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Marilyn Bell Swims Lake Ontario On September 9, 1954, Canadian teenager Marilyn Bell became the first person to swim across Lake Ontario. Some 300,000 onlookers witnessed her arrival near the Canadian National Exhibition grounds in Toronto 20 hours and 59 minutes after Bell began her swim in Youngstown, NY. Bell's feat was actually made in defiance of CNE organizers who had offered a $10,000 prize solely to American marathon swimmer Florence Chadwick. (Chadwick abandoned her effort after becoming ill. The CNE did award Bell the cash.) The straight-line distance of the swim was about 32 miles. Bell, who was a month shy of her seventeenth birthday, swam an estimated 40 miles while battling fifteen-foot waves and lamprey eels. Bell later swam both the English Channel and the Strait of Juan de Fuca before retiring from marathon swimming in 1958.
Tags: Marilyn  Bell  Lake  Ontario  swimmer 
Added: 6th September 2009
Views: 2133
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Posted By: Lava1964
We Will Meet Again - WWII Song Along with Lili Marlene, We'll Meet Again, sung by Vera Lynn in the 1940's, were the most popular song(s) of the Allied soldiers during WWII. (My father was constantly singing it for 40 years after the war ended). Here is the song reprised by 29 year old Welsh mezzo-soprano, Katherine Jenkins. (She does not look very much like an opera singer). She has embraced the causes of English veterans of WWII to those presently serving in the Middle East. She performs concerts all over the U.K. for the vets and troops on active duty, along with maintaining the rigorous schedule of an opera singer. She radiates the very essence of the English girl. You will probably know the tune and join in, singing with the crowd at this Cardiff concert. The song is at once, melodic, uplifting, and nostalgic.
Tags: Vera  Lynn  We  Will  Meet  Again  WWII  song  veterans 
Added: 10th September 2009
Views: 3931
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Posted By: Watersnake
Joe Cocker -The Letter Tags: Joe  Cocker  -The  Letter    1970s  70s  oldies  music  in  live  1970  MAD  DOGS  and  ENGLISHMEN 
Added: 11th September 2009
Views: 1599
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Posted By: pfc
First Crossword Puzzle 1913 Arthur Wynne started a sensation on December 21, 1913. His creation, the first-ever crossword puzzle, appeared as a 'mental exercise' in the Fun section of the New York World. The numbering system is a little different than what you'd see in today's puzzles. Clues listed both starting and ending numbers. Within a decade, crossword puzzles were a newspaper staple throughout most of the English-speaking world. I'll post the clues for this historic puzzle if anyone requests them.
Tags: crossword  puzzle 
Added: 5th October 2009
Views: 3483
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Posted By: Lava1964
Our Gang - Buckwheat One of the most recognizable characters in the Our Gang comedies was William (Buckwheat) Thomas who was a troupe member from 1934 until the series concluded in 1944. Thomas recalled his mother taking him to a tryout at age three--where he was quickly added as a minor character. He was being groomed to replace Stymie as the Gang's black character. Like Farina before him, Buckwheat's gender was a bit of a mystery at first, but he eventually grew into a male role. His trademark 'Otay!' was part of his garbled-English shtick. His wardrobe usually consisted of a striped shirt, a floppy hat, and pants held up by just one suspender. Thomas made an easy transition out of showbiz. He worked as a film laboratory technician for years and also served in the Korean War. (His gravestone wrongly lists him as a WWII veteran.) In August 1980 he was moved to tears after he was given a standing ovation by fans at an Our Gang reunion. Two months later Thomas died suddenly of a heart attack at age 49. Remarkably, Buckwheat got plenty of posthumous fame. Comedian Eddie Murphy had an ongoing Buckwheat-impersonation routine on Saturday Night Live. In 1990, the ABC news program 20/20 aired a segment about a man working in a Tempe, Arizona grocery store who claimed to be Buckwheat. The network was flooded with calls from knowledgeable Our Gang fans who pointed out that the real Buckwheat had died a decade earlier. An angry Spanky McFarland appeared on television to denounce the fraudster, a man named Billie English who had been masquerading as Buckwheat for 30 years. The producer of the 20/20 segment was summarily fired for his shoddy research. Buckwheat's son sued ABC for negligence.
Tags: Our  Gang  Buckwheat  Thomas 
Added: 2nd December 2009
Views: 4346
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Posted By: Lava1964
Boxing Day - Commonwealth Nations From Wiki: Boxing Day was traditionally a day on which the servants had a day off from their duties. Because of this the gentry would eat cold cuts and have a buffet-style feast prepared by the servants in advance. In modern times many families will still follow this tradition by eating a family-style buffet lunch, with cold cuts rather than a full cooked meal. It is a time for family, parlour games and sports in the UK. The traditional recorded celebration of Boxing Day has long included giving money and other gifts to those who were needy and in service positions. The European tradition has been dated to the Middle Ages, but the exact origin is unknown and there are some claims that it goes back to the late Roman/early Christian era; metal boxes were placed outside churches used to collect special offerings tied to the Feast of Saint Stephen. In the United Kingdom it certainly became a custom of the nineteenth century Victorians for tradesmen to collect their "Christmas boxes" or gifts in return for good and reliable service throughout the year on the day after Christmas. However, the exact etymology of the term "Boxing" is unclear, with several competing theories, none of which is definitively true. Another possibility is that the name derives from an old English tradition: in exchange for ensuring that wealthy landowners' Christmases ran smoothly, their servants were allowed to take the 26th off to visit their families. The employers gave each servant a box containing gifts and bonuses (and sometimes leftover food). In addition, around the 1800's, churches opened their alms boxes (boxes where people place monetary donations) and distributed the contents to the poor. The establishment of Boxing Day as a defined public holiday under the legislation that created the UK's Bank Holidays started the separation of 'Boxing Day' from the 'Feast of St Stephen', and today it is almost entirely a secular holiday with a tradition of shopping and post-Christmas sales starting. We invite people who celebrate this holiday to contribute to the information here.
Tags: Boxing  Day  Commonwealth  Nations 
Added: 26th December 2009
Views: 1257
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Posted By: Admin
Alex Haley Plagiarism Scandal 1978 In 1978, Alex Haley, the renowned author of Roots, came under fire in a plagiarism lawsuit launched by a white anthropologist and fellow author Harold Courlander. Haley claimed he had spent a decade researching his heritage for his historical novel, which in 1977 was adapted as a wildly successful TV miniseries. That same year he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize and the Spingarn Medal for the book. A year later his reputation was forever marred. Courlander went to the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York to charge that Roots was substantially plagiarized from Courlander's own book, The African. Courlander's witnesses included Michael Wood an English professor at Columbia University and an expert on plagiarism. Wood opined in a report that the evidence of plagiarism in Roots was 'clear and irrefutable' and that the copying of passages was 'significant and extensive.' After a five-week trial in federal district court, Courlander and Haley settled the case, with Haley making a financial settlement of $650,000 and a statement that 'Alex Haley acknowledges and regrets that various materials from The African by Harold Courlander found their way into his book Roots.' Haley claimed the appropriation of Courlander's passages had been unintentional. Haley orginally maintained he had never heard of The African, much less read it. Shortly after the trial, however, Joseph Bruchac, an instructor of black literature at Skidmore College, came forward to swear in an affidavit that in 1970 or 1971--five or six years before the publication of Roots--he had discussed The African with Haley and had given his 'own personal copy of The African to Haley.' In a later interview with BBC Television, Judge Ward stated, 'Alex Haley perpetrated a hoax on the public.'
Tags: Roots  Alex  Haley  plagiarism  scandal 
Added: 4th February 2010
Views: 15246
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Posted By: Lava1964
Hes In Town - The Tokens In addition to their big Hit, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, The Tokens recorded several other Hits. This one - another great Carole King-Gerry Goffin song - He's In Town - was also covered by an English group - The Rockin' Berries. Check their version out under The Rockin' Berries; they're awfully similar in sound and both versions are swell.
Tags: Hes  In  Town  Tokens 
Added: 10th April 2010
Views: 1439
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Posted By: nanook
Lolita Controversy Vladimir Nabokov's novel Lolita deals with a middle-aged writer's sexual infatuation with a 12-year-old girl. Due to its shocking and risque subject matter, Nabokov was unable to find an American publisher for Lolita after finishing his manuscript in 1953. After four refusals, he finally resorted to Olympia Press in Paris in September 1955. (The photo below shows a copy of a first edition.) Although the first printing of 5,000 copies sold out quickly, there were no substantial reviews. However, at the end of 1955, Graham Greene, in an interview with the Times of London, called Lolita one of the best novels of 1955. This statement provoked a response from London's Sunday Express, whose editor called it 'the filthiest book I have ever read' and 'sheer unrestrained pornography.' British Customs officers were then instructed by a panicked Home Office to seize all copies entering the United Kingdom. In December 1956, the French followed suit and the Minister of the Interior banned Lolita. (The ban lasted for two years.) Its eventual British publication by Weidenfeld and Nicolson caused a scandal that contributed to the end of the political career of one of the publishers, Nigel Nicolson. In contrast, American officials were initially nervous, but the first American edition was issued without problems by G.P. Putnam's Sons in 1958, and was a bestseller--the first book since Gone with the Wind to sell 100,000 copies in the first three weeks of publication. Today Lolita is widely considered to be one of the finest novels of the 20th century. In 1998, it was named the fourth greatest English language novel of the 20th century by the Modern Library.
Tags: fiction  Lolita  publishing  controversy 
Added: 8th July 2010
Views: 3055
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Posted By: Lava1964
JFK - Ich Bin Ein Berliner On June 26, 1963, in the shadow of the Berlin Wall, John F. Kennedy delivered the most famous speech of his presidency. To show solidarity with the free citizens of West Berlin, JFK said the German phrase, 'Ich bin ein Berliner.' This sentence has three translations: 'I am a Berliner,' 'I am a citizen of Berlin,' or rather comically, 'I am a jelly doughnut.' An urban myth claims the Germans in the audience snickered at the comment because of the possible jelly doughnut translation. However, the truth is that most Germans were intelligent enough to realize which meaning was intended. An English equivalent would be if someone said, 'I am a New Yorker.' What would a reasonable person conclude? Does the speaker mean he is a resident of New York or a renowned magazine?
Tags: JFK  Berlin  speech  jelly  doughnut 
Added: 24th November 2010
Views: 1240
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Posted By: Lava1964

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