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February 8, 2007 thursday
February 8th, 2007

Jerry Beck reminds us, ASIFA-Hollywood's annual event, The Annie Awards, are being bestowed this Sunday in a star-studded presentation at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. VIP tickets are sold out, but I've been told there are still a few general seats available. The pre-show reception starts at 3pm, the award ceremony begins at 5pm and the gala post-event party (this year in a tent behind the theatre) starts around 7:15pm. I can't make it this year because I have to fly to Boston, but I predict winners like
Best Features-Cars, TV Show Samurai Jack, Short- Dreams and Desires,
and lots of other stuff. Enjoy!

Birthdays: Jules Verne,James Dean, William Tecumseh Sherman, composer John Williams, animator Ivan Ivano-Vano, Lana Turner, Jack Lemmon ,Alejandro Rey, Ted Koppel, Nick Nolte, Buck Henry, Gary Coleman, Robert Klein.
Happy Birthday to Yoouuu..

1608- Fire burns down what there is of Jamestown, most of the colonists remaining food supply, and their Alan Mencken sheet music.

1672- THE SPECTRUM- Earlier in 1666, Sir Issac Newton bought a little prism stone at Stourbridge Fair. It inspired him to think about the principles of light. On this day he presented his paper to the Royal Society “New Theory about Light and Colors”. Newton discovered the Spectrum. That white light is not light devoid of color but made up of all colors which when broken up in a prism always assume the same spectral pattern Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.

1864- Abraham Lincoln visited Matthew Brady's Photo Studio and posed for the photo's that would one day be on the Penny and Five dollar bill.

1893- THE FIRST RECORDED STRIPTEASE -discounting Salome’ of course. At Paris's famed Moulin Rouge, an artist's model named Mona decided to get an edge in a beauty contest judged by art students by disrobing to music while walking up and down the stage. She was arrested and fined 100 francs and the students rioted over her arrest. Vive le France!

1915- THE BIRTH OF A NATION or The Clansman premiered at Clunes Auditorium in Los Angeles. Film pioneer and son of a Confederate veteran, D.W. Griffith's racist movie was considered for years the first American feature length film. Only recently, the discovery of a 1913 Richard III film predates it. It is thought nowadays that Griffith was making a personal statement by the film, truth is there was a flood of Civil War films to mark the 50th anniversary of the conflict and the book the Clansman by Thomas Dixon was a hot property. President Woodrow Wilson ( another son of the South ) called it :"History written with a thunderbolt and I’m afraid all too true." Birth of a Nations’ inflammatory imagery and this politically incorrect Presidential endorsement helped a rebirth of the long dead Ku Klux Klan and caused a marked increase in lynchings of African-Americans. But despite the film’s unfortunate politics its technique influenced world cinema and established once and for all the feature film length as the standard for all future motion pictures. It’s original running length was 3 hours. D.W. Griffith in latter years lost his fortune and became a drunken has-been. Watching him at Chasen's Restaurant, in the 1940’s, beg MGM studio head Dore Schary for work, inspired Billy Wilder to write SUNSET BLVD.

1928- Englishman John Logie Baird transmitted a still television image across the Atlantic from England to Hartsdale New York. It was a still image of a woman.

1961- Nebraska teenager and future movie star, Nick Nolte was busted for the first time. He was accused of selling fake Draft cards so his friends could buy alcohol. He was arrested for drunk driving in 2003.

1966- The Vatican closed its office of censorship.

1967- Georgy Girl by the Seekers goes to #1 in pop charts.

1994- Jack Nicholson destroyed the windshield of a neighbor's car with a golf club, screaming “You cut me off!” He settled the matter out of court.

2002- The death of Sheldon Allman. He was 77. Sheldon was the lyricist of television songs like George of the Jungle and Mr. Ed .” A Horse is a Horse Of Course, Of Course”