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Oliver Sipple - The Man Who Saved Gerald Ford On September 22, 1975, 33-year-old Oliver Sipple (the man with the sideburns in the left of the photo) was walking past the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco where President Gerald Ford was scheduled to speak. As Sipple moved forward to better hear Ford's speech, he noticed a woman standing next to him (later identified as Sara Jane Moore) reach into her raincoat and pull out a revolver. Sipple yelled, "Gun!" and instinctively grabbed for her arm and deflected it as she pulled the trigger. The bullet, intended for the president who was just 40 feet away, ricocheted off a wall and slightly wounded another bystander. Sipple, a decorated Vietnam vet, tackled Moore, prevented her from shooting again, and handed her over to the Secret Service. Oliver Sipple now became a reluctant celebrity. He was immediately hailed in the national press and received thousands of letters praising his heroics. However, President Ford only sent him a short note and avoided a personal meeting. News organizations wondered why the White House was avoiding Sipple. Although he was openly gay, Sipple’s sexual orientation was a secret from his family and employers. Accordingly, he asked the press to keep his sexuality off the record. However, news organizations refused to comply. The gay community saw the situation as a great opportunity. While discussing whether or not Sipple’s sexuality ought to be disclosed, prominent gay San Francisco's councilman Harvey Milk noted: “For once we can show that gays do heroic things, not just all that caca about molesting children and hanging out in bathrooms.” Milk further suggested that Sipple’s sexual orientation was the reason he received only a note from Ford rather than a formal invitation to the White House. Herb Caen, a columnist at The San Francisco Chronicle, outed Sipple as gay. The Chicago Sun-Times called him a ‘Homosexual Hero’; The Denver Post used the more pithy term ‘Gay Vet’. In Detroit, Sipple’s staunch Baptist family became the subject of ridicule and abuse by friends and neighbors. His mother refused to talk to him. When she died in 1979, his father told him not to attend the funeral. Sipple filed a $15-million invasion of privacy suit against seven newspapers and various publishers, but after a long and bitter process, the courts held that Sipple himself had become news, and that his sexual orientation was part of the story. Oliver Sipple sank into a downward spiral of depression, alcoholism, obesity and drug abuse. By the time he was found dead with an empty bottle of bourbon in 1989, Oliver Sipple was already a forgotten footnote to ethics and freedom of press. His apartment was littered with press clippings about that fateful day in 1975 when he saved a man’s life and subsequently ruined his own.
Tags: Oliver  Sipple  gay  assassination  hero  Ford 
Added: 9th July 2012
Views: 2640
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Posted By: Lava1964
Spittoons They'd be considered very unhygienic today, but in their day spittoons were actually a step up in public health. Used as a receptacle for spit generated by chewing tobacco, in the late 19th century spittoons became a common sight in pubs, brothels, saloons, hotels, stores, banks, railway carriages, and other places where people--especially adult men--gathered. Although brass was the most common material for spitoons, other materials ranged from basic functional iron to crafted cut glass and fine porcelain. At higher-class hotels, spittoons were often elaborately decorated. Spittoons were flat-bottomed, often weighted to minimize tipping over, and commonly had an interior lip to make spilling less likely even if they did tip over. Occasionally they'd have lids. Some had holes with an accompanying plug, to aid in draining and cleaning. Use of spittoons was considered an advance of public manners and health, intended to replace previously common habit of spitting on floors, streets, and sidewalks. Many jurisdictions passed laws against spitting in public--other than into a spittoon. Boy Scout troops organized campaigns to paint "Do not Spit on the Sidewalk" notices on city sidewalks. In 1909, Cincinnati scout troops allied with members of the Anti-Tuberculosis League painted thousands of such messages in a single night. A punny mass-produced sign common in saloons read: 'If you expect to rate as a gentleman, do not expectorate on the floor.' Spittoons were also useful for people suffering from tuberculosis who would cough up phlegm. Public spittoons would sometimes contain a solution of an antiseptic such as carbolic acid with the aim of limiting transmission of disease. With the start of the 20th century, medical doctors urged tuberculosis sufferers to use personal pocket spittoons instead of public ones; these were jars with tight lids which people could carry. After the deadly 1918 flu epidemic, both hygiene and etiquette advocates began to disparage public use of the spittoon, and use began to decline. Chewing gum replaced tobacco as the favorite chew of the younger generation. Cigarettes were considered more hygienic than spit-inducing chewing tobacco. While it was still not unusual to see spittoons in some public places as late as the 1930s, vast numbers of old brass spittoons met their ends when they were melted down during the scrap metal drives of the Second World War.
Tags: spittoons  hygiene  tobacco 
Added: 17th July 2012
Views: 4054
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Posted By: Lava1964
Queen of Mean Convicted, 1992 Leona Helmsley, nicknamed the "Queen of Mean" by the press, receives a four-year prison sentence, 750 hours of community service, and a $7.1 million tax fraud fine in New York. For many, Helmsley became the object of loathing and disgust when she quipped that "only the little people pay taxes." Leona's husband, Harry, was one of the world's wealthiest real estate moguls, with an estimated $5 billion to $10 billion in property holdings. The couple lived in a dazzling penthouse overlooking Central Park and also maintained an impressive mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut. Leona, who operated the Helmsley Palace on Madison Avenue, was severely disliked by her employees. Though they lavishly furnished their homes and hotel, the Helmsleys were curiously diligent about evading the required payments and taxes for their purchases. Much of their personal furniture was written off as a business expense, and there were claims that the Helmsleys extorted free furnishings from their suppliers. Contractors were hardly ever paid on time-if at all-and many filed lawsuits to recover even just a portion of what they were owed. Leona reportedly also purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars of jewelry in New York City but insisted that empty boxes be sent to Connecticut so that she could avoid the sales tax. Given her offensive personality, many were quite pleased by Leona's legal troubles. Even celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowitz could not win her immunity from the law. Following her conviction, Federal Judge John Walker publicly reprimanded her, saying, "Your conduct was the product of naked greed [and] the arrogant belief that you were above the law." Leona Helmsley was sent to jail in 1992 and was released in 1994. In 2002, Helmsley, whose husband Harry died in 1997, again found herself in court after being sued by Charles Bell, a former employee who accused Leona of firing him soley because he was homosexual. A jury ordered Helmsley to pay him more than $11 million in damages. Helmsley died in August 2007 at age 87. She famously left $12 million to her dog, Trouble.
Tags: News 
Added: 4th December 2014
Views: 1018
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Posted By: WestVirginiaRebel
Johnny Owen - Boxing Fatality This is the concluding segment of a BBC documentary on Welsh boxer Johnny Owen. Owen died from injuries he suffered in a world bantamweight championship fight versus titleholder Lupe Pintor of Mexico on September 19, 1980. Owen's scrawny appearance--and his nickname the "Matchstick Man"--belied the fact he was a scrappy battler with a 25-1-1 record who held the Welsh, British, Commonwealth, and European bantamweight championships. The title fight took place in front of a hostile crowd of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles. Before, during, and after the fight, Owens' handlers and the Welsh fans who had travelled thousands of miles to support Owen were routinely pelted with cups of urine thrown at them by the Hispanic fans. Nevertheless, Owen surprised everyone by putting on a competitive fight. Some writers had Owen ahead after eight rounds, but he was tiring. In the ninth round he was knocked down for the first time in his pro career. In the fateful twelfth round, Pintor floored Owen again. Owen rose and a few seconds later was knocked unconscious by a Pintor straight right. A blood clot formed on Owen's brain. He never regained consciousness and died 45 days after the fight. He was 24 years old. Owen's family held no grudge against Pintor and encouraged him to continue his boxing career. When a memorial statue to Owen was about to erected in his hometown of Merthyr Tydfil, Wales in 2000, Owen's father insisted Pintor perform the official unveiling. Pintor obliged.
Tags: boxing  fatality  Johnny  Owen  Wales 
Added: 26th November 2012
Views: 2077
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Posted By: Lava1964
Death of Sam Cooke - 1964 Popular singer Sam Cooke is best remembered for his million-selling 1957 hit You Send Me. The married Cooke was something of a serial philanderer and died a rather unseemly death at age 33 on December 11, 1964, at the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles from a fatal gunshot wound to the torso. The motel's manager, Bertha Franklin, said she shot Cooke in self-defense after he broke into her office and attacked her. However, the details of the case are still in dispute. Cooke's body was found in Franklin's apartment-office, clad only in a sports jacket and shoes, but no shirt, pants or underwear. The official police record states that Franklin fatally shot Cooke who had checked in earlier that evening with a young woman. Franklin claimed that Cooke had broken into the manager's office-apartment in a rage, wearing nothing but a shoe and a sports coat demanding to know the whereabouts of the woman who had accompanied him to the hotel only a few minutes earlier. Franklin told Cooke the woman was not in the office, but the enraged Cooke did not believe her. He violently grabbed her, demanding again to know the woman's whereabouts. According to Franklin, she grappled with Cooke and the two of them fell to the floor. She got up and ran to retrieve her gun. She said she then fired at Cooke in self-defense because she feared for her life. Cooke was struck once in the torso, and according to Franklin, he exclaimed, "Lady, you shot me!" before mounting a last charge at her. She said that she beat him over his head with a broomstick before he finally fell. He was mortally wounded by the gunshot. Franklin noted she fired the gun at least three times. Franklin and the motel's owner, Evelyn Carr, had been speaking on the telephone together at the time of the incident. Thus, Carr claimed to have overheard Cooke's intrusion and the ensuing conflict and gunshots. Carr called the police to request they go to the motel, as she believed a shooting had occurred. A coroner investigated the incident. The woman who had accompanied Cooke to the motel was identified as Elisa Boyer, who had also called the police that night shortly before Carr. Boyer had called police from a telephone booth near the motel, telling them she had just escaped being kidnapped. Boyer told police that she had met Cooke earlier that night and had spent the evening in his company. She claimed that after they left a local nightclub together, she had repeatedly requested that he take her home, but he instead took her against her will to the Hacienda Motel. She claimed that once they had rented one of the motel's $3 rooms, Cooke physically forced her onto the bed and that she was certain he was going to rape her. According to Boyer, when Cooke stepped into the bathroom for a moment, she quickly grabbed her clothes and ran from the room. She claimed that in her haste, she had also scooped up most of Cooke's clothing by mistake. She said that she ran first to the manager's office and knocked on the door seeking help. However, she said the manager took too long in responding, so, fearing Cooke would soon be coming after her, she fled the motel before the manager opened the door. She claimed she put her own clothing back on, hid Cooke's clothing, and went to the telephone booth where she called police. Boyer's story is the only account of what happened between the two that night; however, her story has long been called into question. Inconsistencies between her version of events and details reported by other witnesses, as well as circumstantial evidence (e.g., thousands in cash that Cooke was reportedly carrying were never recovered, and Boyer was soon after arrested for prostitution), invited speculation that Boyer may have gone willingly to the motel with Cooke, then slipped out of the room with Cooke's clothing in order to rob him, rather than to escape an attempted rape.
Tags: Sam  Cooke  death 
Added: 15th December 2012
Views: 2630
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Posted By: Lava1964
 Saddam Hussein Received Key To Detroit Saddam Hussein directed hundreds of thousands of dollars to a church in Detroit and ended up receiving a key to the city for more than two decades. This is after he became the president of Iraq. Saddam’s bond with Detroit started in 1979 with Reverend Yasso congratulating him on his presidency. The church received a sum of $250,000. Post this donation, Yasso referred to Saddam as a kind, generous and cooperative person. He later on reported that money and power changed the person.
Tags:   Saddam  Hussein  Received  Key  To  Detroit  key  to  the  city       
Added: 26th April 2013
Views: 2085
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Posted By: Cliffy
Charley Ross Abduction Case - 1874 The first prominent child abduction in American history was the Charley Ross case. On July 1, 1874, four-year-old Charley Ross was playing with his five-year-old brother Walter in the front yard of their home in the affluent Germantown section of Philadelphia. Two men pulled up in a horse-drawn carriage. They offered the two brothers candy and fireworks if they would take a ride into town with them. The naive youngsters agreed. After a short ride, the carriage stopped in front of a store. Walter was given a quarter to buy fireworks. When he came out of the store, the carriage was gone. A sobbing Walter was found by a policeman. Walter explained what had happened. He described one of the men as having "a monkey nose." Not long afterward, ransom demands were mailed to Charley's father, Christian Ross, from various post offices in and around Philadelphia. The notes demanded the enormous sum of $20,000 for the boy's safe return. Christian was heavily in debt following the 1873 stock market crash and could not afford to play the ransom. The Pinkerton Detective Agency circulated thousands of handbills with an artist's drawing of Charley's face which made the case national news. Attempts to meet with the kidnappers on several occasions failed when the abductors never showed up. There were no significant developments in the case until December 1874 when two career criminals were shot while attempting to burglarize a judge's home in Long Island. One intruder, Bill Mosher, died instantly. The other, Joe Douglas, was mortally wounded. Before he died, Douglas confessed that he and Mosher had kidnapped Charley Ross in July. Contradictory statements were given as to whether the boy was still alive. Walter was taken to Long Island to identify the dead twosome. He agreed they were the men who had taken him for the carriage ride in July. Mosher was easily identified because of his deformed "monkey nose." The Ross family resolutely continued to pursue leads for Charley well into the 1930s. Hundreds of would-be Charley Rosses were investigated. None could be proven as legitimate. It is believed the admonition, "Don't take candy from strangers" was inspired by the Charley Ross kidnapping.
Tags: Charley  Ross  kidnapping  child  abduction 
Added: 17th July 2014
Views: 2263
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Posted By: Lava1964
Collyer Brothers - Famous NYC Recluses On March 21, 1947, New York City police received an anonymous telephone call reporting a dead body at the Collyer home in what was once a fashionable section of Harlem. The brownstone house was shared by Homer and Langley Collyer, two brothers who gained a measure of celebrity for living like hermits in New York City. The sons of a physician, the Collyer brothers were once prominent and productive citizens. Homer, the older sibling, was an admiralty lawyer. Langley was a concert pianist. Both were Sunday school instructors. Upon the deaths of their parents, though, the brothers shut off themselves from the outside world. They stopped paying taxes and lived without utilities for nearly 30 years. Homer went blind due to hemorrhages and later became paralyzed. Langley became Homer's caregiver. He cooked food on a portable kerosene stove and carried water in buckets from a public park four blocks away. Langley also became a notorious pack rat and scrounger. Venturing out of his house only in the dead of night, he'd shop for whatever food he needed for the day and pick up discarded items of all sorts. He retained newspapers for years so that Homer could catch up on his reading once he regained his sight. He occasionally befriended newspaper reporters who wrote stories about the reclusive Collyer brothers. Langley often fed Homer 100 oranges per week in the hope it would help him regain his eyesight. Fearful of burglars, Langley turned the Collyer house into a maze of pathways and crawl spaces amid the numerous junk and refuse that collected in the house. He built booby-traps to ensnare potential intruders. Based on the anonymous phone tip in March 1947, police broke into the Collyer home and found Homer, clad in a tattered robe, dead in a chair from malnutrition. Nearly a month went by before Langley was found amid the 140 tons of items that had been piled haphazardly throughout the house. Langley's body was found by sanitation workers under a mountain of debris only about 10 feet from where Homer's body had been found. Police theorized that Langley had accidentally tripped one of his own booby-traps and died of suffocation. Helpless and with no one to care for him, Homer slowly died of starvation about two weeks later. Among the wide variety of items found in the Collyer house were 14 pianos, most of a Model T Ford, tons of newspapers, thousands of law books, sexy pin-up posters circa 1910, dressmakers' dummies, unopened mail, 34 passbooks for various bank accounts, and unused tickets to a church function from 1905.
Tags: Collyer  brothers  pack  rats  hermits  NYC 
Added: 7th October 2014
Views: 1833
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Posted By: Lava1964
First Photo Of Earth From Space 1946 The first image of the Earth as seen from space was taken by a V2 rocket that was launched from the White Sands Missile Range in 1946.
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Added: 4th December 2014
Views: 1452
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Posted By: WestVirginiaRebel
Katyn Forest Massacre - 1940 One of the most horrifying events during the Second World War was the Katyn Forest massacres which occurred in the spring of 1940. About half the officer corps of Poland was put to death by the Soviet Union's secret police (NKVD). In August 1939 Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union--two ideological enemies--shocked the world by signing a non-aggression pact. As part of the deal, Germany was allowed a free hand to invade Poland from the west on September 1. The Soviets would invade from the east half a month later. The Poles were utterly overwhelmed. The Soviet Red Army met almost no opposition as the Polish Army was told by its government to not confront the Russians. In effect, conquered Poland was divided into two sections: one controlled by Nazi Germany, the other under the heel of the Soviet Union. Polish prisoners in the Soviet Sphere numbered about 30,000. At least 22,000 were executed methodically by gunshots to the back of their heads from close range. Along with most of the Polish officer corps, numerous intellectuals, journalists, doctors, lawyers, and professors were also killed by the NKVD on the special order of Josef Stalin. Their corpses were hastily buried in mass graves in the Katyn Forest. After the Germans attacked the Soviet Union in 1941, they learned about the mas graves. Sensing a propaganda bonanza that would demonize the USSR, they exhumed thousands of corpses. International Red Cross officials and top forensic scientists were called in by the Germans to make a report. They all agreed the massacre was done by the Soviets. Some Allied POWs were also brought in to witness the scene. One American agreed, saying the Russians were undeniably to blame. After reconquering the area, the Soviets blamed the Germans for the massacre. It took until 1990 before the Soviet Union accepted responsibility for the mass extermination of the cream of Poland's officer corps and much of its intellectual community half a century before.
Tags: Katyn  Forest  massacre  NKVD  Second  World  War 
Added: 11th June 2015
Views: 2136
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Posted By: Lava1964

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