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January 27th, 2008 sun
January 27th, 2008

Now that Lionsgate has signed an interim deal with the WGA, they can resume making the second season of Mad Men.
Bliss! Created by one of the main writers of the Sopranos, for some strange reason HBO passed on this show. But two Golden GLobes proves its got quality. It does a great job of evoking the Madison Ave advertising age of 1959-1960. I came into making commercials just as that era was ending, but I remember some of those grey flannel suit guys when I was a freelancer for Jack Zander, Perpetual, Blechman and Ovation Films. Zanders was in the Young & Rubicom Building on Madison and 40th St. Everyday packed in an elevator with a horde of these guys in the same suit and Jimmy Breslin style ochre raincoat. Back in the days when you didn't hide the bar in your office, every desk had an ashtray and they didn't trust you if you didn't drink scotch.
QUIZ: What is the origin of the term Red Tape?

Yesterdays question answered below: Who coined the term a Last Ditch Effort?
History for Jan. 27, 2008
Birthdays-Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is 253, Kaiser Wilhelm II, Charles Dodgson-better known as Lewis Carroll, Eduard Lalo, William Randolph Hearst, Samuel Gompers, Jerome Kern, Skitch Henderson, Donna Reed, Bridgette Fonda is 44,, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Kate Wolf, Ross Bagdasarian a.k.a. David Seville- creator of Alvin and the Chipmunks, Alan Cumming, James Cromwell is 68, Mimi Rogers is 52

Today is celebrated as Thomas Crapper Day, when we recognize the inventor of the indoor toilet. Besides making life more comfortable his systems of valves and vents preventing waste odors and germs from re-entering the home. This did a lot to combat disease in the 19th century.

1307- The poet Dante Alighieri got his ass kicked out of Florence. At least being exiled from politics left his mind free to concentrate on his poetry, like the Divine Comedy.

1888- The first magazine published of the National Geographic Society.

1900- Italian opera composer Guiseppi Verdi died. On his instructions no music was to be played at his funeral.

1918- Warner Bros. Pictures incorporated. The Brothers Warner- Sam Albert, Harry and Jack were the sons of Jewish immigrants who had moved from Poland in 1882 and set up a bicycle repair shop in Ohio. Their first movie was Five Years in Germany. Throughout the 1920’s their little studio survived making pictures with dog star Rin Tin Tin. They called him the Mortgage Lifter, because the profits from his pictures paid their bills. Later they bought Vitagraph and gambled with the new Sound technology. When they made the Jazz Singer with Jolson, Warner Bros became a major studio.

1925- IDITEROD- THE SERUM RUN BEGAN- At this time Nome Alaska was totally depended on supplies brought by sled dog teams. When a serious outbreak of diptheria threatened to become a major epidemic Alaska had only two airplanes, and they were boxed up for the winter. Governor Scot C. Bone decided to get the vaccination serum to Nome by a relay of twenty mushers in the depth of winter, temperatures averaging around -40 degrees below zero farinheight. It normally took a dog sled twenty days to cover the 650 miles, but these men did it in 5 days 7 hours, limiting the epidemic to only 5 deaths.
This day the serum arrived by train at Nenana sealed in a metal cylinder wrapped in furs and was loaded onto the first dog sled. Wild Bill Shannon called out to his malamutes and mushed down the frozen Tanana river into history. The Iditerod dog race run in memory of this.

1926- Englishman John Logie Baird demonstrated his televisor system- the first true television image.

1927- Charlie Chaplin’s short comedy The Circus premiered.

1944- WAS WALT A RED? Walt Disney donated money and may have attended a tribute to leftist cartoonist Art Young in New York. Art Young was a close friend of John Reed and Louise Bryant, founders of the American Communist Party. The F.B.I. noted the event was sponsored by the radical socialist newspaper The New Masses and other attendees included progressives like Paul Robeson, Langston Hughes, Ernest Hemingway and Carl Sandburg.
Disney was already a founding member of the Hollywood Society for the Preservation of American Ideals, a grouping of conservative Hollywood celebrities meant to counteract the rampant Hollywood Liberals. Disney later became an F.B.I. informant, but like Reagan, it may have been after the F.B.I. reminded him of his attendance at this little soiree'....

1948- The Wireway Company announced the first tape recorder for sale using the new magnetic tape. It cost $150.

1973- Henry Kissinger and Li Duc To sign the Paris Peace Accords ending U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. President Nixon hailed the agreement as Peace with Honor but the defeat traumatized a generation of Americans and confused the public as to just what the American role in the world really was. Kissinger and Li Duc To won the Nobel Peace Prize for that year. Li Duc refused to accept it because his country was still at war. “if there's no peace, it would be hypocritical to receive a prize for it!" Henry the K didn’t have a problem accepting it and went to Oslo. North Vietnam overran South Vietnam two years later.

1992- Presidential candidate Bill Clinton was denounced by a woman named Jennifer Flowers of having a 12 year extramarital affair with her when governor of Arkansas. He goes on 60 Minutes with his wife Hilary and calls her a liar. Of course we now know they did have an affair, but hey, that’s politics.
Yesterdays question: Who coined the term a Last Ditch Effort?

Answer: In 1672 France invaded Holland and occupied most of the country. When a sympathetic English minister said to Dutch leader William of Orange, why don’t you admit your cause us lost? William replied:” A cause is not lost until you die in the last ditch.” William not only drove out the invaders, he became King of England in 1688.
During the American Revolution, the citizens of Westmoreland issued a grandiloquent proclamation in 1778 saying, 'In War We know but one additional Obligation, To die in the Last Ditch or uphold our Nation'. So a Last Ditch Effort means a final desperate attempt.