1901: Happy Birthday Walt Disney
It was on this day in 1901 when Walter Elias Disney was born in Chicago. Not surprisingly, he had a strong interest in drawing and one of his first jobs was working as a commercial illustrator when he was 18 years of age. He then became fascinated with animation and with the help of a borrowed book on the subject and a camera, he began to experiment with the medium at home. That new fascination lead to the creation of Laugh-O-Grams, but those short cartoons didn’t provide enough income to keep the project going, so Walt then created Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland which were a mix of live action and animation which starred Virginia Davis in the main role. Although at the time New York was the place to be for the cartoon industry, Walt moved to Los Angeles in 1923 because his brother Roy was recuperating from tuberculosis there. Soon after, the two created the Disney Brothers Studio and produced more Alice comedies. In 1925, Walt hired Lillian Bounds as an ink artist. The next year they were married. In 1927, Walt and Ub Iwerks created Oswald the Lucky Rabbit shorts for Charles Mintz to be distributed through Universal Pictures. By 1928, Disney tried to negotiate a larger fee for producing the Lucky Rabbit cartoons, but instead, Mintz wanted to reduce the payments. When Walt refused, he not only lost most of his staff but also the rights to Oswald forcing him to start all over again with a new character; a little character we now know as Mickey Mouse. Walt and Lillian had two daughters, Diane and Sharon born in 1933 and 1936. Walt created numerous cartoon shorts, full-length animation pictures, live actions movies and a theme park (with another one near completion) by the time he passed away on December 15, 1966 at the age of 65.
1905: Chiclets is Trademarked Registered
The candy-coated gum squares, Chiclets, was registered for a trademark on this day in 1905 and introduced the following year by Frank Fleer and was later distributed by Cadbury Adams. The concept for the chewing gum was inspired by candy-coated almonds. The name is inspired from the Nahuatl word, tziktli which translates to “chicle” in English. It is the substance of which chewing gum is traditional made from. The first flavor was peppermint, but many flavors have been developed over the years. In 1929, the gum came in a box of 10 that sold for a nickel.
- 1932: Little Richard (singer)
- 1968: Margaret Cho (comedian)
- 1975: Paula Patton (actress)
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.