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Laurel and Hardy - The Music Box The comedy team of Laurel & Hardy made dozens of short comedies in both the silent and sound eras of film. (Their voices so perfectly matched their characters that the transition to sound movies was no problem at all.) Many L&H fans declare the Oscar-winning 1932 featurette The Music Box to be their best short film. The plot is simple: L&H go into the cartage business and have to deliver a piano to an address located atop a large flight of stairs. The normal accidents, complications and catastrophes arise. The menacing concrete staircase still exists as a public walkway and is something of a tourist attraction. (It's located on Vendrome Street in Los Angeles.) A historic plaque was added to the stairs in 1993. A tall sign identifying 'Music Box Stairs' points L&H fans to the location.
Tags: Laurel  Hardy  film  Music  Box  stairs 
Added: 21st February 2011
Views: 3250
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Eddie Bennett - Baseball Mascot A hunchback or dwarf was once considered by sports teams to bring good luck. Many professional baseball teams had such a mascot. Hunchbacks were considered particularly lucky. Many players rubbed the mascot's back before batting, believing a hit was sure to follow. Eddie Bennett was such an object of luck, but he also became much more to the teams he worked for. From the beginning of his life, Eddie Bennett seemed to catch bad breaks. A childhood accident left Eddie with a crippling back injury stunting his growth and leaving him hunchbacked and permanently child-sized. His life was further disadvantaged when both his parents perished in the 1918 influenza epidemic. Crippled and orphaned, things looked bleak for the young kid from Flatbush. Eddie was a big baseball fan and frequently hung around the Polo Grounds. Happy Felsch of the Chicago White Sox took notice of the boy. Impressed by his cheery demeanor, the Sox adopted Eddie as their good luck charm. Eddie travelled with the team and they won the 1919 AL pennant. Eddie returned to Brooklyn for the 1920 season--and Brooklyn won the NL pennant that year. During the 1920 World Series, after winning two out of three games at home, the team left Eddie behind when they went on the road to play Cleveland. Without their lucky charm they promptly lost four straight games and the best-of-nine series. Eddie, dejected and offended, left the team in disgust. In 1921 Eddie latched onto the New York Yankees. Although still a good luck charm, Eddie established himself as a true professional batboy. He not only performed the typical duties of batboy, he also handled other tasks, enabling the players to focus on the game. He was a paid employee of the Yankees and took his job very seriously. Eddie ran errands for the players, procured their favorite foods, and became their confidant. Eddie was privy to every rumor and scandal regarding the Yankees during the Roaring Twenties but he kept his mouth shut. When Urban Shocker was suffering from serious heart problems late in his career, he roomed with Eddie. He honored the pitcher's wishes and kept Shocker's health issues from his teammates. Babe Ruth in particular became close to Eddie. Ruth and Bennett would enter the field early in batting practice and perform a comical warmup show. The much larger Ruth would continually throw the ball out of Eddie's reach, eventually backing him up to the backstop. Not one Ruthian homerun went by without Eddie being the first to shake his hand upon touching home plate. If you look at any team picture from 1921 to 1932, there is Eddie, front and center with a big wide grin on his face, the envy of every boy in America. In the 12 seasons Eddie was with the Yankees, they won seven AL pennants and four World Series. All this changed early in 1932 when Ediie was hit by a taxicab, breaking his leg. Due to his other health problems the injury healed slowly. By the end of the year it was clear that Eddie's fragile health was failing. Unable to perform his duties with the Yankees, he was nevertheless financially supported by team owner Jacob Ruppert for his past services to his club. But not being around the team anymore and the severe pain he suffered daily because of the accident took its toll on Eddie. He began drinking heavily. He passed away in 1935 after a three-week bender, surrounded in his room by mounds of priceless memorabilia from his years as baseball's most famous batboy.
Tags: baseball  mascot  Eddie  Bennett  Yankees  hunchback 
Added: 22nd February 2011
Views: 2059
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Knute Rockne Plane Crash Famed Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne and seven other men perished in an airplane crash on March 31, 1931. Rockne, 43, was travelling on business from Kansas City to Los Angeles on TWA Flight 599. The plane had only been airborne a short time when it lost a wing. It crashed on a farm near Bazaar, KS. Apparently the passengers were aware of their fate: It was reported that when Rockne's body was found, he was clutching a rosary. This memorial, erected on the crash site, was maintained for years by the 13-year-old boy who arrived first on the scene. Rockne's funeral cortege was witnessed by an estimated 300,000 people. It is often claimed that Flight 599 went down in or shortly after a thunderstorm. However, meteorological records show that there was no significant convective activity at the time. The accident was actually caused by the composition of the aircraft. Fokker Trimotor aircrafts were manufactured out of wood laminate; in this instance, moisture had leaked into the interior of one wing over a period of time and had weakened the glue bonding the structural members (called struts or spars) that prevented the wing from fluttering in flight. One spar finally failed; the wing developed an uncontrolled flutter and separated from the aircraft. The accident caused numerous changes in the operations of both TWA and the Aeronautics Branch of the US Department of Commerce, forerunner of today's FAA. All US airlines operating at that time were forced to remove Fokker Trimotors from service. The expense of this compounded with the bad publicity associated with Rockne's death almost sank TWA. The intense public interest in the cause of the accident also forced the Department of Commerce to abandon its policy of keeping the results of aircraft accident investigations secret.
Tags: Knute  Rockne  memorial  airplane  crash  football 
Added: 24th February 2011
Views: 8686
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Posted By: Lava1964
1962 Easter Church Etiquette For Teens From Seventeen magazine March 1962. An Easter tutorial about attending church. Just amazing. What didn't the vintage Seventeen magazine's cover? Who talks about this stuff today? It's not even politically correct to say you even GO to church today! There's some useful material here if you look past gloves and stockings being necessary. LOL My parents stopped letting me bring a friend with us to church because all we did was giggle. Kids. We'd just look at each other and start to laugh. I think it was because we knew we weren't supposed to laugh in church, but that made it harder NOT to. I like the part about preparing for the collection ahead of time. I remember all those people who held up the basket and made jingling racket while searching their pockets for coins. Another thing about being prepared, you won't accidentally give a ten dollar bill instead of the miserly one dollar you actually MEANT to give. LOL
Tags: easter  church  etiquette  teens  VintageSeventeenMagazine   
Added: 24th April 2011
Views: 3508
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Posted By: AngoraSox
Florence Sally Horner Abduction Case Florence Horner (who answered to the name Sally) was the victim of a 1948 case of child abduction. It only merited regional coverage at the time. Had it happened today, it would surely be a national media sensation. In 1948, as part of a club initiation, 11-year-old Sally Horner stole a five-cent notebook from a dime store in Camden, NJ. Frank La Salle, a 50-year-old mechanic who had served a prison term for statutory rape, witnessed the theft and saw a perverted opportunity: He told Horner he was an FBI agent, and threatened to send her to 'a place for girls like you' if she didn't cooperate with him. La Salle abducted Horner and spent 21 months travelling with her from Camden to Atlantic City to Baltimore to Dallas and finally, to San Jose--all the while using Horner as an unwilling sex partner. LaSalle posed as Horner's father on their travels, even going as far as enrolling her in local schools under false names. While attending school in Dallas, Sally confided her situation to a classmate who urged her to contact the police. Shortly after relocating to a San Jose motor court, Sally confided her situation to another resident while Frank was away looking for a job and phoned her brother-in-law and older sister in Camden, asking them to 'send the FBI.' La Salle was arrested when he returned to motor court, but he claimed he was Florence's father. However, an FBI investigation found that Horner's true father had died seven years previously. La Salle was sentenced under the Mann Act to 30 to 35 years in prison. Literary scholars believe the Horner case at least partially inspired Vladimir Nabokov's famous novel Lolita. In fact, there is a reference to the Horner case in Part II, Chapter 33 of the novel. Nabokov also uses the adjective 'Florentine' to describe Lolita--likely an allusion to Florence (Sally) Horner. Like the fictional Lolita, Florence Horner died young: She was killed in a car accident near Woodbine, New York, on August 18, 1952. Two days later the Associated Press reported, 'Florence Sally Horner, a 15-year-old Camden, N.J., girl who spent 21 months as the captive of a middle-aged morals offender a few years ago, was killed in a highway accident when the car in which she was riding plowed into the rear of a parked truck.'
Tags: kidnapping  Lolita  Florence  Sally  Horner 
Added: 11th May 2011
Views: 5057
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Posted By: Lava1964
1960 World Series Kinescope Found In September 2010, baseball fans were thrilled by a remarkable dicovery: A complete kinescope copy of the seventh game of the 1960 World Series was found in Bing Crosby's wine cellar! How a near pristine black-and-white reel of the entire television broadcast of the deciding game of the 1960 World Series — long believed to be lost forever — came to rest in the wine cellar of Bing Crosby’s home near San Francisco is not a mystery to those who knew him. Crosby loved baseball, but as a part owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates he was too nervous to watch the World Series against the New York Yankees, so he and his wife went to Paris, where they listened by radio. “He said, ‘I can’t stay in the country,’ ” his widow, Kathryn Crosby, recalled. “ ‘I’ll jinx everybody.’ ” He knew he would want to watch the game later — if his Pirates won — so he hired a company to record Game Seven by kinescope, an early relative of the DVR, filming off a television monitor. The five-reel set is the only known complete copy of the game, in which Pirates second baseman Bill Mazeroski famously hit a game-ending home run to beat the Yankees 10-9 at Forbes Field. It is considered one of the greatest and most memorable ballgames ever played. Crosby apparently had more foresight than the television networks and stations, which sadly erased or discarded nearly all the Major League Baseball games they carried until the 1970s. A canny preservationist of all things, Crosby, who died in 1977, kept a half-century’s worth of records, tapes and films in the wine cellar-turned-vault in his Hillsborough, California home. “Bing Crosby was way ahead of his time,” said Nick Trotta, senior library and licensing manager for Major League Baseball Productions, the sport’s archivist. The kinescope was found quite by accident. A producer searching through Crosby's estate for material for a TV documentary on the late singer's career accidentally came upon five film cannisters marked '1960 World Series.' The 50-year-old game was first shown to a private audience in Pittsburgh that included surviving members of both teams. It was broadcast on the MLB Network in December 2010 and has since been made available to the general public on DVD.
Tags: 1960  World  Series  baseball  Bing  Crosby 
Added: 13th August 2011
Views: 2164
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Posted By: Lava1964
Pete The Pup One of the most recognizable movie or TV pets was Pete The Pup--the dog from the Our Gang/Little Rascals series. Pete's father, Pal The Wonder Dog, was the original Our Gang dog. Pal had a nearly natural complete ring around its left eye. Makeup artist Max Factor simply completed the circle. Pal unfortunately died of accidental poisoning in 1930. Pete, one of Pal's offspring, assumed the role of the Our Gang dog--complete with a fake ring around its eye. Although more than one dog was used until the series ended in 1944, Pete The Pup had the longest career. Pete died at the ripe old age of 16 in 1946.
Tags: dog  Pete  The  Pup  Our  Gang 
Added: 10th September 2011
Views: 1899
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Johnnie Ray 1927-1990 Johnnie Ray is almost forgotten today, but he was a huge singing star in the early 1950s. At the peak of his career, Ray's income was $35,000 a week. Born in Oregon in 1927, Ray had top 40 hits until 1957. Despite being skinny, pigeon-toed, half-deaf and effeminate, this highly emotional performer was the most popular male singer of the pre-Elvis Presely era. Indeed, when Elvis first started out, he was often introduced on stage as "the new Johnnie Ray". Known as "the Prince of Wails" for his distinctive singing style, Ray is mostly remembered for his lip-quivering early 1950s hits such as Cry; Please, Mr Sun; and The Little White Cloud That Cried. His live performances, in which he sometimes played the piano, were wildly unpredictable. It was not uncommon for Ray to break into tears or flop to the stage floor while belting out a tune. His 1954 recording of Such A Night was the first chart hit to be banned by the BBC for its "suggestive" lyrics. Several American radio stations followed suit. Nevertheless, it still ended up topping the British charts. Ray had an interesting personal life: He became deaf in his right ear at age 13 after an accident at a Boy Scout camp and prominently wore a large hearing aid for the rest of his life. He was twice arrested in Detroit for soliciting sex from men. The first arrest was in 1951 just before he became famous. (He quietly pled guilty and paid a fine.) The second arrest was in 1959, but he was acquitted by an all-female jury. He is rumored to have had a long affair with newspaper writer Dorothy Kilgallen (of What's My Line? fame) that began after his first of two mystery guest appearances on the show. Ray was a heavy drinker who was hospitalized for alcoholism in 1960. He died in 1990, at age 63, from liver disease.
Tags: Johnnie  Ray  singer 
Added: 17th January 2012
Views: 5236
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Posted By: Lava1964
Jill Kinmont 1936-2012 Jill Kinmont Boothe (February 16, 1936 – February 9, 2012) was a former alpine ski racer who competed in the mid-1950s. Jill Kinmont grew up in Bishop, California, skiing and racing at Mammoth Mountain. In early 1955, she was the reigning U.S. national champion in the slalom, and a top prospect for a medal at the 1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina, Italy. While competing in the downhill at the Snow Cup in Alta, Utah on January 30, 1955, she suffered a near-fatal accident which resulted in paralysis from the neck down. It ironically occurred the same week that Kinmont, about two weeks shy of her 19th birthday, was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated dated January 31, 1955. After her rehabilitation, she went on to graduate from UCLA with a B.A. in German and earned a teaching credentials from the University of Washington. She had a long career as an educator first in Washington and then in Beverly Hills, California. She taught special education at Bishop Union Elementary School from 1975 to 1996 in her hometown of Bishop. She was an accomplished painter who had many exhibitions of her artwork. Kinmont was the subject of two movies: The Other Side of the Mountain in 1975, and The Other Side of the Mountain Part 2 in 1978. Both films starred Marilyn Hassett as Kinmont. Jill married trucker John Boothe in November 1976, and they made their home in Bishop until her death.
Tags: SI  jinx  Jill  Kinmont  skier 
Added: 13th February 2012
Views: 7370
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Brittanie Cecil - Hockey Fan Fatality At any high-quality hockey game, pucks flying into the crowd at great speeds are a common occurrence. Injuries to fans occasionally happen. Only once in the long history of the NHL has a spectator been killed as a result of being struck by a puck. The victim was Brittanie Cecil, who ironically had been given her ticket to the game as an early 14th birthday present. Brittanie, an athletic girl from West Alexandria, OH, was watching the Columbus Blue Jackets play the Calgary Flames at Columbus' Nationwide Arena on March 16, 2002. A slapshot by the Blue Jackets' Espen Knutsen was deflected by the Flames' Derek Morris. It went over the glass behind the net, striking Brittanie in the left temple. Play carried on as the players were unaware of having inadvertently caused any serious injury. Although Brittanie had suffered a skull fracture, she walked on her own power to a first-aid station before being taken to Columbus Children's Hospital in an ambulance. Her only visible injury was a gash on her forehead. At the hospital, she suffered an initial seizure and was admitted, but the next day she appeared to be recovering. Brittanie was both communicative and ambulatory, and had no complaints of pain or dizziness. A CT-scan, however, had failed to catch a torn vertebral artery, resulting in severe clotting and swelling of the brain. On March 18, she developed a high fever and lost consciousness. She died nearly 48 hours after being struck, at 5:15 p.m. on March 18, 2002, two days before her 14th birthday. Brittanie's funeral cortege drew a procession of more than 150 cars. Attending the service was Blue Jackets' general manager Doug MacLean who spoke on behalf of the team. Knutsen and Morris, the two players who combined for the fatal slapshot, expressed remorse following Brittanie's death. Morris, who deflected the puck, explained, "You try to say, 'It happens all the time,' but you can't. I don't know how many times pucks get deflected over the glass, but it doesn't make it any better. You can always say, 'It's not my fault,' but you always feel like it is, a little." Knutsen was given the option of sitting out the next game by Blue Jackets coach Dave King. He chose to play, telling reporters, "I think about it all the time. It was a terrible accident, and I cannot get it off my mind." Knutsen was so shaken by what had happened that he could not handle meeting Brittanie's family until 2010--eight years after the accident. The following season, the NHL mandated that safety netting be installed in every arena to protect spectators seated behind the goal nets. This move was initially greeted with hostility by longtime hockey fans who didn't want their view of games obstructed and who further perceived the netting as an overreaction to a freak accident.
Tags: accident  hockey  fan  puck  Brittanie  Cecil 
Added: 6th April 2012
Views: 1835
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964

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