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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: 3771
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Alferd G Packer - Cannibal The only person in American history to be convicted of cannibalism was Alferd (sometimes written 'Alfred') G. Packer. Packer, a Civil War veteran, was one of 21 prospectors who intended to try their luck in the Colorado gold fields. The group got to Provo, Utah in February 1874. Against the advice of the locals, Packer and five others decided to continue their trek across the Rocky Mountains in the dead of winter. They quickly got lost and ran out of provisions. Packer was the only survivor. Two months later Packer was seen by other members of the original prospectors' group who didn't believe his story that his companions never returned from a search for food. Packer eventually confessed to cannibalism, escaped custody twice, but was found in Wyoming in 1883. Packer was sentenced to 40 years in jail. He was paroled by Colorado's governor in 1901 and died six years later at age 65. In 1968, as a gag, students at the University of Colorado at Boulder voted to name their school cafeteria the Alferd G. Packer Memorial Grill. It bears the slogan, 'Have a friend for lunch!' A statue of Packer was erected on campus in 1982.
Tags: Alferd  G  Packer  cannibalism 
Added: 14th October 2009
Views: 1591
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Brian Bonsall Mug Shot Believe it or not, this is a mug shot of Brian Bonsall. Bonsall played Andy Keaton, the youngest member of the Keaton clan, on the popular 1980s sitcom Family Ties. After the show ended, Bonsall got involved with several punk rock bands in Colorado and Los Angeles. He has experienced ongoing difficulties with alcohol. He was arrested on domestic violence charges after assaulting his girlfriend. He pleaded guilty to third-degree assault and was paroled, but he repeatedly violated the conditions and failed to appear in court. He is currently a fugitive.
Tags: Brian  Bonsall  Family  Ties  mug  shot 
Added: 21st October 2009
Views: 4050
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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
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Roger Patterson Bigfoot Film 1967 On October 20, 1967, Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin allegedly filmed this 'bigfoot' in Bluff Creek, CA. This is frame #352 which gives the best view of the creature. Some say this film is ironclad proof that bigfoot is real. Others say it's proof that it's a hoax. Prior to 1958, few people had ever heard of the large creature that supposedly inhabits the remote wilderness of the Pacific northwest. People who claim they've encountered bigfoot describe the creature as anywhere from six to 10 feet tall, weighing about 500 pounds, and having an unpleasant odor. The scientific community almost universally believes bigfoot exists only in folklore. This view is unlikely to change until a live bogfoot or a corpse is found and thoroughly examined.
Tags: bigfoot  film  Patterson 
Added: 2nd November 2009
Views: 2055
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Posted By: Lava1964
Sal Mineo Murder 1976 Sal Mineo had an up-and-down acting career. His chief fame remains from playing opposite James Dean as a 17-year-old in Rebel Without A Cause (1956). By the 1960s Mineo could no longer be cast in youthful roles, and he was deemed wrong for adult lead roles. However, by 1976, Mineo's career had begun to turn around. Playing the role of a gay burglar in a San Francisco run of the stage comedy 'P.S. Your Cat Is Dead,' he received substantial publicity from many positive reviews and moved on to Los Angeles with the play. Arriving home after a rehearsal on February 12, 1976, Mineo was stabbed to death in the alley behind his West Hollywood apartment building. He was stabbed just once, but the blade struck his heart leading to immediate and massive internal bleeding. For years Mineo's murder was unsolved. However, a pizza deliveryman, Lionel Ray Williams, was sentenced to 57 years in prison for killing Mineo and committing 10 robberies in the same vicinity. Although there was considerable confusion relating to what witnesses had seen in the darkness the night Mineo was murdered, it was later revealed that prison guards reportedly overheard Williams admitting to the crime. Williams claimed he had no idea who Mineo was. Williams was paroled in the early 1990s, but was soon jailed again for criminal activity. Many of Mineo's friends believed that Williams was not the murderer, especially since a blond white man was seen running from the incident.
Tags: Sal  Mineo  murder 
Added: 19th November 2009
Views: 2693
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Posted By: Lava1964
Our Gang - Spanky McFarland George (Spanky) McFarland had the most prolific career of any member of the Our Gang troupe. He appeared in 95 Our Gang shorts from 1932 through 1942. Even by Our Gang standards, McFarland began at a young age. His cuteness as a baby got Spanky's picture widely circulated on bread billboards in his hometown of Dallas. When Hal Roach began a new talent search, Spanky's aunt submitted his photos. This got him a screen test that was hugely positive--thus Spanky became an Our Gang regular at the age of three. The origin of Spanky's nickname is unclear; McFarland believed a Los Angeles showbiz columnist came up with it. Spanky's early Our Gang roles were as a tagalong little kid. His abilities to steal scenes and deliver funny lines got him more prominent roles. By 1936, at the age of eight, he was clearly the star of the series and the Gang's leader. He was always the 'idea man' of the Gang, devising schemes and plots. After Hal Roach sold the rights to Our Gang to MGM in 1938, MGM intended to begin anew with an entirely fresh cast of child actors. However, MGM rehired Spanky when a suitable replacement could not be found. Along with Spanky's 95 appearances in Our Gang films, he was also the lead in General Spanky (1936)--the only feature-length Our Gang film ever made. He later served in the Air Force. Spanky was working menial jobs in the 1950s when the Little Rascals reruns began to air on television. He began hosting a local program of them. Spanky's renaissance fame got him a job at Philco-Ford where he eventually became the head of national sales. In his later years Spanky hosted charity golf events. He made a cameo appearance on the sitcom Cheers in 1993. Spanky died of a heart attack not long afterwards. He was 64 years old.
Tags: Our  Gang    Spanky  McFarland 
Added: 26th November 2009
Views: 3902
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Posted By: Lava1964
Mysterious Life of Rudolf Hess One of the strangest stories of the Second World War was the bizarre flight of Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler's deputy, who unexpectedly parachuted into Scotland on May 10, 1941 on a mysterious mission, apparently undertaken on his own. (This photo shows the wreckage of his plane.) The details of Hess' mission are still shrouded in mystery; the British government will not release its official documents until 2016. Historians tend to believe that Hess boldly 'dropped in' on Britain to negotiate a separate peace with the western Allies so Nazi Germany would not have to fight a two-front war. (Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union would begin six weeks later.) Hess was promptly captured by locals and imprisoned for the remainder of the war. An enraged Hitler ordered that Hess be shot on sight if he ever again set foot in Germany. The British believed Hess was mad. His initial behavior at the Nuremburg Trials in 1946 seems to confirm this: Hess constantly counted on his fingers and laughed for no apparent reason. He claimed no knowledge of his days in Nazi Germany. His antics so unnerved fellow defendant Hermann Goring that Goring asked not to be seated beside Hess in the prisoners' box. Later in the tral, Hess' sanity seemed to return. Hess and six others were given life sentences, to be served in Spandau Prison in West Berlin. By 1966 the other six prisoners had been released. As Hess aged, the western Allies repeatedly asked for Hess to be released on humanitarian grounds. The Soviet Union always vetoed the request. Hess was the only prisoner at Spandau for 21 years until his curious death on August 17, 1987. He was found hanging in a garden house, strangled by an electrical wire. It was ruled a suicide. Family members doubted the accuracy of the report because by 1987 the 93-year-old Hess was so enfeebled that he could no longer tie his own shoes. Further conspiracy theories state that the man in Spandau Prison was not even Hess at all, but in fact a double. Spandau Prison was demolished after Hess' death so it would not become a shrine for Nazi sympathizers.
Tags: Nazi  Rudolf  Hess  mysteries 
Added: 14th December 2009
Views: 1955
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Posted By: Lava1964
CBS Christmas Message 1966 Can you believe that there once was a time when network television aired classy holiday interstitials like this ?
Tags:     Blechman    animation    CBS    Christmas    bumper    interstitial    God    Rest    Ye    Merry    Gentlemen    birds    Seasons    Greetings     
Added: 18th December 2009
Views: 4149
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Posted By: Laura
Rappin Rodney I can't believe this isn't here, I couldn't find anything in the search function.
Tags: Rappin    Rodney    Dangerfield    No    Respect    Music    Video    Caddyshack    Back    To    School    Oingo    Boingo    Danny    Elfman    No  Respect 
Added: 15th January 2010
Views: 1351
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Posted By: Old Fart

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