Sunday, March 31, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for March 31, 2019


Birthdays:  Rene' Descartes, Franz Josef Haydn, Serge Diaghilev, Harald von Braunhut 1926- the inventor of Sea Monkeys and X-Ray Specs,Richard Chamberlain, Cesar Chavez, Herb Alpert, Gordie Howe, Liz Claiborne, Gabe Kaplan, Rhea Perlman, Shirley Jones is 85, Richard Kiley, Volker Schlondorf, William Daniels, Lucille Bliss the voice of Crusader Rabbit, Christopher Walken is 76, Colin Farrell is 41, Ewan McGregor is 48, Al Gore is 71, Ed Catmull is 74.

1836- Charles Dickens first work published "The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club."

1905- THE RETURN OF SHERLOCK HOLMES- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle brought back his famous sleuth in a new series of adventures. Conan Doyle had created Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson in 1887 but by 1893 he had tired of the characters, he wanted to write more serious fiction like his novel The White Company. So he killed him off. Holmes fell to his doom fighting Prof. Moriarity at the Reichenbeck Falls. The reaction of the public was astonished outrage. It seemed whenever Conan Doyle went out inevitably someone would stop him and say "You Blackguard! How Could You ?!" Finally Conan-Doyle bowed to public pressure and resumed the career of the inhabitants of #221B Baker Street. He would later refer to Holmes success as “ his monstrosity.”

1930- Floyd Gottfredson began drawing Disney’s Mickey Mouse comic strip after Ub Iwerks quit. He continued to do the strip uninterrupted for 45 years, until his retirement in 1975.

1930 -Reacting to charges that the movies had become too naughty, Hollywood producers accept the MOTION PICTURE CODE. It was regulated by Will Hays, former Republican Party Chairman. The regulation wouldn't really start to have strength until 1935-36 when pressure groups like the Catholic League of Decency went after Mae West and the Tarzan pictures. 

The Hays Code forbade open sex and obscenity:
  - twin beds only in a bedroom, nightclothes buttoned to the neck. 
  - if a couple were seated together on a bed they must have at least one foot touching the floor,
  -"kisses with a duration of no longer than 3 seconds, parting with lips closed."
-  One other little known clause was the forbidding of members of different races from kissing on camera. So Anna Mae Wong, the greatest Chinese actress of her time, could not play a Chinese heroine if her co-star was a Caucasian made up to look Asian.
   Lots of jokes were spawned like: "Give him the bird!" "If the Hays Commission would let me, I'd give him the bird!"

1931- ITT transmits the first message by microwave, from Dover to Calais.

1933- Max Fleischer's short cartoon "Snow White" (starring Betty Boop) premiered. Cab Calloway singing the "St. James Infirmary Blues" is a highlight.

1943- Rodger & Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" debuts.  Despite the opinion of producer Mike Todd -"No legs, No Laughs, No Chance", the musical becomes one of the great hits of American musical Theater.

1962- The Los Angeles County Museum of Art opened on Wilshire Blvd. No, it didn’t display customized surfboards or the ideal tuna melt with sprouts, but an exhibit of paintings by Bonnard. 

1967- In a small London nightclub, rising young rock & roller Jimmy Hendrix burned his guitar for the first time. Rock luminaries like Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Eric Clapton, and Pete Townsend sat in the audience stunned at the technical brilliance of this unknown former paratrooper who played left handed. The pieces of his guitar were purchased by Microsoft chairman Paul Allen and today are in his Seattle Rock Museum.

1973- Comic strip hero Smilin' Jack gets married, the strip concludes next day.

1991- Former child star Danny Bonaduce arrested for a fist fight with a transvestite prostitute.

1995- In Corpus Christy Texas legendary Tejana singer Selena Perez was shot and killed by an obsessed fan. The woman Yolanda Saldivar was president of the Selena Fan Club. “The gun just went off, I didn’t mean to shoot anybody.” 


1999- The movie The Matrix opened in theaters.is mother Queen Victoria in 1901, until after his own death, and the beginning of WWI in 1914.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for March 30, 2019


Birthdays: Maimonides- Moses Ben Maimon, Anna Sewell (the author of Black Beauty), Vincent Van Gogh, Francisco Goya, John Astin, Peter Marshall, Warren Beatty is 82, Eric Clapton is 74, Arthur Lee Harrington the designer of the first Jeep, Tracey Chapman, Robby Coltrane, Paul Reiser, Celine Dion, Nora Jones is 40, Disney animator Marc Davis


1858- The pencil eraser patented. The Eraser, or Rubber outside the U.S., was developed in 1770, but Hymen Lipman of Philadelphia first put it on the top of a pencil.

1918- Thomas Edison sold his studio and got out of the movie business. He fired W.K.L. Dickson, inventor of the movie studio set, Edwin Porter the inventor of the narrative film, and J. Stuart Blackton the inventor of cartoon animation for annoying him too much about filmmaking. Edison was more interested then in finding a way to extract iron ore from rocks using magnets. 

1968- In New York City’s Bowery district two children find the dead body of a homeless drug addict. The John Doe is later identified as Bobby Driscoll, 31, Walt Disney child star and the voice of Peter Pan. 

2000- Dreamworks animated feature the Road to El Doradopremiered.

2007- Disney’s Meet the Robinsons.



Thursday, March 28, 2019

March 28, 2019


Birthdays: Paul Whiteman, Pearl Bailey, Freddy Bartholomew, Dirk Bogarde,
Confederate Gen.Wade Hampton, pianist Rudolph Serkin, Swifty Lazar, Marlin Perkins, Diane Weist is 71, Reba McEntire, Vince Vaughn is 49, Julia Stiles is 38, Lady Gaga is 33

1881- P.T. Barnum formed a partnership with his chief competitor James Bailey to create Barnum & Bailey’s Circus. He proclaimed it the Greatest Show on Earth!

1920- Silent film stars Douglas Fairbanks & Mary Pickford married.

1928- Via radio broadcast, the public heard the voice of Charlie Chaplin for the first time.

1935- Leni Reifenstahl’s hypnotic movie paean to Nazism- Triumph of the Will, premiered.

1941- English writer Virginia Woolf filled her pockets with stones and drowned herself in the River Ouse in Sussex. Her body was never found. 

1942- Albert Hurter, Swiss designer for Walt Disney's "Snow White' and 'Pinnochio", and called the first inspirational artist in animation, died of rheumatic heart disease. He was 59.

1958- The Killer Slide- US 1, The Pacific Coast Highway has always been at the mercy of wind and weather erosion effecting the unstable cliffs it was carved from. This day while repairing a large landslide construction workers were caught in an even bigger hillside collapse- Bulldozers rode on top of the avalanche but several people were killed.
  


1999- Matt Groening’s cartoon series Futuramadebuted.





Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for March 27, 2019

Quiz: What do these actors have in common? James Stewart, Gene Kelly, Zero Mostel, Paul Newman, and Orson Welles? 

Yesterdays’ question answered below: Why is Easter called Easter? Why not Resurrection Day, or Jesus Gets Up Day?
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 History for 3/27/2019
Birthdays: French King Louis XVII –the boy during the Revolution who died in prison after his Royal parents were guillotined, Patty Smith Hill 1868- The composer of the song Happy Birthday to You, Edward Steichen, Gloria Swanson, Sarah Vaughn, Maria Schneider, Mies Van der Rohe, Snooky Lanson, Wilhelm Roentgen the discoverer of X-Rays, Nathaniel Currier of Currier & Ives, Donald Duck artist Carl Barks, cellist Mtisislav Rostropovich, Michael York is 76, Quentin Tarantino is 55, Mariah Carey is 48


1908- Bud Fisher's comic strip Mutt & Jeff debuted.

1940- “Rebecca,” the first Hollywood movie by Alfred Hitchcock opened.

1943- Companies in Los Angeles doing war work are forbidden to discriminate by race.

1952- U.P.A.’s cartoon “Rooty-Toot-Toot” premiered. It’s music score was by jazzman Phil Monroe, the first African American to receive a screen credit for scoring a movie.

1952- “Singing in the Rain” starring Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor premiered.

1957- California Reverend Robert Schuller opened the first Drive-In Church.

1973- In one of the more celebrated stunts in Hollywood history, when Marlon Brando won an Oscar for his role in The Godfather, he sent a buckskin clad model named Sashin Littlefeather to refuse the award, and deliver a protest about treatment of Native Americans. 


1978- The first draft script of the film Norma Raecompleted. The film dramatized the life of Christa Lee Jordan, a mill worker who was blackballed by the J.P. Stevens millworks for wanting a union. 


1989- Who Framed Roger Rabbitearned four Oscars at the Academy Awards. Sound Effects, Visual Effects, Film Editing and a special one for Richard Williams for the animation. 


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

March 26, 2019


B-Days: Robert Frost, Chico Marx, Conde Nast, Tennessee Williams, Alfred Houseman, Joseph Campbell, General William Westmorland, Erica Jong, Duncan Hines, Bob Woodward, Leonard Nimoy, Alan Arkin, James Caan is 80, Diana Ross is 76, Justice Sandra Day-O’Connor, Martin Short, Bob Elliot of Bob & Ray, T. Hee, Michael Imperioli is 54, Keira Knightley is 35

1811- Poet Percy Shelley was expelled from Oxford for writing a pamphlet that argued that God didn¹t exist.

1827- Ludwig van Beethoven died at age 56. Six people visited him while he was sick, 20,000 attended his funeral in Vienna. Romantic legend says he died at the violent peak of a thunderstorm raising his fists skyward in a last act of defiance to God and the elements, but in actual fact he died peacefully in his sleep.  

1832- Artist George Catlin began his first trip to the West.  He departed up the Missouri River on the American Fur Trading steamer the Yellowstone. Catlin¹s paintings of Plains Indians became famous.

1900- The Happy Hooligan comic strip.

1909- The U.S. Board of Censorship created.

1920- This Side of Paradise, the first novel published by a young Minnesota writer named F. Scott Fitzgerald. F. Scott Fitzgerald was a descendant of Francis Scott Key, writer of the Star Spangled Banner.

1937- A statue of Popeye the Sailor unveiled at the Crystal City Texas Spinach Festival.

1959- Writer Dashell Hammett died.

1969- The western movie 100 Rifles premiered. It broke taboos, because it featured sexy Raquel Welch making love to sexy black hero Jim Brown.  And Burt Reynolds as the bandito Yaqui Joe Hererra.

1969- On this day a frustrated young writer named John Kennedy Toole committed suicide. When his mother went through his things she found the manuscript of a novel in an old shoebox. Seven years after John Kennedy Toole killed himself, his mother forced the manuscript upon novelist Walker Percy to read.  He was teaching at Loyola University in New Orleans. He was stunned with what he read. That lead to it being published by Louisiana State University Press. The book the"Confederacy of Dunces” went on to be a critically acclaimed bestseller and win a Pulitzer Prize.

1970- Peter Yarrow of the folk group Peter, Paul & Mary admitted to having sex with a 14 year old girl.  

1975 - The Who¹s rock opera "Tommy" premiered in London.

1976- USC sophomore Levar Burton screen tested for the role of Kunta Kinte in the landmark TV miniseries Roots. The role made him a star.

1976 - Wings release "Wings at the Speed of Sound" album .

1977 - Elvis Costello releases his first record "Less Than Zero"  

1982 - Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder release "Ebony & Ivory" in the UK

1992- Heavyweight boxing champ Mike Tyson was convicted of rape.


1997- Turner Animation's film 'Cat's Don't Dance", featuring the last movie work of Gene Kelly. He was a consultant on the dance sequences.

2008- Arnold Schwarzenegger fired Clint Eastwood. No, its’ not a movie plot line. The former actor, turned Republican Governor, objected to a position the actor/director and former Republican mayor took on the California State Parks Commission. 

2228 - According to Star Fleet records- James T. Kirk, captain of Federation Star Ship Enterprise (Star Trek) was born. 



Monday, March 25, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for March 25, 2019


B-Days: King Henry II Plantagenet, Joachim Murat, Gudson Borglum, David Lean, Mary Flannery-O’Connor, Arturo Toscanini, Aretha Franklin, Bela Bartok', Howard Cosell, Bonnie Bedelia, Anita Bryant, Simone Signoret, Gloria Steinem is 85, Sarah Jessica Parker is 55.

In ancient times this was the feast of the goddess of comedy Thalia, one of the Nine Muses. In Latin she was called Hilaria.

In the medieval London calendar this was Lady Day, when streetlights no longer had to be lit after dark.

1928- Young American composer George Gershwin first arrived in Paris.

1932- Motion Picture Academy President William DeMille, the brother of Cecil B., started a 'Squawk Forum", inviting film industry workers to air their grievances with their studio heads. (and this way they won't ask to unionize). The first boss on the hot seat was MGM's Louis B. Mayer. He was greeted with boos, insults and catcalls. The forum quickly devolved into a screaming free for all. Mayer furiously stormed out and preceded to fire all those Metro employees he could remember were there. The Squawk Forum idea was quickly abandoned.

1933- Nazis Minister of Propaganda Josef Goebbels offered famed director Fritz Lang a job. Fritz said he’d think about it, then immediately packed his bag for Hollywood.

1944- During World War II, a British pilot bailed out of burning Spitfire, and his chute failed to open. He fell 18,000 feet. In a freak occurrence, high on shore winds slowed his descent and he hit a wet beach that broke his fall. He suffered only a broken ankle. English film director Michael Powell made the incident the basis of his fantasy film with David Niven called "A Matter of Life and Death", released in the US as "Stairway to Heaven"

1954- RCA began mass production and marketing of color television sets. At the time the set cost as much as an automobile  -$1,000, 12 inch screen and there was very little programming in color.

1955- US Customs seize a shipment of 258 copies Alan Ginsburg’s poem Howl printed in the UK on the grounds it was obscene." I saw some of the finest minds of my generation destroyed by madness." Next year when Lawrence Ferlinghetti of San Francisco’s City Lights Bookstore printed the poem, he was arrested.

1960- Thirty-five years after it was written and published in Europe, an American judge ruled that D.H. Lawrence's novel 'Lady Chatterley's Lover" was not pornography and could finally be sold in the U.S. Whaddaya think of that, John-Thomas?

1960- The Moulin Rouge Agreement. After a lot of agitation and arm twisting from Frank Sinatra, the owners of the Las Vegas casinos agreed to integrate. It was so named for the Moulin Rouge Casino, which up to then had been the only casino that allowed black and white patrons to mix freely.

1966 - Beatles pose with mutilated dolls & butchered meat for the cover of the "Yesterday & Today" album, It was later pulled.

1967 -The Who & Cream make their US debut at Murray the K's Easter Show.

1969 John Lennon and Yoko Ono began their week-long "love-in" for peace in the bed of Room 902 of the Hilton Hotel, Amsterdam. 


Sunday, March 24, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for March 24, 2019


Birthdays: Steve McQueen, Lawrence Ferlingetti, Ub Iwerks (the first Disney animator), John Wesley Powell, Harry Houdini aka Eric Weiss, Edward Weston, Roscoe Fatty Arbuckle, Clyde Barrow of Bonnie & Clyde, Bob Mackie, Robert Carradine, Jesus Alou, Laura Flynn-Boyle, Alyson Hannigan, Joe Barbera, R. Lee Ermey, Peyton Manning, Sir Elton John is 72

1912- Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle’s adventure novel The Lost World, first published in magazine installments. Conan Doyle was inspired when he in 1905 he attended a lecture at the Royal Geographic Society, when an Amazon explorer described finding dinosaur bones. It was the first of the Land-of-the-Dinosaurs type stories.
In 1925, Willis O'Brien made the Lost World into the first dinosaur monster movie.

1934-The Major Bowes Original Amateur Hour debuted on radio. It became a national craze to see who could be a future star. Frank Sinatra was among their finds. The show eventually moved to television and later spawned the Ted Mack Amateur Hour, Chuck Barris the Gong Show, Star Search, American Idol and the Voice.

1939- The film The Hound of the Baskervilles premiered with actors Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson. They became famous interpreters of the characters, and went on to make a dozen more films.

1943 - The first Japanese anime feature premiered "Momotaro's Sea Eagles".

1955- Tennessee William's "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" debuts at Broadway's Marosco Theater. Barbera Bel-Geddes was the first Cat, and Burl Ives was " Big Daddy".

1958- Elvis Presley inducted into the Army. G.I. Blues!

1973- In Buffalo, a drunk fan bit singer Lou Reed on the ass.

2005- A Colorado Rockies big league baseball game was called off on account a swarm of bees. The bees were attracted by the coconut oil in the starting pitchers hair gel.

2006- 13 year old Miley Cyrus debuts on TV as Disney’s Hanna Montana.



Saturday, March 23, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for March 23, 2019


Birthdays:  Akira Kurosawa, Joan Crawford, Dr. Werner Von Braun, Juan Gris, Chaka Khan, Paul Grimault, Sidney Hillman Jack Ruby, Joan Collins, Eric Fromm, Fanny Farmer, Catherine Keener is 60, Hope Davis is 55


1936- Ollie Johnston got his first job at the Walt Disney Studio, as Fred Moore’s assistant.



1957- Art Clokey's Gumby Show. Clokey created the green clay fellow for his USC college thesis film Gumbasia.

1977- The first Richard Nixon-David Frost interview. 

1987- After meeting creator Matt Groening, animators David Silverman, Wes Archer and Bill Kopp began animating the very first Simpson’s short for the Tracy Ullmann Show. 


2003- Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film, Beating out Lilo & Stitch and Treasure Planet.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for March 22, 2019


Birthdays: Anthony Van Dyck, Marcel Marceau, Stephen Sondheim, Karl Malden, Werner Klemperer- Colonel Klink in Hogan’s Heroes, George Benson, James Gavin, Allen Neuharth, Milt Kahl, Fanny Ardant is 70, Lena Olin is 64, Bruno Ganz, Reese Witherspoon is 43, William Shatner is 88.

1687- Jean Francois Lully was court composer to Louis XIV the "Sun King" and by all accounts a champion opportunist.  In an age when the Baton had not come into use for conductors, Lully conducted his orchestra by beating a large pole on the ground to the tempo of the music. One day during a performance he poked a hole in his own foot with the pole and died of blood poisoning.   
On his deathbed he asked a priest for Last Rites but the priest refused unless he burned his latest opera "Atys" which the church considered blasphemous. Lully admitted his sins and burned the manuscript of ATYS in front of the priest, who then gave him the sacrament. A friend came in afterward and said:" How could you burn your work?" Lully replied:" Don't worry. I have another copy here in my desk. "

1913- Jack London (White Fang, The Call of the Wild) wrote fellow writers HG Wells, George Bernard Shaw and Winston Churchill and asked them how much they get paid. He was unsure what to charge.

1935- The first regular electronic television service began in Berlin as Deutscher Fernseh Rundfunk. Broadcasting from the Fernsehsender Paul Nipkow, it used a 180-line system, and was on air for 90 minutes, three times a week. Very few receivers were ever privately owned, and viewers went instead to Fernsehstuben (television parlors). During the 1936 Summer Olympics, broadcasts, up to eight hours a day, took place in Berlin and Hamburg.

1958- Hollywood producer Mike Todd was killed in a small plane crash. He produced hit movies like Around the World in 80 Days and romanced starlets like Gypsy Rose Lee and Elizabeth Taylor. Taylor and Todd had been married for one year and she was devastated by the accident. Years and many marriages later Taylor said Mike Todd was the only man she actually loved.

1960- Arthur Shawlow and Charles Townes patented the laser beam. Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation or LASER. Pussycats rejoice!

1970- Paul McCartney filed papers in a London court for a formal dissolving of the Fab Fours partnership.

1978- Karl Wallenda, 73 year old scion of the daredevil family the Flying Wallendas, fell to his death from a tightrope between two resort hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

1991- Ivana Trump divorced Donald Trump. A celebrated court case ensued to see how the huge Trump fortune would be divided. Newspapers cried, Ivanna More Money!

1995- First day of shooting on that utterly classic film- Dinosaur Valley Girls!


Thursday, March 21, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for March 21, 2019


Birthdays: Plato, Johann Sebastian Bach, Benito Juarez, Modest Mussorgsky, Fats Waller, Josef Pulitzer, Flo Ziegfield, Bronco Billy Anderson, Rev Ralph Abernathy, Armand Hammer, Harold Robbins, Matthew Broderick is 57, Gary Oldman is 61, James Coco, Timothy Dalton is 73, Rosie O’Donnell is 57, animator Kathy Zielinski.

1617-Pocahontas, now called Lady Rebecca Rolfe, died at Gravesend, England after being taken off the homeward bound ship, too ill with smallpox to continue. She was 21. Her children with John Rolfe became the beginnings of one of the largest families in Virginia, with many scions of the Old Dominion tracing their ancestry to Pocahontas.

1915- President Woodrow Wilson hosted a private screening of D.W. Griffith’s film “The Birth of a Nation” at the White House. 

1917- Buster Keaton first stepped in front of a movie camera. 

1935- Persia renamed Iran and Mesopotamia renamed Iraq.

1951- HOLLYWOOD COMMIES- House UnAmerican Acitivities Commitee (HUAC) under Judge J. Parnell Thomas from Washington and sets up in Hollywood to continue rooting out Communist subversion in the movies. They began in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, and later move to the federal building downtown. 

Their concerns weren’t total fantasy, actor Sterling Hayden confessed he was ordered by his communist operatives to try and influence the Screen Actor’s Guild. Still the point remains whether the authorities overreaction was justified and whether Congress could get more publicity looking for spies in Tinseltown than the Department of Games and Fisheries.

Out of 15,000 people who made a living in the movies and television, only 295 were ever proven or confessed communists. It was an open secret that for $5,000 delivered to the right committee member, your dossier would be moved to the bottom of the pile. The hearings stopped in 1956, the blacklist was broken in 1960 and Judge J. Parnell Thomas went to jail for embezzlement.  

1952- DJ Alan Freed put on an event of the new pop music in Cleveland Ohio. Called the MoonDog Coronation Ball, it was the very first Rock Concert.

1961- The Beatles first perform at the Cavern Club in Hamburg Germany.

1963- Barbara Streisand married Elliot Gould. 

1976- ASPEN MURDER- Jet setter Claudine Longet, a model who was formerly married to singer Andy Williams, shot and killed her lover Spider Sabich, an Olympic skiing champion. Even though their relationship was foundering she said it was an accident, that the Luger went off in his abdomen when he was showing her how to use it. In the bathroom. Uh Huh. Imagine being in the bathroom shaving and your girlfriend pops in “Honey, I’m having problems with the safety on my luger. Here darling I’ll just –oops!”
She spent 30 days in jail for negligent manslaughter, then married her defense attorney.

1988- the Screen Actor's Guild hits the bricks for the fourth time in twenty years, this time striking Hollywood for residuals for cable and videocassette income. 


2006- The first Tweet sent on the new format Twitter. Scientist Jack Dorsey tweeted his friends “Setting up my twttr…” Twitter went public that July. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for March 19, 2019


Birthdays: George De La Tour, Wyatt Earp, Dr. David Livingston, William Jennings Bryan, Sir Richard Burton (The African explorer), Charles M. Russell, Jacky Moms Mabley, Adolf Eichmann, Phillip Roth, Adolf Galland, Ursula Andress, Patrick McGoohan, Ornette Coleman, Bruce Willis is 64, Glenn Close is 72, animator Richard Williams is 86


1853- Charles Dicken’s novel Bleak House first appeared in magazine installments. It is the first novel to mention dinosaurs-" It would be wonderful to meet a Megalosaurus, forty feet long, waddling like an elephantine lizard up Holborn Hill…"

1859- Charles Gounod's opera 'Faust" premiered. It was so popular that after a while in New York wags nicknamed the Metropolitan Opera the "Faustspeilhaus" ( it's a pun on Wagner's theater in Bayreuth being called a Festspeilhaus, so Faustspeilhaus..heh-heh,.get it ?....look, don't blame me...its a Gilded Age joke....)

1875- Mark Twain admits in a letter to a friend that he now likes to use a typewriter, a new technology accused of ruining the art of writing.

1895- The Lumiere Brothers shot their first movie, employees leaving their dad’s factory.

1914- A fire in the negative vaults of the Eclair Studios in New Jersey destroyed forever all the American work of pioneer French animator Emile Cohl. He had come to the U.S. to animate the first cartoon series, George McManus’ "The Newlyweds" later to be renamed in comic strip form "Life With Father".

1928- the Amos & Andy radio show debuted. NBC Blue Network, WMAQ in Chicago.

1953- First T.V. broadcast of the Oscar ceremony. That utterly memorable circus film 
"The Greatest Show on Earth" won top honors. Ironically it was Cecil B. DeMille’s only Oscar of his career. Before TV, the Oscars ceremony included a dinner and an hour of dancing before the awards were presented. The caremony took around 15 minutes.

1954- Singer Sammy Davis Jr. lost an eye in an auto accident in the California desert. He was left lying bleeding unattended in a hallway in Riverside County Hospital. This was because he was black and it was a segregated facility. Finally, actor Jeff Chandler found him and forced the doctors to treat him. Friend Frank Sinatra urged Davis out of his depression and got him out on stage again. That first night at Ciro’s nightclub the entire Ratpack- Sinatra, Dean Martin and Peter Lawford each preformed on stage wearing a black eye patch similar to Davis’.

1957- Elvis Presley purchased an estate outside Memphis Tennessee called Graceland from Ruth Moore for $100,000.

1959- Disney released The Shaggy Dog, their low budget live action comedy hit.

1962- The first Pillsbury Doughboy commercial.

1964- IBM gives the green light to plans for the 360 series. The first compatible computers.

1964- First day shooting on the James Bond film Goldfinger.

1974- The band Jefferson Airplane changed its name to Jefferson Starship.

1979- C-Span cable channel started broadcasting live from the floor of Congress. The first Congressman to speak on camera was Al Gore.

1982- Randy Rhoads, the lead guitarist for Ozzy Ozbourne died when he playfully flew his plane buzzing the bands travelling bus and smacked into a farmhouse. 

1984- I’LL BE BACK- James Cameron began shooting the film the Terminator. He first considered casting O.J. Simpson for the cyborg killer before settling on Austrian weightlifter Arnold Swarzenegger.

1993- Monkey-cam debuted on the David Letterman Show.

2004- Brian Maxwell, the inventor of the Power Bar nutrition snack, died of a heart attack at age 51.

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Monday, March 18, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for March 18, 2019


Birthdays: Amerigo Vespucci, John Calhoun, Nicholai Rimsky-Korsakov, Neville Chamberlain, Wilson Picket, Edgar Cayce, John Updike, Grover Cleveland, Edward Everett Horton, Vanessa Williams, F. W. DeKlerk, George Plympton, Peter Graves, Irene Cara, Luc Besson, Queen Latifah is 50

1902- BIRTHDAY OF THE RECORDING INDUSTRY. The RCA Victrola company sent it's engineers to Milan to record ten discs of the young singer Enrico Caruso. He became a world celebrity and the phonograph moves from being a scientific curiosity to something every home had to have.

1910- Rosie O’Neill invented the Kewpie Doll.

1924-The film “The Thief of Baghdad”starring Douglas Fairbanks released. Directed by Raoul Walsh and designs by William Cameron Menzies. It is considered the first great special effects blockbuster.


1942- Paramounts “The Lost Dream” the first Little Audrey cartoon.

1965- The Rolling Stones are fined 5 English pence for urinating on a wall in Stratford at ABC recording studio Romford.

1967- The Pirates of the Caribbean ride opened at Disneyland, designed by master animator Marc Davis. In recent years rampant political correctness has disturbed the pirates fun. One diorama that portrayed a lusty buccaneer chasing a wench around a table while she giggles. It was changed to show he was only interested in her sandwich tray. An animatronic of Jack Sparrow was sandwiched in. Last week it was announced the brides auction diorama was going to be replaced.


Sunday, March 17, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for March 17, 2019


Birthdays: Jim Bridger the mountain man, Nat King Cole, film composer Alfred Newman, Mercedes McCambridge, Leslie Ann Down, Patrick Duffy, Rudolph Nureyev, Gary Sinise, Kate Greenaway, John Sebastian, Ben Washam (warner bros. animator), Ken Anderson (Disney animator), John Wayne Gacy, Kurt Russell is 68, Rob Lowe is 55

1884- To quiet the fears of New Yorkers that the Brooklyn Bridge was too dangerous to cross, circus-master P.T. Barnum led a herd of his circus elephants led by Jumbo the Elephant across the bridge safely.

1901- At a grand exhibition of his paintings at Bernheim-Jeune Palace in Paris, the world discovered the brilliance of a poor Dutch lunatic who had shot himself a few years back- Vincent Van Gogh.

1941- The National Gallery of Art opens in Washington D.C.

1965- Chicago began the Saint Patrick’s Day tradition of dyeing the Chicago River green.

1982- Politically conservative Hollywood actors led by Charlton Heston broke with the Screen Actor’s Guild and form a rival group called AWAG (American Working Actor’s Guild). They were angered by SAG president Ed Asner’s taking their union into national politics by condemning Pres. Ronald Reagan’s policies in Central America, capped by the SAG board refusing Reagan (their former president) the Guild lifetime achievement award. 
As a result Ed Asner’s hit TV show “Lou Grant” lost sponsors and was cancelled, and Heston’s career cooled as well, beyond speaking at NRA events, and writing cranky letters to the L.A. Times calendar that Ben Hur wasn’t gay.


1983- On trial for libel, and refusing to name sources, wheelchair bound porn publisher Larry Flynt showed up in a US Federal court wearing a diaper made from an American flag. This was calculated to mock a conservative demand for a Constitutional amendment against burning the flag.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for March 16, 2019


Birthdays: James Madison, Conrad Nagel, Dr. Josef Mengele the Nazi Angel of Death, Teresa Berganza, Christa Ludwig, Pat Nixon, Alice Bonheur, Harper Goff, Gore Verbinsky, Jerry Lewis, Bernardo Bertolucci, Eric Estrada, Kate Nelligan, Isabelle Huppert is 66, Lauren Graham is 52


1850- Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet Letter published.


1898- Artist Aubrey Beardsley died of tuberculosis at 25. Having a religious conversion at the end of his life, but still the stickler for detail, his last words were:" Destroy all my erotic drawings...all the bad ones too...." Luckily for history his friends did neither.

1934- Disney’s short The Three Little Pigswon an Oscar for best animated short.

1961- Walt Disney comedy The Absent Minded Professorwith Fred MacMurray premiered. 

2007- Author Michael Crichton was the author of classics like The Andromeda Strain and Jurassic Park. He had been called the H.G. Wells of modern times. But today he shocked the scientific community by denouncing the theory of Global Warming.

2005- Old actor Robert Blake was acquitted of the murder of his wife Bonnie Lee Blakeley. She was shot in the head while in their car after having dinner together. Blake claimed he had returned to the restaurant to retrieve his gun. (?)  Another suspect has never been found.


Thursday, March 14, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for March 15, 2019


Birthdays: Andrew Jackson, Lee Schubert-one of Broadways Shubert Brothers, Ry Cooder, Sly Stone, Harry James, Lightnin' Hopkins, Rev. Jimmy Swaggart, Judd Hirsch, Norm Van Brocklin, Sabu, Fabio, Reni Harlin, David Cronenburg is 76, Eva Longoria is 44, David Silverman

1915- Universal Studios formed. Carl Laemmele bought a huge track of Burbank farmland and set up his studio. Laemmele had wooden bleachers built next to the movie sets where he charged people a nickel to come watch the filming. He used so many of his relatives in production that Ogden Nash quipped: "Carl Laemmele has a very large Faemmele." Universal actually had been operating as a film company since 1912 but the company counts today as its birthday.

1933- Young animator Chuck Jones first hired at Leon Schlesingers Looney Tunes cartoon studio.

1944- The DeHAVILAND CASE- A judge ruled actress Olivia DeHaviland free of her exclusive seven year personal contract to Warner Bros. For years movie stars like Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck and James Cagney had been fighting in court the system of exclusive contracts the studios used to keep them under control. They had no choice in the type of films they did, no residuals, and studios could lend them out to other studios for higher fees, and keep the money.  
If the actor complained they were put on disciplinary leave by the studio, without pay, and the penalty time added onto the end of their contract. Garbo called it the closest thing to White Slavery. Some contracts even ordered some stars not to get married for fear it would erode their sex appeal. The DeHaviland Case broke that system and allowed actors to make their own deals. 

1956- Lerner & Lowe’s musical "My Fair Lady" premiered.

1956- The Sci Fi Classic Forbidden Planetpremiered in theaters.

1964- Elizabeth Taylor married Richard Burton, for the first time.

1969- Two young heirs to the Polident false Teeth Company and two hippy promoters announced a rock festival would be held that summer in the farm community of Woodstock New York.

1977- Television sitcom Threes Company debuted.

1985- Symbolic.com is assigned the first registered private domain site on the Internet. 

2002- Blue Sky’s hit animated film Ice Age premiered.



Animation Fun Facts for March 14, 2019


Birthdays: Georg Phillip Telemann, Johann Strauss Sr., Albert Einstein, Casey Jones, Quincy Jones is 85, astronaut Frank Borman, Les Brown, Hank Ketcham, Wolfgang Petersen, Diane Arbus, Chris Klein, Michael Cain born Maurice Mickelwhite is 86, Billy Crystal is 71


1885- Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta The Mikado premiered in London.

1932-Inventor GEORGE EASTMAN shot himself- The inventor of the Roll-film camera, who named his celluloid strips 'film' and founded Eastman/Kodak. He had been suffering from a long illness and left the note: " To my friends: The End is near, why wait? "

1941- Xavier Cugat and his orchestra recorded "Babalu".

1943- Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" premiered. George Szell conducting.   Young Leonard Bernstein once asked Copland how he could write more "American" sounding music. The maestro answered:" Lenny, just shuttup and write. You're American. It's all going to sound that way anyway!"

1991- Lyricist Howard Ashman (Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast) died of HIV/AIDS.


1998- The epic disaster movie Titanic surpassed Star Wars and Jurassic Park as the greatest money earning film (until Avatar). It cost over $200 million to make but it earned at least $1 billion in box office alone. Quote director James Cameron: I’m King of the World!!
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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for March 13, 12019


Birthdays: Hugh Walpole, Charles 2ndEarl Grey 1764- English Prime Minister whom the tea blend 'Earl Grey Tea " is named for, Pope Innocent XII (1615), Abigail Powers Filmore- First Lady of Millard Filmore, Hugo Wolf, Ted Sears, Sammy Kaye, Danny Kaye, Neil Sedaka, L. Ron Hubbard, William Macy is 69, Dick Katz, Annabell Gish, Joe Ranft

1639- Richard Burbage died. Burbage was the famed Elizabethan actor and friend of William Shakespeare. On his tombstone was a simple epitaph- EXIT BURBAGE.

1928- In New York City, Walt Disney sent a telegram to his brother Roy back in California, informing him of his disastrous meeting with producer Charles Mintz. That Mintz had exercised a clause in their contract to take the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit away from them. He cabled “ Leaving Tonight, stopping over KC. Arrive Sunday Morning. Don’t Worry. All Will be Well.” Later on the train home, Walt with Ub Iwerks, Les Clark and his wife Lillian came up with a new character named Mickey Mouse.

1939- Hollywood recognized the Screen Director’s Guild, later called he DGA. After a nasty battle lasting several years Guild President Frank Capra signed the contracts representing 80% of movie directors. They also contractually ensured the custom of the director’s credit being the last one seen at the opening title sequence of a film. 

1943- Radio station WNYC goes on the air.

1944- Abbot & Costello copyrighted their baseball routine ‘Who’s on First?"


1947- MGM Tom & Jerry’s Cat Concerto won the Oscar for Best Animated Short.

1965- Guitarist Eric Clapton quit the band The Yardbirds. 

1969- Disney’s comedy about a Volkswagen beetle,"The Love Bug" premiered. 

1983- The Larry King Show debuted on HBO, later moving to CNN. King retired that show in 2010, but he still does shows on cable.

1988- Overly endowed porn star John Holmes, also called Johnny Wad, died of HIV/AIDS. He claimed to have had sex with 14,000 women and a few men in his career, but that he contracted the disease through intravenous drug use. He also got involved with some drug dealers and was implicated in a murder. The film Boogie Nights was based on his career.


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for March 12, 2019


Birthdays: Jack Kerouac, Billy "Buckwheat "Thomas, Darryl Strawberry, Edward Albee, Andrew Young, Joan Kennedy, Eugene Ormandy, Gordon McCrae, Liza Minelli is 74, Courtenay Vance, James Taylor, Frank Welker, Al Jareau, Maurice Evans, porn star Ron Jeremy, Barbara Feldon- agent 99 in Get Smart, DeWitt Bodeen- writer of the 1942 film Cat People. Aaron Eckart is 51

1932- Disney short "Mickey’s Revue" featuring Dippy Dog, now turned into a new character named "the Goof" or Goofy.

1951- Former Disney assistant animator Hank Ketcham was trying his hand as a print cartoonist. He had some success selling gags to the New Yorker Magazine. His baby son Dennis was a precocious infant. Once after she caught the child smearing the contents of his diaper around the house, his mother exclaimed to Hank-“ Your son is a Menace!” That gave Ketcham an idea. Today the first Dennis the Menace comic strip was published.

1955- BIRD DIED- Jazz genius Charlie "Bird" Parker had a lifelong drug addiction. Since the death of his infant daughter earlier that year his drug use had spiraled out of control. He was sleeping on the couch in the NY apartment of the Baroness du Rothschild-Konigswarter, a jazz supporter. He awoke to watch TV. While laughing at a juggler on the Dorsey Brothers Variety Show, he died. The coroner said death was by heart failure, cirrhosis and pneumonia. He estimated Parker’s age at 65. He was really 34. 

1969- Mrs. Robinson –a song written by two young folk singers named Simon & Garfunkel, won a Grammy award.

1969- Paul and Linda McCartney married.

1989- Tim Berners-Lee flicked a switch and the World Wide Web became operational, connecting several regional web systems into a global network.

1992- Warren Beatty married Annette Benning.

2003 –The female vocal group the Dixie Chicks were tops of the country-western world. They had preformed at last years Super Bowl. But in an interview during a concert in Britain, singer Natalie Maines expressed her sadness over America’s invasion of Iraq. “ Just so you know, we're on the good side with y'all. We do not want this war, this violence. And we're ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas." Starting today the conservative backlash from this comment destroyed their careers. They made a documentary about it in 2006 entitled “ Shut Up and Sing.” 




Monday, March 11, 2019

Animation fun facts for March 11, 2019


Birthdays: Torquato Tasso, Marius Pretipa, Raoul Walsh, Charlie Ruggles, Lawrence Welk, Samuel “Shemp” Howard, British PM Harold Wilson, Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Bobby McFerrin, Sam Donaldson, Antonin Scalia, Jerry Zucker, Vannevar Bush- MIT scientist who in 1945 predicted personal computers. Joey Buttafuco, Jules Engel, Douglas Adams, Rob Paulsen is 63, Terence Howard is 50, Rupert Murdoch is 88

1889- The California Legislature splits Orange County from LA County.

1927- The first Roxy Theater opens at 50th st. & Seventh Ave. in New York. Roxy was a nickname of theater owner Samuel L. Rothaphel who pioneered the movie palace and is called the father of De-Luxe presentation.

1943- The Broadway musical team of Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein opened their first collaboration “Away We Go!”

1971- Philo Farnsworth died of pneumonia at 64. The young Utah native in 1922 he had invented the television set, but by the 1960’s he was forgotten, broke and addicted to painkillers. The only recognition he got was as a contestant on the quiz show I Got a Secret. He won an $80 check and a carton of Winston Cigarettes. Today Farnsworth is considered one of the true inventors of Television, along with John Logie-Baird.

1977- Film director Roman Polanski (Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown) was arrested for having sex with a 13 year old girl in Jack Nicholson’s home after he got her stoned on quaaludes. Polanski was charged with statutory rape. He jumped bail and fled Hollywood for exile in Paris. LA courts have been trying unsuccessfully to get him extradited ever since.

1984 - NAUSICAƄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND, adapted and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, was released in Japan.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for March 10, 2019


Birthdays: Lorenzo da Ponte -librettist of Mozart's operas, Barry Fitzgerald, Claire Booth Luce, Heywoud Hale Broun, James Herriot, Pablo de Sarrasate, Osama Ben Laden, Chuck Norris is 79, Shannon Tweed, Sharon Stone is 61, John Hamm is 48

1926- The First Book of the Month Club – The Lovely Willows by Sylvia Townshend Warner.

1933- The LONG BEACH EARTHQUAKE. There had not been a serious quake in LA since 1857, so everyone thought it a thing of the past. Today the buildings swayed and brick walls collapsed. It was the last big shift in the San Andreas Fault. 200 people were killed, and if the schools had not been empty for Easter break, the casualties could have been much worse.
Actors convening early SAG union meetings in the El Capitan Theater moved out into a parking lot because of the aftershocks. The quake sparked the first serious earthquake building codes.

1935- The First Smokey Stover comic strip (notary sojac).

1947- Ronald Reagan becomes President of the Screen Actor's Guild after President George Montgomery and V.P. Franchot Tone resigned to become independent producers. In the violent gangster-ridden atmosphere of Hollywood unions Reagan took to wearing a .32 Smith & Wesson in a shoulder holster under his coat.

1948- Zelda Fitzgerald, the socialite wife of writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, died in a fire at the mental hospital where she had been committed for more than a decade. 

1954- In a letter to studio heads director Elias Kazan worried that young actor James Dean was “too odd” and unpredictable to star in his movie “Rebel Without a Cause”.

1954- First day of shooting on Stage 3 of the Giant Squid battle on Walt Disney’s production of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. The director was Richard Fleischer, the son of Disney’s onetime competitor Max Fleischer.


50th anniv. 1969- The Godfather, a novel by Mario Puzo was first published. The book about a NY mafia family was a huge hit and spawned three successful movies.

1980- This year one of the most popular diets in the country was the Scarsdale Diet by Dr. Herman Tarnower. This day a woman named Jean Harris entered his Purchase NY home and shot Dr. Tarnower to death. Her trial was a cause-celeb in the NY press. 

1988- Andy Gibb of the BeeGees died at age 30. It was reported he died of a drug overdose, but he actually died of heart failure brought on by years of heavy drug abuse.