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May 20th 2007 Sunday
May 20th, 2007

Birthdays: Honore Balzac, Jimmy Stewart, Leon Schlesinger, William Fargo of Wells Fargo, Moshe Dayan, Henri Rousseau, Dave Thomas, Ted Bessell (Donald to Marlo Thomas’ “That Girl”), Japanese baseball great Sadaharu Oh, Antony Zerbe, Bronson Pichot, Joe Cocker, Busta Rhymes, Cher is 61! "Gypsies, tramps and thieves..."

1830 - D Hyde patented the fountain pen, replacing the goose quill .

1873- Mr. Levi Strauss of San Francisco patents Jacob Davis’ process of riveted blue jeans. The fabric he used was originally invented in the French city of Nimes which had been concerned about what to make now that sailcloth was no longer in big demand. They called the new stuff Serge De Nimes, or Denim. One alteration Levi Strauss made was to remove a rivet that was at the base of the crotch. It seems when Cowboys squatted around the campfire, that rivet got red hot and caused much whoopin’ an a’ dancin’.

1891- Thomas Edison demonstrated an early prototype of kinetoscope- a motion picture machine- to his wife's friends at a party. The footage was of engineer W.K.L. Dickson and his associates dancing. Edison that night writes a letter about his movie machine to photographer Edweard Muybridge: " I doubt it will ever have any commercial value.."

1892-J.P. Morgan creates the General Electric Company and maneuvers inventor Thomas Edison off the board of directors.

1916- Artist Norman Rockwell sold his first painting for a Saturday Evening Post cover.

1926 - Thomas Edison says Americans prefer silent movies over talking pictures. He also felt the flat record disc could never replace the cylinder.

1937-The Cinema Editor's Guild started.

1937- Bob Clampett promoted to director at Leon Schlesinger’s Looney Tunes Studio. Clampett, whose mother hand sewed the first Mickey Mouse dolls for Walt Disney. After leaving Looney Tunes Clampett created the Beany & Cecil Show for early television.

1975- In a small warehouse in Van Nuys California, George Lucas assembled an effects crew to create the film Star Wars. The crew included John Dykstra, Richard Edlund and Don Trumbull. It is the birth of Industrial Light & Magic, or ILM.

1979- The last Saturday Night Live show done by the original cast. Many of them had their 5 year contracts up and wanted to do something else. Plus producer Lorne Michaels was feuding with NBC chairman Fred Silverman and wanted to leave. So goodbye Lorne Michaels, Gilda Radner, Lorraine Newman, Garret Morris, Bill Murray and Al Franken, Hello Jean Doumainian and Joe Piscopo! Lorne Michaels came back to the show a few years later and has produced it ever since.

1984- Hanna Barbera’s “The Smurfic Games”.

1993 - Max Klein, the inventor of Paint by Numbers sets, died at 77. President Eisenhower once passed out paint-by-numbers sets to his senior cabinet so their paintings could adorn the West Wing offices. Imagine seeing on your wall an original Nixon or Curtis LeMay!

2000- Disney's all CG film Dinosaurs opened. Originally supposed to be live action with Phil Tippett's studio doing the effects, it later became the first project of Disney's all CGI unit the Secret Lab. It wound up being ten years in the making.

2003- Disney's THE RESCUERS was reissued on DVD.