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Final Day of World War I One of the seldom discussed parts of the First World War was the tragic final day--November 11, 1918. The Armistice had been signed at 5:10 a.m. that day, but would not come into effect until 11 a.m. Accordingly, the fighting continued on the Western Front for nearly six more hours, essentially for no reason. Historians estimate that as many as 10,000 casualties occurred that final day. (About 3,000 were Americans.) This is the final part of a BBC documentary about the final day of the Great War. It is worth watching!
Tags: First  World  War  last  day 
Added: 26th July 2009
Views: 1704
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Posted By: Lava1964
Original Howdy Doody Puppet The Howdy Doody Show was one of the most iconic, popular, and enduring kids' programs ever. When it first aired in 1947, however, star marionette Howdy Doody looked far different than he did for most of the show's run. In this NBC publicity photo, Howdy is the puppet on the far right. Why the change? By 1948 the show had become so popular that merchandisers were clamoring to sell Howdy Doody paraphernalia. Macy's Department Store was especially eager to carry any and all Howdy Doody merchandise. This presented a major ownership problem: Buffalo Bob Smith had used the unmistakable Howdy Doody voice for years (beginning on the radio) and owned the rights to the character, but the puppet was created for TV by Frank Paris. No agreement could be worked out between Smith and Paris, so one day, about four hours before a live broadcast, Paris walked out of the NBC studio and took his puppet with him. The producers came up with a quick and brilliant gimmick to explain Howdy Doody's absence. Howdy had gone on a nation-wide road trip to campaign in the 1948 election! A large map of the USA showed viewers where Howdy had travelled during his absence from the show. Furthermore, it was announced that Howdy was undergoing plastic surgery to look better in his public appearances. This gave NBC's Velma Dawson plenty of time to create a totally different--but more familiar--Howdy Doody marionette that was used until the show ended in 1960. The new, more appealing Howdy Doody was an immediate hit. Apparently nobody missed Paris' original marionette too much. Smith himself declared it to be "the ugliest puppet imaginable."
Tags: puppet  original  Howdy  Doody 
Added: 24th February 2014
Views: 4602
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Posted By: Lava1964
Dance Marathon Craze During the 1920s and 1930s, dance marathons were a popular diversion in the United States. It is estimated that at their pinnacle, dance marathons were the main source of livelihood for 20,000 frequent competitors, officials, promoters, and musicians. Rules varied from place to place, but generally a couple stayed in the running for cash prizes as long as they kept moving on the dance floor. Only short respites were allowed every few hours for meals and rests. One event in New York City in 1937 lasted 481 hours--slightly more than 20 days! By the late 1930s, several cities and states had outlawed dance marathons because of the health dangers that accompanied sleep deprivation. This colorized photo from 1925 shows a typically exhausted couple.
Tags: dance  marathons 
Added: 16th August 2009
Views: 2045
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Posted By: Lava1964
Marion Parker Murder - 1927 Fair warning: This story is unsettling. One of the most brutal crimes in American history was the kidnapping and murder of 12-year-old schoolgirl Marion Parker. On Thursday, December 15, 1927 a young man appeared at Mount Vernon Junior High School in Los Angeles claiming to be an associate of Perry Parker, a prominent local banker. The man coolly told the school's registrar that the banker had been seriously injured in a car accident and had requested to speak to his daughter. There were actually twin Parker sisters enrolled in the school--Marion and Marjorie. By chance the registrar fetched Marion who rode off with the man. He was later identified as 19-year-old William Edward Hickman. The Parker family became alarmed when Marion did not return from school. Shortly thereafter they received a ransom note and phone calls from the kidnapper asking for $1500 in gold certificates in exchange for Marion's safe return. One attempt by Marion's father to pay the ransom was thwarted when Hickman spotted police detectives lurking nearby. Another meeting time was secretly arranged by Hickman and Marion's father on December 17 where the money was given to a man in a parked car. Perry Parker saw his daughter wrapped in a blanket slumped in the back seat with her eyes open. At gunpoint the ransom was paid and the driver pushed the girl onto the street and drove away. Marion's father was horrified to find that his daughter was dead. Her eyelids had been sewn open to give the illusion that she was alive. Worse, her head had been severed, her arms and legs had been cut off and she had been disemboweled. (The missing limbs were found the next day in a city park.) The ghastly crime spawned the largest manhunt in southern California's history, one that included 20,000 volunteers. A reward of $100,000 was offered for the capture of the culprit. Several clues, including the discovery of the stolen car used on the night of the money exchange, led to Hickman being named as the key suspect. He was eventually arrested in Echo, OR after spending some of the gold certificates there. Hickman had been a former employee at Parker's bank and had been fired for embezzlement in a forged check scam. He served prison time for the crime. The fingerprint records from the embezzlement charge were used to match those found on the stolen car from the kidnapping. Hickman willingly told police in graphic detail that he had decided to kill Marion because she had discovered his name. She had only been dead about 12 hours before the money exchange. Hickman said he had choked her with a towel to make her unconscious and then began his dismemberment while she was still alive. Hickman--who said he intended to use the $1500 to pay his tuition to attend a bible college!--hoped to avoid the gallows by claiming insanity. He was one of the first defendants in California to try that ploy after it had become an acceptable legal defense. It failed when a fellow prisoner claimed Hickman had asked his advice on how to appear crazy. A jury rejected Hickman's insanity defense in February 1928. Hickman was executed at San Quentin Prison eight months later on October 19. His hand-written confession is on display at the Los Angeles Police Museum. Marion Parker's ghost is said to occupy her former house.
Tags: Marion  Parker  murder  kidnapping  1927 
Added: 13th April 2015
Views: 1930
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Posted By: Lava1964
Marilyn Bell Swims Lake Ontario On September 9, 1954, Canadian teenager Marilyn Bell became the first person to swim across Lake Ontario. Some 300,000 onlookers witnessed her arrival near the Canadian National Exhibition grounds in Toronto 20 hours and 59 minutes after Bell began her swim in Youngstown, NY. Bell's feat was actually made in defiance of CNE organizers who had offered a $10,000 prize solely to American marathon swimmer Florence Chadwick. (Chadwick abandoned her effort after becoming ill. The CNE did award Bell the cash.) The straight-line distance of the swim was about 32 miles. Bell, who was a month shy of her seventeenth birthday, swam an estimated 40 miles while battling fifteen-foot waves and lamprey eels. Bell later swam both the English Channel and the Strait of Juan de Fuca before retiring from marathon swimming in 1958.
Tags: Marilyn  Bell  Lake  Ontario  swimmer 
Added: 6th September 2009
Views: 2359
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Posted By: Lava1964
World Trade Center Public Opening Hours Film Tags: World  Trade  Center  Public  Opening  Hours  Film  Vintage    World    Trade    Center    NYC    Observation    Deck    New    York    Manhattan    Skyscraper    architecture    modernism    tourism    landmarks     
Added: 19th September 2009
Views: 2178
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Posted By: pfc
Tragic Death of Martha Mansfield Pretty 24-year-old silent film actress Martha Mansfield met an untimely and ghastly end. Mansfield was shooting the film The Warrens of Virginia on November 30, 1923. During some outdoor scenes, while wearing a bulky Civil War-era dress, she took a break in her nearby parked car. Suddenly Mansfield's dress caught fire severely burning all but her neck and her face. Mansfield's chauffeur's hands were also badly burned trying to put the fire out. The cause of the fire is a bit of a mystery. Some claim it came from a match carelessly discarded from a passing car--which entered through the window of the car Mansfield was sitting in. Others think Mansfield was at fault for smoking--although no one had ever seen her smoking before. Whatever the case, she died in hospital 24 hours later.
Tags: Martha  Mansfield  silent  actress  death 
Added: 14th July 2014
Views: 2541
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Posted By: Lava1964
Carole Lombard Plane Crash One of Hollywood's greatest comedic actresses, Carole Lombard, died at age 33 in a tragic plane crash on January 16, 1942. Lombard was in the midst of a tour to sell war bonds. She had just finished a stop in her home state of Indiana. A little more than three hours later, the plane Lombard was travelling in slammed into Mount Potosi in Nevada. Everyone on board died, including Lombard's mother. Lombard was married to Clark Gable.
Tags: Carole  Lombard  death  pane  crash 
Added: 4th November 2009
Views: 13333
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Posted By: Lava1964
Richard Speck Murders 1966 On July 13, 1966, one of the most horrific crimes in American history occurred: Eight women aged between 21 and 23 were tortured and killed in a Chicago dormitory by Richard Speck. They were all student nurses who were a month away from graduation. The 24-year-old Speck (pictured here at his trial) was a lifelong felon whose lengthy criminal record included violent sexual assaults. On the night of the murders, Speck systematically killed his victims by strangulation or stabbing over a period of several hours. He also raped the eighth victim. Speck may have lost track of how many women were in the dorm room. A potential ninth victim, Cora Amurao, wriggled out of her bindings and hid under a bed while Speck's killing spree went on in another room. Amurao later identified Speck in court. Speck was found guilty and sentenced to die in the Illinois electric chair. The death sentence was later commuted on constitutional grounds. Instead Speck was given a 1,200-year sentence at Statesville Prison. For years Speck denied having any memories of the killings. However, in a 1978 interview he confessed to remembering everything. In a 1988 prison videotape, Speck was seen partying with fellow prisoners who were high on illegal drugs. The video recorded Speck mocking his victims. Portions of the video were broadcast nationally in 1996, increasing the support for capital punishment. By that time Speck was dead; he had died of a heart attack in prison on December 5, 1991, a day before his 50th birthday. No family member came forward to claim his body.
Tags: Richard  Speck  murderer 
Added: 23rd November 2009
Views: 4771
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Posted By: Lava1964
Michael Larson on Press Your Luck At Steve's request, here's a compilation of Michael Larson's spins during his remarkable appearance on Press Your Luck in June 1984. Larson had studied numerous hours of Press Your Luck videotapes before becoming a contestant on the show. He figured out there were only five variations of the board and no whammy ever appeared in the fourth spot from the left on the top row nor the middle spot on the right side. Note that Larson hit a whammy on his first 'spin' because he wasn't sure how quickly his stops would register. Once he got the hang of it, though, he was almost unstoppable. CBS was so embarrassed by the situation that the network only aired the Larson episodes once (on June 8 and 11, 1984)--and even refused to let the Game Show Network air them until very recently.
Tags: Michael  Larson  Press  Your  Luck 
Added: 1st December 2010
Views: 2356
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Posted By: Lava1964

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