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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: 3530
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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: 6764
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Posted By: Lava1964
Barbara Billingsley of Leave it to Beaver fame dies CNN) -- Barbara Billingsley, who wore a classy pearl necklace and dispensed pearls of wisdom as America's quintessential mom on "Leave it to Beaver," has died at age 94, a family spokeswoman said Saturday. The actress passed away at 2 a.m. (5 a.m. ET) Saturday at her home in Santa Monica, California, after a long illness, spokeswoman Judy Twersky said. A private memorial is being planned. "America's favorite mother is now gone. I feel very fortunate to have been her 'son,' " actor Tony Dow, who played Wally Cleaver, said in a statement. "We were wonderful friends and I will miss her very much. My deepest sympathies to her sons, Glenn and Drew, and her entire family." Actor Jerry Mathers, who played Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver, spoke of Billingsley's talent during a 2000 appearance on CNN's "Larry King Live." "Barbara was always a true role model for me. She was a great actress," he said. "And in a lot of ways ... we kind of stifled her, because her true talent didn't really come out in 'Leave it Beaver.' She was like the straight man, but she has an awful lot of talent." The actress won a new legion of fans in a brief but memorable scene in the 1980 send-up movie "Airplane." "Oh, stewardess. I speak jive," Billingsley said in her role as a passenger attempting to comfort an ill man on the flight. From the moment its catchy theme song sounded in black-and-white TV sets of the 1950s, "Leave it to Beaver" enthralled Americans during a time of relative prosperity and world peace. Its characters represented middle-class white America. June Cleaver dutifully pecked her husband, Ward (played by the late Hugh Beaumont), when he came home to learn about the latest foibles -- nothing serious -- committed by Beaver and Wally. The parents would dispense moral advice to their sons. The boys' friends included Lumpy and the obsequious Eddie Haskell, who avoided trouble and often buttered up Ward and June. "That's a lovely dress you're wearing, Mrs. Cleaver," Eddie would typically say to Billingsley's character. Perhaps fittingly, "Leave it to Beaver" was canceled in 1963 on the eve of the JFK assassination, the Vietnam War and the tumult of the 1960s. Born December 22, 1915, in Los Angeles, Billingsley began her career as a model in New York City in 1936. She was under contract to MGM in 1945 before becoming a household name with the launch of "Leave it to Beaver" in 1957. Billingsley is survived by her two sons, Drew Billingsley of Granada Hills, California, and Glenn Billingsley of Phillips Ranch, California. Asked once to compare real-life families to TV families, Billingsley responded, "I just wish that we could have more families like those. Family is so important, and I just don't think we have enough people staying home with their babies and their children."
Tags: Leave  it  to  Beaver  Barbara  Billingsly 
Added: 16th October 2010
Views: 1422
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Posted By: Carl1957
1992 Little League World Series Scandal In 1992 the Little League baseball team representing Zamboanga City, Philippines won its way through national trials and the Far East series. After brushing aside the competition at Williamsport, PA, the team was crowned the champion of the 46th Little League World Series. Not long afterward, though, the team was stripped of its title after Filipino journalists revealed the team had used ineligible players who did not meet either age or residency requirements. In 1992 the LLWS introduced a new format--round-robins within both the American and International pools. Zamboanga City thumped Kaiserslauten, Germany, then Valleyfield, Quebec to clinch a berth in the International final. They lost a meaningless game to Epyguerrerro, Dominican Republic, but beat them 5-1 when it counted in the International final. The LLWS championship game, on August 29, against Long Beach, California, was a blowout, with Zamboanga City scoring seven runs in the first inning and cruising to an easy 15-4 win. The team was hailed as heroes in the Philippines. Filipino president Fidel V. Ramos awarded the players' families a million pesos. Long Beach head coach Jeff Burroughs remarked that one Filipino pitcher, Roberto Placious, had the poise of a high school or college pitcher. He may have been right! A few days after Zamboanga City's victory, journalist Al Mendoza of the Philippine Daily Inquirer began a series of stories suggesting that some players were ineligible for the LLWS. In response to this allegation, Little League headquarters faxed administrator Armando Andaya questions regarding the players' ages, birth certificates, residence--and a specific question regarding pitcher Ian Tolentino's participation in a tournament in 1990 (suggesting this would have made him overage in 1992). Andaya admitted to violating rules on district representation. Eight players were from outside the Zamboanga City area--some came from as far away as Luzon and were unable to speak Chabacano, the language most commonly spoken in Zamboanga. Little League Baseball promptly stripped Zamboanga City of its title. Under Little League rules at the time, when a team was found to have used an ineligible player, it forfeited only its most recent game. Since the revelation was made after the championship game, that game was declared a 6-0 forfeit victory for Long Beach--which was awarded the LLWS title. The exposed players and parents remained defiant, and accused Little League Baseball of denying them due process. Many Filipinos were outraged at what they saw as a betrayal by Mendoza. (He was given the key to the city of Long Beach!) Nevertheless, fellow Inquirer journalist Armand N. Nocum conducted a further investigation and found that even the six true Zamboangueños were overage--one was at least 15--and thus ineligible. It was further discovered the fraud was based upon the ineligible players assuming the identities of eligible players who had represented the city at the national championships. In some cases, even the parents of the ineligible players assumed false identities to maintain the appearance of propriety. Apparently no lesson was learned by the Zamboanga City Little League. The very next year its team was disqualified from the Filipino national championship tournament in another overage-player scandal.
Tags: cheating  Little  League  Baseball  scandal  Philippines 
Added: 28th August 2011
Views: 4848
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Posted By: Lava1964
Aberfan Disaster - 1966 At 9.15 am on Friday, October 21, 1966 a enormous mountain of excavated coal mining debris (known to coal miners as a waste tip) slid down a mountainside into the mining village of Aberfan, near Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales. The waste tips, which had been building up for 50 years, had become heavy and saturated due to a week of rainy weather. The debris slide first destroyed a farm cottage in its path, killing all the occupants. At Pantglas Junior School, just below, the children had just returned to their classes after singing All Things Bright and Beautiful at their assembly. The tipping gang up the mountain had seen the slide start, but could not raise the alarm because their telephone cable had been repeatedly stolen. (The Tribunal of Inquiry later established that the disaster happened so quickly that a telephone warning would not have saved any lives regardless.) Down in the village, nobody saw anything, but everybody heard the noise as about 40,000 cubic metres of debris crashed into the school at a depth of 39 feet. Gaynor Minett, an eight-year-old student, remembered four years later, "It was a tremendous rumbling sound and all the school went dead. You could hear a pin drop. Everyone just froze in their seats. I just managed to get up and I reached the end of my desk when the sound got louder and nearer, until I could see the black out of the window. I can't remember any more but I woke up to find that a horrible nightmare had just begun in front of my eyes." The slide engulfed the school and about 20 houses in the village before coming to rest. Then there was total silence. George Williams, who was trapped in the wreckage, remembered that "In that silence you couldn't hear a bird or a child." All able-bodied persons in the village rushed to the scene with whatever implements they could find to begin digging through the mess to search for survivors. None were found after 11 a.m., but it took nearly a week to recover all the bodies. The death toll in the Aberfan disaster was 144--of which 116 were school children. That accounted for about half the school's enrolment. Five teachers were killed too. An inquiry later blamed the National Coal Board (NCB) for ignoring warnings from years earlier about the potential hazards of the growing waste tips. Families of the victims were eventually compensated 500 British pounds by the NCB for each loved one who had perished.
Tags: Aberfan  Wales  disaster  coal 
Added: 11th June 2012
Views: 2752
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Posted By: Lava1964
Grinch Airs on CBS in 1966 A holiday tradition for many families. The Grinch Steals Christmas aired on CBS in 1966
Tags: Grinch  Airs  CBS  1966  Christmas  Steals 
Added: 19th December 2013
Views: 925
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Posted By: dusman
Missing Airplane From 1950 - Northwest Flight 2501 Commercial airliners vanishing are not new. On the night of June 23, 1950, Northwest Orient Airlines flight 2501 departed from New York City en route to its final destination of Seattle with a scheduled stopover in Minneapolis. It never made it to either stop. Sometime around 1:13 a.m. the DC-4 vanished over Lake Michigan near Benton Harbor, MI not long after its captain, Robert Lind, requested permission from air-traffic control to lower its altitude by 1000 meters to avoid stormy conditions. That permission was denied due to heavy air traffic. The airplane should have been spotted on radar near Milwaukee shortly thereafter, but instead it vanished. It was filled to capacity with 55 passengers and a crew of three. Some debris--including small body fragments--washed ashore but the plane itself has never been found, despite sonar-assisted searches and trawlers dragging the lake bottom. Thus no one knows what really happened to it. Researchers in 2008 discovered that the human remains were buried secretly in an unmarked grave without the victims' families being notified. At the time it was the worst airline disaster in American history.
Tags: airplane  aviation  missing  plane  Northwest  2501 
Added: 16th February 2015
Views: 1590
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Posted By: Lava1964
Postmortem Photography It seems a little bit creepy today--well, actually it seems extremely creepy by modern standards--but it was quite common in the late 19th century to photograph your loved ones in lifelike poses after they had died! Photography was generally very expensive in the 19th century. Often families had no photographs of loved ones while they were alive. Accordingly, as part of a funeral ritual, the recently deceased person would be dressed, posed in a very lifelike position--much like the gentleman in this example--and his/her image was preserved for posterity. Frequently they were posed alongside siblings and parents as part of a family portrait. Because of the slow shutter speed of cameras in those days, dead people were actually the best subjects for photographers as they were guaranteed to stay still. Postmortem photography was surprisingly commonplace in Europe and North America (especially of dead children because childhood mortality rates were very high). It remained quite common until photography became cheaper and families were more likely to have photos of their relatives taken while they were still in the land of the living.
Tags: postmortem  photography 
Added: 9th March 2015
Views: 1139
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Posted By: Lava1964
Depression-Era Dresses Made from Flour Sacks During the Great Depression flour companies became aware that their sacks were being reused as material by poor families to make dresses for little girls. Accordingly, some companies began putting patterns on their sacks to make the material more visually attractive.
Tags: flour  sack  dress  materials  Depression 
Added: 5th October 2015
Views: 1298
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Posted By: Lava1964
SS Eastland Disaster - 1915 On Saturday, July 24, 1915 the S.S. Eastland, a Chicago-based passenger steamer ship, welcomed nearly 2,600 people aboard. Most were employees of the Western Electric Company's Hawthorne Works in Cicero, IL and their families. The Eastland was docked at a pier in the Chicago River. Passengers began boarding at 6:30 a.m. Their destination was Michigan City, IN--a three-hour trip across Lake Michigan for a day of fun and recreation at an enormous company picnic. The last passengers boarded the Eastland at about 7:10 a.m. At 7:28 a.m., still tied to the dock, the Eastland took on water, lurched dramatically to its port side (away from the dock) where most of the passengers were standing, and quickly capsized. About one-third of the passengers--844 people--and four crew members were trapped within the doomed ship and were either crushed to death or drowned in 20 feet of water. How did the catastrophe happen? First, the ship was overloaded with both passengers and the weight of additional lifeboats mandated by new maritime safety laws. In previous trips that summer, the Eastland had carried 1,100 passengers at most. Second, renovations and additions to the Eastland has raised its height and dangerously shifted the ship's center of gravity. Third, the Eastland's ballast tanks were initially empty. If they had been filled before the passengers boarded, they could have provided more stable balance for the Eastland. Twenty-two entire families perished in the disaster. One notable person bought a ticket for the Eastland. Fortunately for him, he arrived at the dock too late to board the ship. It was a 20-year-old Western Electric employee George Halas. He had intended to play in the baseball game at the company picnic. Halas, after playing 24 games for the New York Yankees in 1919, would later be one of the key figures in founding the National Football League.
Tags: Eastland  maritime  disaster  Chicago 
Added: 27th April 2017
Views: 1031
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Posted By: Lava1964

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