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The National Cartoonist Society Reuben Awards held at the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel were a great success. The award has been given since 1946 to all the tops in cartooning art. Think of it like the Pulitzers of toontown. 380 of the most famous cartoonists from all over North America and even Australia were at the black tie event.

Congratulations to Dave Coverly, who won top honors as Cartoonist of the Year. A big shout out also to my friend Mort Gerberg of the New Yorker, for winning Best Gag Cartoon.

Animation was certainly the talk of the weekend, as many popular strips in fading daily newspapers are looking to get their stuff animated on the web. Representing the art of animation was Glen Keane, Eric Goldberg, Bert Klein, Stephen Silver, David Silverman, Chad Frye and myself. Eric and Burt are on terrible deadline OT to finish Princess and the Frog, but they still attended. Unfortunately as far as we could see, none of the nominees or winners from TV or Feature animation categories had made it.

While other cartoonists tearful thanked their families and friends and said this was the proudest day of their lives, when the animation winners were announced, there were long periods of silence, no one was there to accept them.

In past years we've had to defend the animation categories from those in the NCS who wanted to drop them, figuring the Annies are enough for us. So its' going to be hard to explain this year when we do the post mortem. Next time if you know you can't make it, please try to arrange for someone to go up and accept on your behalf.

As a proud animator, I hope we in animation make a better showing next year, so as not to spoil it for future winners.

Quiz: Who sang the solo vocal on the original theme song of Star Trek?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Why is Memorial Day in the US celebrated at the end of May, while England and Canada celebrate it in November?
History for 5/24/2009
Birthdays: Jean Paul Marat, Queen Victoria, Walt Whitman, Emmanuel Leutze, Bob Dylan by 68, Gary Burghoff, Priscilla Presley is 64, Patti LaBelle, Tommy Chong of Cheech & Chong, Frank Oz, Jim Broadbent is 60, Alfred Molina is 56, Kristin Scott Thomas is 49, Ray Stephenson is 45

1429- Near Champagne, Joan of Arc was pulled off her horse and captured by the Burgundians. The independent Duchy of Burgundy then was the area where Belgium and Lorraine are today. They sold her to the English, who put her on trial as a witch. The French king, Charles VI, whom Joan had re-conquered half of France for, did absolutely nothing to help or ransom her, as was the custom with noble prisoners. She was tortured and burned at the stake. While other kings are nicknamed Lion Heart or The Great, Charles VI nickname is Charles "The Well-Served."

1543- Astronomer Nicolas Copernicus died in Frombork, Poland. He made sure his powerful book ‘Die Revolutionabus Orbium Coelestrum’, ‘On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Bodies’, would be published after his death. Legend says that after thirty years of trying to get it published, on his deathbed his friends laid the first copy on his pillow. The old scientist smiled and died. In the book, he mathematically proved the Earth went around the Sun instead of visa-versa and that the Earth rotated on its axis daily. The Pope, Martin Luther and John Calvin all agree that Copernicus was crazy. In Scripture, hadn’t Joshua commanded the Sun to stand still? One question historians debate is whether Copernicus was a priest or not. He worked for the Archbishop of Gniezno as a lay-clergyman that didn’t have to take Holy orders. No record exists of his saying a Mass. He never married, but he lived with his housekeeper like man and wife.

1590- In Rome, construction of the great Dome of Saint Peters Basilica completed.

1626- MANHATTAN BOUGHT FROM THE INDIANS- Dutchman Peter Minuit stopped several Indians he found on the island and negotiated a purchase of the land for $24 dollars in trade goods, which at the time was not a bad price. To the Indians the purchase and ownership of land was crazy ("Why not also buy the clouds?"-Chief Seattle), and besides, the Hackensack-Lanapii Indians weren’t even from that area, they were just hunting. Manhattoes is old Algonguin meaning " island of little hills". The Lenapii were named Canarsie by Frenchman Jacques Cartier “duck people”(canard) because their village on the Jamaica Bay (just west of present day J.F. Kennedy Airport,) was surmounted by a totem topped with the image of a duck.

1647- With the English Civil War almost over, the various factions of the Parliamentary side start to bicker and pull apart. Presbyterians and Puritans squabble over the spiritual direction of the nation and, on this day, Parliament ordered the dissolution of Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army. The Army refused to disarm and instead marched on London- General Cromwell declared: "This army is no mere assemblage of mercenaries but the true embodiment of the will of the English people!” From this point on, King Charles I, currently a prisoner in Scotland passing the time by learning to play a new game called “Golfe” would be encouraged to restart the civil war. Cromwell's Army, not Parliament, now became the only real power in English politics.

1804- On their route up the Missouri River, Lewis and Clark came ashore at Boone’s Settlement Missouri, near what will one day be Kansas City. They bought butter and corn. Did Lewis and Clark meet old Daniel Boone? Lewis’ diary pages for that day are lost.

1830 –The poem "Mary Had A Little Lamb," was written.

1844- Samuel Morse sent the first telegraph message. From Washington to Baltimore it said:"What Hath God Wrought." The message was from the Bible- Numbers 23:23.
Samuel Morse considered himself an artist first and did a little inventing to pay the bills. He heard a French inventor had speculated about the idea of telegraphy so he decided to build a working model and invented the Morse code system of representing letters with dots and dashes. Members of Congress and octogenarian former First Lady Dolley Madison was present at the ceremony. By the decade’s end, twenty thousand miles of telegraph wire criss-crossed the country.

1850- America’s first nationwide newspaper/magazine Harpers Weekly began.

1853- First cases reported of Yellow Fever Epidemic in New Orleans. The city had swelled with ethnic immigrant Irish and Germans who had been forced to live and work in the low-rent swamp districts. 2,000 people or 10% of New Orleans population died in just four months, at the rate of 200 a day. The disaster was later evoked by Anne Rice in her book “ Interview with the Vampire.”

1883-The Brooklyn Bridge Opened. After 14 years and 27 deaths, including the architect John Roebling, and the crippling of his son Washington Roebling, President Arthur and the Mayor of New York walked out on to the span to be met at the middle by the Mayor of Brooklyn. At this time the Brooklyn Bridge was the tallest structure in the world.

1899 - 1st auto repair shop and car garage opens: The Back Bay Cycle and Motor Company of Boston.

1929- The Marx Brothers first movie comedy” The Coconuts” premiered.

1935- The first Baseball night game- Reds vs. Phillies.

1941- The German Battleship Bismarck sinks the largest warship in the British Navy, HMS Hood, when a lucky shot explodes her internal ammunition stockpile. The news shocked a world accustomed to the invincibility of the British Navy.

1950- Married movie star Ingrid Bergman shocked American morality by having an open love affair with neorealist film director Roberto Rosselini. This day they were finally married but the outcry of conservatives about this “Apostle of Degradation” was such that her image needed a makeover, so she played Saint Joan.

1954 - IBM announces vacuum tube "electronic" brain that could perform 10
million operations an hour.

1958 - UP & International News Service merge into United Press International

1991- Tri-Star Pictures 75 million-dollar mega-flop "Hudson Hawk" opened.
Star Bruce Willis, whose fee was $17 million, blamed the film’s costs on union filmworkers’ rates being too high. He would return to his car after a day’s shooting to find it covered with animal excrement. The film almost sank his career. Willis’ next two films, "Death Becomes Her" and 'Pulp Fiction", he did for scale. In 2000 he made a $100,000 dollar donation to the SAG/AFTRA strike fund.
Yesterday’s Quiz: Why is Memorial Day in the US celebrated at the end of May, while England and Canada celebrate it in November?

Answer: For those who are curious why America celebrates Memorial Day in May instead of November 11th like most of Europe, it is because of our Civil War. The main Confederate field armies surrendered in early April; it took this long to stop the final hostilities, the final action happening on May 27th. Once the countryside was finally at peace, the U.S. government declared a Day of Remembrance of the fallen. An abolitionist named James Redpath began having black children in South Carolina decorate the graves of fallen union soldiers with flowers. The early name of this holiday was Decoration Day.