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Len Lesser-Uncle Leo on Seinfeld Passes at age 88 Len Lesser, the veteran character actor best known as Uncle Leo on "Seinfeld," died Wednesday. He was 88. Lesser's family said in a statement that he died in Burbank, Calif., from cancer-related pneumonia. "Heaven got a great comedian and actor today," his daughter, Michele, said in the statement. "The outpouring of sympathy we've already received has been amazing and is so greatly appreciated. Thank you to all the people who helped make my father's last journey special and surrounded with love."
Tags: Len  Lesser  Uncle  Leo  on  Seinfeld  cancer-related  pneumonia 
Added: 16th February 2011
Views: 1130
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Posted By: Cliffy
Rare 1913 Liberty Head Nickel In 1913, the Indian Head nickel (commonly known as the buffalo nickel) was introduced, replacing the Liberty Head design that had been used since 1883. These were the first official strikings of nickels in 1913; the United States Mint's official records show no Liberty Head nickels were produced that year. Yet five Liberty Head nickels dated 1913 came to the attention of the numismatic community in 1920. All five were in the possession of Samuel Brown, a coin collector who attended the American Numismatic Association's annual convention and displayed the coins there. Brown had previously placed an advertisement in The Numismatist in December 1919 seeking information on these coins and offering to pay $500 for each. Ostensibly, the coins had been purchased as a result of this offer. However, Brown had been a Mint employee in 1913, so many numismatic historians have concluded that he illegally struck the coins himself and then removed them from the Mint. Other numismatic authorities, however, note there are several methods by which the coins could have been legitimately produced. For instance, they may have been lawfully issued by the Mint's Medal Department 'for cabinet purposes,' or they could be trial pieces struck in late 1912 to test the following year's new coinage dies. In January 1924 Brown sold all five 1913 Liberty Head nickels. The intact lot passed through the hands of several other coin dealers before finally being purchased by Colonel E.H.R. Green. Green kept them in his collection until his death in 1936. When his estate was auctioned, all five of the 1913 Liberty Head nickels were purchased by two dealers, Eric P. Newman and B.G. Johnson. The dealers broke up the set for the first time. The fictional theft of one of the 1913 Liberty Head nickels (known as the Olsen specimen) was the focal point of a December 1973 episode of the popular police drama Hawaii Five-0. It was titled 'The $100,000 Nickel' (which indeed was the value of the coin at the time). Rumors of the existence of a sixth 1913 Liberty Head nickel occasionaly circulate. If one did surface in perfect condition, numismatic experts estimate it could command $20 million at auction. You might want to check your piggy bank...
Tags: numismatics  1913  nickel  rare 
Added: 20th May 2011
Views: 1732
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Posted By: Lava1964
1896 Five-Dollar Silver Certificate Controversy A new series of $1, $2 and $5 banknotes were printed by the U.S. government in 1896. Known to collectors as the "educational series," the banknotes used classical art motifs to promote advancements in science. For example, the $5 silver certificate's design (shown below) highlighted the new importance that electricity brought to modern society. However, the naked breasts on the female figures sent some prudish folks into a tizzy. Some merchants and bankers in Boston considered the $5 bills to be obscene and refused to accept them--thus creating the term 'banned in Boston.' Despite the controversy, many banknote collectors consider the 1896 series to be the most beautiful ever produced by the U.S. government.
Tags: 1896  banknotes  numismatics  controversy 
Added: 17th July 2011
Views: 3462
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Posted By: Lava1964
The 33-Inning Baseball Game - 1981 The longest game in pro baseball history occurred at McCoy Stadium in 1981 between the home Pawtucket (RI) Red Sox and visiting Rochester (NY) Red Wings of the AAA International League. It lasted a mind-boggling 33 innings. The game began on Saturday, April 18 and lasted 32 innings before being stopped. Play resumed on June 23. Only one additional inning was required as Pawtucket won 3-2 in the bottom of the 33rd inning. The game included future Hall-of-Famers Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken Jr. and 23 others who would eventually advance to MLB. Ominously the start of the game was delayed 30 minutes while a bank of lights was repaired. The game was tied 1-1 after nine innings. It remained knotted for the next 11 innings due to strong performances by both bullpens. In the top of the 21st inning, Red Wings' catcher Dave Huppert doubled, driving in a run giving Rochester a 2-1 lead. In the bottom of the inning, Pawtucket's Wade Boggs hit a double to score Dave Koza and tie the game 2-2. According to league rules, a curfew was supposed to take effect at 1 AM. However, plate umpire Dennis Cregg had an out-of-date rule book; it was missing that provision. Thus the game continued for 11 more scoreless innings. At 2 AM Pawtucket reliever Luis Aponte, who had pitched the seventh through tenth innings, received permission to go home. When Aponte got home at 3 AM, his wife Xiomara angrily asked, "Where have you been?" The pitcher responded, "At the ballpark." His wife snapped, "Like hell you have!" Because news of the game didn't appear in most newspapers until Monday, Aponte spent two nights on the couch. At the start of the 30th inning, the game became the longest in professional history, surpassing a 29-inning game in the Florida State League on June 14, 1966. As the game dragged on, food supplies ran out in the clubhouse and players took drastic measures to keep warm in the April chill. This included burning the benches in the bullpens and the broken bats in the dugouts. Meanwhile, Pawtucket general manager Mike Tamburro was attempting to reach IL president Harold Cooper so he could intervene. Cooper was eventually reached. Horrified, he ordered the game suspended after the completion of the current inning. At 4:09 AM, at the end of the 32nd inning, the game was stopped and would be resumed at a later date. At this point, there were just 19 fans left in the ballpark from the original 1,740. (One was the nephew of umpire Cregg. He had fallen asleep.) Each was given a lifetime pass to McCoy Stadium by Pawtucket owner Ben Mondor. As the players left the stadium they encountered people on their way to sunrise church services for Easter Sunday. Play resumed on June 23 when the Red Wings next returned to Pawtucket. On hand for the resumption was a sellout crowd of 5,746 fans, four television networks, and 140 members of the press from around the world. The game required just one inning and 18 minutes to finish. Pawtucket's first three batters singled. Dave Koza's drove home Marty Barrett. This photo shows on-deck hitter Wade Boggs congratulating Barrett as he touches the plate. The game had lasted a combined 8 hours and 25 minutes. A total of 882 pitches had been thrown.
Tags: minor  league  baseball  marathon  33  innings 
Added: 12th September 2011
Views: 2302
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Posted By: Lava1964
Nancy Kulp-Buddy Ebsen Feud - 1984 Nancy Kulp and Buddy Ebsen starred together for nine seasons on The Beverly Hillbillies, one of the most popular sitcoms in television history. From 1962 to 1971 Kulp played prim bank secretary Miss Jane Hathaway. Ebsen played the patriarch of the oil-rich, unsophisticated Clampett clan. In 1984 Kulp, a Democrat, decided to run for Congress in her home state of Pennsylvania. She attempted to unseat popular 12-year Republican incumbent Bud Shuster in the state's 9th District. During the campaign, Kulp made an offhand remark that all the surviving cast members from The Beverly Hillbillies were supporting her. Ebsen, a lifelong Republican, wanted to set the record straight: He dispatched a note to Kulp from his California home. It read, "Hey Nancy, I love you dearly, but youre too liberal for me. Ive got to go with Bud Shuster." The rift between the two actors was further exacerbated when Ebsen did a radio spot for Shuster in which he reiterated his objections to Kulp's liberal politics. Kulp believed Ebsen's intrusion into Pennsylvania politics was "cruel." Embittered, she terminated their friendship. On election day Shuster soundly trounced Kulp by about a 2:1 margin. Apparently Kulp and Ebsen only reconciled shortly before Kulp's death from cancer in 1991.
Tags: Nancy  Kulp  Buddy  Ebsen  Beverly  Hillbillies  politics  feud 
Added: 18th September 2011
Views: 14984
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Posted By: Lava1964
Tell It To Groucho - 1962 After hosting the hugely successful You Bet Your Life on TV from 1950 to 1961, 70-year-old Groucho Marx was persuaded to return to the tube with Tell It To Groucho--a short-lived game show that aired for just five months on CBS in 1962 before being axed. The show was similar to YBYL, where the ad-libbed comedic banter between Groucho and the contestants was far more important than the game. This time the game portion was almost an afterthought. To win $500, contestants had to identify celebrities whose pictures were only shown for a split second. The show had a rotten time slot. It was directly pitted against Dr. Kildare on NBC and My Three Sons on ABC. Early in the show's run, Groucho wrote to a friend and described his on-air assistant, Patty Harmon, as "a sprightly young doll with oversized knockers who leaps around the stage with all the abandon of a young doe being pursued by an elderly banker". (Harmon was a onetime runner-up in the Miss Connecticut pageant and had been a contestant on YBYL. She later got some acting gigs as Joy Harmon. Her most famous role was in Cool Hand Luke; she's the busty blonde who provocatively washes her car within eyeshot of the aroused chain-gang prisoners.) Groucho never had another regular TV show after the last episode of Tell It To Groucho aired on May 31, 1962.
Tags: Joy  Patty  Harmon  Groucho  Marx  Tell  It  to  Groucho  game  show 
Added: 5th October 2011
Views: 4098
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Posted By: Lava1964
Bob Atcher and Churn Fresh Meadow Gold Remember Bob Atcher? Bob Atcher was born in Hardin County, Kentucky, and learned violin and guitar from his father, who was skillful at playing the fiddle. Bob attended Kentucky State University when he was only 14. He studied medicine and combined that with guitar playing and yodeling. He started out on radio in Louisville on WHAS. In 1939 he was offered a regular gig on Chicago station WBBM which was broadcast nationally by CBS. The show made him a national star, and he signed with ARC just before CBS bought the company. After the purchase Atcher was transferred to Okeh Records and then to Columbia Records, both CBS subsidiaries. Between 1939 and 1942, he recorded many duets with Loretta Applegate, who went by the stage name Bonnie Blue Eyes. Atcher fought in the Army in World War II and returned to performing in 1946. In 1948 Atcher signed on with WLS and became a performer on their National Barn Dance. As one of their biggest stars, he continued to chart national hits. In 1950, he signed with Capitol Records, and later in the 1950s moved to Kapp Records. He continued with the Barn Dance well into the 1960s, and re-signed to Columbia that decade, re-recording many of his songs in stereo. Atcher, like Gene Autry, was a shrewd businessman, and bought several businesses and invested in banking with the proceeds from his career. He was also the mayor of Schaumburg, Illinois from 1959 to 1979. He died in 1993.
Tags: Atcher  Schaumburg 
Added: 18th January 2012
Views: 2125
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Posted By: KrazyKasper
Spittoons They'd be considered very unhygienic today, but in their day spittoons were actually a step up in public health. Used as a receptacle for spit generated by chewing tobacco, in the late 19th century spittoons became a common sight in pubs, brothels, saloons, hotels, stores, banks, railway carriages, and other places where people--especially adult men--gathered. Although brass was the most common material for spitoons, other materials ranged from basic functional iron to crafted cut glass and fine porcelain. At higher-class hotels, spittoons were often elaborately decorated. Spittoons were flat-bottomed, often weighted to minimize tipping over, and commonly had an interior lip to make spilling less likely even if they did tip over. Occasionally they'd have lids. Some had holes with an accompanying plug, to aid in draining and cleaning. Use of spittoons was considered an advance of public manners and health, intended to replace previously common habit of spitting on floors, streets, and sidewalks. Many jurisdictions passed laws against spitting in public--other than into a spittoon. Boy Scout troops organized campaigns to paint "Do not Spit on the Sidewalk" notices on city sidewalks. In 1909, Cincinnati scout troops allied with members of the Anti-Tuberculosis League painted thousands of such messages in a single night. A punny mass-produced sign common in saloons read: 'If you expect to rate as a gentleman, do not expectorate on the floor.' Spittoons were also useful for people suffering from tuberculosis who would cough up phlegm. Public spittoons would sometimes contain a solution of an antiseptic such as carbolic acid with the aim of limiting transmission of disease. With the start of the 20th century, medical doctors urged tuberculosis sufferers to use personal pocket spittoons instead of public ones; these were jars with tight lids which people could carry. After the deadly 1918 flu epidemic, both hygiene and etiquette advocates began to disparage public use of the spittoon, and use began to decline. Chewing gum replaced tobacco as the favorite chew of the younger generation. Cigarettes were considered more hygienic than spit-inducing chewing tobacco. While it was still not unusual to see spittoons in some public places as late as the 1930s, vast numbers of old brass spittoons met their ends when they were melted down during the scrap metal drives of the Second World War.
Tags: spittoons  hygiene  tobacco 
Added: 17th July 2012
Views: 3910
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Posted By: Lava1964
RollerGames - 1989 When pro wrestling experienced a resurgence in the 1980s could roller derby be very far behind? In 1989, RollerGames debuted in syndication in 96 percent of American TV markets. This clip is a preview of a match. It usually aired in the wee hours of the morning or on Saturday afternoons. It was roller derby with a twist. The track was a figure eight that featured a "wall of death". A live alligator pit in the track's "infield" was featured in the opening show. (Honest!) Teams in the six-team league included Hot Flash, Maniacs, and Bad Attitude. Despite halfway decent TV ratings--especially among the high school and university demographic--the show lasted just one season because its producer went bankrupt.
Tags: RollerGames  roller  derby  TV 
Added: 3rd April 2013
Views: 1552
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Posted By: Lava1964
Liberace Wladziu Valentino Liberace lived from May 16, 1919 February 4, 1987. During the 1950s1970s he was the highest-paid entertainer in the world. Liberace publicly denied that he was homosexual and even sued The Daily Mirror in 1956 for libel in an article written about him being gay. Liberace won the suit of about $22,000 and led Liberace to repeat the catchphrase to reporters: "I cried all the way to the bank! Liberace died of pneumonia caused by AIDS on February 4, 1987, age 67.
Tags: Liberace  Wladziu  Valentino  Liberace  homosexual    The  Daily  Mirror  I  cried  all  the  way  to  the  bank 
Added: 13th November 2012
Views: 1268
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Posted By: Cathy

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