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First Crossword Puzzle 1913 Arthur Wynne started a sensation on December 21, 1913. His creation, the first-ever crossword puzzle, appeared as a 'mental exercise' in the Fun section of the New York World. The numbering system is a little different than what you'd see in today's puzzles. Clues listed both starting and ending numbers. Within a decade, crossword puzzles were a newspaper staple throughout most of the English-speaking world. I'll post the clues for this historic puzzle if anyone requests them.
Tags: crossword  puzzle 
Added: 5th October 2009
Views: 3810
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Posted By: Lava1964
Eddie Waitkus Shooting 1949 Ballplayer Eddie Waitkus was the shooting victim of an obsessed female fan. Waitkus had broken into the National League with the Chicago Cubs in 1941 but was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1949. Nineteen-year-old Ruth Ann Steinhagen of Chicago had become obsessed with Waitkus as a 14-year-old. When he was traded to the Phillies, she snapped. During a Phillies' road trip to Chicago on June 14, 1949, Steinhagen checked into the Edgewater Beach Hotel where the Phillies were staying. She left a note for Waitkus to come to her hotel room to discuss urgent business. Believing the note to be from a friend of a friend, Waitkus arrived at Steinhagen's room and was invited in. Steinhagen briefly excused herself and returned with a rifle. Steinhagen blurted, 'You're not going to bother me anymore!' Then she shot Waitkus in the chest and calmly phoned the hotel's front desk to report the shooting. Waitkus nearly died on the operating table several times, but pulled through. He continued his major league career until 1955. Steinhagen was never charged with a crime. Instead she was committed to a mental institution. After three years she was deemed sane and released. Waitkus' shooting inspired Bernard Malamud's story 'The Natural.' Waitkus died in 1972, at age 53, of esophogeal cancer. Steinhagen is said to still live on Chicago's north side.
Tags: Eddie  Waitkus  shooting  Ruth  Ann  Steinhagen 
Added: 26th October 2009
Views: 3336
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Posted By: Lava1964
1919 Black Sox Scandal The worst sports scandal in American history revolved around the 1919 Chicago White Sox. The White Sox won their second American League pennant in three years and were heavily favored to beat the National League champion Cincinnati Reds in the best-of-nine World Series. But, lo and behold, the Reds won in eight games. Reporters and baseball insiders who watched the games knew something was amiss. White Sox pitchers Eddie Cicotte and Lefty Williams, the team's two aces, combined for all five Chicago losses. Their pitches seemed to lack zip. The White Sox also made uncharacteristic errors in the field and amateurish mental mistakes. It took nearly a year for evidence to surface that the eight of the White Sox had thrown the Series for gamblers. The press dubbed them the 'Black Sox,' and the eight were banned from pro baseball. Among them was the great Shoeless Joe Jackson, whose .356 career batting average is the third best ever. In order to restore the public's faith in Major League Baseball, Judge Kenesaw M. Landis was hired by the 16 team owners to serve as the sport's commissioner. He was given a lifetime contract and extraordinary powers. The White Sox did not play in another World Series until 1959.
Tags: baseball  Black  Sox  scandal 
Added: 20th November 2009
Views: 1799
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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: 4459
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Posted By: Lava1964
Our Gang - Farina Allen Hoskins became part of Hal Roach's Our Gang troupe in 1922 before he was two years old. At first Hoskins' Farina character was androgynous; in some films he's a male, in others he's a female. Farina soon evolved into a fully male character--and one of the most popular of the late silent and early talkies period. Often dressed in a bizarre array of mismatched gaudy clothes, Farina's character was the stereotypical 'pickaninny.' By the time his tenure as Farina on Our Gang ended in 1931, Hoskins was the top-salaried performer, earning $250 per week. Hoskins briefly had a vaudeville act with his sister, but gradually drifted away from show business. 'I prefer jobs where I eat regularly,' he quipped. Hoskins served in WWII, rising to the rank of sergeant. Late in Hoskins' life he worked tirelessly with the disabled and mentally ill. Like his fellow black Our Gang performers, Hoskins was annoyed at the political correctness that caused the series to be heavily edited for TV in the early 1970s. While acknowledging that blacks were steroetyped in the Our Gang comedies, he pointed out that whites were too: There were the stereotypical fat kids, bullies, nerds, freckle-faced kids, and pretty blondes. He was also quick to point out that in an era when much of America was segregated, the racially mixed Our Gang kids played, socialized, and went to school together. Hoskins died of cancer a month before his 60th birthday in 1980.
Tags: Our  Gang  Farina  Allen  Hoskins 
Added: 29th November 2009
Views: 3042
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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: 6999
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Posted By: Lava1964
Maggie McNamara "I was terrible shy and I used to work on myself to keep from showing it." McNamara was married to actor/director David Swift. The marriage ended in divorce and McNamara never remarried. After her last onscreen role in 1964, McNamara fell out of public view and spent her later years working as a typist in New York City. In February 1978, she was found dead after a deliberate overdose of sleeping pills. According to police reports, she had a history of mental illness and left a suicide note.
Tags:  
Added: 19th January 2011
Views: 3294
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Posted By: Cathy
Cliff Robertson passes today at age 88 Cliff Robertson, who starred as John F. Kennedy in a 1963 World War II drama and later won an Academy Award for his portrayal of a mentally disabled bakery janitor in the movie "Charly," died Saturday, one day after his 88th birthday. Robertson, who also played a real-life role as the whistle-blower in the check-forging scandal of then-Columbia Pictures President David Begelman that rocked Hollywood in the late 1970s, died at Stony Brook University Medical Center on Long Island, according to Evelyn Christel, his longtime personal secretary. His family said he died of natural causes.
Tags: Cliff  Robertson  passes  today  at  age  88          1960s          Warner          Bros          Cliff          Robertson          Jack          John          Kennedy          JFK          David          Buttolph          William          Lava          president          war          warfare          WW2          crew          boat          pacific          attack 
Added: 10th September 2011
Views: 1529
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Posted By: Old Fart
Former Fleetwood Mac member Bob Welch dead at 65 NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Bob Welch, a former member of Fleetwood Mac who went on to write songs and record several hits during a solo career, died Thursday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said. He was 65.
Tags: Bob  Welch,  Fleetwood  Mac,  Sentimental  Lady,    suicide,  dead 
Added: 7th June 2012
Views: 1113
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Posted By: Old Fart
Whats My Line - Syndicated Years After a prime time run on CBS of more than 17 years (1950 to 1967), the popular panel show What's My Line? was resurrected by its creators as a syndicated program from 1968 to 1975. Beloved host John Daly was not interested in the hectic schedule of five shows per week (all done in one day), so Washington political reporter Wally Bruner was brought in as the new moderator. Classy Arlene Francis returned as a regular panelist. Bennett Cerf apppeared occasionally until his death in 1971. Soupy Sales became the regular male panelist. He proved to be an amusing and excellent game player who seemed to know every mystery guest no matter what field he/she happened to be in. The syndicated version was less refined than the CBS version. Games were deliberately shortened to allow the contestants to display their unusual occupations--something that almost never happened on the old version. Therefore if a contestant was a fire eater or a wine taster, there was invariably a demonstration of his/her talent. Bruner hosted WML for four years but admittedly was not fond of New York City nor the showbiz scene and was happy to bow out gracefully. Larry Blyden, best known as a Broadway actor, took over as moderator in 1972 for the show's last three seasons, and was much more comfortable hobnobbing with celebrities than Bruner was. Providing halfway decent mystery guests five shows per week proved to be a huge challenge. Executive producer Gil Fates charitably referred to some of the so-called celebrities as "owls" because often the studio audience and some of the panelists would quietly say "who?" when the mystery guest was not particularly famous. The final shows were taped just before Christmas in 1974 and aired throughout the spring of 1975. Towards the end, declining ratings and aging audience demographics made WML a tough sell to local TV stations. Blyden was slated to host Showoffs, another game show, when he was tragically killed in an auto accident while vacationing in Morocco in June 1975--which absolutely sealed the finish of WML. The syndicated WML simply faded away with none of the sentimental fanfare the CBS version had in its 1967 finale. In his book on the history of WML, Fates ruefully admits the last episode of the syndicated show was "a bomb." There have been no serious attempts to revive WML since 1975, although a retrospective program was made later that year--co-hosted by John Daly and Arlene Francis--to mark WML's 25 years on the air.
Tags: TV  syndicated  Whats  My  Line 
Added: 14th June 2012
Views: 2174
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Posted By: Lava1964

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