Monday, July 18, 2016

Tom Sito's Month In History

President emeritus Tom Sito reviews significant historical sign-posts of July:

July 1, 1941- THE FIRST TV COMMERICAL - During the live coverage of a Brooklyn Dodgers-Philadelphia Phillies baseball game the first FCC sanctioned television commercial aired. It was for the Bulova Watch Company.

July 1, 1970- Hanna Barbera’s attempt to revive the adult primetime animated series with “Where’s Huddles?” It lasted one season.

July 2, 1982- Don Bluth’s The Secret of Nimh premiered.

July 2, 1986- Walt Disney’s The Great Mouse Detective released in theaters.

July 4, 1905- Los Angeles developer Abbott Kinney had broke with his partners over the plans for the Santa Monica Pleasure Pier. He moved down the coast to some marshy wetlands and built a new community with canals, lagoons and gondolas. VENICE California opened on July 4th. In 1925 the City of LA got rid of most of the canals and gondolas. Venice went on to be a seaside mecca for beatniks, hippies, weightlifters like young Arnold Schwarzenegger and VFX houses.

July 4, 1956- MIT’s TX-1 Whirlwind computer added an adapted typewriter keyboard to enter data. The first computer keyboard.

July 5, 1934- The San Francisco General Strike- 100,000 San Franciscans refuse to go to work in a spontaneous demonstration to protest Governor Frank Merriam’s use of the National Guard to shoot striking longshoremen on the Embarcadero. The third largest city in the U.S. was completely paralyzed. Gov Merriam declared martial law but the tanks in the street were helpless. On the 5th day San Franciscans all went back to work.

July 6, 1957- Chuck Jones short “What’s Opera, Doc?” debuted. July 8, 1982- Disney’s TRON premiered.

July 9, 1993- Industrial Light & Magic completed its transition to digital technology by shutting down its Anderson Optical Printer. The Optical Printer system of mattes had been the way VFX had been done since 1909, but the Digital Revolution had changed everything.

July 13, 1925- Walt Disney and Lillian Bounds marry. Lillian was one of the first female animation ink & paint artists.

July 17, 1955- Disneyland opened.

July 17, 1968- George Dunning’s The Yellow Submarine. featuring the Beatles premiered in London.

July 17, 1999- Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbors The Yamadas premiered.

July 18, 1939- MGM tried a sneak preview of the film The Wizard of Oz. Afterward they debated cutting the song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" as slowing down the pace. Finally they decided to leave it in. The film debuted in August to wild success and acclaim.

July 20, 1973- Bruce Lee died of a cerebral edema one month before his last film Enter the Dragon premiered. The handsome martial arts star single-handedly made Kung Fu a national craze and the Kung-Fu film a regular in world movie theaters.

July 21, 1954- The Fellowship of the Ring, first book of J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings, first published. Fellow author C.S. Lewis said the book “came forth like thunder on a summers day..”

July 22, 1989- Nintendo released the Gameboy.

July 23, 2004- Two armed men enter the Munch Museum in Norway and stole Edvard Munch’s masterpiece The Scream. It was recovered with some water damage in 2007.

July 25, 1943- The Birth of L.A. Smog! A newspaper headline from this date mentioned a ‘gas attack’ of exhaust and haze that reduced visibility to three short blocks.

July 25, 1984- The Lucasfilm Graphics Group (later Pixar) released their first short The Adventures of Andre and Wally B.

July 25, 1951- CBS conducts the first broadcast of color television. NBC made color TV popular in the mid 1960’s.

July 26, 1951- Charlie Chaplin driven into exile by anti communist red-baiters.


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