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YMCA Nude Swimming Classes Many stories that your parents and grandparents tell you about the 'good old days' seem far-fetched, but some are actually true. Consider this one: For many years it was mandatory for male swimmers at YMCAs to wear absolutely nothing while in their pools. Based on a recommendation from public health officials, a similar measure was on the books and usually rigorously enforced in American high schools from 1926 to 1962. Why? For many years swimsuits were made of materials that shed fibers and clogged filtration systems. There was also the belief that nude swimming was somehow more healthful and sanitary than swimming in trunks. (Curiously no such rules were ever implemented in female swim classes.) In 1941 Life magazine printed a half-page photo of such a class as an example of 'democracy.' By the early 1960s, however, public sentiment began favoring modesty over nudity and the nude swim classes became a thing of the past.
Tags: nude  swimming  classes  YMCA 
Added: 20th April 2015
Views: 2661
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Posted By: Lava1964
Bedroom of WWI Soldier Unchanged Since 1918 In October 2014, a French publication reported on a remarkable tribute to one of France's fallen soldiers from the First World War. A home in Belabre, a small central French village, contains a young man's bedroom that has remained unchanged since its occupant died in the final year of the Great War. Dragoon officer Hubert Rochereau was killed in Belgium on April 26, 1918. His grieving parents, as a tribute to their late son, left his room exactly as it was the last time he set foot in it. Over the years the house has changed ownership numerous times, but each new owner has kept the promise not to alter the bedroom's appearance that accompanied the original sales agreement made by the Rocherau family--although it is completely unenforceable by law. The room contains several articles of clothing, photographs, books, and other personal effects. The mayor of Belabre hopes the recent publicity surrounding the bedroom will eventually lead to the house being converted into a museum.
Tags: bedroom  WWI  soldier  France 
Added: 14th June 2015
Views: 726
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Posted By: Lava1964
James Scott - Prisoner Boxer One of the most controversial professional athletes in history was James Scott--a light heavyweight boxer who was permitted to pursue a professional ring career from within the confines of a New Jersey state prison. By the time Scott was 28 years old he had spent about half his life in reformatories or prisons. After serving time in Rahway State Prison for robbery, Scott began boxing professionally in Miami under the tutelage of Angelo and Chris Dundee in the mid-1970s. He compiled a record of 11-0-1 before trouble found him again. A car he owned was linked to a robbery and murder. Scott maintained he had merely loaned the car to friends and was utterly unaware of their plans. Law enforcement didn't buy his story and Scott was returned to Rahway prison to serve a 30-year term for parole violation. While there Scott persuaded correctional officials that a prison boxing program would benefit everyone: Prisoners would be able to release their frustrations in an acceptable manner, they could pursue professional careers upon their releases, and the overall camaraderie among all prisoners would be improved. The state thought Scott's idea had merit. Remarkably, they also allowed Scott to resume his pro boxing career--as long as his opponents were willing to fight inside the prison. Scott--whose fitness regimen reputedly included 1,500 push-ups per day--became a force to be reckoned with. He earned a top-10 ranking from the World Boxing Association in an era when the light heavyweight division was very deep. NBC and CBS each aired Scott's bouts. ABC, however, kept its distance from Scott due to his criminal convictions. Scott's biggest win came over Eddie Gregory in 1977. Gregory was the number-one-ranked contender at the time and would eventually win the WBA championship. Whenever a Scott bout was shown on TV there were numerous complaints forwarded to the network from people who did not think an incarcerated person should be allowed to pursue a pro sports career in prison. The rival World Boxing Council agreed and never did rank Scott. Eventually the WBA dropped Scott from its rankings too, largely because he would most likely have to leave Rahway to fight for a championship. With no hope of ever fighting for a title, Scott's career waned. Scott lost two of his last three fights to end his career with a record of 19-2-1. Scott's final bout, a 1981 defeat, came at the hands of Dwight Braxton who would later win world titles in the light heavyweight and cruiserweight divisions. Ironically, Braxton had been a former Rahway inmate himself. Scott was finally released from prison in 2005 when he was in his mid-sixties.
Tags: boxing  James  Scott  prisoner 
Added: 6th July 2015
Views: 1004
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Posted By: Lava1964
Future King Plays Wimbledon Doubles - 1926 In 1926, Sir Louis Greig won the Royal Air Force's tennis championship. In those days of strict amateurism at the top levels of tennis, Greig's victory earned him the right to play in the gentlemen's singles at Wimbledon. He also opted to enter the gentlemen's doubles tournament. Greig chose as his partner a noteworthy someone whom he had mentored and often advised--the Duke of York, the man who would ascend to the British throne in December 1936. Greig and his royal partner faced two other Brits, Arthur Gore and Herbert Roper Barrett, in the first round. Gore and Barrett had little trouble dispatching the future King George VI and Greig 6-1, 6-2, 6-2. Apparently the Duke of York was quite a good sport about being thrashed so handily. Greig fared far better in the gentlemen's singles, advancing to the fourth round. Although there is a frequent royal presence at Wimbledon, the Duke of York remains the only royal to actually have competed at the world's most prestigious tennis tournament.
Tags: tennis  Wimbledon  Duke  of  York  royalty  doubles 
Added: 10th July 2015
Views: 544
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Posted By: Lava1964
14-Year-old Finds Lincoln Death Photo American history buffs were startled in September 1952 when it was announced that a banned photo of Abraham Lincoln lying in his coffin was discovered by a 14-year-old boy. Robert Lincoln, the eldest son of the assassinated president, had forbade any post-mortem photography of his father. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton had zealously enforced Robert's wishes and destroyed several such photos and their negatives. Enter young Ron Rietveld of Des Moines, IA 80-plus years later. As a preteen Lincoln buff he had precociously begun corresponding with Judge James W. Bollinger, one of the country's leading collectors of Lincoln memorabilia. When Bollinger died in 1951, he left his collection to the University of Iowa. The 13-year-old Rietveld wrote to the university for permission to attend the dedication ceremony for Bollinger's collection. As a friend of Bollinger, Rietveld was granted VIP status. At the ceremony Rietveld befriended many of the great Lincoln historians of the era, including Henry Pratt. Pratt and his wife were so impressed by the teenager that they invited him to come to their Springfield, IL home to see Lincoln's tomb and visit the research library on the grounds. While there, Rietveld was given free rein to examine the archival material. Purely by chance, Rietveld began looking through papers sent by the son of Edwin Stanton. To his surprise, Rietveld found a photo (shown here) of Lincoln lying in state in an open coffin. It was taken on April 24, 1865 in New York City--meaning that Stanton had curiously kept one of the photos he was supposed to have destroyed. Rietveld recognized the scene from an artist's rendition that had appeared in Collier's magazine. Rietveld alerted Pratt to his find. Pratt suspected the photo was authentic, but he reserved judgement until it could be positively verified. Rietveld was sworn to secrecy. Not even his parents knew about his remarkable find until the story was front-page news in the Des Moines Register. As one might expect, Rietveld became a history professor himself.
Tags: Lincoln  post-mortem  photo  coffin  Ronald  Rietveld 
Added: 20th July 2015
Views: 1320
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Posted By: Lava1964
Verdun Ossuary - 1964 Most Americans are barely aware of it, but one of the most terrible battles in history occurred near the northern French city of Verdun from February through November 1916. The Germans launched a massive attack on February 21 with both numerical superiority and the element of surprise. Verdun was supposed to be a quiet French sector on the Western Front and was held largely by lightly regarded territorial troops. The Germans hoped to bleed the French army to at least force an armistice on the Western Front. The embattled French considered the defense of Verdun to be symbolic of resistance. "They shall not pass!" became the rallying cry of the defenders. At some point during the battle virtually every able-bodied French soldier served at the Verdun front. The carnage was atrocious as positions sometimes changed hands several times each day. Eventually the German High Command called off the attack. In those nine months of ceaseless fighting casualties approached one million, with at least 500,000 killed. In 1964 Life magazine published a pictorial feature about what Verdun looked like 48 years after the battle. Perhaps the most shocking photo was the one shown here: An ossuary containing the bones of about 130,000 unknown soldiers from both sides. Interestingly, Life's photographer was Alfred Eisenstaedt--a German veteran of the war.
Tags: Verdun  battle  ossuary  First  World  War 
Added: 22nd July 2015
Views: 702
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Posted By: Lava1964
Barney Fife Lectures Special Deputies From the classic sitcom The Andy Griffth Show: When a VIP is scheduled to visit Mayberry, law enforcement goes all out and recruits three special deputies to make sure there is no trouble. Deputy Barney Fife (Don Knotts) prepares the underlings with one of his typical lectures.
Tags: Barney  Fife  lecture  special  deputies  Andy  Griffith  Show 
Added: 17th October 2015
Views: 500
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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: 699
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Posted By: Lava1964
Benny Leonard - Sad Last Fight Throughout boxing history many great champions have either lingered too long or have made ill-advised comebacks only to suffer a bad defeat at the hands of a younger, fitter man. Benny Leonard, one of the greatest lightweights of all time, falls into this category. He reigned as world lightweight champion from 1917 to 1925 when he retired from the ring at age 28 at his mother's insistence. A master boxer, the hugely popular Leonard was almost unbeatable in his prime. Leonard lost all his savings when the stock market crashed in 1929 and was forced to make a comeback to earn a living. Starting in October 1931 Leonard won 19 fights and had one draw versus mostly substandard opposition. On October 7, 1932 he was paired against rising welterweight star Jimmy McLarnin--a terrific boxer-puncher who was 10 years younger than the 36-year-old Leonard. This condensed version of the fight at Madison Square Garden shows McLarnin administering a sound beating on the gallant old champ before referee Arthur Donovan wisely steps in to halt the contest in the sixth round. McLarnin would win the world welterweight title within a year. Leonard never fought again, but he stayed involved in boxing as a very capable referee. Leonard died of a heart attack while refereeing a bout in 1947. He was just 11 days past his 51st birthday.
Tags: boxing  Benny  Leonard  Jimmy  McLarnin 
Added: 17th November 2015
Views: 494
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Posted By: Lava1964
How Norad Began Tracking Santa It all started with a wrong number.
Tags: How  Norad  Began  Tracking  Santa  wrong  telephone  number  Sears  military  United  States  Air  Force  Secret  Hotline  President  of  the  United  States  POTUS  Four  Star  General 
Added: 24th December 2015
Views: 748
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Posted By: Steve

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