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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: 13469
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Posted By: Lava1964
Wheezer - Our Gang Robert Hutchins joined the Our Gang troupe in 1928 as a three year old. (He acquired the nickname 'Wheezer' on his first day on the set when he ran around so much he began to wheeze.) Hutchins appeared in 58 Our Gang shorts through 1933 where he usually played a tag-along little brother. His acting career was controlled by a father so domineering he wouldn't allow the other cast members to play with his son during breaks in shooting. He planned to be a pilot, but Hutchins died in 1945 at age 20 in an airplane crash during his last week of flight school.
Tags: Our  Gang  Wheezer  Robert  Hutchins 
Added: 9th November 2009
Views: 2752
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Posted By: Lava1964
Berlin Wall Topples 1989 I never thought I'd live to see it happen, but it did happen--20 years ago today. The Berlin Wall, the most egregious symbol of the Cold War and communist oppression in eastern Europe, ceased to be a barrier on November 9, 1989. Over the next three days, joyful Germans on both sides of the wall attacked it with picks, shovels, bulldozers, and their bare hands until it was reduced to rubble. Ronald Reagan said it best: 'When people have the freedom to choose, they choose freedom.'
Tags: Berlin  Wall  topples 
Added: 9th November 2009
Views: 1486
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Posted By: Lava1964
1919 Black Sox Scandal The worst sports scandal in American history revolved around the 1919 Chicago White Sox. The White Sox won their second American League pennant in three years and were heavily favored to beat the National League champion Cincinnati Reds in the best-of-nine World Series. But, lo and behold, the Reds won in eight games. Reporters and baseball insiders who watched the games knew something was amiss. White Sox pitchers Eddie Cicotte and Lefty Williams, the team's two aces, combined for all five Chicago losses. Their pitches seemed to lack zip. The White Sox also made uncharacteristic errors in the field and amateurish mental mistakes. It took nearly a year for evidence to surface that the eight of the White Sox had thrown the Series for gamblers. The press dubbed them the 'Black Sox,' and the eight were banned from pro baseball. Among them was the great Shoeless Joe Jackson, whose .356 career batting average is the third best ever. In order to restore the public's faith in Major League Baseball, Judge Kenesaw M. Landis was hired by the 16 team owners to serve as the sport's commissioner. He was given a lifetime contract and extraordinary powers. The White Sox did not play in another World Series until 1959.
Tags: baseball  Black  Sox  scandal 
Added: 20th November 2009
Views: 1799
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Posted By: Lava1964
Jerry Lee Lewis Marriage Scandal Jerry Lee Lewis was one of early rock-and-roll's pioneers and leading performers. In December 1957, when he was 22 years old, Lewis secretly married for the third time. The bride was Myra Gale Brown--who happened to be just 13 years and five months old. Myra's father was Lewis' cousin, J.W. Brown, a member of Lewis' band. News of the strange marriage did not surface until May 1958 when a British journalist uncovered the story as Lewis was beginning a tour of England. The adverse publicity caused the tour to be cancelled after just three concerts. The backlash followed Lewis to the United States. Many radio stations refused to play Lewis' songs. Lewis went from $10,000-per-night engagements to small-time bookings where he was lucky to pick up $250. Moralists declared the scandal was proof of rock-and-roll's inherent evil. The couple stayed married until 1970. Today Brown is a real estate agent.
Tags: Jerry  Lee  Lewis  marriage  Scandal  Myra  Gale  Brown 
Added: 20th November 2009
Views: 22327
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Posted By: Lava1964
United States Football League Sports history has shown that it is very difficult for nascent pro sports leagues to challenge old, established ones. Nevertheless, there are entrepreneurs always willing to try. From 1983 through 1985 the United States Football League existed as a spring/summer league. The USFL was the brainchild of David Dixon, a New Orleans antique dealer. In 1980, Dixon commissioned a study by Frank Magid Associates that found promising results for a spring and summer football league. He'd also formed a blueprint for the prospective league's operations, which included early television exposure, heavy promotion in home markets, and owners willing to absorb years of losses—-which he felt would be inevitable until the league found its feet. The USFL secured television contracts from both ABC and ESPN. The league also was able to sign several collegiate stars--most notably Herschel Walker who was still an underclassman. Mostly, however, the public responded with yawns. Television ratings and overall attendance were below expectations. Teams often spent far more than the proposed $1.8 million salary cap to land big-name players. In three seasons, 23 different teams played under the USFL banner. The Breakers were a typical USFL franchise, operating in three different cities (Boston, New Orleans, and Portland) over the three years. Teams typically wallowed in debt. The San Antonio Gunslingers were in such dire straits that some players, whose pay checks had bounced, were exchanging their complimentary game tickets for food and were boarding at the homes of sympathetic fans. The USFL was dealt its death blow in a courtroom in 1986 when it won an antitrust lawsuit versus the National Football League--but the jury awarded the USFL only $3 in damages. Still, some USFL innovations were evenutally adopted by the NFL. These included the two-point conversion, the use of instant replay to assist officials, and a salary cap.
Tags: USFL  football 
Added: 21st November 2009
Views: 1568
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Posted By: Lava1964
Skylab Re-Entry To Earth 1979 Skylab was NASA's first orbiting space station. It was visited three times in the early 1970s before being abandoned in 1974. In 1979 it re-entered Earth's atmosphere. Fragments crashed in remote parts of western Australia. Debris was found between the towns of Esperance and Rawlinna. The Shire of Esperance fined the United States $400 for littering, a fine which remained unpaid for 30 years. The fine was eventually settled in April 2009 when a radio host, Scott Barley, solicited donations from his listeners and paid the fine on behalf of NASA. Skylab's demise was an international media event, with merchandising, wagering on time and place of re-entry, and nightly news reports. The San Francisco Examiner offered a $10,000 prize for the first piece of Skylab to be delivered to their offices. Seventeen-year-old Stan Thornton scooped a few pieces of Skylab off the roof of his home in Esperance, caught the first flight to San Francisco, and collected his prize.
Tags: Skylab  re-entry 
Added: 21st November 2009
Views: 2741
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Posted By: Lava1964
Our Gang - Spanky McFarland George (Spanky) McFarland had the most prolific career of any member of the Our Gang troupe. He appeared in 95 Our Gang shorts from 1932 through 1942. Even by Our Gang standards, McFarland began at a young age. His cuteness as a baby got Spanky's picture widely circulated on bread billboards in his hometown of Dallas. When Hal Roach began a new talent search, Spanky's aunt submitted his photos. This got him a screen test that was hugely positive--thus Spanky became an Our Gang regular at the age of three. The origin of Spanky's nickname is unclear; McFarland believed a Los Angeles showbiz columnist came up with it. Spanky's early Our Gang roles were as a tagalong little kid. His abilities to steal scenes and deliver funny lines got him more prominent roles. By 1936, at the age of eight, he was clearly the star of the series and the Gang's leader. He was always the 'idea man' of the Gang, devising schemes and plots. After Hal Roach sold the rights to Our Gang to MGM in 1938, MGM intended to begin anew with an entirely fresh cast of child actors. However, MGM rehired Spanky when a suitable replacement could not be found. Along with Spanky's 95 appearances in Our Gang films, he was also the lead in General Spanky (1936)--the only feature-length Our Gang film ever made. He later served in the Air Force. Spanky was working menial jobs in the 1950s when the Little Rascals reruns began to air on television. He began hosting a local program of them. Spanky's renaissance fame got him a job at Philco-Ford where he eventually became the head of national sales. In his later years Spanky hosted charity golf events. He made a cameo appearance on the sitcom Cheers in 1993. Spanky died of a heart attack not long afterwards. He was 64 years old.
Tags: Our  Gang    Spanky  McFarland 
Added: 26th November 2009
Views: 4257
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Posted By: Lava1964
Our Gang - Joe Cobb Joe Cobb was the original 'fat boy' character in the Our Gang comedies. He appeared in 86 short films; the vast majority of them were silent movies. Debuting in 1923, Cobb was the first Our Gang character to sport a beanie. Cobb was born in Oklahoma. His acting career began by accident. When Cobb and his father were vacationing in Los Angeles he was spotted by producer Hal Roach who was looking for a jolly fat kid for the Our Gang troupe. Cobb's tenure on Our Gang ended in 1930, but he made three cameo appearances in later Our Gang films during the mid-1930s. His acting career ended in 1940. Shortly thereafter he got a job in an aircraft plant. He worked there until retiring in 1981. Cobb died in 2002. He was 85 years old.
Tags: Our  Gang  Joe  Cobb 
Added: 1st December 2009
Views: 1948
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Posted By: Lava1964
Our Gang - Darla Hood Darla Hood was the most famous of the Our Gang girls. Born in Oklahoma in 1931, Darla began auditioning for roles at age three. At age four she joined the Our Gang troupe, debuting in 'Our Gang Follies of 1936.' Darla's Oklahoma twang is noticeable in some of her early films. Darla's stint with the Our Gang series came during its heyday. Her character was both wholesome and coquettish. Alfalfa, Waldo, and Butch all vied for the pretty brunette's affections. She made the transition from the Hal Roach era of Our Gang to the MGM era. Her last Our Gang appearance came at age 11 in 'Benjamin Franklin Jr.' in 1943. Darla became a regular member of The Ken Murray Show during the 1950-51 TV season. She later reprised her Darla role in a spoof on a 1962 episode of The Jack Benny Program. (Jack played Alfalfa.) During the 1960s and 1970s she attended numerous cast reunions where she was a great favorite of young and old fans. In 1979 Darla was busy planning a 1980 Our Gang reunion when she entered the hospital for a minor surgical procedure. She contracted hepatitis--likely from a tainted blood transfusion--and died suddenly. She was just 47 years old.
Tags: Our  Gang  Darla  Hood 
Added: 28th November 2009
Views: 6061
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Posted By: Lava1964

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