DC-3 airliner was shot down by German JU-88 fighters over the Bay of Biscay. He was such an effective propagandist that when German agents learned his schedule, they sent the interceptors just to get him.

1955- Marilyn Monroe’s movie The Seven Year Itch opened.

1961 - FM multiplex stereo broadcasting 1st heard.

1966 - George Harrison is impressed by Ravi Shankar's concert in London.

1967 –Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in the US and it immediately goes gold.

1968 - Simon & Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" hits #1.

1979- Gannett News Services began USA Today, called by some critics- 'MacPaper'.

1980- Ted Turner started CNN news channel.


Thursday, May 30, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for May 30, 2019


Birthdays: Czar Peter the Great, Benny Goodman, Mel Blanc, Stepin Fetchit, Boris Pasternak, Irving Thalberg, Milt Neil, Howard Hawks, Gale Sayers, Michael J. Pollard, Wynonna, Keir Dullea is 83, Ceelo Green is 44, Idina Menzel is 48



1919- Hollywood entrepreneur Charles Tolman bought a natural declivity north of Hollywood Blvd called Daisy Dell. People had been picnicking in the grass there for years. Now Tolman wanted to build a concert amphitheatre. Conductor Hugo Kirchhofer remarked “ It looks like a big bowl!” So it became the Hollywood Bowl thereafter. 


1955- The day before the movie The Seven Year Itch opened, the New York chapter of the Catholic League of Decency pressured Loews Theater on Broadway to take down a giant 30-foot billboard of Marilyn Monroe trying to push her skirt down.


1962- Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem had its first performance.

1972- Director choreographer Bob Fosse filmed a live performance of Liza Minelli’s one-woman show Liza with a Z. It was telecast in Sept. and became a sensation.


2003- Pixar’s Finding Nemo opened. 


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for May 29, 2019


Birthdays: John F. Kennedy, King Charles II (the "Merry Monarch"), Bob Hope, G. K. Chesterton, Patrick Henry, Oswald Spengler, T.H. White, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Josef Von Sternberg, LaToya Jackson, John Hinckley Jr., Al Unser Jr., Beatrice Lilly, Danny Elfman, Annette Bening is 61, Melissa Etheridge is 58, Rupert Everett is 60


1606- Michel Caravaggio the artist shot a man over a tennis match. Caravaggio was a mad-artist before the term was invented.  The police records of Rome show the master painter constantly in trouble, seducing man, woman and child, throwing rocks at soldiers, stabbing waiters, etc.

1911 -The first Indianapolis 500

1912- 15 young women were fired by the Curtis Publishing Company for dancing "Turkey Trot" during their lunch break.

1941-THE GREAT WALT DISNEY CARTOONISTS STRIKE.. The picket line and campsite went up across the street where St. Joseph's Hospital is today. Chef's from nearby Toluca Lake restaurants would cook for the strikers on their off time and the aircraft mechanics of Lockheed promised muscle if any ruff stuff was threatened.   

Picketers included Hank Ketcham (Dennis the Menace), Walt Kelly and Margaret Selby (later Kelly) (Pogo), Bill Melendez (A Charlie Brown Christmas), Steve Bosustow and John Hubley (Mr. Magoo), Maurice Noble and Chuck Jones (What's Opera Doc?), George Baker (Sad Sack), Dick Swift ("the Parent Trap") Frank Tashlin (Cinderfella) Ade Woolery (Playhouse), and four hundred others. Animators from Warner Bros. MGM and Walter Lantz marched with their Disney brothers and sisters, because they knew this was where the fate of their entire industry would be settled. Celebrities like Dorothy Parker and John Garfield gave speeches. The studio claimed no one of importance was on strike. 

The strike was eventually settled by Federal arbitration and a little arm twisting by the Bank of America. Many of the artists who left the studio afterwards set up U.P.A. and pioneered the modern 1950's style.

1942- JOHN BARRYMORE- The great dramatic actor, the first American to dare to play Hamlet in England, died of his many vices at age 60. Whether the infamous prank actually happened where Raoul Walsh, Bertholdt Brecht, Peter Lorre, W.C. Fields and some others (the "Bundy Drive Boys") kidnapped Barrymore's body from Pierce Brothers Funeral Home and propped it up at the poker table to scare the willys out of Errol Flynn is a matter of debate. Flynn and Paul Heinried said it was true, writer Gene Fowler said it was false. .
     John Barrymore's last words were to screenwriter Gene Fowler:
   "Say Gene, isn't it true you are an illegitimate son of Buffalo Bill?"

1942- Bing Crosby recorded "White Christmas," debatably the greatest selling record of all time.

1954- New York Police raid the studio of Irving Klaw, the photographer of the Betty Page kinky pin-up photos. Klaw tried to appeal to the Supreme Court but couldn’t get a hearing.


1956- Hollywood director James Whale (Frankenstein, The Invisible Man) drowned in his pool. His career was over and his health was deteriorating from a series of strokes. Bruises were found on his head and at first the police suspected foul play. It wasn’t until 1989 his gay partner made his suicide note public. His head had struck the pool’s bottom as he jumped in causing the bruise.

1973 - Columbia Records fired president Clive Davis for misappropriating
$100, 000 in funds, Davis then founded Arista records.

1987 –pop singer Michael Jackson attempted to buy the XIX century remains of Joseph Meredith a.k.a. the Elephant Man.

1999- Hikers in Malibu California discover the remains of Phillip Taylor, the bass guitar player of the 60’s band Iron Butterfly. The musician had disappeared four years before. Now his skeleton was found sitting in his Ford Aerostar at the bottom of a steep ravine.



Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for May 28, 2019


Birthdays:Solomon 970 BC, Noah Webster, Dr. Joseph Guillotine, William Pitt the Younger, General Pierre Beauregard, Ian Fleming, Jim Thorpe, The Dion Identical Quintuplets 1930, Gladys Knight, Jerry West, Dietrich Fisher-Deiskau, Sandra Locke, T-Bone Walker, Taffy Abel (one of the first professional hockey stars), John Fogarty is 74, Carey Mulligan is 34, Carol Baker is 88.

1929 - 1st all color talking picture, "On With the Show" exhibited (NYC).

1935- Tortilla Flat published. The first novel by John Steinbeck.


1941- THE WALT DISNEY STRIKE- Labor pressures had been building in the Magic Kingdom since promises made to artists over the success of Snow White were reneged on, and Walt Disney’s lawyer Gunther Lessing encouraged a hard line with his employees. On this day, in defiance of federal law, Walt Disney fired animator Art Babbitt, the creator of Goofy, and thirteen other cartoonists for demanding a union. Babbitt had emerged as the union movements’ leader. Studio security officers escorted him off the lot. 
That night in an emergency meeting of the Cartoonists Guild, Art’s assistant on Fantasia, Bill Hurtz, made the motion to strike, and it was unanimously accepted. Bill Hurtz will later go on to direct award winning cartoons like UPA’s "Unicorn in the Garden". Picket lines go up next day in cartoon animation’s own version of the Civil War.

 Walt Disney nearly had a nervous breakdown over the strike and a federal mediator was sent by Washington to arbitrate. In later years, Uncle Walt blamed the studio’s labor ills on Communists. The studio unionized completely, but the hard feelings remained for their rest of their lives.

1954- Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murderin 3D premiered.

1960- George Zucco 74, a character actor who specialized in horror movies like Blood from the Mummies Hand, died. One version says he died of fright in a mental hospital in San Gabriel California. He was convinced that H.P. Lovecraft's Great God Cthulu was after him. He actually died of natural causes in a nursing home.

1966- the It’s a Small World exhibit, which had been created for the 1964 NY Worlds Fair, reopened at Disneyland, California. 

1977- George Lucas film Star Warsopened in general release across the country.

1981- The Bambi Murders- Police hunt Playboy Bunny Bambi Bemenek for shooting her husband’s ex-wife in Milwaukee. She was captured but escaped prison in 1990. 
Just follow the little stiletto high heel footprints.


1983- “What a Feeling” the theme from the film Flashdanceby Irene Cara and Giorgio Moroder reached the top of the pop charts. Everyone dancing with leggings and baggy sweaters.

1998- Saturday Night Live comedian Phil Hartman was shot to death by his wife Brynne as he slept. She was a heavy drinker and pill user. At 6:00am as the LAPD were knocking Brynne turned the gun on herself.

2005- The great London clock Big Ben mysteriously stopped for 45 minutes. 

2005- Actress Lindsay Lohan was photographed passed out in her car shortly after a court hearing for a previous DUI.



Monday, May 27, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for May 27, 2019


Birthdays: James 'Wild Bill' Hickock, Julia Ward Howe, Aemelia Jenks-Bloomer, Dashell Hammett, Vincent Price, Dr. Henry Kissinger is 97, Leopold Goldowsky (the inventor of Kodachrome film), Hubert H. Humphrey, Herman Wouk, Harlan Ellison, Christopher Lee, Joseph Feines, Richard Schiff is 64, Peri Gilpin, Paul Bettany is 48

1874- Prostitution was outlawed in Los Angeles central business district.

1895 - British inventor Burt Acres patented a film camera/projector

1930- HAPPY BIRTHDAY SCOTCH TAPE -Chemist Richard Drew of Saint Paul Minnesota invented cellophane tape, marketed by the 3M Company under the brand Scotch. It was called Scotch after the stereotype perception that Scots people are frugal with money, so it’s a good value. Three years later Drew invented Masking Tape as a way for car manufacturers to paint cars two tone.


1933- Disney’s cartoon “The Three Little Pigs” premiered, whose song “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf” became a national anthem of recovery from the Great Depression. 
Director of the short Burt Gillette left Disney afterwards to run the Van Beuren Studio in New York. 

1948- Walt Disney feature Melody Time released, featuring Pecos Bill. 

1949- Actress Rita Hayworth married Arab playboy Prince Aly Khan. Prince Aly Khan, 1911-1960, was born in Italy a son of dispossessed Pakistani royalty to the Aga Khan II. He lived his life as an international playboy, socialite and sportsman, making love to women from actress Rita Hayworth to Winston Churchill’s daughter-in-law Pamela Churchill-Harriman. Cole Porter wrote him into a song. He died when he crashed his sportscar in France

1961 – The first black light is sold

1969 – Construction on Walt Disney World Florida began.

1977-Punk band The Sex Pistols release their hit God Save the Queen, the Fascist Regime, in time for the Queen’s Jubilee year. She preferred the Beatles’ All You Need is Love.

1995- Actor Christopher Reeve was left paralyzed from the neck down after falling from his horse in an equestrian event in Charlottesville, Va.  He became a spokesman for stem-cel research, but his effort in the US was frustrated by powerful religious lobbyists. Christopher Reeves died in 2004.