1602 – A surprise attack by forces under the command of Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy, and his brother-in-law, Philip III of Spain, is repelled by the citizens of Geneva. (Commemorated annually by the Fête de l’Escalade.)
L’Escalade, or Fête de l’Escalade (from escalade, the act of scaling defensive walls), is an annual festival held in December in Geneva, Switzerland, celebrating the defeat of the surprise attack by troops sent by Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy during the night of 11–12 December 1602. The celebrations and other commemorative activities are usually held on 12 December or the closest weekend.
For years, the duke coveted the wealth of the city-state, which was not then a member of the Swiss Confederation. When Charles Emmanuel came to the throne of the House of Savoy in 1580, he longed to make Geneva his capital north of the Alps and crush Protestantism. Pope Clement VIII offered encouragement; in 1602 he appointed as Catholic bishop of Geneva Francis de Sales, an effective preacher who had recently been successful in re-Catholicizing the Chablais district of Savoy on the south side of Lake Geneva.
1900 – Hermína Týrlová, Czechoslovakian animator, screenwriter, and film director (d. 1993)
Hermína Týrlová (11 December 1900 in Březové Hory – 3 May 1993 in Zlín) was a prominent Czech animator, screen writer, and film director. She was often called the mother of Czech animation. Over the course of her career, she produced over 60 animated children’s short films using puppets and the technique of stop motion animation.
Biography and Career
Born in Březové Hory in Central Bohemia, Hermína Týrlová learned puppet-making skills from her father, who was a woodworker and made small wood figurines. As a teenager, she moved to Prague to make a living acting, singing, and dancing in vaudeville. She also began writing and illustrating children’s magazines. In 1925, she joined Studio AB, where she met her future husband, Karel Dodal. The studio produced animated films for advertising companies such as Elektrajournal and IRE-Film. Dodal and Týrlová produced 5 animated advertising films together, and in 1935, they co-directed the first commercial Czech puppet animation film, Tajemství Lucerny (“The Lantern’s Secret”).
Following the 1939 German occupation of Czechoslovakia, Karel Dodal took exile in the United States and then Argentina. Týrlová chose to remain in Czechoslovakia. In 1941, she moved to Zlín in eastern Moravia to work with Ladislav Kolda at Bata Studios, where she remained for the rest of her life. In 1944, she released the short film Ferda Mravenec (“Fernando the Ant”), which achieved worldwide popularity. The original puppet for the main character is on display in the Toy Museum in Figueres, Spain. In 1947, she co-directed Vzpoura Hracek (“Revolt of the Toys”) with Frantisek Sadek, which combined stop-motion animation with live action footage.
She continued to write and direct animated films until 1986, and she died in Zlín on May 3, 1993 at the age of 92.
Throughout the course of her career, Hermína Týrlová earned multiple international awards for her work, including awards at Venice, Cannes, Locarno, and Mar Del Plata. In 1952, she received the State Prize of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. She received an award for her life’s work at the 1981 Paris International Film Festival.
1904 – Marge, American cartoonist (d. 1993)
Marjorie Henderson Buell (December 11, 1904–May 30, 1993; née Marjorie Lyman Henderson) was an American cartoonist who worked under the pen name Marge. She was best known as the creator of Little Lulu.
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Marjorie Lyman Henderson was born in 1904 in Philadelphia. Homeschooled until she was 11 or 12, she and her two sisters had a talent for art.
At 16 she sold her first cartoon to the Public Ledger. Her work appeared in humor magazines and other periodicals, including Collier’s, Judge, Life. She also created illustrations for Country Gentleman and Ladies’ Home Journal. By the late 1920s she worked under the name “Marge” and had a syndicated comic strip, The Boy Friend, her first syndicated comic strip, which ran from 1925 through 1926. This and another strip of hers, Dashing Dot, both featuring female leads. Marge was friends with Oz author Ruth Plumly Thompson and illustrated her fantasy novel King Kojo (1933).
In 1934 The Saturday Evening Post requested Buell to create a strip to replace Carl Anderson’s Henry. Buell created a little girl character in place of Henry’s little boy as she believed “a girl could get away with more fresh stunts that in a boy would seem boorish”. The first single-panel instalment ran in the Post on February 23, 1935; in it, Lulu appears as a flower girl at a wedding and strews the aisle with banana peels. The single-panel strip continued in the Post until the December 30, 1944, issue, and continued from then as a regular comic strip. Buell retained the rights, unusual for the time. Buell marketed Little Lulu widely throughout the 1940s. Buell herself ceased drawing the strip in 1947, and in 1950 Little Lulu became a daily syndicated by Chicago Tribune–New York News Syndicate and ran until 1969. After she stopped drawing the strip, Buell herself only drew Lulu for the lucrative Kleenex advertisements.
Paramount Pictures approached Buell in 1943 with a proposal to develop a series of animated shorts. She traveled to New York to meet with Paramount executives and tour the animation facilities, and there was introduced to William C. Erskine, who became her business representative.
Thereafter Little Lulu was widely merchandised, and was the first mascot for Kleenex tissues; from 1952 to 1965 the character appeared in an elaborate animated billboard in Times Square in New York City designed by Artkraft Strauss.
The character appeared in comic books, animated cartoons, greeting cards and more. Little Lulu comic books, popular internationally, were translated into Arabic, Dutch, Finnish, French, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish and Greek. Buell stopped drawing Little Lulu in 1947, and the work was continued by others, while she kept creative control. Sketching and writing of the Little Lulu comic book series was taken on by John Stanley, who later drew Nancy and Sluggo. Buell sold her Little Lulu rights to Western Publishing when she retired in 1971.
In 1936, she married Clarence Addison Buell who had a career in the Bell Telephone Company. The two reached a compromise in their career ambitions, in that the husband agreed to turn down promotions that would result in relocation, and the wife would keep her creation enough in check that she would be available for her children. The couple had two sons: Larry, born in 1939; and Fred, born in 1942.
She shied from the spotlight, rarely giving interviews or allowing publication of photos of herself. She also shied away from politics, and resisted requests from her sons to include progressive elements such as a black playmate for Lulu.
After the sale of the Lulu copyrights in 1971, the Buell couple retired to Ohio, where their son Larry resided. Buell died on May 30, 1993, of lymphoma in Elyria, Ohio. Buell’s son Larry is a professor of American Literature at Harvard, and her son Fred is a professor of English at Queens College.
In July 2006, Buell’s family donated the “Marge Papers” to the Schlesinger Library at Harvard University. The papers include a collection of fan mail, comic books, scrapbooks of high points in Lulu’s history and a complete set of the newspaper cartoons.
In 2003, an original 1930s watercolor of Little Lulu by Buell brought $584 on eBay.
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