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June 5th, 2009 fri.
June 5th, 2009

A friend of mine from Disney sent on her memories of that June in China during the Tienahmen Sq crackdown.

Wow, I had forgotten, I was there, the artists of Pacific Rim animation studio, all of ink and paint working on The Little Mermaid ( in 1989, when the studio in Burbank was overwhelmed and the deadline looming, Disneys sent some Mermaid work overseas, especially the bubbles, which had to be hand inked. The studio was south of the capital in Jiangshu Province.)

All of my girls and the rest of the studio marched in protest and support for the students in Beijing, the guys in the background dept came down to ink and paint and "borrowed" chip board from the Mermaid scenes to make protest signs. ( chip board were large, stiff, cardboard cards that are used to wrap animation scenes in.)

I watched them all march into the great park next to the studio, myself and Leo Sullivan looking out the window. Leo saying:" This is history", and "what would you do if the police opened fire on your kids right now?" I said I would go down and stand with them, Leo replied "No you would not, you would go home, we all would go home."

Who knew? That event took place the week before June 4th 1989.

I reused the chip boards and sent them back to Disney Burbank. I know somewhere in the studio archives today, someone has some yellowing animation paper, wrapped with a "live free or die "on the chip board.

Cartoonist Selby Kelly (1917-2005) once said:" Everything in Life is Politics. You just can't stay out of it."

Quiz: The Zamboni is the rolling device that cleans ice hockey rinks. Where was it invented? Halifax? Buffalo?

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: Are airplane black boxes, actually black?
History for 6/5/2009
Birthdays: Socrates, Pancho Villa, Thomas Chippendale -furniture maker, not male strip club owner, Igor Stravinsky, Archduchess Anastasia Romanov, Frederico Garcia Lorca, Dean Acheson, Bill Moyers is 75, Hopalong Cassidy, Tony Richardson, Kenny G., Lancelot Ware the founder of Mensa, Spaulding Gray, Mark Wahlberg

221B.C. - The Chinese poet Chu Yuan drowned himself as a protest of an unjust Emperor. His memory is remembered by the annual Dragon Boat Festival. People decorate boats like dragons and created dumplings to drop into the river to dissuade fish from eating the remains of the poet.

1305-"The BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY"- King Phillip the Fair of France makes a deal with a cardinal to help him become elected as Pope Clement V. The cost is Clement has to move the entire Vatican from Rome to Avignon in French territory. The Holy See stayed in France about 150 years.

1455- Poet FrancoisVillon gets thrown out of Paris again, this time for stabbing a priest in a bar fight. Gotta watch out for priests in bars....

1502- LEONARDO GETS A JOB- This day Leonardo Da Vinci was hired by Caesare Borgia as a military engineer. Borgia was the son of Pope Alexander VI and wanted to conquer Italy for the Church. The artist-scientist Leonardo had promised Borgia he could design horrific war making devices like tanks, flame-throwers and poison gas. Most of these things were impractical for the Renaissance but Borgia used him to map the topography of the lands he intended to conquer. After a few months the Pope died and the new Pope exiled Caesare Borgia. Leonardo went on Renaissance Craigslist again.

1661- Isaac Newton admitted as a student at Trinity College Cambridge.

1876- At the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition, Americans become enamoured of an exotic new food- Bananas.

1884-Retired General William T. Sherman refused the Republican Convention's call to run for President. He was the first to say: "If nominated I will not run, if elected I will not serve." The "Hero of Georgia" hated politicians and newspapermen. He commented: "I have a happy life. The day after I announced myself a candidate for office I would read in the newspaper how I poisoned my grandmother. I never knew my grandmother, but there the story would be, in full lurid detail!"

1915- Britain’s greatest general Earl Horatio Kitchener the Sirdar of Omderman drowned when the HMS Hampshire was sunk by a German mine in the English Channel. The British recruiting poster with the image of Kitchener pointing at you with fierce eyes fixed saying I WANT YOU! was later copied by American James Montgomery Flagg, substituting Uncle Sam for the general.

Kitchner was Secretary for War but by this time had lost much of his influence in government. P.M. Lord Asquith was moved to comment "the man makes a better poster than a leader".

1916- Grand Sherif Hussein of Mecca launched the Great Arab Revolt against the Turkish Empire. We in the west don’t remember Hussein as much as his British military advisor, a moody young man named T.E. Lawrence or Lawrence of Arabia.

1940- The synthetic rubber tire invented.

1944-In London General Eisenhower received reports that the storm system over Europe would lighten slightly. If he postponed the Normandy invasion any further he risked losing the favorable tide conditions until September. Ike launched the largest amphibious invasion in history with the words: " I don't like it, but I don't see any other way.- Okay, let's go."

1963- BRITAIN ENTERS THE 60'S, BABY...The Profumo Scandal. Sir John Profumo was defense minister, protege of Prime Minister Harold MacMillan and a rising star in Tory politics. This day Profumo resigned in disgrace and brought down the government, when it came out he was keeping a 19-year-old `party-girl' named Christine Keilor as his mistress. She was not only sleeping with married Sir John but was also dating a known Russian spy.

1964 - Davie Jones & King Bees debut "I Can't Help Thinking About Me," The group disbanded but Davie Jones went on to success after changing his name to David Bowie.

1967- The Arab-Israeli SIX-DAY WAR began. Egypt’s President Gamal Nasser sent tanks into the United Nations mandated Sinai Peninsula and cut off Israeli shipping in the Gulf of Tyran. Israel knew the coming war with its four neighbors was imminent. This day without waiting, Israel launched it’s own preemptive strike. Leaving only twelve jets to protect the entire country, at dawn they sent out their entire 300 plane airforce to attack the Egyptian, Syrian and Jordanian air forces on the ground. 400 planes were destroyed in two hours. Israeli commander Ytschak Rabin said by then the war was already over. The Israeli tank division Ugdah Peled rolled into the West Bank and attacked Jordanian armor near Jenin.

1968- SENATOR ROBERT F. KENNEDY ASSASSINATED at 12:15 AM in the kitchen area of the Ambassador hotel in LA after winning the California Presidential primary. Depressed by the slaying of Martin Luther King in April, Bobby Kennedy had said: "The only thing between me and the Presidency is a gun." The assassin was a Palestinian waiter named Sirhan Sirhan. He picked the one-year anniversary of the Arab-Israeli Six-Day War to do the deed. "Kennedy you son of a bitch!" he shouted as he fired two shots into the back of his skull. RFK lingered for a day. He was 42. His eldest son watched his father get shot on live television and never got over it. He died of a drug/alcohol abuse several years later. Sirhan Sirhan is still in jail today and the Ambassador Hotel has been bulldozed for a High School.

1976- In a wine competition outside Paris, California wines won for the first time. Santa Maddelena Chardonnay for whites and Stags Leap Cabernet for the red. It marks the moment when the dominance of French wines was broken, and California wines went from being a joke to world class status.

1981- The U.S. Center for Disease Control published the findings of scientist Michael Gottlieb on the pneumonia’s of six L.A. patients to be something new called Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS. Cases had been reported as early as 1975 and there is an ongoing argument whether Gottlieb or a French team at the Pasteur Institute discovered the disease first.

1989- Toronto’s Skydome Stadium opened. Home team Blue Jays lose to the Milwaukee Brewers 5-3.

1998- Reuters and ABC News erroneously reported the death of 96 year old Bob Hope. Arizona Congressman Robert Stump announced the comedian’s death on the floor of the House, to the great surprise of Hope who was eating breakfast at the time. Bob Hope lived four more years, dying at age 100.

2004- Ronald Reagan, The Gipper, the Great Communicator, The Teflon President, FBI informant T-10, Arrow Shirt model, Forty Mule Team Borax salesman, Hippie bashing California Governor and the oldest living US president, died at age 93.
Yesterday’s Question: Are airplane black boxes, actually black?

Answer: They are orange actually, and at times wrapped in plastic.