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Oct 8, 2006 Animation Stigmata
October 8th, 2006

Ink and Paint Department at Warner Bros,1962. Courtesy of Annie Guenther.

Speaking of Martha Sigall, for those who are worried that my book on union history will be dry-dull stuff, just full of wage scales and negotiations for residual percentages, here is an excerpt :

Nowadays, everyone is sensitive to the issue of sexual harassment. In Hollywood's Golden Age, guys who got fresh with girls were joked about as wolves and tomcats. But a woman who complained about a butt pinch was called a killjoy or an Old Maid. -----Martha Sigall tells a story of a big-breasted painter who had to endure a certain male animator who liked to reach around from behind and squeeze her breasts while she tried to paint. When she complained, she was just laughed at as a spoilsport. Finally she came up with a solution. She lined a padded bra with sharp steel pushpins points-out, and covered it with a loosely fitted silk shirt. When the animator in question grabbed the "booby traps", he let out a howl. Marked as he was with this curious form of stigmata, the miscreant was cured of such behavior.
( Drawing the Line: Chap 1, Page 27.)

Birthdays: Eddie Rickenbacker, Rev Jesse Jackson, Juan Peron, David Carradine, Art Babbitt -the creator of Goofy, Chevy Chase, Paul Hogan, Rona Barrett, Johnny Ramone, Sigourney Weaver is 56, Matt Damon is 35

1907- Charles Frederick Dow, one of the founders of the Wall Street Journal, started his system of charting the average performance of industrial stocks, the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

1929- British Imperial Airways shows the first in-flight movie.

1933- HOLLYWOOD ACTOR'S FIRST MASS PROTEST- When Franklin Roosevelt created the NRA to fix wages and prices to try and solve the Depression, he even went as far as to try to regulate Motion Picture rates and fees. The catch was the rates were drafted with the advice of friends of the studio heads in Washington. The actors went ballistic when they saw new rules such as a ceiling cap on actors salaries of $100,000 a year (the producers had no such cap), restriction of actors independant agents, and terms of an old salary contract would stay in effect even after the contract expired until it was renegotiated.
This night at the El Capitan theater on Hollywood Blvd. hundreds of moviestars met to draft a petition calling for rewriting of the codes. The activists included Paul Muni, Frederic March, Jeanette MacDonald, Groucho Marx and Boris Karloff. SAG president Frank Morgan (the Wizard of Oz) was considered politically too far left to face Roosevelt, so he stepped down in favor of comedian Eddie Cantor, who had helped Vaudeville acts unionize. In previous meetings at the El Capitan the earth tremors from the Great Long Beach Earthquake the previous March made actors reconvene in the Grauman's Chinese parking lot across the street. Cantor went to the president's retreat at Warm Springs Georgia with the petition and had the hated articles taken out of the code.

1945- "Bloody Monday" During a big strike Three hundred and fifty armed thugs club their way through picketing Warner Bros. film workers. Jack Warner had stationed sharpshooters behind the studios billboards. A logo on the studio wall said:"Better Movies through Better Citizenship", which the union folk changed to "Better Movies through Better Marksmanship". Similar scenes were happening in front of Fox and MGM.

1957- Walter O'Malley announced the move of the Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles.

1957- Jerry Lee Lewis recorded his hit single Great Balls of Fire.

1966- LSD is added to the list of illegal drugs.

2004- Home decorating guru Martha Stewart began serving her 5 month prison term for perjury and insider trading.