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March 24, 2007 Saturday
March 24th, 2007

I just got a wonderful letter from a person in Paris, France. With his permission, I want to share it with you.

Dear Tom Sito,

I got your email address through my good friend Didier Ghez with whom I have shared my passion for Disney and animation in general for many years.

I have just finished reading your book, Drawing the Line, and I wanted, not only to congratulate you for it but also to thank you for having opened a whole new field regarding the history of animation. I had always heard only one side of the (in)famous 1941 strike and thought that unionism had had dire consequences for Disney and that, after it, it was never the same. Of course, it was never the same but that was not the strikers' only fault.

As you wrote in your conclusion: "I don't think you can truly understand the evolution of the American animated film without knowing the story of the animated union. [...] I think Herb Sorrell, Bill Littlejohn and Moe Gollub had just as big an impact on the animation industry as Walt Disney and Chuck Jones". How true. And how necessary it was to - at last - present a empathic view of those who dared challenge the big studios and the big bosses.

I do not have lesser respect for Walt Disney (and other animation geniuses) but I gained a greater respect for the animators and artists and technicians who just wanted to be, in Shamus Culhane's words, "somebody".

Thanks again

Sébastien D.

Birthdays: Steve McQueen, Ferlingetti , Ub Iwerks (the first Disney animator), John Wesley Powell, Harry Houdini aka Eric Weiss, Edward Weston, Roscoe Fatty Arbuckle, Clyde Barrow of Bonnie & Clyde, Bob Mackie, Robert Carradine, Laura Flynn-Boyle, Alyson Hannigan, animator Joe Barbera

1912- Sir Arthur Conan-Doyles adventure novel The Lost World, first published in magazine installments. It set the standard for all the Land-of-the-Dinosaurs stories.

1934-The Major Bowes Original Amateur Hour debuted on radio. It became a national craze to see who could be a future star. Frank Sinatra was among their finds. The show eventually moved to television and later spawned the Ted Mack Amateur Hour, Chuck Barris the Gong Show, Star Search and American Idol.

1939- The film the Hound of the Baskervilles premiered with actors Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson . They became the most famous interpreters of the characters and went on to make a dozen more films.

1943 - The first Japanese anime’ feature "Momotaro's Sea Eagles" premiered.

1955- Tennessee William's "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" debuts at Broadway's Marosco Theater. Barbera Bel-Geddes was the first Cat and Burl Ives was " Big Daddy".

1958- Elvis Presley inducted into the Army.- G.I. Blues!

1962- No one had been a more loyal supporter of President John F. Kennedy than Frank Sinatra. The singer got his Ratpack friends to stump for the candidate and even got Mafia money to support a man who’s brother Bobby was busy busting the rackets in Congress. But the President was warned that association with such a known libertine would cost him family values votes one day. So when Kennedy next visited Palm Springs he not only refused an invitation to stay with Sinatra but he did stay with more wholesome singer Bing Crosby, a Republican! Sinatra in a rage took a sledgehammer to the extra guest cottage he was preparing for JFK and broke off his friendship with JFK’s brother-in-law actor Peter Lawford.

1973- In Buffalo a drunk fan bit rock singer Lou Reed on the ass.

2005- A Colorado Rockies baseball game was called off on account of bees. The bee swarms were attracted by the coconut oil in the pitchers hair gel.