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Our Gang - Darla Hood Darla Hood was the most famous of the Our Gang girls. Born in Oklahoma in 1931, Darla began auditioning for roles at age three. At age four she joined the Our Gang troupe, debuting in 'Our Gang Follies of 1936.' Darla's Oklahoma twang is noticeable in some of her early films. Darla's stint with the Our Gang series came during its heyday. Her character was both wholesome and coquettish. Alfalfa, Waldo, and Butch all vied for the pretty brunette's affections. She made the transition from the Hal Roach era of Our Gang to the MGM era. Her last Our Gang appearance came at age 11 in 'Benjamin Franklin Jr.' in 1943. Darla became a regular member of The Ken Murray Show during the 1950-51 TV season. She later reprised her Darla role in a spoof on a 1962 episode of The Jack Benny Program. (Jack played Alfalfa.) During the 1960s and 1970s she attended numerous cast reunions where she was a great favorite of young and old fans. In 1979 Darla was busy planning a 1980 Our Gang reunion when she entered the hospital for a minor surgical procedure. She contracted hepatitis--likely from a tainted blood transfusion--and died suddenly. She was just 47 years old.
Tags: Our  Gang  Darla  Hood 
Added: 28th November 2009
Views: 5732
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Posted By: Lava1964
Our Gang - Buckwheat One of the most recognizable characters in the Our Gang comedies was William (Buckwheat) Thomas who was a troupe member from 1934 until the series concluded in 1944. Thomas recalled his mother taking him to a tryout at age three--where he was quickly added as a minor character. He was being groomed to replace Stymie as the Gang's black character. Like Farina before him, Buckwheat's gender was a bit of a mystery at first, but he eventually grew into a male role. His trademark 'Otay!' was part of his garbled-English shtick. His wardrobe usually consisted of a striped shirt, a floppy hat, and pants held up by just one suspender. Thomas made an easy transition out of showbiz. He worked as a film laboratory technician for years and also served in the Korean War. (His gravestone wrongly lists him as a WWII veteran.) In August 1980 he was moved to tears after he was given a standing ovation by fans at an Our Gang reunion. Two months later Thomas died suddenly of a heart attack at age 49. Remarkably, Buckwheat got plenty of posthumous fame. Comedian Eddie Murphy had an ongoing Buckwheat-impersonation routine on Saturday Night Live. In 1990, the ABC news program 20/20 aired a segment about a man working in a Tempe, Arizona grocery store who claimed to be Buckwheat. The network was flooded with calls from knowledgeable Our Gang fans who pointed out that the real Buckwheat had died a decade earlier. An angry Spanky McFarland appeared on television to denounce the fraudster, a man named Billie English who had been masquerading as Buckwheat for 30 years. The producer of the 20/20 segment was summarily fired for his shoddy research. Buckwheat's son sued ABC for negligence.
Tags: Our  Gang  Buckwheat  Thomas 
Added: 2nd December 2009
Views: 4470
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Posted By: Lava1964
Our Gang - Porky Eugene Lee played Porky in 42 Our Gang movies from 1935 through 1939. Born in 1933, Lee was spotted by a Hal Roach talent scout in Dallas who thought Lee resembled established Our Gang star Spanky McFarland, who also came from Dallas. Someone associated with Roach dubbed Lee 'Porky,' and he became part of the Our Gang troupe at age two. Porky's character seldom said more than one or two lines per movie. Still, it was Porky who first said 'Otay!' instead of 'Okay!' although Buckwheat seems to be more famous for its use. Porky had the good fortune of being part of the heyday of the Our Gang shorts. However, his career with the troupe came to an abrupt end when he grew five inches in 1939--and the not-quite-six-year-old was nearly as tall as 11-year-old Spanky. He was replaced by Mickey Gubitosi in the troupe. For a while Porky distanced himself from his childhood acting exploits, even to the point of legally altering his name to Eugene Gordon Lee. As an adult, Lee had a successful career as an educator. Lee had a change of heart in later years and embraced his fame as Porky. He frequently attended cast reunions and conventions. He even manufactured and sold Porky-themed memorabilia. Lee died of brain and lung cancer a few days before his 72nd birthday in 2005.
Tags: Our  Gang  Porky  Eugene  Lee 
Added: 5th December 2009
Views: 3104
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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
Airman Ghost Photo 1919 This photo was taken in 1919 and remains one of the most compelling photographic proofs of ghostly appearances. It is a reunion photo of a British Royal Flying Corps squadron who served together in the First World War. A face can clearly be seen lurking behind the fourth man from the left in the top row. (It has been magnified in the circle.) The face was easily recognized by the aviators as Freddy Jackson, a squadron buddy. The trouble was that Jackson, a mechanic, had been accidentally killed by an airplane propeller two days earlier! Jackson's funeral took place on the very day this photograph was taken.
Tags: ghost  photograph  1919  airman 
Added: 16th December 2009
Views: 3000
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Posted By: Lava1964
Peppermint Rainbow - Will You Be Staying After Sunday Discovered by Mama Cass Elliot, the band had a brief fame touring the country with The 5th Dimension, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, Sly and the Family Stone, even Tiny Tim. Peppermint Rainbow released only one album, “Will You Be Staying After Sunday,” which just missed making Billboard’s Top 100 albums chart in 1969. By 1970, Bonnie Lamdin had married and the band members, worn out from touring and feeling a little defeated by the album’s failure to chart, went their separate ways.
Tags: 1968    1969    The    Peppermint    Rainbow    Will    You    Be    Staying    After    Sunday     
Added: 26th December 2009
Views: 4890
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Posted By: Cliffy
End of Western Union Telegrams 2006 On January 27, 2006, Western Union ended more than 150 years of telegram service. Beginning in 1854, the company began transmitting and transcribing telegraphed messages and delivering them to customers across the country. They heyday of the telegram was in the 1920s and 1930s when sending a message by telegraph was cheaper than making a long-distance telephone call. The word 'stop' was commonly used in the text of telegrams to end a sentence instead of a period because it was cheaper to send a four-letter word than a punctuation mark. Telegrams were often used for formal notifications and announcements, such as the one below to inform the recipient that he would share the 1958 Nobel Prize for Medicine/Physiology. During the Second World War, Western Union couriers were feared because they delivered official death notices to the families of servicemen. Eventually technology made telegrams obsolete and anachronistic. Only about 20,000 telegrams were sent in 2005, mostly by companies that were required to send legal notifications. On that final day of service, ten telegrams were delivered. They included a congratulatory message, a sympathy message, and, of course, a handful of messages from people who were trying to make history by sending the final Western Union telegram. Today Western Union exists only as a company that handles money transfers.
Tags: last  telegram  Western  Union  communications 
Added: 9th March 2010
Views: 3344
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Posted By: Lava1964
49-Star American Flag There have been 26 'official' versions of the American flag since 1776. The 48-star version lasted from 1912 until 1959 when Alaska entered the Union. President Dwight Eisenhower approved this short-lived 49-star version in which the stars appeared in seven staggered rows of seven. A year later Hawaii was added to the Union and the familiar 50-star version became official on July 4, 1960. The current run of more than 50 years without a change in the flag is the longest such stretch in American history.
Tags: American  flag  49  stars 
Added: 19th May 2010
Views: 1490
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Posted By: Lava1964
Then and Now-Partridge Family Tracy Suzanne Crough,born March 6, 1963 was the youngest daughter on the Partridge Family who played the tambourine. During a Reunion Show with NBC she March 2010 she said she is currently a manager at Office Max.
Tags: Then  and  Now-Partridge  Family  Tracy  Suzanne  Crough 
Added: 9th February 2011
Views: 4312
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Posted By: Cliffy

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