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May 6th, 2007 sunday
May 6th, 2007

-SEVENTY YEARS AGO- 1937- Bill Cosby,George Carlin, Don Bluth and Robert Redford were born. J.R.R.Tolkien published the Hobbitt. The Hindenburg exploded, Aemelia Earhardt dissappeared, Japan attacked China, Daffy Duck and the antihystamine were invented.

-Seventy Years Ago- Animation artists finally did more than just whine to each other about lousy work conditions.

-Seventy Years Ago- animation artists did more than just screw one another to gain temporary advantage on one picture.

-Seventy Years ago- animation artists did more than moan about not getting a screen credit.

-Seventy Years ago- animation artists were not just grateful for every crumb that dropped from the table of their bosses for the priveledge of making them rich, and took real steps to create a stable livelhood for each other.

-Seventy Years ago- Animation artists didn't just think only of themselves, but stood shoulder to shoulder and laid it all on the line to make things better.

-Seventy Years Ago- Animation Artists united and went on strike for the first time, against the Max Fleischer Studio in New York.

- They were mostly young people, in their twenties. New practicioners in a new technology. There was no safety net if they failed, blacklisting was common. But they belonged to an age of joiners, people who saw more value in united action than going-for-yourself.

-With that spirit they made headlines, made Hollywood major studios like Paramount buckle and sent a message across America- animators are not magicians or gnomes who live under the rainbow, but men and women who pay bills and deserved respect.

All who work in the business of animation owe these brave people a debt of gratitude. I salute them all.

p.s. for those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, go get my book Drawing the Line and turn to chapter 4.
(sheesh, ya jes can't get an uplifting message without a &*%# commercial..)

-Seventy Years Ago- Unity, an old idea that maybe needs a second look.

Birthdays: Maximillien Robespierre, Sigmund Freud, Rudolph Valentino, Orson Welles, Robert Peary, "Say Hey!" Willie Mays, Stewart Granger, Toots Schoor, Andriana Caselotti- the voice of Snow White, Ruben Hurricane Carter,Anne Parillaud- Nikita in La Femme Nikita, Britains PM Tony Blair, George Clooney is 47

1919- Wizard of Oz creator L.Frank Baum died of heart disease at 62. He was trying at the time to buy real estate in Los Angeles for an Oz- theme amusement park.

1937- Seventy Years Ago- THE FLEISCHER STRIKE-Cartoonists vote to strike Max Fleischers Studio after Max fires 13 animators for union activity and complaining about the 6 day work week. The strike was settled several weeks later when parent company Paramount forced Max to concede. Strikers sang "We're Popeye the Union Man! We're Popeye the Union Man! We'll Fight to the Finish, Cause We Can't Live on Spinach ! We're Popeye...etc."

1937- The Society of Motion Picture Art Directors formed.

1949-EDSAC invented in England. The first computer that could store programs in it’s memory.

2001- Variety reported that the Walt Disney Company in promoting their upcoming summer film Pearl Harbor canceled the plans for Pearl Harbor Happy Meals at MacDonalds as being in bad taste. Hmmm…do ya think..?

2003- A giant tornado destroyed the factory in Jackson, Tennessee that produced most of the world’s supply of Pringles Potato Chips.