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Tragic Death of Martha Mansfield Pretty 24-year-old silent film actress Martha Mansfield met an untimely and ghastly end. Mansfield was shooting the film The Warrens of Virginia on November 30, 1923. During some outdoor scenes, while wearing a bulky Civil War-era dress, she took a break in her nearby parked car. Suddenly Mansfield's dress caught fire severely burning all but her neck and her face. Mansfield's chauffeur's hands were also badly burned trying to put the fire out. The cause of the fire is a bit of a mystery. Some claim it came from a match carelessly discarded from a passing car--which entered through the window of the car Mansfield was sitting in. Others think Mansfield was at fault for smoking--although no one had ever seen her smoking before. Whatever the case, she died in hospital 24 hours later.
Tags: Martha  Mansfield  silent  actress  death 
Added: 14th July 2014
Views: 2473
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
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: 3845
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Iroquois Theater Fire 1903 The deadliest fire in American history occurred on December 30, 1903 at Chicago's sparkling new Iroquois Theater. The death toll was staggering: 602. The theater had only been open for 37 days and was ironically advertised as fireproof. A huge crowd of mostly women and children were present for a Wednesday matinee performance of a gala show starring Eddie Foy and featuring a cast of more than 500 extras. The fire began when a spotlight shorted out and ignited the ceiling decorations. Most of the cast managed to escape through a large rear door. However, when that door opened, the new cold oxygen source created a fireball that ripped through the rest of the theater. Many people died because they were unfamiliar with the newfangled lock mechanisms on the theater's doors. Other escape routes were blocked to prevent patrons from sneaking down to more expensive seats. An investigation later showed that fire officials had been bribed to overlook safety concerns so the theater could open for business in time for the lucrative winter holidays. The only person convicted of a crime was a lone man who was found guilty of stealing posessions from the dead.
Tags: Iroquois  Theater  fire  Chicago 
Added: 29th September 2009
Views: 1805
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Posted By: Lava1964
Checking In - Sitcom Flop 1981 The Jeffersons was a hugely successful spinoff from All in the Family, running for 10 seasons from 1975 to 1985. It also inspired a not-so-successful spinoff: Checking In. On The Jeffersons, Marla Gibbs played Florence Johnston, the sassy, wisecracking maid who regularly exchanged insults with George Jefferson. Her character was so well liked by viewers that CBS figured it would be a smart move to give Gibbs her own series. Accordingly, in episode #154 and #155 of The Jeffersons, a hotel manager was so impressed by Florence that he offered her the job as supervisor of maids at his St. Frederick Hotel. Florence accepted and Checking In was born. It premiered on Thursday, April 9, 1981. Larry Linville (Major Frank Burns from MASH fame) played Lyle Block, the hotel's weasly manager and, naturally, Florence's nemesis. After four weeks, though, Checking In was floundering in the ratings and CBS pulled the plug after the April 30 episode. Smartly, the network had Gibbs return to the Jeffersons' household as their maid. In her return episode, #161, Florence arrives at the Jeffersons' door explaining that the hotel burned down! (Her clothing and hair had traces of soot and fire damage to add credibility to the plot twist!) She had to compete with new maid Carmen to get her old job back. After missing just five shows, Gibbs' Florence character remained on The Jeffersons until the series ended in 1985. Marla Gibbs was nominated for an Emmy as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Emmy in for five stright years (1981 through 1985) for her role as Florence Johnston. Gibbs' career accomplishments are even more impressive when one considers she was married at age 13 and had three children by age 20! She still managed to graduate from Wendell Phillips High School in Chicago. A performer in amateur theatricals, Gibbs was working as a customer service agent for United Airlines when she got her role on The Jeffersons. Cautiously, she waited until The Jeffersons was a bonafide hit show before quitting her job at United!
Tags: Marla  Gibbs  checking  In  Jeffersons  sitcom 
Added: 28th August 2011
Views: 2952
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Judy Garland Death 1969 In March of 1969, Judy married her fifth husband, Mickey Devinko, better known as Mickey Deans. They lived together in England in a tiny mews house in Chelsea. During the evening of Saturday, June 21 1969, Judy and Mickey were watching television when they had an argument. Judy ran out the door into the street, screaming and waking the neighbors. A phone call for Judy woke Mickey at 10:40 the next morning; Judy was not sleeping in the bed. Mickey searched for her, only to find the bathroom door locked. After no response, he climbed outside to the bathroom window and entered to find Judy, sitting on the toilet. Rigor mortis had already set in. Judy Garland was dead at the age of 47. The official cause of death, according to the death certificate shown here, was accidental barbituate poisoning (quinalbarbitone). The day Judy died, legend has it, there was a tornado in Kansas.
Tags: Judy  Garland  death 
Added: 5th December 2009
Views: 8586
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Posted By: Lava1964
Looking out my back door Creedence Clearwater Revival Classic Stuff!
Tags: Gooden  Creedence  Clearwater  Revival    Looking  out  my  back  door  Rockabilly  Rock  and  Roll  Classic  Rock  70's  Rock 
Added: 15th February 2010
Views: 1977
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Posted By: Marty6697
Nickelodeon Worldwide Day of Play Outside Unbelievable. Worldwide Day of Play is an annual event designed to encourage kids and parents to turn off the television and play, especially outdoors. I never had to be chased outside to play no matter what was on TV.
Tags: Worldwide  Day  of  Play  Outside  Nickelodeon,  Noggin  (now  Nick  Jr.),  The  N  (now  TeenNick),  and  NickToons 
Added: 7th May 2010
Views: 1556
Rating:
Posted By: Old Fart
The Terror of Tiny Town One of Hollywood's true curiosities was The Terror of Tiny Town (1938)--an all-midget musical western! The cowboys ride Shetland ponies and enter the saloon by walking under its swinging doors! Many of the cast members would also play Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz in 1939.
Tags: movie  midget  western  Terror  of  Tiny  Town 
Added: 30th May 2010
Views: 1410
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Posted By: Lava1964
Rebecca Schaeffer Murder 1989 Pretty Rebecca Schaeffer (pictured below) had an all-too-brief acting career. After she appeared on the cover of Seventeen magazine, she landed the role of Patti Russell on the short-lived CBS sitcom My Sister Sam. (The show ran from October 1986 to November 1987). During the show's run, an obsessed fan, Robert John Bardo, began writing letters to Schaeffer which were answered by CBS employees. Bardo twice tried to see Schaffer on the set but was turned away by security. After the show was cancelled, Bardo found Schaeffer's home address with the help of a private investigator who, for a $250 fee, obtained the information from California's Department of Motor Vehicles. On July 18, 1989, Bardo knocked on Schaeffer's apartment door and had a brief conversation with the actress. She asked him not to return. A little while later Bardo did return and fatally shot Schaeffer in the chest after she opened the door. She was 21. Bardo was apprehended a short time later, quickly confessed, and was sentenced to life in prison. Schaeffer's murder led to the first anti-stalker legislation in California (which has been widely copied in many jurisdictions). Among the celebrities who have benefitted from it or similar laws have been David Letterman and Madonna. The state of California also toughened its security policies regarding residents' personal information.
Tags: Rebecca  Schaeffer  murder  stalker 
Added: 9th June 2010
Views: 1972
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Posted By: Lava1964
Teddy Pendergrass- Close The Door Tags: Teddy  Pendergrass-  Close  The  Door  70s  1970s  soul,  rhythmn  and  blues,  r&b,  sexual 
Added: 24th November 2010
Views: 1376
Rating:
Posted By: Music Maiden

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