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July 8th, 2007 sun
July 8th, 2007

Today I learned of the passing of Silas Rhodes. In 1947 Silas teamed up with Burne Hogarth to create the Cartoonists and Illustrators School in New York City. In 1956 they diversified their program and changed their name to THE SCHOOL OF VISUAL ARTS.

Cartooning and animation instructors included Will Eisner, Harvey Kurtzman, R.O. Blechman, Shamus Culhane, Howard Beckerman, Bill Gallo, Don Duga, Gil Miret, Marty Abrams, Ralph Bakshi, Doug Crane and Yvette Kaplan.

Past alumni in cartooning and animation include Art Speigelman, Drew Friedman, Bill Plympton, Russell Calabrese, Ray Billingsley, Yvette Kaplan, Alex Kuperschmidt, Barry Caldwell, Bat Lash, Maurice Hunt, Keith Haring, Prez Romanillos, Kevin Petrilak, Lenny Graves, Ed Wexler, Rob LaDuca, oh.. and!
Silas and Milton Glaser. Funny, I don't remember Silas in a suit. I always saw him in the 1970s in a fringed leather jacket and floppy suede cowboy hat. Kind of Kris Kristofferson via Bleecher St.

Silas and Dave Rhodes built SVA into one of the most successful independent colleges in the US.
Silas was 91. A good long life. My condolences to the Rhodes Family.
B-Dazes: Jean de LaFontaine the creator of Puss & Boots, John D. Rockefeller Sr, Nelson Rockefeller, Kathe Kollwitz, Count Ferdinand Von Zeppelin, Louis Jordan, Billy Eckstine, Steve Lawrence, Percy Grainger, Cynthia Gregory, Phillip Johnson, Kim Darby, Marty Feldman, Roone Arledge, Kevin Bacon, Billy Crudup, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, Angelica Huston, Raffi

951AD- Happy Birthday Paris!. The Roman city of Lutetia-muddy place- was built on the site of a Gaulish village inhabited by a tribe called the Parisi. This date was when the Franks established a castle on the present day site of the Louvre. Despite Viking raids and floods the city slowly began to grow.

1835- The Liberty Bell cracked. It rang for the Declaration of Independence and was being rung for the death of Chief Justice John Marshall.

1889-The Wall Street Journal first published.

1889- The last great bareknuckle championship fight. John L. Sullivan defeated Jack Kilrain in Mississippi for a purse of $20,000. After 60 rounds one of Sullivan’s eyes was shut, he was covered with welts and blood was showing above his shoes. When his manager recommended declaring a draw Sullivan said:" Hell no. I want to kill him!" He won after 75 rounds. Sullivan was one of the first flamboyant prizefighters and the first American fighter to declare himself Champion of the World. He’d travel from town to town building his legend:"I’m John L. Sullivan and I can lick any man in the house!"

1907-The First Ziegfield Follies, staged on the roof of the New York Theater, now called the New Amsterdam Theater.

1911- Burbank incorporated as a city.

1918- A young American ambulance driver serving in Italy during the First World War gets badly wounded by shrapnel fire. His name was Ernest Hemingway. His long recovery and love affair with his nurse he later worked into his novel "A Farewell To Arms".

1922- Horn player Louis Armstrong left his hometown of New Orleans to go to Chicago and play in King Oliver’s Jazz band.

1932- THE DEPRESSION STOCK MARKET HITS ROCK BOTTOM - free falling since the Great Crash of October 1929, and compounded by the Harley-Smoot trade act of 1931, which started a trade war that killed off overseas exports. From a Dow Jones high in the Roaring Twenties of 262, today’s average hit bottom at 58 (today the Dow is routinely over 10,000 ).Only 720,278 shares exchanged. One local club wallpapered the bar with unsold bond certificates. The Bond market lost around ten million in value, Total output of heavy industries like steel production were working at only 12% of capacity. 20% of the U.S. workforce was unemployed, 50% of New York City, 80% of industrial cities like Detroit and Toledo. Top Wall Street securities firms like Morgan and Salomon Brothers encouraged "Apple Days"- one day a week for brokers to go on the street to sell apples to supplement their income. One songwriter wrote a song about the unpopularity of stock traders: " Please Don't Tell Mother I Work on Wall Street, She Thinks I Play Piano in a WhoreHouse. " The just completed Empire State Building was nicknamed the "Empty State Building." because there were no businesses to move into it. Yet President Herbert Hoover could only spout unrealistic slogans like "the economy is fundamentally sound" and "prosperity is just around the corner." Mt. Rushmore sculptor Judson Borglum said: "If you put a flower in Hoover's hand, it would wilt !"

1932- Tod Brownings disturbing movie "Freaks" about a family of circus sideshow performers, premiered. One of Us, One of Us!

1961-YEAH, BABY YEAH!! Upon arriving at Cliveden, Estate of Lord and Lady Astor, Britains Secretary for War Sir John Profumo was introduced to Christine Keilor, a 19 year old party girl swimming nude in the pool. Profumo and Lord Astor chased Christine around the pool trying to pull her towel away while bejeweled guests arrived for a party. It was bad enough that the married Profumo started a hot affair with Christine but also her manager Stephen Ward was connected to an East German Communist spy ring. The Profumo Scandal brought down the MacMillan Tory Government in 1963.

1982- Walt Disney's TRON- the first film claiming to be made chiefly with computer graphics premiered. It only was about 20 minutes of actual CGI and the computer images were still printed onto traditional animation cells and painted, but it was still a significant achievement. Remember in 1981 there were no off the shelf graphics software. Everything written was proprietary. Wavefront wouldn't exist for several years and Parallel processing didn't really get going until '84. Warping or morphing was about 4 years away in the future. The big deal at the time was that MAGI had just solved the "hidden Line" problem. Modern artists making SHREK or FINDING NEMO would shake their heads at this because now this is all so basic that it isn't even thought about anymore. But back then even a slight change in design could take days to compute.

1998- An original 1477 William Caxton copy of Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" became the world's most expensive book when it was sold for £4,621,500 to billionaire oil heir Paul Getty.