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Ya know shipmates, sometimes folks new to animation come to me and say:" Tom, just what the heck is ASIFA? Some kind of Israeli terrorist organization?" And I laugh, why? well, because I'm a jolly idiot who laughs a lot for no apparent reason.

Anywho, ASIFA was started in 1961 by progressive artists around the world who rejected the closed paranoia of the Cold War and wanted to share information and their common love of the art of animation. John Hubley(USA), Fyodor Khytruk(USSR),Bob Godfrey (UK) Paul Grimault(France), Nedjelko Dragic and Dusan Vukotic' (Yugoslavia) and Marcel Jankovic" (Hungary) and a number of others were the founders. Canadian Norman McClaren was the first president. They got an official charter from UNESCO because in the early 60s it was felt the United Nations was the best hope for world peace, and nothing was credible on an international level unless sanctioned first by the UN. This is of course, before multi-national corporations usurped all the real authority of nation states. Since the UN did everything in French, ASIFA means Association Internationale du Film Animation.

Today there are ASIFA chapters all around the world, they sponsor international festivals of animation like Annecy, Hiroshima, Ottawa, Zabreb and Varna. I am the vice president of ASIFA/Hollywood. You can visit our website at Our animation archives is become THE go to place for rare and hard to see animation art. ASIFA was given the complete archives of Disney nine old man Les Clark, Mike Lah and John K among many others. They are on line for you to study and enjoy. ASIFA also provides free screenings of the top feature cartoons and seminars.

ASIFA still remains the neutral arena all animators go to, and all fans and newcomers gather to meet the people who make the cartoons we love. Check out a chapter near you, and join and support the ASIFA movement.

Then you too can be the one to explain to your friends just what the heck ASIFA means.

ASIFA/Hollywood volunteers helping save wall murals done by legendary Disney artist Dick Huemer in the 1930s for his childrens playroom. When the original Burbank house was demolished, the family asked ASIFA to help save the murals.

Birthdays: Diego Velasquez, Pierre Corneille. Alexandre Pushkin, Nathan Hale, John Trumbull, Thomas Mann, The Dalai Lama, Klaus Tennestedt, Bjorn Borg, Dana Carvey, Richard Crane, Harvey Fierstein, Dr. Karl Braun, Walter Chrysler, Isaiah Berlin, Aram Kharachaturian, Sandra Bernhard, Paul Giamatti is 40

1683- The worlds first public museum , the Ashmolean, was opened. English archaeologist Elias Ashmole donated his collection of curiosities to Oxford University for the students to study. A building was commissioned from Christopher Wren and the museum opened to the public this day.

1727- BATTLE OF THE DIVAS- In Old London at this time the rage was for Italian Operas. Many international musicians made lucrative livings singing for Britons. Italian soprano Francesca Cuzzoni was the reigning star but a rival arrived in town named Faustina Bodoni. This night at His Majesty’s Theatre Covent Garden with the Princess of Wales in attendance as Bodoni tried to sing Astianatte, Cuzzoni fans booed, hissed and shouted so much a fight broke out. Soon the two rival singers were up on stage tearing each others hair out, fistfights in the pit and scenery being pulled down. Composer George Frederich Handel laughingly accompanied the mayhem with an impromptu solo on kettledrums.

1925 - Walter Percy Chrysler founded Chrysler Corp.

1933-The first Drive In movie opens in Camden, New Jersey.

1939- Playright Eugene O’Neill had hit a dry spell of no writing and fears of impending Parkinsons disease. This day he got the inspiration to sketch out two outlines for two potential plays- The Iceman Cometh, and Long Days Journey into Night.

1941- Actor George Raft wrote a memo to studio head Jack Warner reminding him of his contractual commitment to send Raft only good quality scripts. The latest he got: " The Maltese Falcon" was a lousy substandard idea that has no chance." Humphrey Bogart did the film instead.

1942 – Adeline Grey does the first nylon parachute jump in Hartford Conn.

1944-D-DAY, the NORMANDY INVASION- General Dwight Eisenhower launched 4,000 ships, 11,000 planes and 150,000 troops on the shores of Nazi occupied France with the order: "Okay. Let's go.". In Moscow where the Soviets had been begging for a second front, there was wild celebrations and Radio Moscow played "Yankee-Doodle" all day. Eisenhower had planned that green troops be used in the first wave. "If they knew what was waiting for them like the veterans know, they wouldn't go." Many technological innovations were tried including floating pre-fabricated harbors "mullberries" and amphibious vehicles. Some were duds like the "swimming tanks" Sherman tanks with a large rubber donut around them. 36 tanks were launched into the waves and 32 sank almost immediately.
In the assault were future Senator Robert Dole, Disney key assistant Dale Oliver and Warner artist Victor Haboush. Sergeant Baumgarden drew on his jacket a large Star of David and wrote "Bronx, N.Y." under it to let Hitler know who was coming. Many of the infantry had rolled condoms onto the muzzles of their guns to keep sand and water out of them. Famed war photographer Robert Capa leaped into the surf before the landing barges reached shore and walking backwards with the whole Nazi army shooting at him photographed the first G.I.s landing on Omaha Beach. His 22 rolls of film were later ruined by an inept lab developer.
The German High command was taken completely by surprise. When the invasion happened many officers were coming home from a weekend seminar on how to fight an invasion, and Hitler had taken a sleeping pill and left orders not to be disturbed.

1949-Comic strip character Joe Palooka gets married to Ann Howe.

1949-BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING- George Orwell's book about technological tyranny -1984 was first published. Orwell's working title was "The Last Free Man", but the publisher thought it too depressing to sell. So Orwell picked the date 1984, who's only significance was that it was the year he was writing 1948- reversed

1955 - Bill Haley & Comets, "Rock Around the Clock" arguably the first rock and roll hit, gets to #1 in the charts.

1972 - David Bowie releases "Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust"

1976- The Glendale Galleria shopping mall in Glendale Cal. opened.

1991 - NBC announces Jay Leno would replace retiring Johnny Carson, winning out over David Letterman. Letterman proceeded with his plans to move his Late Night Show to CBS.