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Donald Haines - Our Gang War Casualty Donald Haines was a supporting character in the Our Gang comedies just after the transition from silent movies to sound. Haines's tenure began during the early talkies up through the "Miss Crabtree episodes," when he would leave for feature films at Paramount only to return a few months later. His tenure continued through 1933. Haines's first short was Shivering Shakespeare, which featured the youngster giggling his way through his lines. On the next short The First Seven Years, he was a main character, playing opposite Jackie Cooper. After that, he was a recurring character with a few small speaking roles until 1931. At that time he was offered a contract with Paramount, which would begin with a role in a feature called Skippy. Jackie Cooper also was offered a role on that feature and a contract. Cooper would remain at Paramount. Haines, on the other hand, would quickly leave Paramount to return to Hal Roach Studios just in time for the 1931-1932 season. At that point, several major characters had left the series because they were perceived as too old. This left a depleted Our Gang of only three regulars and a few recurring characters. Haines would resume his role as a recurring character with an occasional speaking role for the next two seasons. Shortly after Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941, Haines joined the Army Air Force and rose to the rank of lieutenant. He was listed as missing in action in February 1943. His body was never found.
Tags: Donald  Haines  Our  Gang  MIA 
Added: 10th September 2011
Views: 2085
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Posted By: Lava1964
N.Y. Yankees Fire Red Barber - 1966 Red Barber was one of the great baseball broadcasters of all time. He began as the radio voice of the Cincinnati Reds in 1934. He became the Brooklyn Dodgers' lead broadcaster in 1939 and held that position until 1953 when he fell into disfavor with Dodger management over salary demands. The New York Yankees quickly hired Barber to work alongside Mel Allen beginning in 1954. The two men had contrasting styles but they meshed well together. Barber was the restrained southern gentleman while Allen was exuberant and bombastic. Barber's tenure with the Yankees ended suddenly at the end of the 1966 season--largely because he had the courage to report the truth. The Yankees, owned by CBS at the time, were a last-place team in 1966. During a home game on Thursday, September 22, only 413 fans were scattered around the cavernous ballpark to watch the Yankees play the visiting Chicago White Sox in a makeup game. The TV cameramen were under strict instructions from CBS media relations not to follow foul balls into the sea of empty seats. Barber, though, took it upon himself to paint the scene with words. "I don't know what the paid attendance is today," he said, "but whatever it is, it is the smallest crowd in the history of Yankee Stadium...and this crowd is the story, not the game." That game was the first for CBS executive Mike Burke as team president. A week later, Barber was invited to a breakfast meeting where Burke abruptly told him that his contract wouldn't be renewed for 1967. Barber was so stunned by the news that he rose from the table and left the restaurant without speaking. Barber had fully expected Burke to reaffirm his importance to a rebuilding team. Barber retired from sports broadcasting altogether. He died in 1992 at age 84.
Tags: Red  Barber  baseball  Yankees  fired  broadcaster 
Added: 21st September 2011
Views: 3518
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Posted By: Lava1964
Disco Demolition Night - 1979 Disco Demolition Night--one of baseball's most ill-conceived promotions--caused a rare MLB forfeit on July 12, 1979. It occurred at Chicago's Comiskey Park between games of a Thursday doubleheader between the hometown White Sox and visiting Detroit Tigers. Popular Chicago disc jockey Steve Dahl had been fired from radio station WDAI when he mentioned--on the air--that he listened to the album-oriented rock of rival station WLUP rather than his own station's fare--predominantly disco tunes. Dahl was subsequently hired by WLUP, known locally as "The Loop." The 1979 White Sox were a mediocre team struggling to attract decent crowds, so the team's management was willing to try anything to try to draw new fans. Dahl, in conjunction with Mike Veeck (son of then-White Sox owner Bill Veeck), devised a promotion: Anyone who brought a disco record to the ballpark would be admitted for just 98 cents. The records would be collected, placed in a large crate in center field, and blown up by Dahl between games. Dahl hyped the event on The Loop, hoping that 12,000 people might show up--double the typical Thursday attendance at Comiskey Park. The turnout exceeded all expectations. An estimated 90,000 people turned up at the 52,000-seat stadium. When the box office stopped selling tickets, thousands of people still got in by climbing over walls. It was an atypical baseball crowd to be sure. Broadcasters Harry Caray and Jimmy Piersall commented on the "strange people" wandering throughout the stands. When the crate was filled with records, stadium staff stopped collecting them. The "fans" who still had records soon realized they were shaped like frisbees. A few began to throw records from the stands during the game. After the first game, a 4-1 Tigers' win, Dahl, clad in army fatigues and a helmet, proceeded to center field. The crate containing the records was rigged with explosives. Dahl led the crowd in chants of "Disco sucks!" prior to triggering the explosion. When detonated, the explosives tore a hole in the outfield grass and a small fire began burning. Dahl triumphantly circled the warning track in a jeep before leaving the field. Once Dahl left, the White Sox started warming up for the second game, but thousands of fans rushed the field. Some lit more fires. Others pulled down the batting cage and wrecked it. Bases were stolen and chunks of the outfield grass were ripped away. Most trespassers wandered around aimlessly, though a number of participants burned banners, sat on the grass, ran from security and police and threw records into the air. Veeck and Caray used the PA system to implore the fans to vacate the field, but to no avail. Eventually the field was cleared by police in riot gear. Six people reported minor injuries and 39 were arrested for disorderly conduct. The field was so badly torn up that the umpires decided the second game could not be played. The next day American League president Lee MacPhail forfeited the second game to the Tigers on the grounds that the White Sox had not provided acceptable playing conditions. For the rest of the season, fielders complained about Comiskey Park's playing surface being substandard. No AL game has been forfeited since that night.
Tags: baseball  riot  disco  Comiskey  Park 
Added: 30th January 2012
Views: 5936
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Posted By: Lava1964
NY Giants 1st Home Game The Giants first home game was at the Polo Grounds on October 18, 1925, against the Frankford Yellow Jackets. When the Giants played their first game at the Meadowlands in New Jersey on October 10, 1976 the opponent was the Dallas Cowboys and a souvenir gift pack included a bumper sticker saying “Giants Stadium I Was There Opening Day,” a stadium picture, a small New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority flag, and a reprint of the October 18, 1925 program.
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Added: 5th February 2012
Views: 1555
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Posted By: Cliffy
1961 US Figure Skating Team This group photo of the U.S. figure skating team was taken on February 14, 1961 as they prepared to depart from New York City to Brussels--their first leg on a journey to the world championship in Prague. They never made it. After a seemingly routine flight, the airplane experienced unexpected difficulty while in a holding pattern while awaiting permission to land. The aircraft crashed into a farmer's field in the small town of Berg, Belgium. All 72 people aboard the airplane perished--including the 18 people connected to the U.S. figure skating team. Because of the horrible tragedy, the world championships that year were cancelled.
Tags: figure  skating  plane  crash 
Added: 18th February 2012
Views: 1638
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Patsy Cline Plane Crash - 1963 Patsy Cline, one of the most influential female singers in country music history, was tragically killed in an airplane crash in Camden, TN on March 5, 1963. She was 30 years old. Her last performance had occurred two days earlier in Kansas City, KS at a benefit for the family of a popular radio deejay who had died in an automobile mishap in January. Cline's plane was headed towards Nashville, TN. After a stopover in Dyersburg, TN, the plane, a small Piper Comanche, took off for the final leg of the journey at 6:07 p.m. It vanished about 15 minutes later. Three other performers--Cowboy Copas, Hankshaw Hawkins, and Randy Hughes (the pilot)--also perished. The airplane encountered severe storm conditions which almost certainly contributed to the crash. It was later learned that Hughes was not trained for instrument flying and was likely trying to make an emergency landing on a nearby highway. Instead the plane crashed nose-first into a remote forested area. The wreckage was discovered by a Cline fan early the next morning who had searched for it after hearing radio reports that Cline's plane had likely gone down. The crash site has changed very little in the five decades since Cline's untimely death. According to friends, Cline sensed her impending doom, and made comments as early as September 1962 that she didn't expect to live much longer. Shortly before her death, Cline gave away treasured personal belongings and hastily wrote her will.
Tags: singer  Patsy  Cline  airplane  crash 
Added: 6th May 2012
Views: 5163
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Posted By: Lava1964
Polio Vaccine Campaign 1954 From 1916 through 1952 the United States and Canada experienced horrible outbreaks of polio every few years. At one point, one out of every 5000 children was diagnosed with the dreaded disease. Polio is a virus which can be contracted through contacting bodily fluids from someone already infected. Early symptoms might include headaches and a runny nose. However, once the virus moves to the central nervous system, it can cause paralysis and even death. Sneezing and coughing accelerate the spread of polio. Therefore there was justifiable panic in communities when outbreaks occurred. Public gathering places would be declared off limits. (Swimming pools were typically the first places to be closed.) Municipal parks would be eerily vacant. Researchers later determined, somewhat ironically, that young children were most susceptible to polio because most North American births in the 20th century occurred in the sterile environs of hospitals. These newborns did not naturally come in contact with small amounts of the disease as did their ancestors who were born at home. Accordingly, their immune systems did not develop sufficient resistance to the virus. Researchers Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin worked separately to find a cure. Both believed that by exposing children to minute traces of the virus through immunizations their immune systems would build up a lifetime immunity to polio. Salk favored vaccine containing the dead polio virus while Sabin favored live-virus vaccine. In 1954, two years after the terrible 1952 outbreak, more than 1.83 million children volunteered to be "polio pioneers" and serve as guinea pigs for Salk's virus. As a reward for their bravery, each was given a lollipop, plus a button and certificate acknowledging participation in the program. None of the volunteers contracted polio.
Tags: polio  research  vaccine  volunteers 
Added: 13th May 2012
Views: 2267
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Posted By: Lava1964
Pull Tabs Beverage cans once required old-style puncture type openers. No handy opener meant no one could drink form the can! This was obviously not a good situation for beverage companies. The solution was to invent a pull-off pull tab that eliminated the need for an opener. However, there were inherent dangers. A tab might often be razor-sharp when it was detached from the can, so it presented a potential hazard if tossed away carelessly. There was at least one recorded case of a person swallowing a tab. (How does that happen?) By the mid-1970s, the pull-off tabs had been replaced by the press-down opening system which basically operated on the old-style puncture premise. Cans were equipped with two protrusions. The drinker pressed on the small one to release a small amount of carbonation, then pressed the big one which provided a drinking hole. By the 1980s, the modern, no-hassle, litter-free, pull-down pull tab had come into vogue and was happily accepted by the public.
Tags: pull  tabs  cans 
Added: 7th June 2012
Views: 2680
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Posted By: Lava1964
Nicole Morin Unsolved Disappearance - 1985 One of the most perplexing missing persons cases in Canadian history is that of eight-year-old Nicole Morin. On Tuesday, July 30, 1985 Nicole, clad in a one-piece peach swimsuit and carrying a blanket and beach towel, left her penthouse apartment in Toronto's Etobicoke area...and vanished. She never reached the apartment's lobby where a friend named Jennifer was waiting for her. In nearly three decades there has been no trace of Nicole--who was likely abducted moments after leaving the apartment. At 10:30 a.m. Nicole had gone to the lobby of the apartment building to collect the mail. She returned to her 20th-floor apartment and got ready to go swimming with a playmate in the building's supervised outdoor pool. Before leaving the apartment, Nicole spoke to Jennifer via the building's intercom and promised to be right down. At about 11 a.m. Nicole said goodbye to her mother Jeanette, who was busy running a small daycare service she operated from her apartment. Nicole went out the door--and was never seen again. Jennifer waited about 15 minutes before buzzing the apartment again to find out why Nicole hadn't arrived at the lobby. Jeanette assumed Nicole was dawdling and was not unduly concerned. Eventually Jennifer went to the pool on her own, but Nicole never showed up. Several hours went by before Nicole's mother realized something was terribly amiss and alerted the police. A thorough search turned up no clues whatsoever. A week later the case was turned over to the homocide department. Jeanette died of a heart attack in 2007. Nicole's father, Art, who was estranged from his ex-wife in 1985 and has an ironclad alibi for that day, still clings to the unlikely hope that Nicole is alive somewhere. (She would have turned 35 on April 1, 2012.) One unsubstantiated theory Art proffered in a 2010 interview with the Toronto Star is that someone connected to his ex-wife took Nicole to prevent him from gaining custody. Well after her disappearance, a school notebook of Nicole's was found to have the tantalizing phrase, "I am going to disappear" written in it. Investigators delcared it to be a statement of childhood fantasy rather than a meaningful clue.
Tags: missing  child  Nicole  Morin  Canada 
Added: 12th June 2012
Views: 4622
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Posted By: Lava1964
Ann Rutherford 1917-2012 Ann Rutherford, the Canadian-born actress who played Careen O'Hara, the older of Scarlett O'Hara's two younger sisters in the 1939 classic film Gone With the Wind, has died. She was 94. Rutherford, who also portrayed Mickey Rooney's teenage girlfriend in the Andy Hardy movies, died Monday evening, June 11, 2012, at her home in Beverly Hills, said her close friend and fellow actress Anne Jeffreys. Rutherford had recently been in declining health with heart problems. In her later years, as Rutherford was one of the few surviving cast members of GWTW, she was very much in demand to make public appearances at GWTW-themed events although--by her own admission--her role as Carreen O'Hara was a relatively small and unimportant one. Rutherford appeared in about 60 other Hollywood films.
Tags: GWTW  Ann  Rutherford 
Added: 16th June 2012
Views: 1362
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Posted By: Lava1964

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