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Oorang Indians The Oorang Indians were a travelling team in the National Football League from LaRue, Ohio (near Marion). The team was named after the Oorang dog kennels. It was basically a novelty team put together by the kennels' owner, Walter Lingo, for marketing purposes. All the players were Native Americans, with Jim Thorpe as its star. The Indians played the 1922 and 1923 NFL seasons. Of the 20 games they played over those two seasons, only one was played at 'home' in nearby Marion, OH. Only four games were won by the team. With a population well under 1,000 people, LaRue is easily the smallest town ever to have been the home of an NFL franchise. The Indians were the first NFL team to have a halftime show. (It featured the kennels' dogs.) The team's owner was not too concerned about fielding a competitive squad--and it showed. Discipline was lax on road trips and the players routinely engaged in heavy drinking binges at speakeasies. In one famous incident in St. Louis, the Indians commandeered a trolley car to get them back to their hotel. Since the trolley was headed in the wrong direction, the players simply lifted it, and turned it around on the tracks.
Tags: football  Oorang  Indians  NFL 
Added: 22nd January 2011
Views: 1348
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Posted By: Lava1964
Declaration of Independence Copy Found in Picture Frame Fans of flea markets and garage sales were heartened by this improbable story from the spring of 1991: A collector who spent $4 at a Pennsylvania flea market two years ago for a dismal painting because he liked the frame is the possessor of a rare first printing of the Declaration of Independence. It is valued somewhere between $800,000 and $1 million. David N. Redden, head of the book and manuscript department at Sotheby's in Manhattan, described the document, found behind the painting when the collector took the frame apart, as an 'unspeakably fresh copy' of the declaration. 'The fact that it has been in the backing of the frame preserved it,' he said. Of the 24 copies known to survive, only three are in private hands. Mr. Redden said the unidentified owner bought the painting, 'a dismal dark country scene with a signature he could not make out,' only for its gilded and ornately carved frame. He told Mr. Redden that he discarded the painting, which he disliked. When he realized the frame was crudely made and unsalvageable he got rid of it too. 'But he kept the declaration, which he had found behind the painting,' Mr. Redden said. 'It was folded up, about the size of a business envelope. He thought it might be an early 19th-century printing and worth keeping as a curiosity.' Recently the owner showed it to a friend 'who urged him to look into it further,' said Selby Kiffer, an Americana printing specialist at Sotheby's 'At that point he called us.' Said Kiffer, 'The discovery of any first-printing copy of the declaration, even a fragmentary one or a poor copy, would be exciting, but on this one, the condition is beyond reproach. It was folded up when we first saw it--the way the owner said it was in the painting, less than one-tenth of an inch thick. I had to agree with him it was just as well that he kept it that way. There has been absolutely no restoration, no repair. It was unframed and unbacked.' Only seven of the 24 copies are unbacked, he said, which increases their value. 'The ink was still wet on this copy when it was folded,' Mr. Kiffer said. The very first line -- 'In Congress, July 4, 1776' -- shows up in the bottom margin in reverse, as a faint offsetting or shadow printing, one more proof of the urgency John Dunlap, the printer, and others felt in dispersing this document.
Tags: Declaration  of  Independence  copy  found 
Added: 10th February 2011
Views: 6227
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Posted By: Lava1964
Billy Gilbert Actor Billy Gilbert was a versatile performer, but he is best remembered for comedic roles. He was discovered by Stan Laurel and recommended to Hal Roach. Roach put him to work in Laurel & Hardy and Our Gang shorts, usually as an excitable, short-tempered character. (Gilbert played the exasperated home owner in the 1932 Academy Award-winning classic L&H featurette The Music Box.) Gilbert later worked alongside Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator, spoofing Hermann Goring with his role of 'Herring.' Gilbert became famous for his comical sneezes, so much so that he provided the voice of Sneezy in Walt Disney's 1937 animated classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Poor health forced Gilbert's retirement from acting in 1963. Nevertheless he was a popular figure at L&H fan club meetings until his death at age 77 in 1971. Although Gilbert was happily married for 34 years, his family life was touched by tragedy: His 13-year-old son committed suicide after his grandmother chastised him for letting a pet parrot escape from its cage.
Tags: Billy  Gilbert  comic  actor 
Added: 21st February 2011
Views: 1291
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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: 2008
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Posted By: Lava1964
Niagara Falls Dries Up - 1848 The photo below is an aerial view of what Niagara Falls usually looks like. But for a period of about 40 hours on March 29-31, 1848 Niagara Falls stopped. No water flowed over the great cataract for the first time in recorded history. Not surprisngly people went a little nuts. Niagara Falls was already a big tourist attraction by 1848. Villages sprouted on both the U.S. and Canadian sides of the river to accommodate the sightseeing throngs. Residents also built waterwheels to harness the Niagara River’s power to run mills and drive machinery in factories. An American farmer out for a stroll shortly before midnight on March 29 was the first to notice something. Actually, he noticed the absence of something--the thundering roar of the falls. When he went to the river’s edge, he saw hardly any water. Came the dawn of March 30, people awoke to an unaccustomed silence. The mighty Niagara was a mere trickle. Mills and factories shut down because the waterwheels had stopped. The bed of the river was exposed. Fish died and turtles floundered about. Brave—or foolish— people walked on the river bottom, picking up exposed guns, bayonets and tomahawks as souvenirs. Was it the end of the world? Perhaps it was divine retribution for what some folks thought was a U.S. war of aggression against Mexico? In an age of religious revivals, theological explanations abounded. Fearing the end of the world, thousands of people filled special church services praying for the falls to start flowing and the world to continue, or for salvation and forgiveness of their sins as the Last Judgment approached. Because communications were haphazard in 1848, no one knew why the falls had stopped. But from Buffalo, NY word eventually arrived that explained the bare falls and dry riverbed. Strong southwest gale winds had pushed huge chunks of ice to the extreme northeastern tip of Lake Erie, blocking the lake’s outlet into the head of the Niagara River. The ice jam had become an ice dam. And just as news traveled inward, news also traveled outward. Thousands came from nearby cities and towns to look at the spectacle of Niagara Falls without water. People crossed the riverbed on foot, on horseback and in horse-drawn buggies. Mounted U.S. Army cavalry soldiers paraded up and down the empty Niagara River. It was a potentially hazardous act for there was no telling when the rushing waters might return. One entrepreneur used the hiatus to do some safety work. The Maid of the Mist sightseeing boat had been taking tourists on river rides below the falls since 1846, and there were some dangerous rocks it always had to avoid. Since the river had ceased running and the rocks were in plain sight, the boat’s owner sent workers out to blast the rocks away with explosives. March 30 was not the only dry day. No water flowed over the falls throughout the daylight hours of March 31. But that night a distant rumble came from upriver. The low-pitched noise drew nearer and louder. Suddenly a wall of water came roaring down the upper Niagara River and over the falls with a giant thunder. The ice jam had cleared. To the relief of the locals, the river was running again.
Tags: Niagara  Falls  dries  up  natural  history 
Added: 21st March 2011
Views: 3568
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Posted By: Lava1964
Bill Gallo Passes at age 88 Bill Gallo, a cartoonist and columnist for the New York Daily News, whose playful characters included that of New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner as General Von Steingrabber, has died. He was 88. Gallo, who worked for the paper for seven decades, died Tuesday from complications of pneumonia at White Plains Hospital, the News reported Tuesday. "His death closed a chapter in the storied history of The News," said Daily News Chairman and publisher Mortimer Zuckerman told the paper. "The passing of our great cartoonist, colleague and friend Bill Gallo marks the end of an era." Gallo profiled in ink and sometimes in words most of the great sports figures of the past century, going back to Jack Dempsey, Man O' War, Jesse Owens and Dizzy Dean and his St. Louis Cardinals' Gas House Gang. The latter were his secret heroes, he told The Associated Press in an interview in 2000, secret because he devoted a lifetime at a drawing bo ard to amusing New York's rabidly loyal sports fans.
Tags: Bill  Gallo,  New  York  Daily  News,  Mortimer  Zuckerman,  New  York  Mets,  Basement  Bertha 
Added: 12th May 2011
Views: 1409
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Posted By: Old Fart
The Beast of Chicago - 19th Century Serial Killer Outwardly mild H.H. Holmes was actually a brutal and ruthless nineteenth-century serial killer who rightfully earned the moniker 'The Beast of Chicago.' From 1888 to 1894 Holmes killed a minimum of 27 victims and perhaps more than 200. In 1886 Holmes began working at a drugstore at the corner of South Wallace and West 63rd Street in Chicago. He eventually became the proprietor after the former owner mysteriously disappeared. The drugstore did quite well, and Holmes — who became known as Dr. Holmes — used the profits to build himself a three-story tall, city-block long, home across the street. It was Holmes' 'murder castle.'--equipped with acid vats, trap doors, secret entrances, and gas chambers. Holmes lured people to the castle, killed them, and sold their skeletons to medical professionals. He was eventually hanged, but not before being convicted of 27 murders, and suspected of at least 173 more. Erik Larson’s award-winning 2003 book, The Devil in the White City, told Holmes’ twisted tale so well that Leonardo DiCaprio purchased the rights to the film; he’s expected to play Holmes.
Tags: murderer  Holmes  Chicago 
Added: 15th June 2011
Views: 2527
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Posted By: Lava1964
Oakland As Mustache Gang 1972 Nineteenth-century baseball players regularly sported mustaches. After the turn of the twentieth century, though, most ballplayers were clean shaven. By 1914 only one MLB player--Wally Schang--had facial hair. For the next 58 years, there were no mustachioed players in MLB. In 1972 Reggie Jackson showed up for the Oakland A's spring training camp with a mustache. A's owner Charlie Finley and manager Dick Williams both hated it. The more they insisted that Jackson shave it off, the more defiant he became. Finley then attempted some reverse psychology: He figured if he encouraged other A's players to grow mustaches, Jackson's sense of individuality would be defeated and he'd voluntarily shave his mustache. The plan backfired. After several players starting growing mustaches, Finley started to like the new look of his team and the publicity that came with it. He completely switched gears and offered a $300 bonus to anyone who had grown a mustache by Father's Day. In fact, Finley began pressuring his players to have mustaches. To a man, everyone on the A's roster agreed--including ultra-conservative manager Williams. The A’s long-haired, mustachioed look would stamp them with an identity starkly different from the rest of Major League Baseball. Relief pitcher Rollie Fingers (shown here) became the most noteworthy Oakland player with a mustache. His agreement to sport stylish facial hair was included in his contract--along with a $100 annual stipend for mustache wax.
Tags: baseball  Oakland  A 
Added: 27th July 2011
Views: 8696
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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: 2124
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Posted By: Lava1964
Dog Finds Stolen World Cup Trophy - 1966 In 1966 England hosted the quadrennial World Cup soccer finals. On March 20, a few months before the tournament began, the Jules Rimet Trophy (a.k.a. the World Cup) was stolen while being exhibited at Westminster Central Hall. Interestingly, the culprits ignored a priceless array of rare stamps to steal the far-less-valuable trophy. Police quickly received a £15,000 ransom demand. However, when they arrested the culprit, he turned out to be a hoaxer. The trophy was, however, found just seven days later wrapped in newspaper at the bottom of a suburban garden hedge in South London. The finder was a collie dog named Pickles who sniffed out the World Cup while taking a walk with his owner David Corbett. When England won the trophy, Pickles was invited to the celebration banquet and was allowed to lick his owner's bowl. His owner collected a £6,000 reward. The thief was never caught.
Tags: dog  World  Cup  soccer  Pickles 
Added: 1st September 2011
Views: 1915
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Posted By: Lava1964

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