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I just heard about the death of Charlie Downs. Charlie was one of the young animators promoted by Ward Kimball to build his TV animation crew. Charlie did beautiful work on the Disneyland Show, as well as Beany & Cecil, the Pink Panther, the Banana Splits, the Taarna Seq of Heavy Metal and the Pirate Captain in Raggedy Ann & Andy.

I didn't know him as well as I knew other animators, but I did do some of his inbetweens on Ann. Barney Posner and Mitch Rochon were doing his cleanups. The work was intricate and challenging. I learned a lot from it. Later during the citywide cartoonist strike of 1982, Charlie kept us all laughing doing the picketline in a pith helmet and roller skates, and later playing Dixieland Jazz with John Sperry.

Charlie suffered from debilitating illnesses in late life and spent his final years in a home. He was 81. But I will prefer to remember him in his youth as Charlie Downs,wild free spirit, and Charlie Downs, Disney Animator.

Question: In Hollywood, what are the Coogan Laws?

Yesterday’s Quiz Answered below: What was the name of Winston Churchill’s bulldog?
History for 7/22/2007
Birthdays: Emma Lazarus, Eduard Hopper, Gregor Mendel, Alexander Calder, James Whale, Oscar De La Renta, Rose Kennedy, Stephen Vincent Benet, Jason Robards, Bob Dole, David Spade, Terence Stamp, Danny Glover, Alex Trebek, Bobby Sherman, Don Henley, William Dafoe, John Leguizamo, Albert Brooks- real name Albert Einstein, a nice name but already taken

1502- Amerigo Vespucci and a Portuguese expedition return from exploring the coast
of Brazil. It's popular nowadays to claim Columbus was ripped off by a German mapmaker from the credit of discovering America, but there's more to it than that. Columbus went to his grave believing he had discovered the outer coastline of Asia. Vespucci, after exploring from Brazil to South Carolina was the first to press the idea that this new coastline was not Asia, but something quite different. A new continent.

1793- THE MACKENZIE EXPEDITION- No, I’m sorry, but Louis & Clark weren’t the first white men to explore the American Continent to the Pacific. This day a party
of French-Canadian voyageurs and Scottish trappers led by Alexander Mackenzie reached the Georgian Straights in British Columbia ten years earlier. MacKenzie had been trying since 1789 to find the Pacific shore of Canada and stake British claims to
the great Canadian Northwest. In 1790 Mackenzie started out from Lake Athabasca
and followed a river that took him to the Arctic ocean instead of the Pacific -oops!
don’t you hate when that happens !? This time he reached the right salt water. His
1801 book "Travels to the Pacific" was studied and debated intensively by President Thomas Jefferson and his aide Meriwhether Lewis. It is the prime reason the U.S. plans for the Lewis & Clark expedition to the Pacific were given a top priority. For the first time since Christopher Columbus white settlers at last understood just how big the North American continent was-Mackenzie correctly estimated it was about three thousand miles wide.

1862- EMANCIPATION- President Abraham Lincoln called a secret cabinet meeting at
the White House in the dead of night. Abe opened the session by reading jokes from
a newspaper by humorist Artemus Ward. The cabinet officers exchanged confused glances. Secretary of State William Seward found Abe’s folksy-hillbilly humor annoying. He wondered if the Old Tycoon would ever get to the point. Lincoln then shocked them
all when he said that he intended to free the slaves by presidential proclamation
without the consent of Congress. Seward convinced him not do it until there was
a Union battle victory, because to do so at the then bad state of affairs would
look more like a last act of desperation. In a few weeks the Battle of Antietam
was fought, which wasn’t a great victory, but it was at least it wasn’t an embarrassing defeat, so then the Emancipation Proclamation was announced.

1864- THE BATTLE OF ATLANTA- Confederate leader John Bell Hood attempted to break the siege of the Atlanta by William Tecumseh Sherman. At the beginning of the fight Sherman’s gifted corps commander General Dan MacPherson was killed by a sniper. MacPherson was admired by the generals of both sides. Had he lived, many predicted he would have been President of the US. When MacPherson’s successor General John Logan asked for orders, Sherman told him "Just Fight’em. Fight them like Hell!" Hoods attempts at a break out failed and when Sherman threatened his last escape
route Hood abandoned Atlanta Sept. 2nd.

1921- Artist Man Ray arrived in Paris determined to go Dada!

1933- Wiley Post completed the first solo flight around the world. The following
year Post would die in the same plane crash as writer Will Rogers.

1934- Public Enemy #1-John Dillinger was shot down by G-Man Melvin Purvis coming
out of the Biograph Theater on Lincoln Ave. in Chicago. He had just seen Clark
Gable and Myrna Loy in Manhattan Melodrama. Dillinger 's identity was betrayed
by Anna Sage, the Woman in Red, a German-Romanian prostitute who didn't want
to be deported. As they came out of the theater Purvis shouted “STICKEM UP JOHNNIE!” Dillenger went into a crouch and went for his gun. Purvis and his men blew him away. Anna Sage was deported anyway. Melvin Purvis became the most famous lawman in America and in so doing earned the enmity of his publicity-hungry boss J. Edgar Hoover. Hoover slowly hounded Purvis out of the bureau and ruined his career. In 1961 Purvis took his own life with the same gun used to kill Dillinger. The F.B.I. sent no flowers or condolences to his family despite his being their greatest single field agent.

1967- Jimi Hendrix quits as opening act of the Monkees' tour.

1977- Walt Disney’s film "The Rescuers" featuring the last work of Disney
master animator Milt Kahl.

2002- Worldcom files for Chapter 11, the largest bankruptcy in US history. This
while the CEO Bernard Ebbers was building himself a new $94 million mansion. Ebbers got 25 years in the pen, and Worldcom reorganized as MCI. In 2003 the US Government awarded them a no-bid contract to build a cellular telephone system in Iraq.
Yesterday’s Quiz: What was the name of Winston Churchill’s bulldog?

Answer: He didn’t own one. He had a tabby cat named Nelson, a budgy named Toby and standard black poodle named Rufus.