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November 08, 2007 thurs.
November 8th, 2007

Mark Mayerson reported recently on his blog that my old boss Disney CEO Michael Eisner has bought the Topps Chewing Gum company, and wants to merchandise the cartoon character Bazooka Joe. I thought it was a gag at first, but the story is confirmed by the Beat and USA Today. Michael is quoted as saying ” It won’t be Raiders of the Lost Ark…. but Bazooka Joe is my new Mickey Mouse!” Uh, huh…okay...

Going tonight to see PBS animation producer Linda Simenski be awarded the Discovery Award by the Zimmer Children's Museum Foundation. Congrats Linda!

QUIZ: What is origin of the term, a smart-aleck?

Yesterday's Question answered below:

history for 11/8/2007
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Nerva, Bram Stoker, Sir Edmund Halley, June Havoc, Margaret Mitchell, Joe Flynn- the cranky Captain Binghampton in the 60’s TV comedy McHales Navy, Ricky Lee Jones, Bonny Raitt, Dr. Christiaan Barnard, Ester Rolle, Katherine Hepburn, Parker Posey, Gretchen Mol, Tara Reid

1519- Spanish Conquistador Hernan' Cortez first met the Aztec Emperor Montezuma II. Cortes was guided by Malinche', the "Pocahontas of the Aztecs". This noblewoman guided Cortez's little band into the heart of the empire. Conquistador Bernal Diaz described how after dinner the Spaniards were given tobacco pipes to smoke, but a special pipe with different tobacco was given to Montezuma, after smoking it "The Emperor became merry, as we do when drunk with wine.." Cortez was also offered vanilla beans and a cup of chocolate, then a bitter brew called Tchocolatl.

1789- Elijah Craig first distilled whiskey from Indian corn and strained it through a wool blanket. He lived in Bourbon County, Kentucky, so the stuff soon became popularly known as Bourbon.

1793- In one of the positive results of the Reign of Terror, the French Revolutionary Government opens the royal art collection of the Louvre to the public as a museum.

1805- Lewis and Clark stand on the sand at the Pacific Ocean near the mouth of the Columbia River.

1880- Famous actress Sarah Bernhardt made her American stage debut in La Dame aux Camelias. She made a further ten tours of the US, all billed as Farewell Appearances.

1887- Dentist-gunfighter Doc Holliday dies of tuberculosis or consumption at 35. He knew he had it for a long time, and in those days it was considered fatal and incurable. Some say this knowledge is what made him such a bold pistolero. But unfortunately for him, he won all his gunfights and died in bed anyway. His last words after taking a shot of whiskey were:" Well, I'll be damned!"

1910- Patent for the first electric bug-zapper. FHZZZZITT !

1910- Congressman Victor Berger of Wisconsin became the first Socialist to be elected to Congress. Revisionist histories since the Red Scares and the Cold War tend to ignore the achievements of the American Socialist Party. But in the first decades of the 20th century a number of big city mayors and congressmen were socialists. In the 1912 presidential election when Woodrow Wilson won by a slim one million votes third party socialist Eugene Debs polled over a millions votes.

1923- When it sounds like they would be found out early Nazi leader Adolf Hitler put into motion his attempt to overthrow the German government. Because they started in a beer hall in Munich the coup is called the Beer Hall Putsch.

1926- New York Mayor Jimmy Walker, a former vaudeville hoofer who wrote the hit song: "Will You Love Me in December like You do in May? ", met chorus dancer Betty Compton at the musical "Okay" and fell in love. His romancing his mistress openly in front of New York Society, not to mention in front of his wife, is the scandal of the Roaring 20's. Forced to resign as mayor after a probe unearthed volumes of corruption within his administration Jimmy tried once more to run for mayor against Fiorello Laguardia in 1933. But he was blocked by the Roman Catholic Cardinal of New York and NY Governor Franklin Roosevelt, who had just become president and found Walker an embarrassment. Jimmy Walker and Betty Compton lived in Europe for the next ten years. In 2000 married NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani lost the chance to run for the US Senate in part because he made open appearances at shows and dinners with his girlfriend.

1929- New York’s Museum of Modern Art opened.

1943- The first one man show of American abstract painter named Jackson Pollock. Pollock later created his brushless dripping form of painting that earned him the nickname:”Jack the Dripper”.

1950- In Korea two Chinese MIG fighters tangled with US Sabre jets. The first jet-to-jet dogfight.

1952- The Supreme Court upholds a 1922 ruling that Baseball a sport, not a business. Therefore it is exempt from anti-trust laws.

1965- The Days of Our Lives soap opera first premiered on TV.

1966- Former actor and SAG president Ronald Reagan elected Governor of California.

QUESTION:On Hollywood movie sets, what are Honeywagons?

ANSWER: Multiple mobile dressing rooms that go on location. They got that named because they were originally the dressing rooms for the many leggy showgirls of the big Busby Berkeley musicals.