1935: Paperbook Books Start a Revolution
Once upon a time, Allen Lane, Chairman of the London publisher, The Bodley Head was returning home after traveling with author Agatha Christie and her husband. At the train station, he browsed the kiosks looking for something to read on his way home. All he could find were magazines or low-quality paperback stories that he had no interest in reading. Then the thought occurred to him that people, like himself, might be more inclined to read good quality books if they were more affordable. And since he was in the position to help build up lagging sales for his company, he ventured into printing previously hard-back books into a paperback format. The first was released on this day in 1935. Penguin Books featured no photos and were priced about about a fifteenth the price of a hardcover book. His books began to show up in places like drug stores. The company produced ten books and about one million of those Penguin books were sold within the first six month of publishing. Those ten books were: The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie; Madame Claire by Susan Ertz; A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway; Poets Pub by Eric Linklater; Carnival by Compton Mackenzie; Ariel by Andre Maurois; Twenty-Five by Beverly Nichols; The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy Sayers; Gone to Earth by Mary Webb and William by E.H. Young.
1932: The First Full Color Cartoon
Walt Disney’s first colored cartoon, Flowers and Trees was released on this day in 1932. It is important because it was the first commercially released film to be produced using the full color, three-strip Technicolor process after several years of two-color Technicolor films. Disney already had the short in production as another black-and-white release, but scrapped it and started again from the beginning. It won the first Academy Award for Animated Short Subjects. Ironically, Mickey Mouse and friends did well enough on their own to be seen in black-and-white and there they remained until 1935’s The Band Concert.
- 1929: Sid Krofft (TV producer)
- 1939: Peter Bogdanovich (film director)
- 1941: Paul Anka (singer)
- 1945: David Sanborn (Saxophonist)
- 1947: Arnold Schwarzenegger (actor)
- 1956: Delta Burke (actress)
- 1960: Richard Linklater (film director)
- 1961: Laurence Fishburne (actor)
- 1962: Alton Brown (chef)
- 1963: Lisa Kudrow (actress)
- 1964: Vivica A. Fox (actress)
- 1968: Terry Crews (actor)
- 1969: Simon Baker (actor)
- 1970: Christopher Nolan (film director)
- 1971: Tom Green (comedian)
- 1974: Hilary Swank (actress)
- 1977: Misty May-Treanor (Olympic volleyball player)
- 1981: Hope Solo (soccer player)
I write about arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.