Harry Houdini, magician and escapologist, stunt performer, actor and film
producer noted for his sensational escape acts, is born Erik Weisz in Budapest,
Hungary. (Though Houdini claimed in interviews to have been born in Appleton, Wisconsin, on April 6,
1874.) In 1987 Disney aired the film Young Harry Houdini (starring Will Wheaton) as part of their recently
relaunched "Disney Sunday Movie" on ABC-TV. The film told the story of the "lost years" of young Erik Weisz.
Disney Store North America announces that it is expanding into the retail outlet arena and will officially open its first outlet location in New York at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets.
Legendary Disney animator, pioneer and mechanical genius Ub Iwerks is born Ubbe
Ert Iwwerks in Kansas City, Missouri. (His unusual name is of Dutch origin.) Walt Disney's right hand man
in the creation of the early Mickey Mouse cartoons, Iwerks animated the first Mickey Mouse silent cartoon, Plane
Crazy, entirely by himself. (Iwerks was known for his fast work at drawing and animation and his wacky sense of
humor.) He later developed many special visual effects for such features as Song of the South and Mary Poppins.
He was named a Disney Legend in 1989.
French novelist Jules Verne, author of such classics as From the
Earth to the Moon, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and Around
the World in 80 Days, passes at age 77 in France. In his stories, Verne predicted the use of hydrogen as an energy source and many future modern
conveniences and technological inventions such as skyscrapers, submarines,
helicopters, and airplanes! Often referred to as the "Father of Science Fiction," Verne's
work inspired many, including Walt Disney.
Classically trained ballerina-turned-choreographer Onna White is born in Inverness,
Nova Scotia, Canada. Her Disney credits includes the 1977 musical feature Pete's Dragon.
Disney's Alice comedy film Alice Solves the Puzzle premieres at the
Rivoli Theater in New York City.
Disney's Silly Symphony Easter-themed cartoon Funny Little Bunnies is released.
An Academy Award in the Short Subjects/Two Reels category is won by
Disney's True-Life Adventure film Seal Island, at the 21st annual event (held at
the Academy Theatre in Los Angeles). Mickey and the Seal and Tea for Two
are both edged out by MGM's The Little Orphan for Short Subjects, Cartoon.
Actor Robert Carradine - Sam McGuire on Disney's TV sitcom Lizzie McGuire - is
born in San Mateo, California. Carradine also plays the part of Maxwell Dwebb in
Disney's 1988 TV presentation Totally Minnie.
Actress Donna Pescow, who portrayed Eileen Stevens - the mother on Disney Channel's
Even Stevens, is born in Brooklyn, New York. She also appeared on an episode of
That's So Raven. (Movie fans will know her as Annette from the 1977 hit Saturday Night Fever.)
At Disneyland, the Astro-Jets open for business in Tomorrowland. A forerunner of today’s Astro Orbitor, Astro-Jets will close in 1966.
The TV series Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color
airs part 2 of the feature film Kidnapped.
The animated series Disney's House of Mouse debuts the 10th episode "Donald's Lamp Trade."
Randy Newman's "If I Didn't Have You" - from Disney's Monsters, Inc. - is
awarded an Oscar for Best Song at the 2001 Academy Awards (held at
the Kodak Theatre). After 15 nominations, it is Newman's first Oscar win! Although
nominated for Best Animated Picture, Monsters, Inc. is edged out by Shrek.
Starting this day, the El Capitan Theatre presents Piglet's Big Movie.
Business Week magazine publishes an image of Disney's Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket characters for an article about lying on applications to business schools.
Actress Miley Cyrus (the 13-year-old daughter of actor & singer Billy
Ray Cyrus) stars on Disney Channel's Hannah Montana with the debut episode
"Lily, Do You Want To Know a Secret?". Miley plays 14-year-old Miley
Stewart/Hannah Montana, who leads a double life. She lives with her older
brother and widower father (played by her real-life dad Billy Ray).
Also debuting on Disney Channel is the original movie Cow Belles - starring
Alyson Michalka and Amanda Michalka, better known as sister duo Aly & AJ.
Disney's new Broadway musical Tarzan gives its very first
preview performance at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.
The show officially opens May 10.
Mercury Records releases the official soundtrack to Disney's live-action feature Meet The Deedles.
CMH Records releases Heigh Ho Banjo: Bluegrass Salutes Favorite Disney Songs.
Disney's Donald Duck short Crazy Over Daisy is released.
Among the Annie Awards presented (by
the Los Angeles branch of the
International Animated Film Association,
ASIFA-Hollywood) each year, is the
Ub Iwerks Award - given to individuals or
companies for technical advancements
that make a significant impact on the art
or industry of animation. Past recipients
of this award include Dr. Ed Catmull for
his breakthrough technologies at Pixar
and Eric Daniels for the development
of the 'Deep Canvas' process for Walt
Disney's Tarzan. In 1978, Iwerks
was posthumously awarded
ASIFA-Hollywood's highest honor,
the Winsor McCay Award.
The Sword in the Stone becomes the fourth "Walt Disney Classic" to be released on
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awards an Oscar (Scientific or
Technical) to Disney's David Spencer for the development of an animation photo
transfer process. Spencer perfected the Animation Photo Transfer (APT), a technique for transferring the
animators' art onto cels, in 1985. An artists' image is transferred wholesale onto the cel through a photo-negative
process. Chemicals then remove the ink from the non-exposed areas. The process saves a great deal of time and
work hours. Disney first applied the process to its 1985 film The Black Cauldron.
The much anticipated 5-disc set Walt Disney and the 1964 World's Fair is finally released. A rare behind-the-scenes look at Walt Disney's contribution to the Fair, it includes a 24-page full color booklet and more than three hours of recordings from the classic attractions and exhibits designed by Disney.
Olympic Night at Disneyland raises $600,000 to benefit the
United States Olympic Team.
"He (Ub Iwerks) was a great guy. I don't think there was a dishonest bone in his body. But he was a tremendous dreamer ... a tremendous inventor." -animator Grim Natwick
The television series Herbie The Love Bug airs episode #2 - "Herbie to the Rescue."
Disneyland's version of the Country Bear Jamboree opens in Bear Country. Sponsored first by Pepsi Cola, it is the second version of the attraction (as the first opened in WDW in October 1971). Disneyland's Country Bear Jamboree will run until September 9, 2001.
The Wildest Show in the Wilderness!
Engineer James Endler passes away at the age of 82 in New York City. He helped manage
some of the biggest construction projects of the 1970s, '80s and '90s, including the World Trade Center in New York
City, Epcot Center at Walt Disney World in Florida, and the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michgan. He also
worked on Disneyland Paris for Lehrer McGovern Bovis, an international construction management firm.
United States Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant-Drill Instructor-turned-actor
R. Lee Ermey is born Ronald Lee Ermey in Emporia, Kansas. Often typecast for
the roles of authority figures, Ermey provided the voice of Sarge for Toy Story, Toy Story 2 and Toy
Story 3. His Disney voice credits also include Fillmore!, Recess: School's Out, and Buzz Lightyear
of Star Command: The Adventure Begins. (You may recognize Ermey from his appearances in such
feature films as Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket and from a series of popular car insurance television commercials.)
This Day in Disney History - THE FIRST - THE ORIGINAL
Traveling in time since 1999!