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I learned today of the death of Dave Hilberman.

image courtesy of Tee Bosustow

Dave Hilberman was an important animator-layout artist at Walt Disney Studios in the 1930s. He spent time in Leningrad in 1930 with the Futurist Theater there and met Maxim Gorky, Mayakovsky and Vertov. He was a leader of artists in the Walt Disney Studio Strike of 1941, and for that earned the lasting animus of Walt Disney. When Walt testified to HUAC in 1947, he personally named Dave as a communist. Dave was one of the central founders of UPA and the UPA style.
He moved to New York and founded Tempo Productions, which was also hounded to extinction by the Commie chasers.
After some time abroad he and his wife Libby settled in Palo ALto where he taught at San Francico State.

Dave was a friend and an inspiration. He and Libby gave unstintingly for my book about the strike, Drawing the Line. I was proud that they could see it before they left. I wish I could have given a copy to Art Babbitt, Bill Hurtz and Selby Kelly.

Dave and Libby were not only great artists and teachers. They were an inspiration to all of us in animation. That our convictions are sometimes more important than temporary material comfort. That a life lived on principal, for the sake of our community, was more valuable than a life spent just seeking wealth. A life lived that way gave them both an inner peace that I found impressive. They knew in the end that they were right, and they had no regrets.

Thank you Dave and Libby Hilberman from all of us in animation, who continue to benefit from your sacrifices. Rest in Peace and I hope we shall all meet again one day.
Birthdays: John Calvin, Marcel Proust, James McNeill Whistler, Carl Orff, Camille Pissarro, Adolphus Busch the founder of Budweiser beer, George DiChirico, Jacky "Legs" Diamond-a gangster who was shot so many times it was said he could attract a magnet, Arlo Guthrie, Jake “Raging Bull” LaMotta, Joe Shuster- one of the creators of Superman, Fred Gywnne, David Brinkley, Arthur Ashe, Camilla Parker Bowles

1040 - Lady Godiva goes for a ride on horseback in the nude to force her husband, the Earl of Mercia, to lower taxes on the poor.

1099- The magical-mystical knight of Spain Rodrigo de Bivar, called El Cid, died at the castle of Valencia. The Cid had taken a loosely written promise from King Alfonso of Castile that he could keep any territory he took from the Moors, and used it to build a private army, capture the city of Valencia and rule it as an independent prince. Nine years after his death his wife Ximena surrendered Valencia to the Almohavid Moors, but the legend of El Cid Campeador, the Conquerer-Champion lived on.

1925- THE SCOPES MONKEY TRIAL-Tennessee school teacher John Thomas Scopes went on trial for violating a state law forbidding the teaching of evolution to children. Scopes was defended by famed lawyer Clarence Darrow sent by the ACLU, the prosecutor was William Jennings Bryan. The trial evolved (forgive the pun) from a small claims misdemeanor to a debate on Charles Darwin’s theory itself. This day the media descended upon the little town of Dayton Tennessee, which had hoped to attract attention for its slumping economy. It was the first trial broadcast live on Chicago radio WGN nationwide. Hundreds of spectators attended from hillbillies with squirrel rifles, a chimpanzee in a suit called Mr. Joe Mendy to famous newspaper columnist H.L. Mencken, packing 4 bottles of bootleg scotch and a typewriter. Darrow humiliated Bryan in the debate but Scopes was found guilty and fined. The ban on teaching evolution remained on the books in Tennessee until 1967. Evolution is still under attack in the U.S. today, now by the issue of Intelligent Design. Even I got some work out of it.

1950 - "Your Hit Parade" premieres on NBC (later CBS) TV.

1953- NIKITA KHRUSCHEV takes power in Moscow. After the death of Josef Stalin there was the inevitable shuffle of bureaucrats jockeying for top job. Commissars Bulganin, Malenkov and Molotov tried to hold power but the little bald Ukrainian with the big smile had the last laugh. At a secret meeting of the Presidium Khruschev arrested Laventi Beria, Stalin's dreaded chief executioner. Beria, a perv who liked black silk sheets, underage girls and personally torturing prisoners, broke down and wept for his life before he was shot. Khruschev was more merciful with his other rivals: Bulganin was made manager of a Siberian power station, Molotov was made ambassador to Outer Mongolia. Comrade Khruschev held power until 1964. His earthy humor, like taking off his shoe and banging it on the table to get the attention of the United Nations General Assembly was great material for political cartoonists.
As Alan Sherman sang to the Mexican Hat Dance" Some people like to dance the Twist,-Oh Boy! Khruschev that bald Com-une- nist, Hoo Boyy!"