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Blog Posts from November 2007:

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The 30th anniversary reunion of the Raggedy Ann crew was a great success. We had a screening of a Mark Kausler's 35mm scope print of the film, non-digital scratches and all. Check out my gallery section for details and more photos.

Thanks to ASIFA/Hollywood and their Animation Archives,the American Film Institute and historian Jerry Beck for all their help. Thanks to Art Bininger for taking the photos, which are here with his permission. Thanks also to the blogs of Michael Sporn (head of cleanup back then), Cartoon Brew and Jim Hill Media for giving the event a plug. Our love and regards go out to all our Raggedy Brothers and Sisters who couldn't make the event, but were with us in spirit.

Coming Next year- the 20TH Anniversary of the 1988 film, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and the dawn of the Animation Renaissance.

Quiz: Today Queen Elizabeth celebrates her 60th wedding anniversary. Is she the longest reigning English monarch?

Answer to yesterday’s question- One of the reasons Beowulf is taught in schools is it is considered the oldest secular work of English literature. What is the oldest song? Answer below
History for 11/20/2007
Birthdays: Robert F. Kennedy, Maya Plisetskaya, Gene Tierney, Dick Smothers, Richard Dawson, Estelle Parsons, Barbera Hendricks, Duane Allman, Joe Walsh, Chester Gould the creator of Dick Tracy, Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis the first baseball commissioner, Alastair Cooke, Senator Robert Byrd is 90, Hu Yao Bang, Bo Derek is 51, Sean Young is 48, Ming Na

866 A.D.- Saint Edmund the Martyr, King of the East Angles since being proclaimed by the Kingdoms of Norfolk and Suffolk, was killed in battle with the Vikings. They said he ruled wisely and patterned his court after that of King David. His story may be another feeder root for the legend of King Arthur.

1272- King Edward Ist crowned king of England. Sometimes called the Great Plantagenet, the Hammer of the Scots or simply Edward Longshanks- long legs.

1601-THE GOLDEN SPEECH- Elderly Queen Elizabeth Ist had ruled England for 42 years, a time of unparalleled prosperity and peace. This day the old queen gave her farewell speech to parliament: "Though God has raised Us to the Throne, the Glory of Our reign was ruling with the love of my people…… You may have had and may yet have mightier and wiser princes in this seat, but you will never have one who loved you more, than I do." Elizabeth died two years later.

1620- Shortly before coming ashore in the New World The Mayflower Compact was drawn up and signed by the 24 male Pilgrim settlers "To covenant and combine ourselves into a civile body-politick". Governor John Bradford wrote: "We shall be a bright City upon a Hill."

1718- " Fifteen men on a Dead Man’s Chest, Yo-Ho-Ho and a Bottle of Rum!" Even though he knew the British Navy was going to attack him tomorrow, violent buccaneer Blackbeard spent this night drinking and partying with his crew. Someone asked Blackbeard that if he died did his wife know where he had buried his treasure? Blackbeard laughed" No one but me and the Devil himself knows where it is, and the longest liver can have it all !" It was said Blackbeard actually enjoyed being a pirate. In the thickest of hand-to-hand fighting amidst the blood and mayhem he could be seen smiling. Ultimate job satisfaction. Another time he made his officers sit with him in a locked cabin with smoldering pots of choking, sulphurous brimstone. He told them as they were all going to Hell ,they might as well get used to it now..

1777- In an amazing speech in the House of Lords elderly William Pitt the Elder, Lord Chatham denounced the governments policy of trying to put down the American Revolution with military mercenaries bought in Germany."My Lords, you cannot conquer America! If I were an American as I am an Englishman, while foreign troops were landed on my soil I would never lay down my arms- never, never, never!"

1783-In Paris Benjamin Franklin is in the crowd watching the first humans go aloft in a balloon designed by the Montgolfier Brothers. For 25 minutes Piastre de Rosier and the Marquis d'Arland flew 500 feet over the Seine, sipping champagne.

1895- Beethoven’s opera Fidelio premiered. He rewrote the overture four times and still wasn’t happy with it. So he rewrote it once more and published the other four as the Leonora Overtures.

1820- In the Pacific Ocean the Nantucket whaling ship Essex was sunk by an enraged sperm whale. The whale's nickname was Mocha-Dick. Only six men survived floating on driftwood for ninety days, resorting to cannibalism before being rescued. This incident is thought to have been one of the inspirations for Herman Melville to write his novel Moby Dick.

1912- Carl Warr walked into Los Angeles City Hall with 60 sticks of dynamite strapped to him. Police grab him he sets off his detonator but nothing happened. He then begged police to kill him. Warr was sensationalized in the press as the Mad Bomber.

1947-Princess Elizabeth the future Queen Elizabeth II married her cousin Prince Phillip Mountbatten of the exiled royal family of Greece. At 60 year of marriage, they have had the longest lasting marriage of any British monarch.

1947- The longest running television show in history- Meet the Press, premiered. And it is still on today.

1963- Attorney General Robert Kennedy had a birthday party up at his house Washington D.C. suburbs called Hillsborough. There his brother President John F. Kennedy and he discussed the coming 1964 election. The President said he was looking forward to doing a campaign swing through Dallas Texas that weekend. Then JFK left the house. It was the last time Bobby Kennedy would ever see his brother alive.

1969- The U.S. Dept of Agriculture bans the use of the insecticide DDT.

1975- Spanish Fascist dictator Francisco Franco died at age 89, despite sleeping with the mummified arm of St. Theresa of Avila for a cure. Patriotic Spaniards start partying. Stores sold out of champagne by 10 a.m. As planned King Juan Carlos takes over and Spain converts to a constitutional monarchy.

1994- Rock & Roll star David Crosby received a new liver.

1995- During and interview on a BBC television show Panorama, Diana Princess of Wales admitted to having a love affair with an officer named James Hewitt. This was after Prince Charles admitted to his long affair with Lady Camilla Parker-Bowles. After the Princesses death Hewitt sold a juicy tell-all story to the London tabloids for half a million pounds.

1998- Several state governments and the US tobacco industry reach a landmark settlement arising from lawsuits over smoking illnesses. The trial also killed off once and for all ads featuring The Marlboro Cowboy and Joe Camel, a cartoon character that at one point was as recognizable to children as Donald Duck.
QUESTION: One of the reasons Beowulf is taught in schools is it is considered the oldest secular work of English literature. What is the oldest song?

ANSWER: Greensleeves. Richard the Lionhearted’s Crusaders sang a song that became For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow (the Bear Went over the Mountain) but that was in Norman French. Greensleeves is the oldest non-religious song in the English language. No one is sure just how old it is. Some say it was written by King Henry VIII (1491-1547) for Anne Boleyn, but that is apocryphal.

November 19, 2007 Monday
November 19th, 2007

QUIZ: Beowulf is taught in schools, not because Angelina Jolie gets naked, but because is it is considered the oldest work of English literature. What is the oldest song?

Answer to yesterday’s question: Yesterday was the birthday of Mickey Mouse. Legend says he got his name from Walt’s wife Lillian. What did Walt want to call him originally?
History for 11/19/2007
Birthdays: King Charles Ist of England, President James Garfield, Ferdinand de Lesseps, Roy Campanella, Tommy Dorsey, Ted Turner, Calvin Klein, Indira Ghandi, Dick Cavett, Larry King, Kathleen Quinlan, Alan Young -Mr. Ed’s friend, Ahmad Rashad, Allison Janey, Meg Ryan is 46, Jodie Foster is 45, Terry Farrell,

1619- A young French student named Renes Descartes had enlisted in the army of Elector Maximillian of Bavaria to fight the Thirty Years War. Outside of Neuberg one evening he climbed into a stove to keep warm and there did a lot of thinking. He had the first of a series of revelations to invent analytical geometry and the mathematical applications of religion. Happens to me every time I climb into a stove, too. “ Cogito, Ergo Sum.” I think, therefore I am.”

1703- The "Man in the Iron Mask" died in the Bastille prison. Louis XIV had him locked up for forty years. He was first mentioned in Voltaire's History of the Age of Louis XIV as having a velvet mask which writer Alexandre Dumas changed to iron for dramatic effect. No one ever discovered who he was or why his face was covered. Speculation was that he was everyone from an Italian diplomat, to the son of Oliver Cromwell, to a twin brother of King Louis XIV himself. It made for great literature but he remains a mystery.

1828- Composer Franz Schubert died of complications of gonorrhea at age 31. The year before he had walked as a pallbearer in the funeral of Ludwig Van Beethoven.

1863- THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS-At the dedication of the soldiers cemetery on the Gettysburg battlefield, the crowd watched Rev. Edward Everett, a famous abolitionist, deliver a fiery two hour speech. Then President Abraham Lincoln stood up and in just two minutes delivered the most famous speech in U.S. History. "Forescore and Seven years ago Our Forefathers set Forth....And Government Of the People, By the People and For the People Shall Not Perish from the Earth. "
The crowd was polite but indifferent. The Times of London correspondent thought it "vague and uninspiring". Lincoln himself told his aide: "Lehman, that speech won't scowl !" meaning a plow blade that's too dull to cut. But Rev Everett was inspired “Mr. President, you said in two minutes much more than I did in two hours.” Contrary to legend Lincoln didn’t write it quickly on the back of an envelope, he worked long on his speeches and was seen doing corrections up to the last minute. There are three pencil copies of the speech still in existence.
one of the few photographs taken at the scene. The photographer was still setting up his equipment when the brief speech ended and Lincoln started to sit down. He opened his shutter in time to get a blurry view of Lincoln's head in the crowd.(arrow)

1915- I DREAMED I SAW JOE HILL LAST NIGHT.... Joe Hill executed in Utah- Swedish Immigrant Josef Hilstrom was a nationally known charismatic poet and union organizer. Large Utah copper mining companies that found Hill's folk song singing activism a nuisance had him convicted on trumped up murder charges. He was shot by firing squad despite pleas for clemency from President Wilson, Helen Keller and the Pope. Crowds of 10,000 marched in London and Sydney Australia for mercy for Joe Hill.
Hill's last words were:"I die as I have lived, a rebel. Don't mourn, Organize!" He stipulated in his will that his body be transported over the state line and buried in Colorado because: "I DON'T WANNA BE CAUGHT DEAD IN UTAH!" His body was cremated and the ashes sent in little envelopes to union offices across the nation.

1942-“ THE IVANS ARE COMING!” OPERATION URANUS- The big Russian counter-attack in the Battle of Stalingrad begins. The Battle for the city named for Stalin had stalemated into house to house fighting in cellars and factory rooms the Germans called Rattskrieg- Rats War. Meanwhile Marshal Gyorgi Zhukov had been massing forces on either end of the German 6th Army where weak Axis units of Romanian and Italian troops were holding the line. Luftwaffe commander Freiherr Von Richtofen reported the concentrations to army commanders but HQ remained strangely apathetic. Today to the sound of thousands of Katyushka rocket launchers, nicknamed Stalin’s Pipe Organs, Marshal Zhukov launched two massive pincer assaults that blew through the German front above and below and joined up in the rear trapping 100,000 Nazis.

1942-GUERILLA MICE- A curious incident during the Battle of Stalingrad. While house to house battles raged in the inner city the main German tank forces sat quiet in fields outside since August. When the Russian attack began the tanks were started up. But soon their engines began to overheat and stall. In the long weeks of waiting field mice had crawled into the motors and ate away radiator hoses and electrical insulation. 68 of 100 tanks broke down thanks to enemy mousekis.

1942- In a concentration camp in Poland author-artist Bruno Schulz was executed. The author of “Street of Crocodiles” last act was being forced by a Gestapo officer to paint images from Brothers Grimm fairytales on his sons bedroom wall before he was shot.

1945- Trying to complete the plan of social services created by Franklin Roosevelt, President Harry Truman called for National Health Insurance. It was defeated in Congress after intense lobbying by the powerful insurance and pharmaceutical companies. It would also be blocked when reintroduced later by Presidents Johnson, Nixon and Clinton. Today the U.S. is the only nation in the front rank of developed nations to have no form of national health insurance. In 2003 while general U.S. inflation is around .03%, prescription medicine inflation averages around 400%. We also are the only nation who runs our hospitals as profit making organizations.

1959-Happy Birthday Rocky, Bullwinkle, Boris & Natasha. Jay Ward's television show 'Rocky and his Friends' debuts. Ward and Bill Scott had been planning the adventures of the denizens of Frostbite Falls since 1957. Many of it’s writers like Alan Burns and producer Sheldon Leonard would later help create classic television sitcoms like the Mary Tyler Moore show. On that show they inspired a young writer named James L. Brooks who would one day create the Simpsons.

1969- The great soccer champion Pele scored his 1,000 goal.

1998- Film Director Alan J. Pakula was one of the Hollywood community who preferred living in New York City. This day he was driving on the Long Island Expressway when he was killed in a freak accident. A large truck kicked up in its tires a discarded piece of steel pipe. It flipped it through Pakula’s windshield, killing him instantly.

Yesterday’s question: Yesterday was the birthday of Mickey Mouse. Legend says he got his name from Walt’s wife Lillian. What did Walt want to call him originally?

Answer: Mortimer Mouse.

November 18th, 2007 sunday
November 18th, 2007

Happy World Hand-Drawn Animation Day.

To celebrate, go see an old cartoon, and remember the animation’s value in entertaining and educating the world.

From Tashjin Ozgur in Istambul yesterday:

It was in 2005; the future of traditional, hand-drawn
animation, the original "animated cartoon", seemed
dark, with a diminishing number of die-hards trying to
keep it alive, when some participants of a Turkish web
forum on animation proposed a day to celebrate the
art. The date chosen was November 18, in commemoration
of the 1928 release of Steamboat Willie, the first
Mickey Mouse cartoon to reach audiences.

We hoped our idea would spread across borders and be
taken up by all who consider the art of the hand-drawn
animation to be something special and worth
preserving. We here, at least, have observed and
celebrated the day the last two years, and are gearing
up to do so again.

So this year, on Novemeber 18th, take some time to
watch an old fashioned cartoon, and appreciate it for
what it is- drawings that seem to move.

The heritage of the Renaissance that runs through the
centuries has culminated at the tip of the animators'

Happy Cartoon Animation Day!
Quiz: Today is the birthday of Mickey Mouse. Legend says he got his name from Walt’s wife Lillian. What did Walt want to call him originally?

Answer to Yesterday’s Question: In what classic film did Humphrey Bogart say: “ Play it Again, Sam”…? below
History for 11/18/2007
Birthdays: Armelita Galli-Curci, Karl Maria Von Weber, W.S. Gilbert, Johnny Mercer, Astronaut Alan Shepard, Louis Daguerre, Brenda Vaccarro, Eugene Ormandy, George Gallup, Warren Moon, Pam Dawber, Delroy Lindo is 55, Owen Wilson is 37, Chloe Sevigny is 33, Animator Steve O.Moore

500 A.D.- Today is the Feast day of the Irish Saint Mawes, who was born in a barrel floating in the sea.

1602- In Transylvania, 22 year old English mercenary Capt. John Smith kills three Turkish warriors in single combat. The Voivode or Duke of Transylvania, Sigmund Bathory, allowed Smith to put three Turkish heads on his Coat of Arms. This is the same John Smith who will go to Virginia and meet Pocahontas in 1607.

1718- Francois Voltaire’s first major work, the play Oedipe premiered in Paris to triumphant success.

1863- Abraham Lincoln boarded a train to Gettysburg to deliver “a few appropriate remarks” to dedicate the new national cemetery there.

1865 Mark Twain's first story "The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County' published.

1883- Congress divided the United States into standard time zones corresponding to timetables set by the railroads.

1902- THE TEDDY BEAR BORN-The Washington Evening Star published a story of how President Teddy Roosevelt while hunting couldn't bring himself to shoot a grizzly bear cub. Cartoonist Cliff Berryman illustrated the incident with one of his signature “dingbat” bear cubs in a gesture of “oh no!” Brooklyn toymaker Morris Mitchcom sewed a doll from the illustration in the newspaper and sent the first one to the White House.

1928- HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICKEY MOUSE- At the Colony Theater in New York Walt Disney’s cartoon "Steamboat Willie" debuted- The first major sound cartoon success and the official birth of Mickey Mouse. Two earlier silent Mickey's had been done, but they were held back when the sound experiment went ahead.

1953- Singer Frank Sinatra had been having trouble with his sputtering career and his crumbling marriage to screen sex goddess Ava Gardner. This day songwriter Jimmy Van Heusen found Old Blue Eyes on his bathroom floor with his wrists slashed. Heusen bound his wounds then called his agent rather than the police. Sinatra recovered and soon his career revived and he had a new marriage. His subsequent rough use of women afterwards, calling them “broads” and using and discarding them may have come as a reaction to his rough treatment in the soft hands of La Gardner.

1963-The first push button telephones go into service.

1964- In a public statement to the press FBI director J. Edgar Hoover called Dr. Martin Luther King “The most notorious liar in the country!” This in response to the criticism Dr. King made that the FBI wasn’t trying hard enough to track down the murderers of civil rights workers. Hoover went to his grave believing Dr. King and the whole NAACP were communists.

1978- JONESTOWN- After visiting U.S. congressman Leo Ryan and his party are ambushed and murdered, 912 American members of the Rev. Jim Jones cult in Jonestown Guiana commit suicide, many with tubs of Kool Aid spiked with cyanide.

1985- Bill Watterson’s comic strip Calvin & Hobbs debuted.

Yesterday’s Question: In what classic film did Humphrey Bogart say:
“ Play it Again, Sam”…?

ANSWER: It was in the classic film Casablanca (1943), but he never said it.

Rick ( Bogart )

Stop playing that. You know what i want to hear.

Sam ( Dooley Wilson )

No I don't Mister Rick.


You played it for her, you can play it for me.


November 17th, 2007 saturday.
November 17th, 2007

Question: In what classic film did Humphrey Bogart say:
“ Play it Again, Sam”…?

ANSWER to yesterday’s question: Why are prostitutes known as Harlots, Whores and Hookers? Below.
History for 11/17/2007
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Vespasian 9 A.D, Florentine painter Il Bronzino, August Ferdinand Moebius-1790 the inventor of the Moebius Strip. WWII Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, Rock Hudson, Danny DeVito, Bob Mathias, Peter Cook, Martin Scorcese is 65, Lorne Michaels, Isamu Noguchi, Lauren Hutton, Tom Seaver, Gordon Lightfoot, Disney animator Les Clark, Lee Strassberg, Shelby Foote, Sophie Marceau, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio

1796- Russian Czarina Catherine the Great died at 67 years old of a stroke on the toilet, not crushed while trying to copulate with a horse as some scandalous rumors alleged.

1800- Following President Adams from their cozy homes in Philadelphia, Congress sulkily convenes for the first time in the half-finished Congress in the new Federal City. It was already being called Washington City D.C.. It was still mostly a damp muddy Virginia swamp. The only buildings up in operation were Congress, the Presidents Mansion and Conrads Tavern. Many complained that city planners Pierre L’Enfant and Benjamin Banocker had made the main avenues too big,, that there will never be enough carriage traffic to fill these roads. This first Congressional session couldn’t accomplish any meaningful work because there were not enough members present to make a quorum.

1853- San Francisco passed a law to put up street signs at the intersections of major streets.

1858- A Pennsylvania businessman named William Larimer founded a new town at the foot of the Rockies called Denver.

1869- The Suez Canal opened. The opera "Aida" was commissioned to be premiered for this occasion but Verdi missed his deadline by ten years.

1876- Peter Tschaikowsky's musical rhapsody the Marche Slav premiered.

1891- Polish pianist Jan Paderewski made his American debut at Carnegie Hall. Paderewski later followed by Stokowski create the cliché image of the grave eccentric classical music master with long flowing white hair combed straight back.

1934- LBJ marries LadyBird, For you born after the 60's, President Lyndon Baines Johnson married Claudia Alta Taylor whom he nicknamed LadyBird Johnson. Their daughters were LucyBird and LindaBird, so everyone in the family had the initials LBJ.

1941- Ernst Udet was a top World War One flying ace who was convinced by Herman Goring into helping build the Nazis Luftwaffe. He was responsible for developing the Stuka dive bomber and it’s screaming diving sound. But his conscience was troubled. One of the old Gallant Knights of the Air, he was depressed by the terror bombing of civilians and genocide his inventions were being used for. Sinking into drink and drugs, he finally shot himself. His last dinner that night he spoke of his adventures as a young ace with Von Richtofen the Red Baron, interspersing it with “Ahh, we were decent men then…”

1968- THE HEIDI GAME- NBC was broadcasting a football game between the New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders. The game was running late and would interfere with the broadcast of the movie "Heidi". The network heads felt with the Jets leading 32-29 with 65 seconds left, why disappoint the kiddies? So they pre-empted the rest of the game to start the movie. Oakland won 43-32 in a miracle comeback scoring the final touchdown in the final nine seconds. The embarrassed programmers had to answer nationwide firestorm of complaints from outraged football fans. So to this day on television no matter how dull a football game is, it is seen to it's completion.

1973- In a television address to the nation about the expanding Watergate Scandal, President Richard Nixon uttered the famous phrase:” People want to know if their president is a crook, well, I am not a crook!”

1988- Benazir Bhutto elected Prime Minister of Pakistan. While it is still argued if the US would elect a woman president, here is an example of a woman elected head of state in a Moslem fundamentalist nation.

1989- Don Bluth's animated film "All Dogs Go to Heaven."premiered. When the film premiered in London in Leicester Square the opening night tickets were distributed with a printing error on them, the last letter of the film's title was dropped off. So the title read “All Dogs Go to Heave.”

1993- Congress passed the free trade bill called NAFTA.
Answer to yesterday’s question:
Why are prostitutes known as Harlots, Whores and Hookers?

ANSWER: The Mother of illegitimate King William the Conquerer,was a tavern girl named Harlette. Whore may come from a European corruption of Houris, the 100 dark-eyed damsels the blessed of Islam will have in Paradise; another version says the word comes from Old German houra, one who desires. Hooker comes from Civil War Yankee General Fighting Joe Hooker. General Hooker like his sporting ladies so much he brought them along on the march, giving them their own wagon and escort. The men called them Hooker’s Girls, then just Hookers.

poster courtesy of Thirty years? Real for sure strange…”

1977 saw the release of the animated film Raggedy Ann & Andy. Directed by Oscar winner Richard Williams, music by Sesame Street cmposer Joe Raposo, animators included Art Babbitt the creator of Goofy, Tissa David the animator on the wonderful John Hubley shorts, Grim Natwick who created Betty Boop and Jerry Chiniquy who animated Yosemite Sam. It was produced by Broadway impresario James Horner who had just scored a major success with Richard Burton in Equus. Voices included Didi Conn, who was Frenchy in the film version of Grease, Mark Baker and Joel Silver. It was the most impressive team of talent for it's time outside of the Walt Disney studio.

Other animated films released that year included Disney's Rescuers and Bakshi's Wizards. Oh and there was that little thing called Star Wars. But Raggedy Ann is special for me, because for me and artists of our generation, it was like finishing school.

Funny how for a film that didn’t seem to do a lot of business back in 1977, a lot of people remember it as a fond childhood memory.
It was done at a time when the most advanced new technology in animated film was a Boston electric pencil sharpener.

The thirty year anniversary screening of Raggedy Ann & Andy, a Musical Adventure will be tomorrow at the American Film Institute at 3:00PM. We will see a 35mm scope print followed by a panel discussion of the film. Check the ASIFA site on my links for further details.

On hand will be Eric Goldberg, who created the Genii in Disney’s Aladdin, Barney Posner who was the cleanup artist of Jerry the mouse dancing with Gene Kelly in MGM’s Anchor’s Aweigh, John Kimball ( Ward’s son) who worked on Star Trek the Motion Picture, Darkwing Duck, Chalk Zone, Carol Milikan who later directed the Beavis & Butthead Show and many more veterans of the crew.

All proceeds will be to benefit the ASIFA/Hollywood Animation Archive. You are all welcome to join us, as we share memories of this flawed gem of a film.

My section that i worked mainly was the Taffy Pitt, animated by Warner Bros veteran animator Emery Hawkins.
Today’s Quiz: Why are prostitutes known as Harlots, Whores and Hookers?

Yesterday’s Question below: What is a faux-pas?
History for 11/16/2007
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Tiberius, Paul Hindemith, George S. Kaufmann, W.C. Handy, Burgess Meredith, Daws Butler , Bob Watson, Zina Garrison, Dwight Gooden, Maggie Gylenhall

HAPPY SADIE HAWKINS DAY! Fictional hillbilly race made famous by Al Kapp in his comic strip Little Abner.

1532- THE MASSACRE OF CAJAMARCA- Pizzarro tricked the Inca Emperor Athahualpa and his court into a narrow corral apart from their massive army with promises of a peace conference. The monk Fra Francisco Valverde gave a bible to the Great Inca declaring 'this is the voice of the Living God!" Athahualpa, who had never seen a book or European writing before, examined it over a minute, said "It says nothing to me" and dropped it in the dust. Then Valverde signaled and the Spaniards rushed out from all sides, slaughtering 9,000. Athahualpa was kept as a hostage and later strangled. Valverde became Archbishop of Lima, supervised the destruction of much of Inca culture, then was finally and eaten by cannibals in Ecuador.

1632- BATTLE OF LUTZEN- Largest battle of the Thirty Years War, the great European war where Protestant and Catholic countries chose up sides and battled for the dominance of their religions. The Catholic German-Spanish army of Archduke Wallenstein and the Protestant German-Swedes and of King Gustavus Adolphus pound each other all day. Gustavus had been shot out of his saddle while leading an attack and was on the ground when the Croat cavalry surrounded him. Recognizing a leader they said:"Who are you?" According to legend Gustavus answered:"I am the King of Sweden, who do seal the religion and freedom of all Germany with my blood!" Thereupon the Croats obligingly stabbed him to death. Duke Bernard of Saxe Weimar assumed command and the revengeful Swedes swept all from their path. Lutzen was the highpoint of the religious conflict. Wallenstein continued to lead the German Emperor's armies until his boss the Emperor assassinated him. The Thirty Years War continued until Catholic France joined the Protestant side and the Protestant Germans fought the Protestant Swedes and everyone who started it died and nobody could remembered what it was all ever about to begin with.

1788- KING GEORGE III COLLAPSES IN CONVULSIONS, the first signs of mental illness that would make him a blind shut-in for the last years of his reign. His condition is now known as a rare blood disorder called Porpheria, but then had no known cure. Bleeding and ice water dowsings was the standard 18th century medical treatments. He recovered for a time but the last ten years of his reign are called Regency Period, because even though he still was king his son the Prince of Wales ruled for him. George III's aides sensed something was not right with the King when while riding in his carriage in Hyde Park, George leapt out and called a large oak tree as the King of Prussia. He embraced the tree and shouted in French: "Aah, Le Roi du Prusse!"

1801- The first issue of the New York Post. Alexander Hamilton and his Federalists wanted a paper to print their views. Editor James Coleman once had to kill a man in a duel that morning and get back to the office to get the afternoon edition out. But the elitist snobs of 1800 could not see the lowbrow tabloid the NY Post would become in our time.

1906- Opera superstar Enrico Caruso was charged for pinching a ladies butt while visiting the Bronx Zoo. Caruso claimed a monkey did it.

1907- Oklahoma and Indian territories became a state.

1915-BIRTH OF THE COKE BOTTLE- The owners of Coca Cola were concerned that the success of their soft drink was being subverted by all the various cheap imitations. They decided if they had a distinctive bottle people would recognize genuine Coca Cola. This day the first Coca-Cola appeared in their distinctive curved little green bottles, created by the Ross Glass Co. of Indiana and bottled in Vicksburg Mississippi.

1924- THE MURDER OF THOMAS INCE- Thomas Ince was a film director and early Hollywood studio owner who’s property later became the site of MGM. This day he boarded William Randolph Hearst’s yacht Oneida for a birthday party in his honor. On the boat among the guests was Charlie Chaplin and Hearsts’ mistress Marion Davies. When the boat docked Ince was dead and everyone very troubled. The official cause of death was a heart attack but there was no autopsy or investigation and the Hearst press quickly hushed things up. The legend goes Hearst discovered Chaplin and Davies in flagrante-delicto and in a jealous rage shot Ince when he came in between them. We’ll never know for sure.

1932- VAUDEVILLE DIED- Vaudeville was the generic name for one admission to a showcase of short theatrical acts- singers, comics, jugglers, trained animals, etc. Vaudeville gave their first opportunities to many great twentieth century performers like Chaplin, Jolson, the Marx Brothers, Mae West , Gypsy Rose Lee and W.C.Fields. But it was slowly supplanted by more modern forms of entertainment like Movies and Radio. If you asked experts to pinpoint a date for the official end of the popular venue, many it would say it was the date that the New York Palace Theater on Broadway, the premiere palace for Vaudeville, switched from live shows to purely Movies.

1946- The Television Academy of Arts and Sciences founded. Fred Allen once said: "We call television a Medium because nothing on it is Rare or Well Done."

1960- CLARK GABLE DIED- The 59 year old star had just completed the film the Misfits, a film in which director John Huston demanded a great deal of physical exertion. Gable had told his agent that the unprofessional antics of his moody co-star Marilyn Monroe had driven him so nuts they were going to give him a heart attack. Clark Gable then had one after shooting and on this day while convalescing in Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital while reading a magazine a second heart attack killed him. He wrote his own epitaph but it was never used- "Back to the Silents."

1990- Disney’s feature film the Rescuers Down Under premiered. The first traditionally animated film to be painted digitally on computer instead of acetate cels and paints.

2001- The film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone premiered to great fanfare and massive box office. Harry Potter’s creator J.K. Rowling had been so poor she at one time had been on relief, now she was one of the richest women in the world, in England second only to Madonna and the Queen.

YESTERDAYS QUIZ-----------------------------------------------
Question: When John McCain in South Carolina the other day didn't apologize or correct the person who called Hilary Clinton a b*tch, that was called a Faux-pas. What is a faux-pas?

ANSWER: In Fencing it meant a false move, later at the Royal French court it meant a false step, which could mean a serious breach of etiquette and lost of status at court. When mistresses like Madame La Pompadour were presented at court, all would watch the way she bowed and withdrew from the throne, for hope of a faux-pas, that would drop her from favor.