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VIEW Blog Titles from May 2007


Blog Posts from May 2007:

Birthdays: John Churchill the first Duke of Marlborough, Pope Clement VII the Medici Fox-1478, Mary Wollenstonecraft Godwin 1759- early feminist writer and mother of Mary Shelley, Alexander Pushkin, Isadora Duncan, Norma Talmadge, Paul Lukas, John Wesley Hardin the shootist, and it's the 100th anniversary of the birth of Marion Robert Morrison, who we know as John Wayne.

Hee-yah, Pilgrim!

1896- Charles Dow started his stock index named the Dow Jones Index. The first Dow Jones closing is 40.94

1913- Actors Equity formed.

1933- Jimmy Rogers "the Singing Brakeman", considered the father of modern country music, died of tuberculosis at age 31. Shortly before his death he recorded a song about it called "TB Blues".

1960- THE MOULIN ROUGE AGREEMENT- Las Vegas gambling casinos finally integrate. Before this stars like Sammy Davis Jr. and Ella Fitzgerald could headline in the clubs but had to exit via the kitchens and sleep across town in the colored section. Singer Nat King Cole was requested to keep his eyes on his piano keys for fear if he looked up he would seduce young white girls. Frank Sinatra played a big part in pressuring the Vegas 'powers-that-be' i.e. the mob, to change with the times. Marlena Deitrich grabbed Lena Horne by the arm and stormed into a casino bar defying any reaction. None came. The Moulin Rouge was the first completely integrated casino.

1962- The Isley Brothers single “Twist & Shout” released. It was eventually recorded by everyone from the Beatles to Rodney Dangerfield.

1969- John Lennon and Yoko Ono have their "Bed-In for Peace" news conference in New York. One of the most acerbic exchanges was one Lennon had with Lil'Abner cartoonist and conservative curmudgeon Al Capp.

1994- Singer Michael Jackson married Elvis’ daughter Lisa Marie Presley in the Dominican Republic. They keep the wedding a secret for six weeks, then divorce 18 months later.

1995- Looney Tunes director Isadore Friz Freleng died at age 89.


In the spring of 1977 I was in New York working as an inbetweener on the animated film The Adventures of Raggedy Ann and Andy. I was working on Emery Hawkins Taffy Pit monster with Dan Haskett, Kevin Petrilak, James Wong and Carol Millican among many others. Mike Sporn was our head of cleanup and Eric Goldberg, Jim Logan and Lou Scarborough were among our crew. In those days,New York had comic conventions much like the San Diego comicon, but a bit more modest. And it was a great place to sneak preview upcoming films.

Another Raggedy artist named Lester "Skeets" Pegues went to a comicon screening at the old Commodore Hotel by Grand Central Station. I didn't go because it was showing too late and I had to commute back to Canarsie, Brooklyn. Skeets came in to work the next day raving about this cool new movie called "Star Wars" he said he never saw anything like it. I was unimpressed at first. I had seen Silent Running and Dark Star. No one really made Sci-fi films anymore, certainly nothing as intriging as 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968. I was looking forward to real films like the French Connection II and Revenge of Billy Jack.

I was always the type that stayed away from films with humongous waiting lines. So I resisted the Star War phenomenon for a few more months until I saw it in Hollywood. It had moved from Mann's Chinese across the street to the Hollywood Theater, now called the El Capitan.

Well, I watched the title card move by and listened to the big music score and thought it wasn't that bad. Then the big Imperial Cruiser came overhead and I WAS HOOKED! It was one of the great cathartic moments in cinema. Nothing like it had ever been seen in movies before.

That year it was as if there was only one movie playing in any theater, Star Wars. The mania ran so far ahead of the planning that Christmas kids got Star Wars games under the tree that were an empty box with an IOU in it. It promised to provide a game as soon as they printed more.

You were right Skeets, it was pretty amazing. Happy Birthday Star Wars.

If you were fast enough, the other day several sites like You Tube posted the trailor for the film THE ENCHANTED by Kevin Lima with animation by James Baxter's group. I managed to see it before Disney Lawyers yanked it.
I don't know what they're worried about, I thought it was great.
Congrads, mon freres!

Birthdays: Miles Davis, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Josef Broz Tito, Igor Sikorsky, Pontormo, Bennett Cerf, Claude Akins, Leslie Uggams, Bill Bojangles Robinson, Beverly Sills, Anne Heche, Mike Myers the voice of Shrek is 44

1878- Gilbert & Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore premiered at the Savoy in London. “So Stick to your desk and never go to Sea, and You can be the Leader of the Queen’s Naveeee”

1950- Brooklyn Battery Tunnel opened in NYC.

1957- Sid Caesar's Your Show of Show's cancelled after nearly a decade. The show used future star playwrights like Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner and Neil Simon. The show pioneered the executive strategy of network programmer Pat Weaver to not let the show be owned by an entire sponsor but the network would produce the show and would sell the sponsor commercial time in 30 second chunks. Pat Weaver’s daughter is Sigorney Weaver.

1961- THE SPACE RACE- The United States had been chafing about how far ahead the Soviet Union was in the exploration of space. In an address to Congress this day President John F. Kennedy pledged the wealth and resources of the U.S. to beating Russia to the Moon. "Our pledge is within the next ten years to send a man to the moon and return him safely to Earth… We choose to go to the Moon not because it will be easy but because it is hard!" The Moon landing was achieved in 1969. Today it is acknowledged that without the motivation of the Cold War the conquest of the Moon would have happened much more slowly. In 2004 President Bush made a similar pledge to go to Mars, but not much has happened since.

1965- The Saint Louis Gateway Arch dedicated.

1968- The Rolling Stones release Jumping Jack Flash.

1977- Star Wars opened.

1979- Ridley Scott's sci-fi classic Alien opened.

1980- Evangelist Oral Roberts sees a 900-foot Jesus over his bed.

1986- Hands Across America stunt to help hunger has 7 million people at one time holding hands at noon.

2000- It was revealed that in 1958 US scientists planned to explode an atomic bomb on the moon. There would be no mushroom cloud because that requires an atmosphere, and the flash would only be visible for a few seconds. What the purpose would be other than to scare the BeeJeezus out of the Russkies no one knew. This dumb-ass idea was soon scrapped.

May 24, 2007 thurs
May 24th, 2007

Birthdays: Jean Paul Marat, Queen Victoria, Emmanuel Leutze, Bob Dylan, Walt Whitman, Gary Burghoff, Priscilla Presley, Patti LaBelle, Tommy Chong of Cheech & Chong, Frank Oz, Kristin Scott Thomas

1590- In Rome, construction of the great Dome of Saint Peters Basilica completed.

1830 –The poem "Mary Had A Little Lamb," was written.

1866 - Berkeley, California founded, named for George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne.

1899 - 1st auto repair shop and car garage opens: The Back Bay Cycle and Motor Company of Boston. Where's CLick and Clack?

1929- The Marx Brothers first movie comedy” The Coconuts” premiered.

1950- Married movie star Ingrid Bergman shocked American morality by having an open love affair with neorealist film director Roberto Rosselini. This day they were finally married but the outcry of conservatives about this “Apostle of Degradation” was such that her image needed a makeover, so she played Saint Joan.

1954 - IBM announces vacuum tube "electronic" brain that could perform 10 million operations an hour.

1958 - UP & International News Service merge into United Press International

1989- In Los Angeles, a spectacular fire destroyed the Art-Deco-Moderne all-wood landmark, the Pan Pacific Auditorium.

1991- Tri-Star Pictures 75 million-dollar mega-flop "Hudson Hawk" opened. Star Bruce Willis, whose fee was $17 million, blamed the film’s costs on union filmworkers’ rates being too high. He would return to his car after a day’s shooting to find it covered with animal excrement. The film coming after another flop Bonfire of the Vanities, almost sank his career. Willis next two films, "Death Becomes Her" and 'Pulp Fiction", he did for scale. In 2000 he made a $100,000 dollar donation to the SAG/AFTRA strike fund.

may 23, 2007 weds
May 23rd, 2007

Birthdays: Douglas Fairbanks Sr., Scatman Crowthers, Rosemary Clooney, Artie Shaw, Joan Collins, Alicia de Larrocha, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Dr. Robert Moog –inventor of the first Music Synthesizer, Drew Carey

Today in ancient Rome was the feast of Vulcan.

1498- Mystic monk and religious reformer Savonarola was hanged and his body burned for defying the Pope and Church. Artists Michelangelo Buonarrotti, Sandro Botticelli and Luigi Della Robbia were admirers of his.

1701 -Captain Kidd was hanged in London for piracy, robbery and killing a sailor with a bucket. His last letter was written to try to bribe the judge with his buried treasure. His body was coated with tar for preservation and displayed in a gage suspended over Execution Wharf on the Thames for years afterwards as a warning for pirates.

1785- Ben Franklin invented bifocal glasses.

1873- The first Preakness horse race. The winner's name was Survivor.

1903- MOTHER JONES 'CHILDRENS CRUSADE- Seventy three year old activist and union organizer Mary "Mother Jones" Harris led a strike of 16,000 Philadelphia mill workers, all children under 12 years old, to demand a 55 hour workweek down from 60 hours a week. On this day she led a march of thousands of working children to President Teddy Roosevelt's home in Oyster Bay New York to demand the repeal of child labor.

1941-Hollywood union boss George Brown and assistant Willard Bioff (also a Frank Nitti bagman) were indicted on federal racketeering charges. Brown had been a Chicago operative and it was said 'he could drink 100 bottles of beer in one day". Their main contact among the Hollywood studio heads was Nicholas Schenck, the chairman of Loews Theaters and a head of MGM. Willie Bioff had tried to help Louis B. Mayer defeat the screen actor's guild and hijack the Disney animator's union. After their jail time Bioff blew up in his car after turning government witness and Brown 'disappeared...' Schenck meanwhile was pardoned by President Truman.

1969- The Who release their rock opera Tommy.

May 22nd, 2007 tues.
May 22nd, 2007

History for 5/22/2007
Birthdays: Lord Lawrence Olivier, Mary Cassatt, Richard Wagner, Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, T. Bone Pickens, Judith Christ, Irene Pappas, Paul Winfield, Richard Benjamin, Susan Strassberg, Paul Winchell the voice of Tigger, Tommy John, Naomi Cambell

1915-The San Fernando Valley voted to become part of Los Angeles.

1925- First day of shooting on Fritz Lang’s film Metropolis.

1954- Bob Dylan’s Bar Mitzvah. Maseltov!

1955-The Golden Age of Radio ends when after 22 years the Jack Benny show came to an end. Once the top broadcast show in the nation, Benny went on to television.

1957- A U.S. B-36 bomber accidentally drops a Hydrogen Bomb on Albuquerque, New Mexico. The bombardier, Lt. Robert Carp lost his balance in the bomb bay area and grabbed for a handle that released the Nuke. He ran back to the cockpit yelling: "I didn't touch anything! I didn't touch anything!" The bomb blew up a mesa and killed a cow but miraculously the thermonuclear triggering mechanism didn't kick in. This was a classified secret until the late 1980's.

1966- Bill Cosby became the first African-American to win an Emmy Award for starring in a television series- I-Spy. The show was produced by Sheldon Leonard, who once worked on the Rocky & Bullwinkle Show.

1967- T.V. children's show Mr. Roger's Neighborhood debuted.

1985- Top Disney animation director Wolfgang "Woolie" Reitherman who directed the Jungle Book among other films, died in a car crash following lunch at the Smoke House in Burbank.

2001- Movie Mogul Ted Turners divorce from actress Jane Fonda became official. Their ten year marriage became strained when Hanoi Jane informed Ted that she had now become a Born Again Christian and answered his arguments with quotes from Scripture.

2002-Ayatollahs outlaw Barbie dolls from Iran. They denounce Barbie as "agents of subversive Zionist Western propaganda."