Thursday, April 3, 2008

Apr 03: A Literary Superstar

On this day in 1783, writer Washington Irving was born in New York City - the same week Manhattan residents learned of the British ceasefire that ended the American Revolution. One of Irving's most famous tales "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" was retold in Disney's The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.
Irving's tale was part of an 1820 collection of short stories and essays titled The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., written while living in England. "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is set circa 1790 in the Dutch settlement of Tarry Town, New York. It tells the story of schoolmaster Ichabod Crane who is pursued one autumn night by a headless horseman.
Disney's 1949 The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad was directed by the team of James Algar, Clyde Geronimi, and Jack Kinney. The animated version of Irving's story was paired up with Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows. Narrated by Bing Crosby, it featured the animated work of Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, John Lounsbery, Wolfgang Reitherman, Milt Kahl, and Ward Kimball.
Irving's The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. also included another well-known tale ... "Rip Van Winkle."
Irving popularized the nickname "Gotham" for New York City (later used in Batman comics and movies). The southernmost section of Lexington Avenue in New York City is called Irving Place, named so after Irving in 1833.
He is credited as the first American to earn his living solely by his pen.

Click HERE for more April 03 Disney history.

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