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Manchester United Plane Disaster - 1958 One of the great sports tragedies of the twentieth century was the Munich Air Disaster. It occurred on February 6, 1958, when British European Airways Flight 609 crashed on its third attempt to take off from a slush-covered runway at Munich-Riem Airport in Munich, West Germany. On board the plane was the glamorous Manchester United football team, nicknamed the "Busby Babes" (after manager Matt Busby), along with a few supporters and sports journalists. Twenty of the 44 people on board the aircraft died instantly in the crash. The injured, some of whom had been knocked unconscious, were taken to the Rechts der Isar Hospital in Munich where three more died, resulting in a total of 23 fatalities with 21 survivors. The team was returning from a European Cup match in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, against Red Star Belgrade, but had to make a stop in Munich to refuel the aircraft. After refuelling, the pilots, Captains James Thain and Kenneth Rayment, attempted to take off twice, but had to abandon both attempts due to boost surging in the port engine. Fearing that they would get too far behind schedule, Captain Thain rejected an overnight stay in Munich in favour of a third take-off attempt. By the time of the third attempt, it had begun to snow, causing a layer of slush to build up at the end of the runway. When the aircraft hit the slush, it lost velocity, making take-off impossible. It plowed through a fence past the end of the runway, before the port wing hit a nearby house and was torn off. Fearing that the aircraft might explode, Captain Thain set about getting the surviving passengers as far away as possible. Despite this threat, Manchester United goalkeeper Harry Gregg remained behind to pull survivors from the wreckage. An investigation by West German airport authorities originally blamed Captain Thain for the crash, claiming that he had failed to deice the wings of the aircraft, despite statements to the contrary from eyewitnesses. It was later established that the crash had, in fact, been caused by the build-up of slush on the runway, which had resulted in the aircraft being unable to achieve take-off velocity. Accordingly Thain's name was eventually cleared in 1968--a decade after the incident. At the time of the disaster, Manchester United were trying to become only the third club to win three successive English league titles; they were six points behind League leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers with 14 games to go. They were also holders of the Charity Shield and had just advanced into their second successive European Cup semi-final. The team was also on an 11-match unbeaten run, and had advanced to the Fifth Round of the FA Cup tournament two weeks before the crash. Real Madrid won the European Cup in 1958, but team officials generously offered to have Manchester United declared the winners. This plan was not approved by UEFA, however. Manchester United did win the European Cup ten years later. Two of the survivors from 1958 were on that 1968 team.
Tags: soccer  Manchester  United  disaster  airplane 
Added: 7th June 2012
Views: 4865
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Posted By: Lava1964
Ali-Liston Phantom Punch Fight - 1965 Perhaps the most controversial fight in boxing history: Ali-Liston II in Lewiston, ME on May 25, 1965. Ali (then Cassius Clay) had upset Liston on February 25, 1964 in Miami to win the world heavyweight title. The rematch, scheduled for Boston, was delayed by a few months because Ali needed emergency hernia surgery. By the time Ali had healed, he was tremendously unpopular because of his ties with the Black Muslims. Liston had connections in organized crime. Boston wanted no part of the fight, so it was moved to a high school hockey arena in Lewiston. Rumors that something odd would happen circulated before the fight. Watch Ali's famous "phantom punch" knock out Liston, a man who had never been floored before. Some people think it is a perfect punch. Others think Liston took a dive. Also watch ex-champ Jersey Joe Walcott botch the refereeing. Ali never goes to a neutral corner, yet Liston is somehow counted out. Ali wasn't exactly a one-punch knockout artist. He only had two first-round knockouts in his pro career. Renowned sports writer Red Smith, one of many respected journalists who maintained the fight was fixed, said, "I saw the punch; it wouldn't have crushed a grape."
Tags: boxing  Ali  Liston  phantom  punch  Lewiston 
Added: 26th October 2012
Views: 3319
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Posted By: Lava1964
Giants Final Game at Polo Grounds On September 29, 1957, the famous New York Giants baseball team--once the most feared outfit in the National League--played their final game at the Polo Grounds before about 11,000 nostalgic fans. The Giants had represented New York City in the NL since 1883 and had played their home games at four different ballparks known as the Polo Grounds since 1891. Once the city's sports darlings, the Giants had slowly become second bananas to the more glamorous Yankees since the 1920s. One embittered journalist declared, "The real baseball fans in New York supported the Giants. We left the Yankees for the tourists." The Giants lost that last game 9-1 to Pittsburgh. Once the final out was made, fans stormed the field to voice their displeasure with owner Horace Stoneham who had arranged to move the club to San Francisco for the 1958 season. Stoneham wisely did not make an appearance.
Tags: New  York  Giants  MLB  final  game  Polo  Grounds 
Added: 10th May 2013
Views: 2483
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
David Clyde - Pitching Bust David Clyde was perhaps the biggest disappointment in baseball history--which is saying quite a bit! The left-handed pitcher played five MLB seasons with the Texas Rangers (19731975) and Cleveland Indians (19781979). He is noted for his once promising baseball career which ended at age 26 because of arm and shoulder injuries. Hyped as the next Sandy Koufax, Clyde had a stellar amateur career at Westchester High School in Houston, TX where he compiled a minuscule 0.18 ERA in 148 innings. He was drafted by the Texas Rangers with the first overall pick in the 1973 MLB draft. As a way to boost poor attendance in Texas, Clyde was to pitch his first two professional games with the Rangers before moving down to the minor leagues for experience. He made his major league debut at age 18 on June 27, 1973 versus the Minnesota Twins--just 20 days after pitching his last high school game. Before a sellout crowd, Clyde walked the first two Twins he faced and then struck out the next three. He pitched five innings, allowed one hit, and got credit for the Rangers' 4-3 win. The strong attendance caused Rangers' owner Bob Short to reconsider his plans for Clyde. He decided to keep Clyde on the Rangers' roster as a much-needed gate attraction. In 1973 Clyde compiled a poor 5.01 earned run average in 18 starts. Worse, Clyde received very little mentorship. He fell into a clique of Ranger players who were known for their undisciplined behavior away from the diamond. Journalists rightly criticized the Rangers for promoting Clyde too soon. After an uneventful 1974 campaign, he developed shoulder trouble and was sent down to the minor leagues in 1975, where Clyde pitched three seasons. He was traded to the Cleveland Indians in 1978, and played two seasons before being demoted. Clyde attempted to make a comeback with the Houston Astros in 1981 but was unsuccessful. He fell a few innings short of qualifying for a MLB pension.
Tags: David  Clyde  MLB  pitcher 
Added: 16th September 2013
Views: 1286
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Posted By: Lava1964
Edward R Murrow Stamp Controversy This commemorative postage stamp honoring the late great journalist Edward R. Murrow was somewhat controversial when it was released to the public in 1994. Why? It was based on a photograph of Murrow in which he was holding a cigarette. The cigarette was conveniently omitted from the image when the stamp was created, irking a few people who knew the chain-smoking Murrow was seldom seen without a cigarette in his hand. (Murrow routinely smoked 65 cigarettes a day, claimed he couldn't go without one for more than 30 minutes, had surgery in 1963 to remove a blackened lung, and died in 1965 of lung cancer.)
Tags: censored  postage  stamp  Edward  Murrow 
Added: 16th July 2014
Views: 988
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Posted By: Lava1964
Shirleys World - Failed TV Show Steve asked me to re-post this clip after it was lost when the website's server was changed. "Another example of an unsuccessful TV series featuring a major film star" is how Total Television described Shirley's World, a 30-minute dramedy that ran on ABC from September 15, 1971 to January 5, 1972. Shirley MacLaine played Shirley Logan, a globe-trotting photo-journalist employed by World Illustrated magazine. John Gregson played her editor. The show was extremely expensive to produce because it was actually filmed in exotic locales. Some critics have commented that the travel budget could have been more wisely spent on better scripts. It was produced in England by ITV and carried on ABC in the United States. Further complicating matters was MacLaine's dislike for producer Sheldon Leonard. Here's the opening montage.
Tags: Shirleys  World  ABC  dramedy 
Added: 17th July 2014
Views: 1308
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Posted By: Lava1964
Dorothy Arnold - Missing Socialite One of the most intriguing missing persons cases in American history centers around a 24-year-old New York socialite, Dorothy Arnold, who seemingly vanished into thin air one afternoon in New York City in 1910. Arnold was from a wealthy family, the daughter of the 73-year-old head of a prosperous import company and the niece of a Supreme Court justice. Educated at Bryn Mawr, Dorothy was an aspiring writer. On Monday, December 12, 1910, Dorothy left her New York City home at about 11 a.m. telling her mother she would be shopping for an evening gown for an upcoming event. Dorothy left the house with only the clothes on her back and about $30. Arnold went to a candy store and a bookstore where she bought items using the Arnold family credit. When she left the bookstore, Dorothy encountered Gladys King, a friend. King was the last known person to have seen Dorothy. No one who saw Dorothy on December 12 noticed anything odd about her behavior. She apparently never purchased the dress, so she had either lied to her mother or had been interrupted before she could buy it. On the day of her disappearance, Dorothy was fashionably dressed and was a familiar face in New York City. Therefore, it is unlikely that Dorothy could have ventured far without being noticed. That evening, when Dorothy strangely had not returned home for dinner, the Arnold family began making inquiries among her friends. They were unable to turn up any news of their daughter. Fearing some sort of scandal, Dorothy's family did not call the police right away--which was typical of the era. Anyone calling the Arnold home inquiring about Dorothy was told she was in bed with a headache. Dorothy's parents hired a lawyer who privately tried to find Dorothy for six weeks. His investigation got nowhere, so the police were finally contacted in late January of 1911. By that time, Dorothy's trail had gone hopelessly cold. Newspapers played up the story--especially in New York City. It led to several hoaxes, including two phony ransom notes being sent to the Arnold home and a postcard purportedly sent overseas by Dorothy. These were quickly dismissed as inauthentic. After 75 days, the police closed the case under the assumption that Dorothy was dead. However as late as 1935 the New York City police were still receiving tips about alleged sightings of Dorothy. So what happened to Dorothy? She had been unofficially engaged to a 42-year-old man named George (Junior) Griscom--a situation which displeased her family who considered him to be a loafer. There was absolutely no evidence that she and Junior had a falling out or had run away together. In fact, Junior put out several ads imploring Dorothy to contact him, but to no avail. He eventually moved on with his life. Another theory was that Dorothy was upset that her parents had cruelly mocked her for wanting to become a writer and because two of her stories had recently been rejected by magazines. Thus some people speculate Dorothy committed suicide believing that she was a failure. Still no one had evidence that she was anything but happy on the day she disappeared. Yet another theory is that Dorothy died at an illegal abortion clinic and her body was swiftly incinerated in the building's furnace--which was known to happen in 1910. In 1921, John H. Ayers, who headed New York City's Missing Persons Bureau, curiously told an auditorium filled with high school students that Dorothy's fate had always been known to the police and her family but he did not elaborate any further. When journalists pressed him for more details, he quickly claimed he had been misquoted.
Tags: missing  persons  case  Dorothy  Arnold 
Added: 16th January 2015
Views: 2117
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Posted By: Lava1964
Battle of Santiago - 1962 World Cup One of the dirtiest sports events ever to take place was a 1962 World Cup match between Chile and Italy. This BBC clip shows how out-of-control the situation became. On May 22, 1960 Chile was rocked with a devastating earthquake that measured 9.5 on the Richter scale. At the same time the earthquake struck, Chile had been lobbying FIFA to host the 1962 World Cup. Despite the enormous tragedy--and perhaps because of it--FIFA was persuaded by an emotional appeal by the Chilean organizers and won the right to host the tournament. Several Italian journalists criticized Chile's ability to host such an important event. They went too far by insulting everything to do with the South American country, including the virtue of its women. All Italians became hated in Chile. The journalists were forced to flee the country. An Argentinian reporter, mistaken for an Italian, was severely beaten by a mob. Of course Italy and Chile were drawn into the same group so they had to play one another in Santiago on June 2. In presenting recorded match highlights for the UK, BBC reporter David Coleman minces no words about the brutal spectacle that occurred that day.
Tags: soccer  World  Cup  1962  Italy  Chile  Battle  of  Santiago 
Added: 16th April 2015
Views: 1157
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Posted By: Lava1964
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: 2137
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Posted By: Lava1964
Helen Wills - Tennis Champion Tennis player Helen Wills (later Helen Wills Moody), a California girl, captured the U.S. National Championship at Forest Hills at age 17 in 1923--the second-youngest female to manage the feat at that time. In an era when male sportswriters believed that being a female sports champion and being a beauty were incompatible, Wills proved them wrong. Wills' natural good looks turned heads wherever she played and won. She won often. The fact that Wills captured 19 Grand Slam singles tiles between 1923 and 1938 also enhanced her popularity. One writer said of Wills that "every male between the age of six and 60 was a little bit in love with her." In a six-year period from 1927 to 1933, Wills won every singles match she played without dropping a set! Standing about 5'7" with a muscular frame, Wills rarely showed emotion on the court and was dubbed Miss Poker Face. The nickname was coined by a New York sports journalist named Ed Sullivan. (Yes--that Ed Sullivan!) Charlie Chaplin, an avid tennis fan and a fan of attractive women, said the most beautiful thing on Earth was watching Helen Wills play tennis. Wills struck the ball with great power from an irregular stance: Her body faced forward rather than to the side when she made contact with the ball. Late in her life, Wills was asked if the modern, larger-faced racquets would have improved her game, she said, "No, I always struck the ball in the middle of my racquet, so I don't think a larger size racquet would have made any difference." Wills lived to be 92 years old, passing away on New Year's Day 1998.
Tags: tennis  Helen  Willis 
Added: 19th April 2018
Views: 1061
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964

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