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Niagara Falls Dries Up - 1848 The photo below is an aerial view of what Niagara Falls usually looks like. But for a period of about 40 hours on March 29-31, 1848 Niagara Falls stopped. No water flowed over the great cataract for the first time in recorded history. Not surprisngly people went a little nuts. Niagara Falls was already a big tourist attraction by 1848. Villages sprouted on both the U.S. and Canadian sides of the river to accommodate the sightseeing throngs. Residents also built waterwheels to harness the Niagara River’s power to run mills and drive machinery in factories. An American farmer out for a stroll shortly before midnight on March 29 was the first to notice something. Actually, he noticed the absence of something--the thundering roar of the falls. When he went to the river’s edge, he saw hardly any water. Came the dawn of March 30, people awoke to an unaccustomed silence. The mighty Niagara was a mere trickle. Mills and factories shut down because the waterwheels had stopped. The bed of the river was exposed. Fish died and turtles floundered about. Brave—or foolish— people walked on the river bottom, picking up exposed guns, bayonets and tomahawks as souvenirs. Was it the end of the world? Perhaps it was divine retribution for what some folks thought was a U.S. war of aggression against Mexico? In an age of religious revivals, theological explanations abounded. Fearing the end of the world, thousands of people filled special church services praying for the falls to start flowing and the world to continue, or for salvation and forgiveness of their sins as the Last Judgment approached. Because communications were haphazard in 1848, no one knew why the falls had stopped. But from Buffalo, NY word eventually arrived that explained the bare falls and dry riverbed. Strong southwest gale winds had pushed huge chunks of ice to the extreme northeastern tip of Lake Erie, blocking the lake’s outlet into the head of the Niagara River. The ice jam had become an ice dam. And just as news traveled inward, news also traveled outward. Thousands came from nearby cities and towns to look at the spectacle of Niagara Falls without water. People crossed the riverbed on foot, on horseback and in horse-drawn buggies. Mounted U.S. Army cavalry soldiers paraded up and down the empty Niagara River. It was a potentially hazardous act for there was no telling when the rushing waters might return. One entrepreneur used the hiatus to do some safety work. The Maid of the Mist sightseeing boat had been taking tourists on river rides below the falls since 1846, and there were some dangerous rocks it always had to avoid. Since the river had ceased running and the rocks were in plain sight, the boat’s owner sent workers out to blast the rocks away with explosives. March 30 was not the only dry day. No water flowed over the falls throughout the daylight hours of March 31. But that night a distant rumble came from upriver. The low-pitched noise drew nearer and louder. Suddenly a wall of water came roaring down the upper Niagara River and over the falls with a giant thunder. The ice jam had cleared. To the relief of the locals, the river was running again.
Tags: Niagara  Falls  dries  up  natural  history 
Added: 21st March 2011
Views: 2961
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Posted By: Lava1964
Gil Clancy 1922-2011 Sports fans lost a familiar voice and friend on March 31, 2011 when Hall-of-Fame boxing figure Gil Clancy died. As manager and trainer of Emile Griffith, he was best known for his significant contributions to the former world welterweight and middleweight champ's career. Born Gilbert Thomas Clancy, he served with the US Army during World War II, and fought as an amateur while stationed in Mississippi. After the war, he attended New York University from where he attained his bachelor's and master's degrees in Education. While teaching in New York City, he began training boxers and shaped Emile Griffith from a Golden Gloves champion into a professional world champion in two different weight classes. Clancy was acknowledged as one of the most respected trainers of his time, as he worked with Jerry Quarry, George Foreman, Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali and Oscar De La Hoya, among many others. He was named Boxing Writers Association of America Manager of the Year twice (1967 and 1973). During the 1980s, he worked as a boxing commentator with CBS Sports and HBO; he was recipient of the Sam Taub Award in 1983. Clancy was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1993.
Tags: boxing  Gil  Clancy  TV  obit 
Added: 9th April 2011
Views: 854
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Posted By: Lava1964
James Arness passes today at age 88 JAMES ARNESS was born in Minneapolis, MN on May 26, 1923 passed away on June 3, 2011 at the age of 88 from natural causes. He served his country in the army during WWII at Anzio He was wounded in his right leg and received the Purple Heart. He is best known for his role of Marshal Matt Dillon in the TV series Gunsmoke. Gunsmoke ran from 1955-1975 and is still on the air today being discovered by many old and new fans alike. Over the 20 years of Gunsmoke he worked with 100’s of actors, some of them just starting out like Harrison Ford, Burt Reynolds, Charles Bronson, and Betty Davis.
Tags:         Gunsmoke          James          Arness          CBS          1950 
Added: 3rd June 2011
Views: 995
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Posted By: Old Fart
Donald Haines - Our Gang War Casualty Donald Haines was a supporting character in the Our Gang comedies just after the transition from silent movies to sound. Haines's tenure began during the early talkies up through the "Miss Crabtree episodes," when he would leave for feature films at Paramount only to return a few months later. His tenure continued through 1933. Haines's first short was Shivering Shakespeare, which featured the youngster giggling his way through his lines. On the next short The First Seven Years, he was a main character, playing opposite Jackie Cooper. After that, he was a recurring character with a few small speaking roles until 1931. At that time he was offered a contract with Paramount, which would begin with a role in a feature called Skippy. Jackie Cooper also was offered a role on that feature and a contract. Cooper would remain at Paramount. Haines, on the other hand, would quickly leave Paramount to return to Hal Roach Studios just in time for the 1931-1932 season. At that point, several major characters had left the series because they were perceived as too old. This left a depleted Our Gang of only three regulars and a few recurring characters. Haines would resume his role as a recurring character with an occasional speaking role for the next two seasons. Shortly after Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941, Haines joined the Army Air Force and rose to the rank of lieutenant. He was listed as missing in action in February 1943. His body was never found.
Tags: Donald  Haines  Our  Gang  MIA 
Added: 10th September 2011
Views: 1479
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Posted By: Lava1964
Olympian Anthony Hembrick Misses Bus During the mid-1980s, Detroit's Anthony Hembrick, a member of the U.S. Army, was a three-time American amateur middleweight boxing champion. He was perceived to be a medal hopeful when he arrived at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. However, Hembrick never got the chance to show his stuff because he never got the opportunity to fight there. Hembrick and his coach, Ken Adams, were misinformed about the time of Hembrick's first-round match and missed catching a bus from the Olympic Village that would have gotten him to the boxing venue in ample time. By the time Hembrick and Adams arrived at Chamshil Students' Gymnasium, Hembrick had been disqualified and the match was awarded to South Korean Ha Jong-Ho. The 1988 Olympic boxing tournament was replete with odd incidents and controversies. Anti-American sentiment among the host South Koreans was widespread. Some conspiracy-minded people believe Hembrick was deliberately misled about the time of his match so the South Korean boxer would win by walkover. Hembrick later embarked on a pro boxing career, usually at light heavyweight, that was largely disappointing. He was often introduced before his bouts as "the man who missed the bus."
Tags: Anthony  Hembrick  Olympic  boxing  disqualified 
Added: 2nd November 2011
Views: 1410
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Posted By: Lava1964
Maudie Hopkins - Last Civil War Widow Maudie Hopkins (December 7, 1914 – August 17, 2008) was an American woman believed to be the last known surviving widow of a Civil War veteran. Born Maudie Cecilia Acklin in Baxter County, Arkansas, she married William M. Cantrell (aged 86) on February 2, 1934, when she was 19. Cantrell had enlisted in the Confederate States Army at age 16 in Pikeville, Kentucky, and served in General Samuel G. French's Battalion of the Virginia Infantry. He was captured in 1863 and was later part of a prisoner exchange. He had had a previous wife, who died in 1929. Cantrell supported Maudie with a Confederate pension of $25 every two or three months. She inherited his home upon his death in 1937 but received no further pension benefits. She remarried later in 1937, and twice thereafter, and had three children. It was not especially uncommon for young women in Arkansas to marry Confederate pensioners for purely financial reasons. In fact, it became something akin to a career choice. To curtail these sham marriages, in 1937 the state passed a law stating that women who married Civil War veterans would not be eligible for widows' pensions. (The law was later amended in 1939 to state that only widows born after 1870 were ineligible for pensions.) Hopkins generally kept her first marriage a secret, fearing the resulting gossip from marrying a much older man would damage her reputation. After researching records from Arkansas and United States Census Bureau data, Hopkins was certified as the last Civil War widow by various historical organizations, most notably the United Daughters of the Confederacy. A spokeswoman for the UDC, Martha Boltz, said at the time that there may be two other unverified widows, one in Tennessee and another in North Carolina, but if they were still alive, they had chosen to remain in anonymity. Hopkins, show here in a photo from 2004, died on August 17, 2008 in a nursing home in Lexa, Arkansas, aged 93.
Tags: widow  Civil  War  Maudie  Hopkins 
Added: 23rd November 2011
Views: 2607
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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: 1683
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Posted By: KrazyKasper
Disco Demolition Night - 1979 Disco Demolition Night--one of baseball's most ill-conceived promotions--caused a rare MLB forfeit on July 12, 1979. It occurred at Chicago's Comiskey Park between games of a Thursday doubleheader between the hometown White Sox and visiting Detroit Tigers. Popular Chicago disc jockey Steve Dahl had been fired from radio station WDAI when he mentioned--on the air--that he listened to the album-oriented rock of rival station WLUP rather than his own station's fare--predominantly disco tunes. Dahl was subsequently hired by WLUP, known locally as "The Loop." The 1979 White Sox were a mediocre team struggling to attract decent crowds, so the team's management was willing to try anything to try to draw new fans. Dahl, in conjunction with Mike Veeck (son of then-White Sox owner Bill Veeck), devised a promotion: Anyone who brought a disco record to the ballpark would be admitted for just 98 cents. The records would be collected, placed in a large crate in center field, and blown up by Dahl between games. Dahl hyped the event on The Loop, hoping that 12,000 people might show up--double the typical Thursday attendance at Comiskey Park. The turnout exceeded all expectations. An estimated 90,000 people turned up at the 52,000-seat stadium. When the box office stopped selling tickets, thousands of people still got in by climbing over walls. It was an atypical baseball crowd to be sure. Broadcasters Harry Caray and Jimmy Piersall commented on the "strange people" wandering throughout the stands. When the crate was filled with records, stadium staff stopped collecting them. The "fans" who still had records soon realized they were shaped like frisbees. A few began to throw records from the stands during the game. After the first game, a 4-1 Tigers' win, Dahl, clad in army fatigues and a helmet, proceeded to center field. The crate containing the records was rigged with explosives. Dahl led the crowd in chants of "Disco sucks!" prior to triggering the explosion. When detonated, the explosives tore a hole in the outfield grass and a small fire began burning. Dahl triumphantly circled the warning track in a jeep before leaving the field. Once Dahl left, the White Sox started warming up for the second game, but thousands of fans rushed the field. Some lit more fires. Others pulled down the batting cage and wrecked it. Bases were stolen and chunks of the outfield grass were ripped away. Most trespassers wandered around aimlessly, though a number of participants burned banners, sat on the grass, ran from security and police and threw records into the air. Veeck and Caray used the PA system to implore the fans to vacate the field, but to no avail. Eventually the field was cleared by police in riot gear. Six people reported minor injuries and 39 were arrested for disorderly conduct. The field was so badly torn up that the umpires decided the second game could not be played. The next day American League president Lee MacPhail forfeited the second game to the Tigers on the grounds that the White Sox had not provided acceptable playing conditions. For the rest of the season, fielders complained about Comiskey Park's playing surface being substandard. No AL game has been forfeited since that night.
Tags: baseball  riot  disco  Comiskey  Park 
Added: 30th January 2012
Views: 4853
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Posted By: Lava1964
Thank You To Those That Served Tags: Memorial  Day  Veterans  Navy  Air  Force  Marines  Army  Coast  Guard 
Added: 27th May 2012
Views: 951
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Posted By: Steve
Happy Days - Richie Moves Out West It is pretty much agreed that the heyday of Happy Days was its first three or four seasons. Ron Howard (who played Richie Cunningham) left the show in 1980 after six years. (According to the plot, Richie and friend Ralph Malph had joined the Army.) Nevertheless, Happy Days continued until 1984. Howard returned for a special two-part episode in the fall of 1983. In this moving scene, Richie says his goodbyes after announcing he will be pursuing his dream to become a screen writer in California. Tissue alert! Be prepared!
Tags: Happy  Days  Richie  Ron  Howard  farewell  scene 
Added: 19th March 2013
Views: 1090
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Posted By: Lava1964

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