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Charlie Chaplin Restaurant Scene One of my favorite Charlie Chaplin comedic bits is from this 1916 film 'The Immigrant.' Charlie finds a coin and promptly loses it. He does not realize he has no money until after he treats regular co-star Edna Purviance to a cafe meal. How will Charlie get out of paying the bill? Watch...
Tags: Charlie  Chaplin  The  Immigrant 
Added: 4th April 2009
Views: 1622
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Posted By: Lava1964
Martian Invasion Panic - 1938 On Sunday, October 30, 1938, a young Orson Welles and his Mercury Theatre On The Air presented their version of H.G. Wells' 1895 science fiction novel 'War of the Worlds' as a radio drama on CBS. About two-thirds of the 55-minute broadcast comprised of faux news bulletins. They began with accounts of a supposed meteorite landing in a New Jersey township which turned out to be a Martian spacecraft. The aliens then began a reign of terror across New Jersey and into New York City, killing everyone with heat rays and poison gas. The show was given an air of authenticity by using interviews with various fictitious officials and a bogus Princeton astronomy professor who speculated on the Martians' strength and motives for invasion. Although the broadcast featured no fewer than four instances when it was declared to be a radio drama, many people did not hear these disclaimers. Civil authorities were inundated by telephone calls. Panic was especially high in some parts of Washington state where a power outage coincidentally occurred just after the part of the broadcast where the Martians began their destructive rampage. It is estimated that six million Americans heard at least a portion of the broadcast, and about 1.7 million of them thought it was real. Still, most radio listeners that night were oblivious to the so-called 'panic.' Welles' broadcast ran opposite the hugely popular Edgar Bergen program on NBC.
Tags: Martians  radio  Orson  Welles 
Added: 22nd October 2009
Views: 1406
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Posted By: Lava1964
1883 No-Cents Nickels In 1883, the United States unveiled its new 'Liberty Head' five-cent piece. Conmen immediately sensed an opportunity: Because the reverse bore the Roman numeral 'V' without the word 'cents,' it looked very much like the widely circulated five-dollar gold piece. Crooks simply painted the nickels gold and passed them off as five-dollar coins. To combat this practise, a few months later the mint issued a revised variety of 1883 nickels--these ones bearing the word 'cents' beneath the V. (That design lasted until the Liberty Head nickel was replaced by the buffalo nickel in 1913.) According to numismatic lore, a deaf mute named Josh Tatum was among the most prolific perpetrators of fraud with gold-painted no-cents nickels. He supposedly escaped conviction because he could not ask shopkeepers for change; he merely accepted what was given to him. This is where the verb 'to josh' is said to have originated.
Tags: 1883  nickels  numismatics 
Added: 22nd October 2009
Views: 784
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Posted By: Lava1964
1980 Burger King Star Wars promo A 1980 commercial for Burger King's promotional products related to the release of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, the second cinematic release in the STAR WARS franchise. Almost any company hitched to this merchandising bandwagon was guaranteed to make themselves big coin.
Tags: Burger  King  TV  promo  merchandise  commercial  movie  tie  in  promo  Star  Wars  The  Empire  Strikes  Back  fast  food  1980  1980s  science  fiction 
Added: 29th October 2009
Views: 1212
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Posted By: robatsea
Hal Block WML Outcast Hal Block was a regular panelist on What's My Line? from 1950 to 1953. He started his career as a joke writer in Chicago and once toured overseas with Bob Hope. He was not well liked by the other WML panelists because of his lack of dignity. Years later Bennett Cerf referred to Block as 'a clod.' WML producer Gil Fates recalled, 'Hal was a strange man. He was rumored to have come from a very wealthy family in Chicago, where he wrote material for some of the standout, stand-up comics in the business. He was stocky with curly black hair, heavy lips, and rather bulging eyes. He wore bow ties, stood around with his hands clasped behind his back, and smiled most of the time. He seemed completely uninhibited by either sensitivity or propriety. He referred to Ethel Barrymore as 'you doll' and planted big wet kisses on both Sister Kenny and Helen Hayes as they passed down the panel to say goodbye. For our deodorant sponsor he gratuitously coined the phrase, 'Make your armpit a charmpit.' Hal was totally oblivious to the panel's distaste for his jokes or to the icy correctness with which John Daly would greet one of his appalling observations. 'You're the prettiest nun I ever saw,' he once complimented a Dominican Sister in full habit. 'So what was so wrong?' he asked in defense. 'She was a real doll.' You couldn't teach the meaning of good taste to Hal any more than StarKist could teach it to Charlie the Tuna. Hal's relationship to the show was much like that of the small-town, stay-at-home wife to her rising young corporate executive husband. Hal had served his purpose when the program was young, but now that we were a class product his gaucheries were no longer tolerable.' In March 1953 Block was quietly replaced on the WML panel by the much more urbane Steve Allen. Block died, pretty much forgotten, from injuries he suffered in an apartment fire, in 1981 at age 67.
Tags: Hal  Block  Whats  My  Line  panelist 
Added: 17th November 2009
Views: 2182
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Posted By: Lava1964
D-Day Crossword Puzzle Security Breach In the spring of 1944 the Allies were poised to land in German-occupied France. The only uncertainty was where and when. Tight security over the enormous operation was paramount. (One American general was demoted and sent back to the Unites States for merely speculating on an invasion date at a social gathering.) Accordingly, British Intelligence was aghast when several key code names linked to the D-Day invasion began appearing as answers in the Daily Telegraph crossword puzzles in the month before the June 6 invasion. The code names of all five beaches (Gold, Sword, Juno, Omaha, Utah), the portable harbors (Mulberry), the naval support (Neptune), and the entire operation (Overlord) appeared! Agents questioned Leonard Dawe, a 54-year-old local schoolmaster, who had submitted the puzzles. Dawe didn't know what the fuss was about. He told the agents the words simply fit the puzzles. For years the incident was regarded as a remarkable coincidence. However, in 1984, one of Dawe's former students at the Strand School shed more light on the subject. Ronald French, who was 14 in 1944, said Dawe routinely had his students fill in crossword grids as a mental exercise. Dawe kept the especially good grids, wrote accompanying clues, and submitted them to the Daily Telegraph. The boys often socialized with the Allied troops stationed nearby and likely acquired the words by overhearing their conversations. There is no evidence that Dawe was a German agent, nor is there any evidence that the Germans benefitted from this odd security breach.
Tags: crossword  puzzle  D-Day  WWII  security 
Added: 25th November 2009
Views: 3643
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Posted By: Lava1964
Britain Adopts Decimal Currency - 1971 February 15, 1971 was the momentous day when Great Britain ditched its old, antiquated monetary system and finally replaced it with 'decimal' currency similar to the United States and Canada. Under the old cumbersome currency of pounds, shillings, and pence, the pound was made up of 240 pence (denoted by the letter d for Latin denarius and now referred to as 'old pence'), with 12 pence in a shilling and 20 shillings (denoted by s for Latin solidus) in a pound. In an era before widespread computer use, monetary calculation, such as adding up sums of money, was far more complicated than with a decimal currency. Tourists were also confused by coins such as the 'half-crown' (worth two shillings and sixpence, or one eighth of a pound). Such a move had been encouraged by economists since the 1840s. British banks were closed for two days to prepare for 'Decimal Day.' It was also specifically scheduled for mid-February--statistically the slowest banking period of the year in Britain. From that day forward there have been 100 new pence to the British pound.
Tags: decimal  day  coinage  money  Britain 
Added: 7th January 2010
Views: 885
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Posted By: Lava1964
First MLB All-Star Game 1933 The first MLB All-Star Game was played n 1933. Arch Ward, the Chicago Tribune's sports editor, came up with the idea for the game. It was to coincide with the celebration of the city’s 'Century of Progress' Exposition. By the 1930s, baseball had already established itself as America’s favorite pastime and the national exposition provided the perfect stage to introduce baseball’s best to the rest of the country. The game was originally conceived as a single, one-time event to help lift the spirits of the country during the Great Depression. However, its enormous popularity made the All-Star Game an annual event. That first All-Star Game was played on July 6, 1933 at Comiskey Park in Chicago on a day when both leagues had no games scheduled. Retired Giants' manager John McGraw was chosen to manage the National League team, while Philadelphia Athletics' manager Connie Mack led the American League team. More than 47,000 fans attended. There was one player in particular who excited fans and players alike. 'We wanted to see the Babe,' said NL starting pitcher Bill Hallahan. 'Sure, he was old and had a big waistline, but that didn’t make any difference. We were on the same field as Babe Ruth.' (The National League team is shown in the photo below.) The first run was scored in the second inning, when AL starting pitcher Lefty Gomez drove in Jimmie Dykes with a single. In the next inning, Ruth gave the fans what they came to see--a two-run homer into the right-field stands. The crowd 'roared in acclamation' for the homer, according to Baseball Almanac. The AL went on the win the game 4-2, bolstered by Ruth’s home run, Jimmy Dykes' two hits, and seven innings of two-run pitching by Lefty Gomez, who got credit for the win. The National League was led by the 'Fordham Flash,' Frankie Frisch of the St. Louis Cardinals, who had two hits (including a home run) and two hits by Bill Terry, the first baseman of the New York Giants.
Tags: baseball  all-star  game 
Added: 11th July 2010
Views: 1098
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Posted By: Lava1964
Ray Combs The original ABC version of Family Feud was hosted by Richard Dawson from 1976 through 1985. Three years later the game show returned to the air on CBS (and then syndication) with Ray Combs as its host. Combs was originally a comedian who was successful as a warm-up act for studio audiences at TV tapings. His favorable reputation once got him a stand-up gig on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. When Family Feud was resurrected, Combs was inevitably compared to Richard Dawson--usually unfavorably. When Mark Goodson, Family Feud's creator, died in 1993, his son took control of the show. With ratings noticeably falling, it was announced that Combs would be replaced by old favorite Richard Dawson in 1994. At the end of the final Family Feud that Combs hosted, he left the stage immediately after he said goodbye--instead of mingling with the competing families, as was the custom. Combs never recovered from losing the show. A car accident caused a spinal injury that put him in constant pain. The comedy clubs he owned closed; he suffered major financial losses and lost his home. His wife of 18 years left him. Displying suicidal tendencies, Combs was hospitalized shortly after his 40th birthday. Not long after his release, police were called to Combs' home which he was violently trashing. He was taken to a mental institution. A short time later Combs committed suicide by hanging himself with his bed linen. In a weird coincidence, Richard Dawson died 16 years to the day that Ray Combs did.
Tags: Ray  Combs  suicide  game  show  host 
Added: 24th July 2010
Views: 5535
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Posted By: Lava1964
West Side Baptist Church Explosion This is one of the great collection of coincidences of all time--or is it something else? You decide. At 7:27 p.m. on Wednesday, March 1, 1950 in Beatrice, Nebraska, the West Side Baptist Church was reduced to smithereens when its gas furnace exploded. The explosion should have resulted in serious injury and/or fatalities to the 15 members of the church choir who normally met at 7:25 p.m. on Wednesdays for practice. However, by a fortuitous series of coincidences, no one was in the building when it exploded because every one of the 15 choir members was uncharacteristically late for one reason or another: The pastor (who actually lit the furnace but had returned home), his wife and daughter were late, as the daughter's dress was soiled and the wife was ironing another. A high-school sophomore was late due to difficulty with her geometry homework. Two sisters were late because their car would not start--and their alternate ride was the member with the geometry problem. Another member and her daughter were late as she had to attend to matters at her mother's house before arriving. Yet another member was delayed while writing an important letter. One member waited until the last possible minute before leaving due to the cold weather. Another member was taking care of his two young sons and did not realize until the last minute he was late. The pianist had planned to arrive 30 minutes early but fell asleep after dinner, which caused her and her mother (the choir's director) to be late. Two high-school students were late because one wanted to hear the end of a radio program; the other waited for her as they customarily went to practice together. Makes you think, doesn't it?
Tags: church  explosion  choir  saved  coincidence 
Added: 5th October 2010
Views: 2943
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Posted By: Lava1964

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