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Kilroy Was Here During the Second World War, the odd phrase "Kilroy Was Here" began appearing on American military ships. Alongside the phrase was often a cartoon figure of a man with a huge nose peering over a wall. It was not until the war ended that the origin of the quirky character was known. James Kilroy was an inspector at a shipbuilding company in Halifax, MA. His job was to count the rivets used in each piece of work and make a checkmark with a wax pencil near the finished rivets. The riveters were paid for each rivet, so often unscrupulous ones would erase Kilroy's checkmarks in the hope that their work would be counted twice. To thwart this type of underhandedness, Kilroy began using the cartoon figure with the three-word phrase instead of a checkmark. No riveter ever tried to remove the artwork. Kilroy was supposed to remove it before the ships left the shipyard, but often he did not get the chance to do so. Thus, ships bearing the strange phrase and artwork headed into service. "Kilroy Was Here" became a catchphrase that was universally adopted throughout every American theater of war. It became fashionable to write it in strange places as an indication that the US military was omnipresent. It was often left behind by espionage agents and advance parties prior to mass invasions. According to one story, it was written inside the latrine used by Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill during the historic Yalta Conference in 1945. The phrase has endured for more than 70 years. It was written on the wall of the compound where Osama Bin Laden was hiding out.
Tags: Kilroy  Was  Here  WWII 
Added: 7th December 2014
Views: 2103
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Posted By: Lava1964
Abdication of Edward VIII Speech In the tumultous years before WWII, England's stability was shaken by the resignation of its King Edward VIII. As Monarch and, therefore, head of the Church of England, his decision to marry a divorced American, Wallace Simpson, became constitutionally unacceptable, despite many political maneuvers. The last try was to form a Morganactic union, in which his wife would not be queen, but it proved unworkable. He found it impossible to discharge his duties as King, without his wife by his side. Despite what he says in his speech, his brother, George, was NOT prepared to take the throne. Unworldly, lacking confidence, and with a stutter, George became England's wartime King and performed his duties well. According to the late Queen Mother, his wife, his rise to the throne hastened his death.
Tags: England  King  Edward  Abdicates  throne 
Added: 10th September 2009
Views: 1556
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Posted By: Watersnake
Cocoanut Grove Fire 1942 On Saturday, November 28, 1942 Boston's Cocoanut Grove nightclub was the site of one of the deadliest fires in American history. The night spot was owned by Barney Welansky who had connections to both the mayor and organized crime. It was quaintly reminiscent of Rick's Cafe Americain in the movie Casablanca--but its highly flammable tropical-style furniture and decorations made it a firetrap. There were more than 1,000 people inside although the legal capacity was 460. The fire is believed to have started when a busboy attempted to replace a light bulb in the dimly lit Melody Lounge in the lower level. He struck a match to help him see. Shortly thereafter patrons saw the palm fronds from a nearby artificial tree ignite. The fire rapidly spread along the walls and ceiling. Within five minutes the entire nightclub was ablaze. Many patrons attempted to exit through the revolving main door which quickly became jammed. Some secondary doors had been welded shut to prevent customers from leaving without paying their tabs. Other doors swung inward and made escape nearly impossible due to the crush of the crowd. All told, 492 people perished. Among the fatalities were Cowboy movie star Buck Jones and a couple who had been married earlier that same day. Welansky was convicted on multiple counts of involuntary manslaughter.
Tags: Cocoanut  Grove  Fire  1942 
Added: 29th September 2009
Views: 3788
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Posted By: Lava1964
Peter and Gordon 1964 Peter Asher's sister Jane dated Paul McCartney, who wrote some hit songs for Peter and Gordon. Paul's song World Without Love skyrocketed Peter and Gordon to number one and fame in 1964. Sadly, Gordon Waller died too soon at 64 in 2009.
Tags: 1960s  British  Pop   
Added: 10th December 2010
Views: 2011
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Posted By: AngoraSox
The Crucified Soldier One enduring controversy about the First World War is a grisly tale of a Canadian soldier who was allegedly found crucified to a wall of a barn in Belgium. The unsettling incident is said to have happened following the terrible Second Battle of Ypres in April 1915 where the Germans first used poison gas. Rumors abounded that the enraged Canadians were not too interested in capturing German prisoners. According to the story, the Germans retaliated by crucifying a random Canadian prisoner. According to reports form three Canadian soldiers, they witnessed a comrade, Sgt. Harry Band, impaled on a wall by five German bayonets. The tale, which spread quickly around the world through newspaper stories, was dismissed by many people as wartime propaganda. Depicting this event is this 32-inch bronze scultpure titled Canada's Golgotha. It was removed from a post-war art exhibit after formal complaints by the Germans who insisted the story was bogus. As late as 1989 the sculpture was hidden from public view. In 2002, a war researcher uncovered letters from supposed witnesses to the event that were written to Band's sister. These letters attest that the awful story was true. Band's body was never recovered. He is still listed among the missing in action.
Tags: First  World  War  crucified  soldier 
Added: 25th October 2009
Views: 2843
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Posted By: Lava1964
Ernie Kovacs Fatal Car Crash Early on the morning of January 13, 1962, comedian Ernie Kovacs was killed in a single-vehicle accident in Beverly Hills. He was 10 days away from his 43rd birthday. Kovacs had attended a party at the home of Milton Berle to celebrate the Christening of Berle's son. Kovacs and wife Edie Adams arrived in separate cars. Adams left the party not long before her husband. During a sudden rainstorm, Kovacs lost control of his vehicle on a curve. It slammed into a utility pole, partially ejecting Kovacs from the car. He died instantly from massive head and chest injuries. Police theorized Kovacs may have lost control of the car while groping for one of his trademark cigars. Kovacs was driving a Corvair, a vehicle later exposed by Ralph Nader for being unsafe in turns. Many newspapers featured a photo of Kovacs' dead body at the accident scene. Largely forgotten today, Kovacs was a brilliant comedian whose off-the-wall humor was years ahead of his time. David Letterman cites Kovacs as a huge influence. At the time of his death Kovacs was deeply in debt with the IRS. (Kovacs believed the taxation system was unfair so he steadfastly refused to pay income tax.) His widow worked for years to clear his debt. A daughter of Kovacs and Adams also died in a car crash in 1982.
Tags: Ernie  Kovacs  death  car  accident 
Added: 30th October 2009
Views: 18732
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Posted By: Lava1964
Berlin Wall Topples 1989 I never thought I'd live to see it happen, but it did happen--20 years ago today. The Berlin Wall, the most egregious symbol of the Cold War and communist oppression in eastern Europe, ceased to be a barrier on November 9, 1989. Over the next three days, joyful Germans on both sides of the wall attacked it with picks, shovels, bulldozers, and their bare hands until it was reduced to rubble. Ronald Reagan said it best: 'When people have the freedom to choose, they choose freedom.'
Tags: Berlin  Wall  topples 
Added: 9th November 2009
Views: 1358
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Posted By: Lava1964
Bedtime For Brezhnev Poster 'From out of the west they dusted off their guns...to protect the world they knew and the women they loved!' One of my university professors had a copy of this amusing poster for a fictitious movie on his office wall. Check out the supporting cast! As in all westerns, the good guys wore the white hats; the bad guys wore the black hats.
Tags: poster  Ronald  Regan  Leonid  Brezhnev 
Added: 14th November 2009
Views: 4094
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Posted By: Lava1964
United States Football League Sports history has shown that it is very difficult for nascent pro sports leagues to challenge old, established ones. Nevertheless, there are entrepreneurs always willing to try. From 1983 through 1985 the United States Football League existed as a spring/summer league. The USFL was the brainchild of David Dixon, a New Orleans antique dealer. In 1980, Dixon commissioned a study by Frank Magid Associates that found promising results for a spring and summer football league. He'd also formed a blueprint for the prospective league's operations, which included early television exposure, heavy promotion in home markets, and owners willing to absorb years of losses—-which he felt would be inevitable until the league found its feet. The USFL secured television contracts from both ABC and ESPN. The league also was able to sign several collegiate stars--most notably Herschel Walker who was still an underclassman. Mostly, however, the public responded with yawns. Television ratings and overall attendance were below expectations. Teams often spent far more than the proposed $1.8 million salary cap to land big-name players. In three seasons, 23 different teams played under the USFL banner. The Breakers were a typical USFL franchise, operating in three different cities (Boston, New Orleans, and Portland) over the three years. Teams typically wallowed in debt. The San Antonio Gunslingers were in such dire straits that some players, whose pay checks had bounced, were exchanging their complimentary game tickets for food and were boarding at the homes of sympathetic fans. The USFL was dealt its death blow in a courtroom in 1986 when it won an antitrust lawsuit versus the National Football League--but the jury awarded the USFL only $3 in damages. Still, some USFL innovations were evenutally adopted by the NFL. These included the two-point conversion, the use of instant replay to assist officials, and a salary cap.
Tags: USFL  football 
Added: 21st November 2009
Views: 1421
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Posted By: Lava1964
Jerry Mathers False Death Report Jerry Mathers, the iconic sitcom child from Leave It To Beaver, became the subject of an urban myth in 1969 when it was falsely reported that he had been killed in Vietnam. Mathers served in the Air National Guard but never left the United States. Apparently an American soldier with a similar name had been reported killed in action. Several news agencies wrongly reported that Beaver Cleaver had died in Vietnam. The inaccurate story got even more publicity when Shelley Winters appeared on The Tonight Show. During a chat with Johnny Carson she expressed sadness about Mathers' supposed demise. Tony Dow, who played Wally on Leave It To Beaver, sent flowers and a condolence note to the Mathers family. It took Mathers a few years to convince the public that he was alive and well.
Tags: Jerry  Mathers  false  death  report 
Added: 24th November 2009
Views: 1730
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Posted By: Lava1964

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