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London Great Smog - 1952 On Friday, December 5, 1952 a substantial fog rolled across London, England. This was not a particularly rare occurrence in that city. What made it memorable and lethal was the fact that it stayed for the better part of four days and basically brought the British capital to a standstill. The first week in December 1952 brought unusually cold weather to Great Britain. An unusual weather system known as an anticyclone moved over London. (Anticyclones are high pressure systems that create stationary surface hazes.) Not only was the thickening mist not moving, the smoke from the city's coal-burning furnaces in homes and offices was also trapped. In the early 1950s, the coal used in most London households was of a lower grade than the type used before the Second World War. (The higher quality coal was saved for export.) It also had a high sulfur content. Because the anticyclone was trapping both the fog and the coal smoke, the city was engulfed in a stinky blanket of mist that made many basic outdoor activities impossible. Driving became a dangerous adventure. City buses moved at a snail's pace, often with policemen preceding them on foot with torches. Within a short while bus service stopped altogether due to the low visibility. (The unaffected London Underground kept its schedule, however). Private cars were abandoned on the streets. Most outdoor activities, including sports events, were cancelled. The smog became so bad that it began to seep into indoor venues. Movie theaters and concert halls had to cancel shows because of diminished visibility. Finally, after four days of intense smog, a new weather system cleared London's skies on Tuesday, December 9. However, about 4,000 Londoners died from respiratory illnesses shortly thereafter related to breathing the unhealthy coal smoke. Health officials later put the death toll at about 12,000 from the lingering effects of what became known as The Great Smog. In 1956 the British parliament passed the Clean Air Act which mandated pollution controls and restricted furnaces to burning pollution-free fuels. The legislation worked. London has not experienced anything even close to The Great Smog of 1952 in all the years since then.
Tags: London  Great  Smog  pollution 
Added: 4th November 2015
Views: 1044
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
The New Monkees - 1987 Sitcom Flop The original sitcom The Monkees aired on NBC for two seasons (1966 to 1968). Along with winning an Emmy for best sitcom of 1966, the original Monkees were responsible for several top 40 hit songs, including I'm a Believer, Last Train to Clarksville, and Pleasant Valley Sunday. A very successful nostalgic twentieth anniversary reunion tour by the group in 1986 wrongly convinced some folks in the syndicated TV world that the time was ripe for a second Monkees series to be produced for a new generation. It was a spectacular failure. Like the first Monkees series, extensive tryouts were held to find four actors to play the roles. Unlike the first series, only actors with proven musical abilities were considered. In the end the four main cast members of The New Monkees were Marty Ross, Dino Kovas, Larry Saltis, and Jared Chandler. On the show, the band lived in a large mansion with a butler named Manford (played by Gordon Oas-Heim). The mansion had numerous unexplored rooms and was the main source of the lads' adventures. Instead of a normal kitchen and dining room, the house featured a full diner with a waitress named Rita (played by former exercise instructor Bess Motta of 20 Minute Workout fame). Also present in the mansion was a talking computer called Helen (voiced by Lynnie Godfrey) who used to work for the Defense Department but found that she preferred rock music over missiles. The plots routinely forced the audience to suspend reality. One episode had Larry falling asleep on a copy machine--resulting in numerous Larry clones creating chaos throughout the mansion. Neither sitcom nor music fans ever took to the show nor to the lone album the group produced. Disappointing ratings caused the show to be cancelled after just 13 episodes even though 22 episodes were scheduled to be produced for the first season. Mickey Dolenz, the drummer in the original group, said he wasn't at all surprised The New Monkees bombed. Invoking a Star Trek analogy, Dolenz likened it to "giving another actor pointy ears and expecting viewers to accept him as Mr. Spock." Moreover, the four original Monkees sued Columbia Television Pictures for using the group's name. The case was settled out of court. Bit of trivia: Russell Johnson (most famous for playing the role of the Professor on Gilligan's Island) was the only person to appear on both Monkees series. The New Monkees has never been made available on DVD.
Tags: New  Monkees  sitcom  flop 
Added: 9th November 2015
Views: 1154
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
1970s Sitcom Flop - Sugar Time Here's a short-lived sitcom from the 1970s that, if it's remembered at all, it's mostly recalled by teenage boys. Sugar Time aired on ABC for just 13 episodes in the 1977-78 season. The show revolved around three attractive young ladies who formed a musical group called Sugar, but also held regular jobs. The threesome tried to break into the singing business by working free of charge at a local nightclub. The show's stars were Barbi Benton (as Maxx), Marianne Black (as Maggie), and Didi Carr (as Diane). Four episodes were aired in the summer of 1977. According to the reference book Total Television, the remaining nine episodes were scattered "irregularly thereafter." This is the opening montage. (An odd snippet of trivia: Didi Carr did very little acting after Sugar Time was cancelled in May 1978. She married a rabbi in 1984--and apparently is still wed to him--but she became a staunch atheist! That must be awkward!)
Tags: Sugar  Time  sitcom  flop   
Added: 21st June 2017
Views: 932
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Incomplete 1919 Stanley Cup Final The NHL has not always had sole possession of the Stanley Cup as its championship trophy. It was originally donated by Lord Stanley of Preston, Canada's fifth governor-general, to be awarded to the championship amateur hockey team of Canada. By 1910, the rules were liberalized and professional teams were competing for it. Beginning in the 1910s, the professional champions of the west annually met the champions of the eastern-based National Hockey Association (and later the National Hockey League) for the Cup with the venue alternating between east and west each year. In 1919, the Seattle Metropolitan were pitted against the Montreal Canadiens in a best-of-five contest in Seattle. After five games, the series was tied with each team having won twice and one game ending in a tie. A sixth game was necessary to decide the Cup winner, but by the end of the fifth game, both teams were feeling the effects of illness as the Spanish Influenza pandemic hit Seattle. The Canadiens were especially hard hit by the flu bug. Several players were hospitalized. One, defenseman Joe Hall, died. The series was abandoned and never resumed. Thus there was no Stanley Cup winner in 1919.
Tags: hockey  Stanley  Cup  final  cancelled  1919  flu  epidemic 
Added: 11th November 2017
Views: 579
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
The Second Hundred Years - Sitcom Flop The 1960s were famous for producing far-fetched sitcoms. Here is another that aired briefly on ABC: The Second Hundred Years. Starring Monte Markham and Arthur O'Connell, its crazy plot had O'Connell playing Edwin Carpenter, a man whose gold-prospecting father (Luke) was swept by an avalanche into an Alaskan glacier in 1900. Another avalanche 67 years later conveniently exposed Luke's frozen carcass. Miraculously he was revived--without having aged in the intervening years! Thus Luke now physically resembled his 33-year-old grandson, Ken. (Luke and Ken were played by the same actor, of course, Monte Markham.) Furthermore, for national security reasons, the general public was not allowed to know about this remarkable incident. The show's plots frequently focused on Ken and Luke being able to take the other's place in social situations, and in the culture shock Luke experienced in suddenly going from 1900 to 1967. (In one episode Luke saw a go-go dancer in a cage, thought she was being held against her will, and "rescued" her.) The Second Hundred Years premiered on September 3, 1967 to fairly strong ratings, but it was universally panned by TV critics. Within a very short time it dropped into the bottom 25 network shows and was cancelled after 26 episodes. Here is a promotional clip that aired on ABC just before its premier.
Tags: Monte  Markham  The  Second  Hundred  Years  sitcom  Arthur  O 
Added: 5th April 2018
Views: 552
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Fair Exchange - Failed Sitcom In September 1962 CBS unveiled something new--an hour-long sitcom titled Fair Exchange. Its premise was that an American family and a British family swapped teenage daughters for a year. Why? The two families' patriarchs had been Second World War flying buddies. The American daughter, Patty Walker, wanted to study in London, so the two families, in effect, arranged their own version of an exchange student program. (Judy Carne played the English teen, Heather Finch. It was her first American television role. Even though she played a teenager, Carne was 23 years old at the time.) The episodes generally focused on the difficulties each girl had adopting to the cultural differences of her new location. Filmed in both England and Hollywood, the 60-minute format proved too unwieldy and the show was canceled in December 1962. Three months later, after loyal fans put pressure on CBS, the network returned Fair Exchange to its schedule--but only in a revised half-hour format. Ratings did not merit the show continuing beyond one season, however. Fair Exchange was again cancelled before the 1963-64 TV season began after 27 episodes. Here is the opening montage for the 60-minute version.
Tags: Fair  Exchange  sitcom  Judy  Carne  CBS 
Added: 26th April 2018
Views: 464
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964

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