Saturday, August 31, 2019

Animation fun facts for Aug 31, 2019


Birthdays: Caligula 12AD, Commodus 161AD, Amilcare Ponchielli, Eldridge Cleaver, Buddy Hackett, James Coburn, Itshak Perleman is 72, Van Morrison, Arthur Godfrey, Richard Baseheart, Rocky Marciano. Alan J. Lerner, Hugh Harman, Maria Montressori (of the Montressori Method of education), William Saroyan, Richard Gere is 69, Chris Tucker is 46. 

1829- Giaconda’s Opera Guglielmo Tell debuted in Paris. The William Tell overture was heard for the first time- Hi Ho Silver!

1887- Thomas Edison patented the plans for a Kinetoscope, his original version of Motion Pictures using George Eastman’s new celluloid roll film. Most of the actual work was done by Canadian scientist W.K.L. Dickson. He drove himself sick designing, building and improving the device as well as the camera and studio, but Edison took all the credit. Edison wrote Edweard Muybridge at the time that he doubted the Kinetoscope would have much commercial value beyond the science lab.

1928- In Berlin, The ThreePenny Operapremiered, music by Kurt Weill and lyrics by Bertholdt Brecht with Lotte Lenya as Pirate Jenny. Mackie Messer or Mack the Knife was born.

1930 -Detroit radio station is 1st to broadcast a news program on the air.

1935- Disney cartoon Plutos’ Judgement Day.

1938- Walt Disney put ten thousand dollars down to buy 51 acres on Buena Vista Street in Burbank. He would build his modern studio there.

1941 –The Great Gildersleeve, a spin-off of Fibber McGee & Molly debuts on NBC radio.  The voice of Gildersleeve later narrated the UPA cartoon Gerald McBoing Boing.


1946- Looney Toon short 'Walky Talky Hawky'the first Foghorn Leghorn and Henery Hawk. The Foghorn character was based on a Fred Allen radio character Senator Beauregard Claghorn, that mocked bombastic Southern congressmen.

1948- Disney's 'Melody Time' premiered.

1948- Movie star Robert Mitchum was busted for smoking pot with a blonde in the Hollywood Hills. This would have normally smoked his career.Mitchum was so convinced his career was over that when asked by the police to state his occupation he said, "Former actor."But the new, postwar outlaw, noir attitude was in vogue. So bad-boy Mitchum emerged from county jail more popular than ever. When asked what he thought of being in jail, he said it's not much different than being free....but you meet a better clientele of people IN jail.

1964- Young comedian Richard Pryor made his first appearance on TV. He did some of his standup on Rudy Vallee’s Broadway Tonight Show.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 30, 2019


Birthdays: Mary Shelley, Jacques Louis David, Huey Long, Fred MacMurray, Raymond Massey, Ted Williams, John Blondell, Timothy Bottoms, Jean-Claude Killy, Shirley Booth, John Landis, Tug McGraw, R. Crumb is 76, Lewis Black is 71, Cameron Diaz is 47

1867- At the University of Göttingen, Albert Niemann isolated the chemical elements of the Columbian coca plant and named the powdery substance Cocaine.

1935- “Top Hat” starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers premiered.

1936- First newspaper comic strip entirely devoted to Donald Duck.

1939- The last peacetime voyage of the HMS Queen Mary evacuated Americans fleeing the impending war in Europe. Among the crowd was a large contingent of Hollywood stars like Bob Hope and Jack Warner who planned to attend the first Cannes Film Festival (postponed until 1946). The Queen Mary kept radio silence across the ocean to hide from U-Boats. This was a wise, because her sister ship HMS Athenia was torpedoed.

1968- The first 7-11 store opened in Palmdale California. Have a Slurpee !

1975- Ralph Bakshi's film "Coonskin". Bad boy Bakshi's portrayal of African-American urban violence was deemed so offensive that it caused the first ever riot at the Museum of Modern Art, and it died at the box office. The film was retitled on video "Streetfight".
When Ralph resurfaced, he turned his attention to Sword & Fantasy films.

1979- President Jimmy Carter claimed that while boating on vacation in Georgia he was attacked by an enraged rabbit.

1980- Willie Nelson released his hit  “On the Road Again.”


1993- The David Letterman Show premiered on CBS. Letterman was wooed away from NBC for $42 million bucks.

2012- At the Republican Presidential convention, venerable 80 year old filmmaker Clint Eastwood made a fool out of himself by improvising a rambling dialogue with an empty chair that he meant to be the absent Pres. Obama. Eastwood was supposed to introduce candidate Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech, but his bizarre performance upstaged anything Romney said. 


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 28, 2019


Birthdays: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Leo Tolstoy, George Villiers the Duke of Buckingham- minister of James I, Sean O'Flagherty, Donald O'Connor, Charles Boyer, Karl Boehm, Bruno Bettleheim, Disney designer Ferdinand Horvath, Ben Gazzara, Janet Evans, Ron 'Louisiana Lightning' Guidry, Nancy Kulp, Daniel Stern, Shania Twain, anim historian Charles Solomon, Jack Black is 50, Rita Coolidge is 58.  Jack "King" Kirby.

1850- Lohengrin, the first opera written by Richard Wagner, premiered in Weimar. The Third Act chorus “Treulich Gefuhrt” became famous for weddings as “Here Comes the Bride, All Dressed in White”. Wagner asked his friend Franz Liszt to produce the opera because he was in exile for his political views. Wagner himself did not see Lohengrin performed until 1861. 

1907- UPS small package delivery service started in Seattle.

1922- The first broadcast commercial on radio.  It was for a real estate firm Queensboro Realty lasting ten minutes, and cost $100 dollars. The firm selling suburban homes in Queens NY immediately did $100,000 worth of business. The business world took note of this new method of advertising.


1938- Northwestern University conferred an honorary degree upon the ventriloquist puppet Charlie McCarthy- Edgar Bergen’s famed dummy. The Dean of the School of Speech conferred a Master of Innuendo and Snappy Comeback upon the wooden celebrity. 

1963- Dr. Martin Luther King gave his "I Have a Dream" speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial at the climax of the first ' Poor People's March 'on Washington”. Organizer A. Phillip Randolph conceived a poor people’s march taking weeks not unlike the Bonus Marchers of 1929. The sympathetic John F. Kennedy administration prevailed upon them to keep it to one day to reduce the chance of violence and maximize media exposure.  They had planned for 100,000 but they got 400,000. Movie stars like Sidney Poitier, Marlon Brando, James Garner, and Charlton Heston attended.

1990- Computer pioneer Sandy Lerner was fired from the company she founded- Cisco Systems.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 27, 2019


Birthdays: Man Ray, Martha Ray, LBJ (Lyndon Baines Johnson), Hegel, C.S. Forester, Hannibal Hamlin- Abe Lincolns first term vice president, Barbara Bach, Theodore Dreiser, Lady Antonia Fraser, Tommy Sands, Tuesday Weld is 76, Mangesuthu Buthelezi, Paul Rubens-aka Pee Wee Herman is 67

1910- The first radio message sent from an airplane.

1912- Edgar Rice Burroughs first published Tarzan of the Apes in The All-Story magazine.

1917- Straight Shooting, the first film directed by John Ford released. 

1927- Warner Bros began recording the soundtrack for Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer.

1930- Lon Chaney Sr. died of bronchial lung cancer. It was claimed then that during filming of a remake of The Unholy Threea wind machine blew an artificial gypsum snowflake into Chaney's mouth - it caused an irritation that became a tumor. He was 47.

1950- NBC and General Foods abruptly canceled the second season premiere of the television show “the Aldrich Family” when a publication called Red Channels accused Jean Muir, one of the show’s stars, of being a communist. This signaled that the Hollywood Blacklist was now turning its attention eastward towards NY theater and television.  Jean Muir’s career (1937 Midsummer Nights Dream) never fully recovered. 

1953- The film Roman Holidayintroduced a new young actress from Holland named Audrey Hepburn. 

1964- The movie version of Mary Poppins premiered.

1967- The Beatles first manager Brian Epstein overdosed on sleeping pills. 
    
1968- Former master animator Bill Tytla's request to return to Disney was turned down. The artist who animated Grumpy the Dwarf, Dumbo and the Devil on Bald Mountain even offered to do a free "trial animation test" to show he still had it. Disney exec W.H. Anderson wrote him:" We really have only enough animation for our present staff."
Tytla died later that year.

1990- Guitar great Stevie Ray Vaughan was killed in a helicopter crash outside Alpine Valley Wisconsin, after an "All Stars of the Blues" show.  Stevie Ray took the last remaining seat on the helicopter, after Eric Clapton got off, claiming he'd rather take a limo back to Chicago, which was about an hour away.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Aug 26, 2019


 Birthdays: Sir Robert Walpole the first British Prime Minister, Mother Theresa, Albert the Prince Consort, John Wilkes Booth, Guilliame Appollinaire who coined the term Surrealism, General Maxwell Taylor, Christopher Isherwood, McCauley Culkin is 38, Geraldine Ferarro, Dr. Lee DeForrest, Ben Bradlee, Barbet Schroeder, Branford Marsalis, Chris Pine is 39, Melissa McCarthy is 49


1838- American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson met English writer Thomas Carlyle.

1846- W.A. Bartlet became first American mayor of Yerba Buena, in 1850 renamed San Francisco.

1868- First practical typewriter patented by Christopher Scholes. The Remington Company who were famous for making firearms took up the typewriter and mass produced it. In 1874 Mark Twain admitted to a friend that he preferred writing on it.



1918- 17 year old Walt Disney dropped out of high school and faked his parents signature in order to enlist to fight in World War I. Turned down for his age, he volunteered for the Red Cross. Assigned to the ambulance corps, he arrived in Europe just as the war was ending.

1946 - George Orwell published "Animal Farm". Orwell said he conceived the idea for the novel while watching out his window a small boy driving a huge draft horse. The horse could have easily crushed the boy had it the free will, but instead patiently endured the boys taunts and flicks with a small switch. 

1946- First day of shooting on Jean Cocteau’s film Belle et le Bete, Beauty and the Beast.

1958- First day of shooting on the Alfred Hitchcock film North By Northwest. Conceived as a story that ended in a chase across the stone faces of Mt. Rushmore. The original title of Ernst Lehman’s script was The Man Who Hung From Lincoln’s Nose.


1964- The Tokyo subway system opens. 

1967 – The Beatles, Mick Jagger & Marianne Faithful met the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.



1980- Director Tex Avery died after collapsing in the parking lot of Hanna-Barbera. He was 72. Two weeks before he was asked by a friend why he was working in Hanna & Barbera, Tex laughed:" Hey, Don’t you know? this is where all the elephants come to die!"

1997- Special effects house Boss Studios, closed. 



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.