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February 27, 2007 tuesday
February 27th, 2007

QUIZ: What do film directors George Lucas, Tim Burton and Joe Dante have in common? (answer below)

Birthdays: Roman Emperor Constantine the Great –280AD, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Steinbeck, Ralph Nader, Joanne Woodward, Marion Anderson, Chelsea Clinton, Franchot Tone, William Demarest, James Worthy, Mirella Freni, David Sarnoff the founder of NBC network, Adam Baldwin, Elizabeth Taylor is 75

1814- Beethoven’s 8th Symphony premiered.

1827- The first Mardi Gras celebration was held in New Orleans. Mardi Gras parties were first held by the French colonists of Mobile Alabama in 1709. From there the custom spread to the Big Easy.

1860- Abraham Lincoln gave a speech at the Cooper Union Institute in New York declaring himself a potential candidate for President: " A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand." The elite New York audience at first snickered at the Illinois man’s high nasal Western twang- "Meester Cheerman, Ah Thankee", but they soon were inspired by his words. He received a standing ovation when he finished. That previous day he first posed for photographer Matthew Brady who made a famous photo that was copied and recopied around the country. Lincoln later said:" Brady and the Cooper Institute made me president."

1919- Gustav Holst’s orchestral piece The Planets, first premiered.

1939- The US Supreme Court outlawed sit down strikes. This was accepted in the patriotic climate of war tension but like all restrictions on labor rights it is still in effect today.

1956- Elvis Presley released song Heartbreak Hotel.

1958- Columbia Pictures mogul Harry Cohn died of old age. His ruthlessness was legend in Hollywood. He once said " I don't get ulcers, I give them!" Hedda Hopper said:' You have to wait in line to hate him." The entire Columbia staff was ordered, not asked, to attend a memorial service. Looking at the large crowd around the coffin Oscar Levant (or it may have been Red Skelton) quipped: "You see, give the people what they want and they'll show up."

1973- 200 members of the American Indian Movement led by Russell Means and Dennis Banks take over the Wounded Knee historical site. They hold it and attract world attention to the plight of the Native American before surrendering to the F.B.I. in May. After their release from prison Means and Banks kept up their activism. Russell Means went into acting and among other roles did a voice in Disney's 1995 cartoon Pocahontas.

QUIZ: What do film directors George Lucas, Tim Burton and Joe Dante have in common?

ANSWER: They all enrolled in animation class in college. Joe told me he actually wanted to be an animator first, but his college in didn't have an animation program, so he switched his major to film.