Sunday, August 25, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 25, 2019


Birthdays:  King Ludwig II the Mad of Bavaria, Walt Kelly, Bret Hart, Lola Montez (flamenco dancing mistress of Ludwig I, King of Bavaria), Alan Pinkerton, Elvis Costello is 66, Clara Bow, Ruby Keeler, Monty Hall, Van Johnson, Willis Reed, Frederick Forsythe, Wayne Shorter, Billy Ray Cyrus, Dr. Bruno Bettleheim, Rolly Fingers, Gene Simmons, Anne Archer, Tim Burton is 61, Sean Connery is 89, supermodel Claudia Schiffer is 48, Leonard Bernstein



1835- The New York Sun newspaper ran a story that British astronomer Sir William Herschel, the discoverer of Neptune, had observed little men living on the surface of the Moon!  The story proved false, but it boosted the sales of the paper.

1970- A young singer named Elton John did his first US tour, opening at the Troubadour in LA.

1980- The premiere of the Broadway musical version of the classic movie 42nd Street. In a moment of Broadway melodrama producer David Merrick came out on stage and startled the cast and audience by announcing that the director of the play Gower Champion had died that very day. 42nd Street went on to be a smash hit. The play itself is about a Broadway director who works himself to death creating a hit musical.

1991- At the Emmy ceremony, comic Gilbert Gottfried upset the audience by a flood of masturbation jokes about Pee Wee Herman. Fox Network apologized the next day.

2001-Beautiful 22 year old R&B singer Alleiya was killed, when her overloaded chartered plane crashed on the island of Abaco in the Bahamas.




Saturday, August 24, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 24, 2019


Birthdays: Jorge Luis Borges, William Wilberforce, Marlee Matlin, Yasir Arafat, Max Beerbom, Cal Ripken Jr, Joshua Lionel Cowan the inventor of Lionel toy electric trains, Kenny Baker-C3PO in Star Wars, Stephen Fry is 62, Durward Kirby- 1960s T.V. announcer, Duke Kahanamoku-1890- Olympic medalist who popularized the Hawaiian sport of Surfing. Kirk Wise, Dave Chappelle is 46, Steve Guttenberg is 61

1847 - Charlotte Bronte finished the manuscript of her novel "Jane Eyre".

1853 – Saratoga Springs hotel resort chef George Crum invented Potato Chips, or crisps.

1939- Mr. Leslie Mitchell became the first British Television announcer.


1942- Walt Disney’s film Saludos Amigos received its world premiere in Rio De Janiero.

1951- Akira Kurosawa’s film Rashomon premiered at the Venice International Film Festival. The film won the Grand Prize and first showed the world that Japanese Cinema was a new creative force in the film world.

1966- The effects fantasy Fantastic Voyage directed by Richard Fleischer opened. The submarine in the film was designed by Harper Goff, who designed the Nautilus for Walt Disney’s Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea, also directed by Richard Fleischer, the son of Max Fleischer.

1973- One month after Bruce Lee’s death, his last film Enter The Dragon opened in the US to wild acclaim. It renewed interest in the late star and helped spawn the Chinese Martial Arts craze in the US.

1993- LAPD announced an investigation of pop star Michael Jackson for possible child molestation. The investigation never led to any indictments but the publicity tarnished his image. Equally damaging to his public image were revelations of his eccentric lifestyle, like his keeping chimps and mannequins around the house to talk to, and all the tap water and showers of his mansion spouting Evian water. Jackson was tried and acquitted of all charges in 2005.

1995- Microsoft's Windows 95 introduced.

1997- According to the 1984 James Cameron film The Terminator this was the day the Skynet computer system became self aware, and began the War of the Day of Judgement.

2011- Washington D.C. and much of the east coast was shaken by an earthquake. The first in 121 years. Californians were told not to laugh too hard.

2011- Steve Jobs announced he was resigning his positions at Apple, Pixar and Disney due to his failing health.


Thursday, August 22, 2019

Animation fun facts for Aug 22, 2019


Birthdays: George Herriman the creator of Krazy Kat, Dorothy Parker, Claude DeBussy, Johnny Lee Hooker, Denis Papin 1647 inventor of the Pressure Cooker, Leni Reifenstahl, General Stormin’ Norman Schwarzkopf, Paul Molitor, Bill Parcells, Max Vilander, Carl “Big Yaz”Yazstremski, Dyanna Nyad, Deng Xiao Ping, Henry Cartier Bresson, Valerie Harper, Cindy Williams, Ray Bradbury, Kristen Wiig is 46

1611- Galileo made a group of Venetian senators and noblemen climb to the top of Saint Marks Basilica in Venice with him to demonstrate to them the new invention, the telescope.

1715 – Handel’s "Watermusic" premiered on the Thames River to mark celebrations of the Peace ending the War of Spanish Succession. 

1806- elderly French painter Jean Fragonard died of a cerebral seizure after eating a large fruit ice on a hot day..

1882- American showman P.T. Barnum bought the largest elephant in the London Zoo. He created a new name for the beast- he called it JUMBO. It was the highlight of his circus for years. After Jumbo was hit by a freight train and killed, PT Barnum had its bones bleached and charged people admission to come look at its skeleton.

1906 - 1st Victor Victrola manufactured, using Emile Berliners flat record turntable system. The Victrola was so cheap and easy to use it became standard in many homes and finished off any competition from Thomas Edison’s rival talking cylinder system.

1929- Walt Disney’s Silly Symphony The Skeleton Dancepremiered. The tight dancing synch inspired a generation of animators. 

1935- Father Charles Coughlin, “the Radio Priest” addressed ten thousand in Madison Square Gardens. At the height of his popularity almost one third the American public tuned into his weekly radio address. But as his influence waned after the 1936 presidential elections. He turned increasingly to racist Anti-Semitic hate mongering and soon faded away.

1942- Tex Avery’s first cartoon for MGM, The Blitz Wolf.


Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 21, 2019


Birthdays: Christopher Robin Milne-1920, King Phillip II Augustus of France- 1165, King William IV of England- 1765, Aubrey Beardsley, Count Basie, Wilt (Wilt the Stilt) Chamberlain, Friz Freleng, Kenny Rogers, Princess Margaret, Matthew Broderick, Vance Gerry, Peter Weir is 75, Kim Catrall is 63, Carrie Anne Moss is 52

1887- Mighty (Dan) Casey struck out at his last at bat with the NY Giants. The poem by Ernest Lawrence Thayer was written many years later.

1911- CafĂ© waiter Vincenzo Perugia walked into the Louvre and stole the Mona Lisa.  After trying to fence it for two years, he tried to ransom it back. He was arrested and the painting recovered.

1912- Arthur Eldred of Oceanside New York became the first Eagle scout. 


1921- On his first birthday, Christopher Robin Milne was given a Farrell teddy bear from Harrods. His parents first called it Edward, but when he could speak Christopher Robin named it Winnie, after Winnipeg, his favorite bear he saw at the London zoo. The child would also mention the name of a swan there he liked named Pooh. This gave his dad A.A. Milne a neat idea for a new book.

1922 – The Curly Lambeau & Green Bay Football Club formed in 1919 was granted an NFL franchise. Foreigners have pondered the Great American Mystery: Why are the Packers the only US football team not situated near a major American City? That is because at a time when professional football was in its infancy, a Green Bay meat packing company paid for the team’s uniforms.

1929- Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo marry.

1930- Pardon Us,the first feature length film starring Laurel & Hardy. In 1926, Hal Roach director Leo McCarey noticed the Briton Stan Laurel and Georgia born singer Oliver Hardy looked funny together, and put them in a series of shorts. Laurel & Hardy became one of the greatest comedy teams in film history. 

1935- Big band leader Benny Goodman was having a tough time. His band lost its radio gig when the show Let’s Dance was canceled. So he and his musicians drove across the country in a small caravan of cars playing various venues on the road. They were told in small towns to stop playing that newfangled Swing music and stick to old standards. One manager in Denver told him:” Don’t you guys know any waltzes? ” By the time they arrived in Los Angeles this day they were thoroughly demoralized. But today when they set up in the Palomar Ballroom in Hollywood the crowd was immense! And these kids wanted to jitterbug to the new Swing music! 

1944- Moviestar James Cagney, star of Yankee Doodle Dandy, was cleared of charges of Communism. The accusations probably had less to do with Cagney's politics and more to do with his actor’s union activism, and his fighting in court the restrictive personal contracts studios put their stars under. 

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


1987- The movie Dirty Dancingopened.


1995- Bill Gates announced Microsoft Windows 95.


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 20, 2019


Birthdays: President Benjamin Harrison, Sukenoba Nishikawa, Bernardo O’Higgins, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, H.P. Lovecraft, Art Tatum, Issac Hayes, Connie Chung, Jacqueline Susanne, Rajiv Ghandi, Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, Joan Allen is 63, Fred Durst, Alan Reed -the original voice of Fred Flintstone, Slobodan Milosovic’, Amy Adams is 45

1882 -Peter Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" premiered in Moscow. The composer said of all his works the two pieces he liked the least were the 1812 Overture and the Nutcracker Suite. Overture 1812 was Richard Nixon’s favorite classical piece.

1972- Star Hollywood directors Francis Ford Coppola, Peter Bogdanovich and William Friedkin announced a partnership in a new production company called "The Director's Company". Young punks Martin Scorsese, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg were also involved. The partnership lasted two years then collapsed.


1982- Ralph Bakshi's film Hey Good Lookin'.

1989- George and Joy Adamson, the naturalists who inspired the book Born Free, were murdered by Somali poachers with machetes in Kampi Ya Simba, Africa.

1994- Studio head Jeffrey Katzenberg resigned from the Walt Disney Company.


Monday, August 19, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 19, 2019


B-Days: Roman Emperor Probus (232AD), Orville Wright, Ring Lardner, Ogden Nash, Alfred Lunt, George Enesco, jockey Willie Shoemaker, Malcolm Forbes, Tipper Gore, Gene Roddenberry, Colleen Moore the It Girl, Jill St. John, Ginger Baker, Dawn Steel, John Stamos, Peter Gallagher is 63, Kyra Sedgwick is 54, Matthew Perry is 50, Jonathan Frakes is 67, Bill Clinton is 73

1692- Salem Mass, The pilgrims executed four people as witches. One was a senile old woman who just looked scary like a witch, and another was a Caribbean servant named Tituba who liked to tell children ghost stories. One Rev George Burroughs, was a distant ancestor of Walt Disney.

1886- Joseph Conrad got his British citizenship. The author of Nostromo, Heart of Darkness, and Lord Jim was born in Poland as Jozef Konrad Korzenieowski, but he went into exile when his nationalist father was arrested by the Czars police and sent to Siberia.

1909- The Brickyard is born. The first Indianapolis 500 autorace.

1929-  the Amos and Andy show premiered on radio.

1955 - WINS radio, announces it will not play "copy" white cover versions of black R&B.  DJs must play Fats Domino's "Ain't It A Shame," not Pat Boone's. In 1957 Little Richards “Tuttie-Fruitie” never got higher than 17thin the Billboard Charts while Pat Boones version, by his own admission awful, went to number one.

1973 - Kris Kristofferson wed Rita Coolidge.

1977- Groucho Marx, the last surviving Marx Brother, died at age 86. In his final years Groucho had rewrote his will in favor of his young personal secretary Erin Fleming. This spawned a furious legal battle between Fleming and the Marx family.

2004- Google stock first went public on the stock market.

2012- Director Tony Scott (Top Gun, Days of Thunder) jumped to his death off a bridge in Los Angeles. He was 68.

2335 – According to Star Trek the Next Generation, this is the birthday of William T Riker, in Valdez Alaska, first officer of the Enterprise.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 18, 2019


 Birthdays: Meriwether Lewis, Austrian Emperor Franz Josef II, Leo Slezak, Shelly Winters, Roberto Clemente, Rafer Johnson, Enoch Light, Coco Channel, Roman Polanski is 85, Patrick Swayze, Madeleine Stowe, Christian Slater, Edward Norton is 51, Martin Mull, Denis Leary is 62, Robert Redford, born Charles Robert Redford Jr, is 83

1939- The movie The Wizard of Ozreleased and made a star of Judy Garland. Frank Morgan, the actor playing the Wizard, needed to wear a shabby old coat so a studio costume designer went through some L.A. thrift stores until she found the good candidate. When Morgan looked in the lining he discovered the coat was previously owned by L.Frank Baum, creator of the Oz stories.  Morgan was first president of the Screen Actor's Guild, but stepped down when he was considered too lefty to work with the Roosevelt administration. Lyricist Yip Harburg (Somewhere over the Rainbow ) was later blacklisted as a communist. "And yer little dog, too!!"

1953- The first MacDonalds franchise restaurant opened in Downey California. 

1955- Folksinger Pete Seeger appeared before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. He refused to cooperate, and was blacklisted. But he still managed to have a successful career on the folk scene, and appeared on TV in 1967. 

1956- Actress Vivien Leigh suffered a mental breakdown after a miscarriage.

1958 - "Lolita," by Vladimir Nabokov, published. The novel was rejected by four publishers before Putnams picked it up. It became a best seller and allowed Nabokov to quit teaching and focus on writing.

1958 – The TV Game Show Scandal investigation starts. Allegations that popular quiz shows like 21 were rigged turned out to be true.

1962 - Peter, Paul & Mary release their famous folk song "If I Had a Hammer".

1969- Woody Allen’s first movie “ Take the Money and Run”, opened. 


1969- The closing day of the Woodstock Rock Concert, Jimmy Hendrix did his famous rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Of the original 500,000 attendees, many were already headed home. Only 30,000 stragglers were left to hear him. Originally scheduled instead of Hendrix , was old cowboy Roy Rogers, to sing his signature tune “ Happy Trails to You..”

1974- The Xerox Company decided not to seriously market the Alto, the first personal computer that had a GUI, ethernet and mouse, long before anyone else. Xerox decided to stick with copying machines and let go of many of their Palo Alto development team Xerox PARC. Most of their breakthroughs wound up in other computers like the Lisa, Macintosh and the IBM PC.

1977- The rock band the Police make their debut in a Birmingham nightclub. The lead singer Gordon Sumner started to get the nickname Sting, from the black & yellow striped shirt he habitually wore.

1990- 510 animators pay tribute to Betty Boop creator Grim Natwick on his 100thBirthday. It was the last big gathering of the Golden Age artists of Hollywood Animation. Chuck Jones, Walter Lantz, Disney’s Nine Old Men, Friz Freleng. 

1999- TV psychic Kriswell predicted that day would be the End of the World. 

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 17, 2019


Birthdays: Davy Crocket, Mae West, Marcus Garvey, Sam Goldwyn- born Schmuel Gelbfisz, Harry Hopkins, Monte Wooley, Boog Powell, Belinda Carlisle, Guillermo Vilas, V.S. Naipul, Jim Courier, Donnie Wahlberg, Belinda Carlisle, Maureen O’Hara, Sean Penn is 58, Martha Coolidge is 73, Robert DeNiro is 75 

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

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



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


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

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

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

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


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


Friday, August 16, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 16, 2019


Birthdays: Fess Parker, Karl Stockhausen, George Meany, Charles Bukowski, Menachim Begin, Otto Mesmer the creator of Felix the Cat, Myron Grim Natwick the creator of Betty Boop, Hal Foster the creator of Prince Valiant, Kathie Lee Gifford, Eydie Gorme, Bill Evans, Leslie Ann Warren, Angela Bassett is 61, Julie Numar is 86, Robert Culp, James Cameron is 64, Bruce Beresford, Steve Carrell is 58, Madonna, aka Louise Ciccone of Bay City Michigan, is 61

1896- Four miners find gold in Bonanza Creek in the Klondike. The Yukon Gold Rush.

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

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

1954- First issue of Sports Illustrated. 

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

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

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


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

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

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 15, 2019


Birthdays: Napoleon Bonaparte is 250!, Leon Theremin- inventor of that weird electronic musical instrument that is in all those 1950s flying saucer movies, Samuel Coleridge, Sir Walter Scott, King Frederick Wilhelm I of Prussia 1685, Lawrence of Arabia, Ethel Barrymore, Huntz Hall, Bill Baird, Edna Ferber, Sir Robert Bolt, Rose-Marie, Linda Ellerbee, Gene Upshaw, Oscar Peterson, Shimon Peres, Mike “Mannix” Connors, Nicholas Roeg, Animator Dick Lundy, Anthony Andrews, Ben Afleck is 46, Debra Messing is 50, Julia Child, Jennifer Lawrence is 28. 

1794- The first U.S. coin minted in the United States, a silver dollar. Minting of colonial and state currencies had been going on in America for years, Continental Eagles and such. The word Dollar is derived from Thaler from JacobsThaler meaning from the Gift of St. Jacob, a Czech mountain valley where there were rich silver deposits. 

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

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

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

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

1936- Disney animator Ward Kimball married painter Betty Lawyer-Kimball.

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

1958 - Buddy Holly weds Maria Santiago.

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


50 Years Ago 1969- WOODSTOCK-Three Days of Peace and Music- The rock concert of the 20thCentury opened. The promoters, one of whom was heir to the Polident Denture Cream fortune, were hoping to host 50,000 people and launch a recording studio in the quiet New York farming town. What they got was 500,000 young fans and the social phenomenon that defined an age. 


1979- Francis Ford Coppola’s Vietnam epic “Apocalypse Now” opened. Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, young Harrison Ford and even younger Lawrence Fishburne.

1984- “ The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8thDimension” premiered.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 14, 2019


Birthdays: Gary Larson, Erwin "Magic" Johnson, Lina Wertmuller, David Crosby, Alice Ghostly, Buddy Greco, Nehemiah Persoff, The 20's Parisian nightclub singer Bricktop, Dick Lundy, Mark "The Bird" Fidrych, C.S. Watson, James Horner, Wim Wenders, Emmanuele Beart, Halle Berry is 53, Mila Kunis, Steve Martin is 74

1873 - "Field & Stream" magazine began publishing.

1928 - Ben Hecht & Charles McArthur's play" The Front Page," premiered in NYC. They later went on to become top comedy writers in Hollywood. McArthur is the one who sent Hecht the famous telegram- "Hecht, some quick, fortunes to be made and your competition are idiots!" 


1956- The Marilyn Monroe movie "Bus Stop" premiered.

1965 - Sonny & Cher's "I Got You Babe" hits #1.

1965- Jane Fonda married director Roger Vadim, who put the beautiful young blonde in naughty movies like Barbarella. His previous wife Bridgette Bardot was a beautiful young blonde that he put in naughty movies….hmm. Fonda later married Ted Turner.

1980- Dorothy Stratton was a beautiful Playboy model whose acting career was beginning to take off, as well as a relationship with top Hollywood director Peter Bogdanovich. She was encouraged by Hugh Hefner among others, to shed her old loser boyfriend Paul Snider, who kept hanging around her. Today Dorothy Stratton was shot to death by Snider, who then turned the gun on himself. She was age 20.

1995- Super-agent Michael Ovitz of CAA was named President of the Walt Disney Company under Michael Eisner. After 14 fruitless months he left. 

2003- Another blackout shut down the power again in the Northeast, from New York to Toronto to Detroit.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 13, 2019

Quiz: The Japanese kamikaze of WWII were named after an earlier event. What was the original kamikaze? 

Answer to yesterday’s question below: What is an arpeggio?

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History for 8/13/2019
B-Dayz: Annie Oakley, Alfred Hitchcock, Don Ho, Buddy Rogers, Bert Lahr, Ben Hogan, Richard Baseheart, Saul Steinberg, Regis Toomey, Johann Christoph Denner (1655)- inventor of the clarinet. Danny Bonaduce, John Logie Baird one of the inventors of television, Hockey great Bobby Clarke, Daniel Schorr, Bombay movie star Viyayanthimala, Fidel Castro

Egyptian Festivals of Isis & Serapis

Festival of the Greek goddess Dianna of Ephesus. She had six breasts. During one of these festivals Saint Paul tried to spoil the party by preaching his sermon to the Ephesians. They ran him out of town. Diana in her Greek form as Artemis from the older Near Eastern goddess Cybele. She had the dual nature of Virgin & Mother. Hmm…Sound familiar? 
These three pagan festivals of Isis, Serapis and Artemis were in the Middle Ages converted into the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. In the Italian city-state of Sienna this is the date for the Pallio, the traditional horse race through the streets in medieval splendor.

Today is also the Feast Day of Saint Cassian, the Patron Saint of Stenographers.

29BC- Octavian celebrated a triumph in Rome for his victory over Anthony and Cleopatra. 

1521- The Aztecs surrender to Cortez. After Montezuma was killed the Aztecs chose Guatamoc as their new emperor and he drove the conquistadors from their capital Tenochtitlan vowing:" We will eat the Spaniards flesh with salsa !" remember that next time you order fajitas. But smallpox ravaged the population and Cortez soon returned with heavy reinforcements of allied Indian tribes from Texcoco who hated Aztec dominance. After 80 days of bloody house to house fighting that destroyed most of the capitol. Guatamoc and a few survivors surrendered.  Cortez built Mexico City on the ruins. 

1642- Astronomer Christian Huygens noticed that Mars had a southern polar ice cap too.

1727- Count Nicholas Von Hutzendroff formed a group of Bohemian Protestant refugees into the movement Unas Fratrum or the Moravian Brethren. The Moravians strict but gentle practices were a great influence on Pastor John Wesley who created Methodism.

1790- The PEOPLE OF NEW SPAIN BECOME MEXICANS. almost 269 years after the Aztec surrendered workmen in Mexico City were clearing a building site for a convent when they unearthed a giant statue of the snake skirted Aztec goddess Tonnantzin Coatlicue. The find galvanized Mexican society. Indians and Mestizos crowded around the statue and recalled their once mighty civilization. Worried Spanish colonial authorities quickly reburied the statue but the damage was done. 
 Dominican monk Servando De Meir preached that the Aztec god Quetzalcoatal was actually St. Thomas the Wandering Apostle, so that meant Mexico was Christian before Spain was. Twenty years later when Father Hidalgo rang the liberty bells he called for revolution in the name of Our Lady of Guadalupe Tonnantzin. The people of New Spain named their country after the old Aztec name Mexica or Mexico. 

1805- LEWIS GETS LAID, or, THE END OF A MYSTERY-historians have always puzzled why Meriwether Lewis, of Lewis & Clark's famous trek to the Pacific, killed himself in a lonely cabin on the Natchez Trace in 1809. Lewis was a personal protege of Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe and was first Governor of Upper Louisiana -everything from Missouri to Wyoming. He was likely to one day become President. Yet despite his coolness under extreme hardship after his death stories evolved about his manic-depression, alcoholism or even that he was murdered.

  Recently a Seattle scholar theorized that on this day in 1805 he spent the night with a Shoshone woman to celebrate getting safely across the Continental Divide. The Shoshone regarded sexual contact as hospitality and that particular tribe was known to be rife with syphilis. Lewis subsequent illnesses and his increasing suicidal depression was clinically symptomatic with the final stages of the disease. And this would also explains why Jefferson and Captain William Clark would have been so quick to hush up any further investigation of his death, even resorting to calling Lewis an alcoholic, which in those days had far less social stigma than venereal disease.

1846- Commodore Stockton and Colonel Freemont with a contingent of U.S. Marines marched up from their ships in San Pedro Harbor to Ciudad Los Angeles. They interrupted a local fiesta to inform the startled inhabitants that they were now part of the United States, whether they liked it or not. 

1889- The first coin operated telephone set up in a Hartford Conn. bank.

1907-The first motorized TAXICABS hit the streets of New York. Taxi comes from Taximeter, a little machine that tallied the fare based on distance traveled. Cab is short for the earlier form of hired horse drawn carriage. Originally called a Cabriolet, then a brand name of Hansom Cabs, then just Cabs. 

1910- Florence Nightingale died after being in sickbed convinced she was dying since age 37. She died at 90. Although claiming to be too sick to walk down a flight of stairs she worked ceaselessly reforming the army medical system, founding nursing colleges and drove several friends into early graves in the cause of medical reform. She created the ideal of the clean cut, disciplined, nurse professional.

1914 - Carl Wickman begins Greyhound, the 1st US bus line, in Minnesota.

1920- PONZI SCHEMES- This day U.S. investors attacked the offices of financier Charles Ponzi, demanding their money back. Carlo Ponzi had emigrated from Italy and came up with the idea of talking investors into giving him money without being specific about how he would make them rich. He used the millions to buy suits, cars and mansions. Like all pyramid schemes this one finally blew up. Ponzi spent some jail time and was deported. Mussolini gave him a job in the finance ministry and Ponzi proceeded to embezzle the Italian Treasury. He escaped to Brazil where he died comfortably in 1949. He gave his name to the term Ponzi Schemes.

1932- German President Von Hindenberg had a fifteen minute meeting with Adolf Hitler. He rebuked Hitler for tying up the Reichstag and the violence in the streets. Hitler refused any partial role in the government short of full power. After Hitler left, the old general grumbled:" That man for a Chancellor? I’d rather make him a postmaster so he could lick stamps with my head on it!"

1934- First Little Abner comic strip by Al Capp. Dogpatch, Mammy Yokum, Daisy Mae, Kickapoo Joy Juice, Jubilation T. Cornpone and the Schmoo are born. Al Capp was a hard drinking old curmudgeon of a cartoonist who lost one leg when as a child he fell off an ice truck and it was severed by a streetcar. 

1937- The Japanese army reopened its’ campaign to conquer China by mass daylight bombing of Shanghai.

1941- James Stuart Blackton certainly had an interesting career. The English born artist became a top newspaper cartoonist, a vaudevillian drag act as Mademoiselle Stuart, the first American animator, founder of the Vitagraph Company, the movie fanzine Motion Picture World. He even successfully faked a newsreel of the Battle of Manila Bay in 1898 by using toy boats, sparklers and cigar smoke. He made fortunes and lost them just as quickly. On this day, a poor freelance artist for low budget Republic Pictures,  he died after was struck and killed by an auto on Pico Blvd.


1942-  Disney's Bambi opened in theaters nationwide. Today the film looks quaint but in its time artists felt it was as realistic as artists could attain. Designer Rico LeBrun had a hunter friend bring in a real deer he shot in the Sierras. LeBrun set up drawing and anatomy sessions to study the dead animal. But LeBrun was so inspired by the opportunity he refused to dispose of the carcass even after several days it began to smell badly and attract flies. Finally the other animators waited until LeBrun had left for lunch and tossed the rancid thing.


1946- MGM cartoon Northwest Hounded Police, the short in which Tex Avery perfected the 'Tex Avery Take" - used since in films like Mask, Roger Rabbit and Casper.

1955- Shooting wrapped on Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments. He was remaking the film he had done as a silent movie in 1925. One wag said: DeMille has done God one better, because he has now parted the Red Sea twice."


1991- Jack Ryan died. The Toymaker was the inventor of Hot Wheels toy cars, and helped launch the doll Barbie.


Monday, August 12, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 12, 2019


Birthdays: King George IV, Cecil B. DeMille, The alien Alf- 1757, Cantinflas, Buck Owens, George Hamilton, Edith Hamilton, Diamond Jim Brady, screenwriter William Goldman, Mtsislav Rostropovitch, Xenia Sharpe (educator who invented the children’s reader Dick & Jane) Kathy L898ee Bates-the author of the song America the Beautiful, Klara Schickelgruber- Hitlers mom, Dominique Swain, Pete Samprass, Sam Fuller, John Casale-I'm not Fredo! Casey Affleck is 44.


1877-THE BIRTH OF RECORDED SOUND. Thomas Edison announced his sound recording invention and demonstrates it by recording "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on a tin cylinder. 

1915 - "Of Human Bondage," by William Somerset Maugham, published.

1927- the William Wellman movie WINGSopened with Clara Bow, Richard Arlen and Buddy Rogers, the first silent film to win best picture at the Academy Awards before the advent of sound. Director Wild Bill Wellman was himself a former fighter pilot and flew many of the stunt shots. He bolted cameras to the nose of planes and had the actors film themselves while flying. 
The second silent film to ever win best picture was The Artist, in the year 2012.

1932 Aldous Huxley's Brave New Worldfirst published. Before anyone ever heard of stem cells, Huxley had written a scholarly paper on the moral dangers inherent in controlled eugenics. Writer H.L. Mencken urged Huxley to put his ideas in a fiction form to reach a wider audience. The title comes from Shakespeare's the Tempest " Oh Brave New World, that hath such people in it!'


1951- Bob McKimson’s Warner Bros short Hillbilly Hare. The short includes the long routine mostly  animated by Emery Hawkins when Bugs Bunny takes over calling a square dance and uses it to torture the two twin-brother hillbillies who are after him.

1968- The album Cheap Thrills released, from Big Brother and the Holding Company and their lead singer Janis Joplin. R. Crumb drew the famous cover.

1981- IBM introduced its first PC- personal computer and PC-DOS I. Unlike Apple, IBM shared the basic hardware design, so a myriad of cheaper competitor PC’s soon flooded the market.

1983- The Canadian animated feature Rock & Ruleopened in theaters. 

1988- Martin Scorcese’ film The Last Temptation of Christopened in theaters to howls of protests from religious groups. There had been more inflammatory interpretations of the Christ story on screens in the past like Pasolini’s Gospel According to Saint Matthewand the Canadian film Hail Mary, but the church groups weren’t that media savvy yet. Like all these protest efforts, all the controversy really did was boost its box office.

2008- Entertainer and producer Merv Griffin died at age 81. The creator of games shows like Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, his last statement on his website was " I was planning to go on vacation, but this is not the destination I intended."


Sunday, August 11, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 11, 2019


Birthdays: Antonio Salieri, Frederick Ludwig Jahn 1778- founder of the Gymnastics Movement, Alex Haley, Jack Haley, Rev Jerry Falwell, Hulk Hogan- real name Terry Bollier-is 70, Dick Browne the creator of Hagar the Horrible, Steve Wozniak the co-founder of Apple Computers, Raymond Leppard, Lloyd Nolan, Mike Douglas, Patti Duke Astin, Chris Helmsworth is 35


1932- The original Rin Tin Tin died. The German shepherd dog was the first animal movie star. Legend was he was rescued from a WWI battlefield by a doughboy named Lee Duncan who called him "Rinty". Later in Hollywood they said he was more spoiled than any human star. Before sound he was the mainstay of struggling little Warner Bros studio. Jack Warner called him “our little rent check.” 
In 1967 Warner also admitted they had bred 16 duplicate dogs in case anything happened to him.

1934- The Mickey Mouse cartoon The Orphan’s Benefit.The first cartoon where Donald Duck lost his temper and did his fighting stance, and they started calling Dippy Dog by his new name- The Goof, or Goofy.

1942- A U.S. Patent was granted to Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr for her radio-guided torpedo. It was ignored in her time, but many years later the principles became the basis of Spread Spectrum Technology, revolutionizing wireless communications.


1946- Playwright Moss Hart married Miss America Kittie Carlisle. 

1949- Margaret Mitchell, author of "Gone With the Wind" was hit by a taxicab crossing Peachtree Street in Atlanta, and died 5 days later. Her last request was for her husband to burn the original manuscript of Gone With The Wind, which he did. Once accused of being a racist, it came out later Mitchell quietly paid for scholarships for dozens of black students to attend medical school and become doctors.

1956- Abstract Artist Jackson Pollack died when he drunkenly crashed his car into a tree near East Hampton Long Island. He was 44.

1957- The Toyota Car Company of Japan introduces itself to the United States with a car called the Toyopet. It's first years sales are so bad, they almost gave up on the U.S.

1962- Actor Sir Lawrence Olivier founded the National Theatre in London.

1965- BURN, BABY, BURN- THE WATTS RIOTS- 6 days of urban warfare began when an angry crowd attacked some LAPD apprehending a black motorist named Marquette Frye. 34 deaths, 1000 injured. Similar riots erupted in a number of U.S. cities that year including Detroit, Newark and Washington D.C. 

1972- San Antonio Texas holds its first annual Cheech & Chong Day.


1995- The Walt Disney short Runaway Brain,featuring Mickey Mouse, premiered.

1997- LA police wrestle down and arrest actor Christian Slater. They encountered him in a drug-induced delirium, shouting “The Germans are coming to kill us all!”

2001-First day shooting on the film Hero,directed by Zhang Yimou.


2014- Comedian Robin Williams committed suicide in his San Francisco home.  He had been battling depression over a diagnosis of early onset Parkinson’s disease. He was 63.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 10, 2019


Birthdays: Alexander Glauzunov, Billie Holiday, Eddie Fisher, Leo Fender, Herbert Hoover, Polish King Jan III Sobieski, Norma Shearer, Rhonda Fleming, Jimmy Dean, Justin Theroux, Rosanna Arquette is 60, Antonio Banderas is 59

1536- CANADA GETS ITS NAME-French explorer Cartier discovered a great river on St. Lawrence's Day, which he calls the St. Lawrence River. Cartier asks the Huron people "what people lived upstream?". They replied people who work with red copper, in their language" Caignetdaze". Cartier recorded in his log, the land "Chemin de Canada".

1628- Swedish King Gustavus built a huge battleship called the Vasa. In front of the whole court he launched it into a fjord and it immediately sank to the bottom. Doh!
333 years later it was brought up, and today is a nice attraction in a Stockholm museum.

1629- Spanish painter Diego Velasquez traveled to Italy to study the Renaissance Masters on the advice of his buddy, painter Peter Paul Rubens.

1787- Mozart completes his Eine Kleine Nachtmusik -A Little Night Music.

1788- Mozart’s on a roll! This day he completed his Jupiter Symphony #41. It was his last symphony. He never heard it performed in his lifetime.

1948 – Allen Funt's "Candid Camera" TV debut on ABC.

1981- The animated movie Heavy Metalopened in theaters.

1984- Famed New Yorker cartoonist and former Disney artist Virgil “Vip” Partch died in a car crash with his wife, outside of Valencia, California.

1987- Clara Peller, the elderly actress who gained last minute advertising fame by saying Where's the Beef? died at 86.  The director and writer of the spots was the father of J.J. Sedelmeir, who created the Ambiguously Gay Duo and other TV Funhouse animations for SNL.


2001- Warner Bros film Osmosis Jones opened in general theaters. 


Friday, August 9, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 9, 2019


Birthdays: King Henry V of England, John Dryden, Sir Issac Walton-author of the Compleat Angler, Melanie Griffith, Whitney Houston, David Steinberg, Bob Cousy, Jill St. John, Robert Shaw, Robert Aldrich, Sam Elliot is 76, Gillian Anderson is 51, Pamela  Travers –the creator of Mary Poppins, Marvin Minsky, Eric Bana is 53, Audrey Tautou is 43, CGI animator Philippe Bergeron is 60

1854- Henry David Thoreau published “Walden”, the first great work about nature conservation. 


100 Years Ago 1919- The first story of Zorro appeared in All Story Weekly magazine. Created by Johnstom McCulley. 

1929- Hollywood theater mogul Alexander Pantages was convicted of assaulting a young woman in a broom closet. The conviction was later overturned. The young woman, Eunice Pringle, later admitted that Joe Kennedy, who was trying to buy out Pantages' theatre chain for his RKO, paid her $10,000 to falsely accuse Pantages of rape. It was the first successful defense case of attorney Jerry Geisler, who became famous for getting movie stars and other Hollywood elites out of trouble with the law. The word in the studios when a movie star was naughty was “Get me Geisler!” 

1930- Max Fleischer's cartoon "Dizzy Dishes" introduces Betty Boop. A singing star named Helen Kane sued Fleischer claiming that they stole her distinctive Boop-Ooop-a-Doop from her, but the case was thrown out when it was revealed Kane had stolen it herself from another singer. Betty was supposed to be a dog character to match her male counterpart Bimbo. But Animator Grim Natwick had done a lot of drawing of girls in Paris and New York and turned the character into a saucy little flapper.

1942- The premiere of Walt Disney’s Bambi.

1944- Antoine Du Saint-Exupery, the author of the Little Prince, died when he crashed his fighter plane. He was not shot down by the Germans, just wasn’t a very good pilot. The main protagonist of the little prince is an aviator who crashes his plane.

1947 -The British government in an attempt to bolster revenue for their shattered postwar economy, announced a 300% import tariff on Hollywood films. The Big Eight-Hollywood studios retaliate by stopping the export of movies to Britain. The British film industry has a heyday and Disney starts producing films locally in Britain like 'Rob Roy Highland Rogue' and such.

1960- Near Cuernavaca Mexico, Harvard professor Timothy Leary took some magic mushrooms and experienced his first hallucinogenic trip. He called it “ a conversion.”

1963 – Britain’s rock & roll TV show, Ready Steady Go, premieres.

1967- Joe Orton, English actor/playwright (Leaf, Murdered), died at age 34.

50 Years Ago- 1969- HELTER SKELTER- Charles Manson's cultists murder pregnant actress Sharon Tate and several houseguests of her husband/director Roman Polanski. One other guest killed was socialite Jay Sebring, who made cocaine fashionable and invented the 1970's blow-dry hair style for men. A Polish tourist named Woijech Frykowski who had the misfortune to be visiting that night was shot twice, bludgeoned and stabbed 51 times. Kill the Pigs was scrawled on the wall in blood. Charles Manson had a messianic concept that he could lead the Apocalypse devolving out of a race war if his followers first killed celebrities to advertise their cause. Manson had a hit list that included Frank Sinatra, Steve McQueen and Liz Taylor. The California spawned Hippy-Flower-Child culture lost it’s innocent fun after Manson.

1993- Heidi Fleiss, The” Hollywood Madam” arraigned for prostitution. The film community shuddered when she threatened to reveal the names of her clients in her “black book”. Most were suppressed except actors Charlie Sheen and Sean Penn who admitted as much early on. Fleiss wrote a memoir called “Pandering” and still thinks prostitution is an honorable profession. “I ran an 85% cash business.”

1995- Rocker Jerry Garcia died, the Grateful Dead broke up.

1995- THE HIGH TECH BUBBLE- Netscape first appeared on the stock market. The 15 month old company started by a Silicon Graphics founder Jim Clark and a 22 year old college senior Marc Andreesen immediately shot up to $1.07 billion dollars in value. This IPO signaled the beginning of the gold rush in high tech stocks which five years later came crashing down as violently. Stocks like Lucent Technology, which sold at $84 dollars a share in 1998, dropped to .39 cents a share in 2001.