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 Post subject: Re: Today in history.
PostPosted: 04 Oct 2017, 03:11 
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Chieftain wrote:
oct.2nd 2017........rock and roller Tom Petty dies....


I was shocked when I heard that the other day. All of these rock stars from my youth are dying off.

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 Post subject: Re: Today in history.
PostPosted: 04 Oct 2017, 03:16 
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October 4, 1777

Near the British-occupied city of Philadelphia, Patriot forces under General George Washington attempt an early morning attack on Sir William Howe’s British troops at Germantown.
Heavy morning fog threw Washington’s divisions into disarray, and by 10 o’clock the battle was over. Although the Americans were forced into a retreat, both sides suffered heavy losses,
and the battle demonstrated Washington’s strategic abilities. Coupled with the American victory at the Battle of Saratoga in New York on October 17, the Battle of Germantown convinced
France to recognize and support American independence and give open military assistance, thus marking a turning point in the American Revolution. After Germantown, General Washington
led his forces into their winter quarters at Valley Forge.

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 Post subject: Re: Today in history.
PostPosted: 04 Oct 2017, 04:57 
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trapperrick wrote:
Chieftain wrote:
oct.2nd 2017........rock and roller Tom Petty dies....


I was shocked when I heard that the other day. All of these rock stars from my youth are dying off.
.....I was shocked also.guess we are showing our age..

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 Post subject: Re: Today in history.
PostPosted: 05 Oct 2017, 03:18 
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October 5, 1813.

During the War of 1812, a combined British and Indian force is defeated by General William Harrison’s American army at the Battle of the Thames near Ontario, Canada. The leader of the Indian forces was Tecumseh, the Shawnee chief who organized intertribal resistance to the encroachment of white settlers on Indian lands. He was killed in the fighting.
Tecumseh was born in an Indian village in present-day Ohio and early on witnessed the devastation wrought on tribal lands by white settlers. He fought against U.S. forces in the American Revolution and later raided white settlements, often in conjunction with other tribes. He became a great orator and a leader of intertribal councils. He traveled widely, attempting to organize a united Indian front against the United States. When the War of 1812 erupted, he joined the British, and with a large Indian force he marched on U.S.-held Fort Detroit with British General Isaac Brock. In August 1812, the fort surrendered without a fight when it saw the British and Indian show of force.
Tecumseh then traveled south to rally other tribes to his cause and in 1813 joined British General Henry Procter in his invasion of Ohio. The British-Indian force besieged Fort Meigs, and Tecumseh intercepted and destroyed a Kentucky brigade sent to relieve the fort. After the U.S. victory at the Battle of Lake Erie in September 1813, Procter and Tecumseh were forced to retreat to Canada. Pursued by an American force led by the future president William Harrison, the British-Indian force was defeated at the Battle of the Thames River on October 5.
The battle gave control of the western theater to the United States in the War of 1812. Tecumseh’s death marked the end of Indian resistance east of the Mississippi River, and soon after most of the depleted tribes were forced west.

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 Post subject: Today in history. 10-6
PostPosted: 06 Oct 2017, 10:54 
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1926
Babe Ruth sets a World Series record

On October 6, 1926, Yankee slugger Babe Ruth hits a record three homers against the St. Louis Cardinals in the fourth game of the World Series. The Yanks won the game 10-5, but despite Ruth’s unprecedented performance, they lost the championship in the seventh game. In 1928, in the fourth game of another Yanks-Cards World Series, Ruth tied his own record, knocking three more pitches out of the same park.

The 1926 championship promised to be an exciting one. The AL champs had a powerful lineup, later called the “Murderer’s Row,” that included the great Babe, the young “Columbia Lou” Gehrig, and the leadoff man Earle Combs. For their part, the Cardinals had the intimidating Rogers Hornsby along with ace pitchers Flint Rhem and Bill Sherdel.

But the Yanks were heavily favored, and they won the first game easily. They lost the second, though, thanks to an outstanding full-game performance from St. Louis pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander. The next day, Cardinal Jessie Haines pitched the whole game–and hit the only home run–in his team’s 4-0 Game 3 victory.

By the fourth game in the series, the underdog Cards were up two games to one. The Yanks needed to pull it together, and for one game, they did. Veteran Waite Hoyt pitched all nine innings while St. Louis shuffled through its entire bullpen. And the Babe–the Sultan of Swat, the Caliph of Clout, the Wali of Wallop–hit his three homers and led the Yanks to a 10-5 victory. Unfortunately for the Bombers, that game didn’t decide the series. Though they won the next game in 10 innings, they lost the next one by eight runs. And they were losing the seventh game by one run in the ninth inning when the Bambino stepped to the plate again. With a 3-2 count, Ruth drew his eleventh walk of the series and trotted off to first base. The Yanks’ hopes plummeted as quickly as they’d risen, though, when second baseman Hornsby nabbed him as he tried somewhat ploddingly to steal second. The game was over. Thanks to the magical Bambino, the Bombers had lost.

On October 18, 1977, Yankee Reggie Jackson became only the second player to hit three homers in a single Series game.


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 Post subject: Today in history. 10-7
PostPosted: 07 Oct 2017, 10:02 
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1871
Massive fire burns in Wisconsin

The most devastating fire in United States history is ignited in Wisconsin on this day in 1871. Over the course of the next day, 1,200 people lost their lives and 2 billion trees were consumed by flames. Despite the massive scale of the blaze, it was overshadowed by the Great Chicago Fire, which began the next day about 250 miles away.

Peshtigo, Wisconsin, was a company lumber and sawmill town owned by William Ogden that was home to what was then one of the largest wood-products factories in the United States. The summer of 1871 was particularly dry across the northern Midwest. Still, settlers continued to set fires, using the “slash and burn” method to create new farmland and, in the process, making the risk of forest fire substantial. In fact, the month before had seen significant fires burn from Canada to Iowa.

Peshtigo, like many Midwestern towns, was highly vulnerable to fire. Nearly every structure in town was a timber-framed building–prime fuel for a fire. In addition, the roads in and out of town were covered with saw dust and a key bridge was made of wood. This would allow a fire from outside the town to easily spread to Peshtigo and make escaping from a fire in the town difficult. On September 23, the town had stockpiled a large supply of water in case a nearby fire headed in Peshtigo’s direction. Still, they were not prepared for the size and speed of the October 7 blaze.

The blaze began at an unknown spot in the dense Wisconsin forest. It first spread to the small village of Sugar Bush, where every resident was killed. High winds then sent the 200-foot flames racing northeast toward the neighboring community of Peshtigo. Temperatures reached 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, causing trees to literally explode in the flames.

On October 8, the fire reached Peshtigo without warning. Two hundred people died in a single tavern. Others fled to a nearby river, where several people died from drowning. Three people who sought refuge in a water tank boiled to death when the fire heated the tank. A mass grave of nearly 350 people was established because extensive burns made it impossible to identify the bodies.

Despite the fact that this was the worst fire in American history, newspaper headlines on subsequent days were dominated by the story of another devastating, though smaller, blaze: the Great Chicago Fire. Another fire in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula that consumed 2 million acres was an even smaller footnote in the next day’s papers.


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 Post subject: Today in history. 10-8
PostPosted: 08 Oct 2017, 12:25 
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1918
U.S. soldier Alvin York displays heroics at Argonne

On this day in 1918, United States Corporal Alvin C. York reportedly kills over 20 German soldiers and captures an additional 132 at the head of a small detachment in the Argonne Forest near the Meuse River in France. The exploits later earned York the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Born in 1887 in a log cabin near the Tennessee-Kentucky border, York was the third of 11 children in a family supported by subsistence farming and hunting. After experiencing a religious conversion, he became a fundamentalist Christian around 1915. Two years later, when the United States entered World War I, York was drafted into the U.S. Army. After being denied conscientious-objector status, York enlisted in the 82nd Infantry Division and in May 1918 arrived in France for active duty on the Western Front. He served in the successful Saint-Mihiel offensive in September of that year, was promoted to corporal and given command of his own squadron.

The events of October 8, 1918, took place as part of the Meuse-Argonne offensive—what was to be the final Allied push against German forces on the Western Front during World War I. York and his battalion were given the task of seizing German-held positions across a valley; after encountering difficulties, the small group of soldiers—numbering some 17 men—were fired upon by a German machine-gun nest at the top of a nearby hill. The gunners cut down nine men, including a superior officer, leaving York in charge of the squadron.

As York wrote in his diary of his subsequent actions: “[T]hose machine guns were spitting fire and cutting down the undergrowth all around me something awful…. I didn’t have time to dodge behind a tree or dive into the brush, I didn’t even have time to kneel or lie down…. As soon as the machine guns opened fire on me, I began to exchange shots with them. In order to sight me or to swing their machine guns on me, the Germans had to show their heads above the trench, and every time I saw a head I just touched it off. All the time I kept yelling at them to come down. I didn’t want to kill any more than I had to. But it was they or I. And I was giving them the best I had.”

Several other American soldiers followed York’s lead and began firing; as they drew closer to the machine-gun nest, the German commander—thinking he had underestimated the size of the enemy squadron—surrendered his garrison of some 90 men. On the way back to the Allied lines, York and his squad took more prisoners, for a total of 132. Though Alvin York consistently played down his accomplishments of that day, he was given credit for killing more than 20 German soldiers. Promoted to the rank of sergeant, he remained on the front lines until November 1, 10 days before the armistice. In April 1919, York was awarded the highest American military decoration, the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Lauded by The New York Times as “the war’s biggest hero” and by General John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), as “the greatest civilian soldier” of World War I, York went on to found a school for underprivileged children, the York Industrial Institute (now Alvin C. York Institute), in rural Tennessee. In 1941, his heroism became the basis for a movie, Sergeant York, starring Gary Cooper. Upon York’s death in 1964, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson called him “a symbol of American courage and sacrifice” who epitomized “the gallantry of American fighting men and their sacrifices on behalf of freedom.”


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 Post subject: Today in history. 10-9
PostPosted: 09 Oct 2017, 10:41 
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1992
Meteorite crashes into Chevy Malibu

On this day in 1992, 18-year-old Michelle Knapp is watching television in her parents’ living room in Peekskill, New York when she hears a thunderous crash in the driveway. Alarmed, Knapp ran outside to investigate. What she found was startling, to say the least: a sizeable hole in the rear end of her car, an orange 1980 Chevy Malibu; a matching hole in the gravel driveway underneath the car; and in the hole, the culprit: what looked like an ordinary, bowling-ball–sized rock. It was extremely heavy for its size (it weighed about 28 pounds), shaped like a football and warm to the touch; also, it smelled vaguely of rotten eggs. The next day, a curator from the American Museum of Natural History in New York City confirmed that the object was a genuine meteorite.

Scientists estimate that the Earth is bombarded with about 100 pounds of meteoric material every day. Meteorites are pieces of asteroids and other debris made of rock, iron and nickel that have been orbiting in space for billions of years. Some are as tiny as dust particles and others are as huge as 10 miles across; most, however, are about the size of a baseball. Astronomers and other people who pay attention to the night sky can easily see them: When a meteorite enters the Earth’s atmosphere, it blazes across the sky like a fireball. (What most people call “shooting stars” are actually meteorites.) Thousands of people in the eastern United States saw the greenish Peekskill meteorite as it streaked toward Knapp’s Malibu and many heard it too: one witness said that it crackled like a very loud sparkler. Scientists have determined that it came from the inner edge of the main asteroid belt in space, between Jupiter and Mars.

While meteorites are fairly common, a meteorite hitting a car is not: A car is, after all, a very small object on a very large planet. In fact, as far as scientists know it has only happened twice before–once in Illinois during the 1930s and once in St. Louis. Eventually, the famous Knapp meteorite was sold to a collector and two fossil dealers, who broke it into smaller chunks and sold those to a handful of other collectors and museums. The car, meanwhile, sold for $10,000 to Lang’s Fossils and Meteorites in Cranford, New Jersey. It has been on display in New York, Paris, Munich and Tokyo.


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 Post subject: Today in history. 10-10
PostPosted: 10 Oct 2017, 11:43 
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1877
Custer’s funeral is held at West Point

On this day in 1877, the U.S. Army holds a West Point funeral with full military honors for Lieutenant-Colonel George Armstrong Custer. Killed the previous year in Montana by Sioux and Cheyenne Indians at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, Custer’s body had been returned to the East for burial on the grounds of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, where Custer had graduated in 1861-at the bottom of his class.

Even before the Battle of the Little Big Horn, Custer had won national fame as a bold-and some said foolhardy-Civil War commander who eventually became the youngest major general in the U.S. Army. A handsome man, famous for his long blond hair (though he cut it short while in the field), Custer, even after the Civil War, continued to attract the appreciative attention of newspapers and the nation as a lieutenant colonel in the 7th Cavalry, a unit recently created to fight in the western Indian wars. Reports that Custer treated deserters of the 7th with unnecessary cruelty and overworked his soldiers led to a court-martial and conviction in 1867. But Custer redeemed himself, at least in the eyes of some, with his subsequent attack on a winter camp of Cheyenne in on the Washita River. Others, though, faulted Custer for attacking a peaceful band of Cheyenne and leaving behind some of his men when he withdrew from the battle under cover of night.

Though Custer was controversial in his day, his spectacular death at the Little Big Horn transformed him into a beloved martyr in the eyes of many Americans, especially those who were calling for wholesale war against the Indians. Some newspapers began to refer to Custer as the “American Murat,” a reference to a famous martyr of the French Revolution, and they called for decisive retaliation against the “treacherous Indians” who had murdered the golden-haired general. Others refused to believe that Custer’s own tactical mistakes could alone explain the disaster at Little Big Horn, and they instead sought to place the blame on the shoulders of other commanders who had been at the battle. (Tellingly, no one suggested that clever tactics and leadership by the Indians might have been the cause for Custer’s defeat.) Custer’s widow, Elizabeth, also worked to transform her husband into a legend by writing several adulatory books chronicling his career. Hundreds of other books and movies, many of them more fiction than history, helped cement the image of Custer as the great fallen leader of the Indian wars in many American minds.

Custer’s status as a national hero and martyr only began to be seriously questioned in the 1960s, and since then he has often been portrayed as a vain and glory-seeking man whose own ineptitude was all the explanation needed for the massacre at Little Big Horn. The truth about George Custer is probably somewhere in between these two extremes.


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 Post subject: Today in history. 10-11
PostPosted: 11 Oct 2017, 11:36 
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1809
Meriwether Lewis dies along the Natchez Trace, Tennessee

On this day in 1809, the famous explorer Meriwether Lewis dies under mysterious circumstances in the early hours of the morning after stopping for the night at Grinder’s Tavern along the Natchez Trace in Tennessee.

Three years earlier, Lewis and his co-commander, William Clark, had completed their brilliant exploration of the newly acquired Louisiana Territory and the Pacific Northwest. Justly famous and celebrated throughout the nation as a result, Lewis nonetheless found his return to civilized eastern life difficult. President Thomas Jefferson appointed him as governor of Louisiana Territory, but Lewis soon discovered that the complex politics and power struggles of the territory were earning him more enemies than friends. At the same time, bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., were questioning the legitimacy of some of the purchases Lewis had made for the expedition in 1803, raising the threat of bankruptcy if he were forced to cover these costs personally. Finally, some three years after the end of his journey, Lewis still had failed to complete the work necessary to publish the critically important scientific and geographical information he and Clark had gathered in their journals-much to the disappointment of his close friend and mentor, Thomas Jefferson.

For all these reasons, most recent historians have concluded that Lewis’ death was a suicide brought on by deep depression and the heavy weight of worries he bore. According to the account given by Mrs. Grinder, the mistress of the tavern along the Natchez Trace where Lewis died, during his final hours Lewis began to pace in his room and talk aloud to himself “like a lawyer.” She then heard a pistol shot and Lewis exclaiming, “O Lord!” After a second pistol shot, Lewis staggered from his room and called for help, reportedly saying, “O Madam! Give me some water, and heal my wounds.” Strangely, Mrs. Grinder did nothing to help him; she later said that she was too afraid. The next morning servants went to his room where they reportedly found him “busily engaged in cutting himself from head to foot” with a razor. Fatally wounded in the abdomen, Lewis died shortly after sunrise.

Based largely on Mrs. Grinder’s story, most historians have argued that Lewis tried to kill himself with two pistol shots, and when death did not come quickly enough, tried to finish the job with his razor. However, in a 1962 book, Suicide or Murder? The Strange Death of Governor Meriwether Lewis, the author Vardes Fisher raised questions about the reliability of Mrs. Grinder’s story and suggested that Lewis might have actually been murdered, either by Mrs. Grinder’s husband or bandits. Since then a minority of historians has continued to raise challenges to the suicide thesis. But ultimately, nearly two centuries after the event, we may never be able to discover exactly what happened that night along the Natchez Trace when one of the nation’s greatest heroes died at the tragically young age of 35.


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 Post subject: Today in history. 10-12
PostPosted: 12 Oct 2017, 11:48 
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1940
The Cowboy actor Tom Mix dies in an Arizona car accident

On this day in 1940, the famous cowboy actor Tom Mix is killed in a freak car accident near his ranch in Florence, Arizona. Driving his single-seat roadster along a straight desert road, Mix apparently ignored warnings that a bridge was out on a shallow gully and was fatally crushed by a heavy suitcase that flew off the rear shelf of his car.

Mix had been one of the biggest silent movies stars in Hollywood during the 1920s, appearing in more than 300 westerns and making as much as $10,000 a week. Unlike most of the actors appearing in westerns, Mix (whose full name was Thomas Hezikah Mix) had actually worked as a cowboy, served as a soldier during the Spanish-American War, and been a Texas Ranger, so he brought a wealth of real experience to his fictional cowboy characters.

In 1906, Mix joined a Wild West show, and that led him to begin acting in motion pictures four years later. In his many one- and two-reel western adventure films—most of which have been lost because they were released on highly combustible nitrate film stock—Mix helped define the classic image of the western movie cowboy as a rough riding, quick-shooting defender of right and justice, an image that would be copied by hundreds of other actors who followed him. Mix’s real costar in his movies, “Tony the Wonder Horse,” also became very popular and helped set the pattern for the “Silvers” that followed.

With the coming of talking pictures, Mix’s movie career stalled. In 1933, he organized Tom Mix’s Circus and Wild West Show and helped create The Tom Mix Show on radio. But despite the popularity of the radio show (in which Mix did not personally act), Mix never recaptured the success he had known during the golden era of the silent western movies. When he died in 1940 at the age of 60, he had lost most of his wealth and was largely forgotten by the public that once adored him.

Yet Mix is not entirely forgotten today. A black iron silhouette of a riderless bronco marks the site of Mix’s death on the highway about 17 miles south of Florence, Arizona. The so-called “suitcase of death” is preserved at the Tom Mix Museum in Dewey, Oklahoma, along with a life-size replica of Tony the Wonder Horse.


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 Post subject: Today in history. 10-13
PostPosted: 13 Oct 2017, 10:19 
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1950
Jimmy Stewart stars in Harvey

On this day in 1950, the actor James Stewart stars in Harvey, a drama about an eccentric man whose best friend is a giant invisible rabbit. Directed by Henry Koster and based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name by Mary Chase, Harvey earned Stewart the fourth Best Actor Oscar nomination of his career. Considered one of Hollywood’s all-time greatest leading men, Stewart appeared in some 80 movies during his career, including Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Philadelphia Story and It’s a Wonderful Life, and was best known for his portrayals of decent, idealistic men.

Stewart was born on May 20, 1908, in Indiana, Pennsylvania. At Princeton University, he performed in musical comedies with the Triangle Club before graduating in 1932 with a degree in architecture. There wasn’t a great demand for architects in the early 1930s, during the Great Depression, so Stewart turned to acting, landing his first big role on Broadway in 1934 in Yellow Jack. The following year he signed a contract with MGM and made his big-screen debut in The Murder Man, starring Spencer Tracy. He went on to appear in such movies as You Can’t Take It With You (1938); Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), in which his performance as an idealistic senator catapulted him to stardom and earned him his first Best Actor Oscar nomination; Destry Rides Again (1939), in which he played a marshal opposite Marlene Dietrich; and The Philadelphia Story (1940), in which he co-starred with Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. In 1941, at the age of 33, Stewart joined the military as a pilot. Before he returned home in 1945, he reportedly flew 20 bombing missions over Germany.

In 1946, Stewart starred in the director Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life. According to Stewart’s 1997 obituary in the New York Times: “His archetypal role (and his own favorite) was that of George Bailey, the small-town banker in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ Frank Capra’s moralistic fantasy in which the hero is rescued from suicide by a pixieish angel who shows him how much meaner life would have been in his hometown without him. The 1946 feature-length Christmas card was a failure among audiences, who dismissed it as overly sentimental, but in later decades it became one of the most popular movies ever made and a holiday staple on television.”

After Stewart’s acclaimed performance in Harvey, he appeared in such films as The Glenn Miller Story (1954), in which he played the popular big-band leader; Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954), in which he played a wheelchair-bound voyeur photographer; The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956); and The Spirit of St. Louis (1957), which featured Stewart as the famous aviator Charles Lindbergh. His films during the 1950s also include Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958), in which he starred as a retired detective opposite Kim Novak; and Anatomy of a Murder (1959), for which he earned his fifth Oscar nomination. During the 1960s, Stewart’s movie credits included The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) and The Shootist (1976).

His final movie was the 1991 animated feature An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, in which he voiced the character of Wylie. Stewart died in Beverly Hills, California on July 2, 1997, at the age of 89.


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 Post subject: Today in history. 10-14
PostPosted: 14 Oct 2017, 11:14 
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1957
“Wake Up Little Susie” becomes the Everly Brothers’ first #1 hit

Harmony singing was a part of rock and roll right from the beginning, but the three- and four-part harmonies of doo-wop, derived from black gospel and blues traditions, would never have given us Simon and Garfunkel, the Beatles or the Byrds. To get those groups, you first had to have the Everly Brothers, whose ringing, close-harmony style introduced a whole new sound into the rock-and-roll vocabulary: the sound of Appalachia set to hard-driving acoustic guitars and a subtle backbeat rhythm. One of the most important and influential groups in the history of rock and roll, the Everly Brothers burst onto the music scene in 1957 with their first big hit, "Bye Bye Love," which was quickly followed with their first #1 song, "Wake Up Little Susie," which topped the Billboard pop chart on this day in 1957.

Don and Phil Everly began performing together professionally in 1945 at the ages of eight and six, respectively, on their family's live radio show out of Shenandoah, Iowa. The Everly family resettled to Knoxville, Tennesee, in 1953, and two years later, 18-year-old Don and 16-year-old Phil began pursuing work as songwriters in Nashville. As a songwriting duo, they had very little success, and in their first try at making a record of their own, they couldn't even crack the lowest level of the Country & Western chart. A move to Cadence Records in 1957, however, changed the course of the Everly Brothers' career, bringing them into partnership with a production team that included legendary session man Chet Atkins and the songwriting team of Felice and Boudreaux Bryant.

"Bye Bye Love" was the first song by the Bryants to be recorded by the Everlys, establishing their trademark sound and peaking at #2 on the charts in the summer of 1957. The follow-up single, "Wake Up Little Susie," reached the top spot on October 14, 1957, though not without stirring controversy in some parts due to lyrics that hinted at teenage sex. Literally banned in Boston at one point, the Everlys' first chart-topper was taken at face value in most parts of the country as an insanely catchy song about two teenagers who have innocently fallen asleep at a movie only to awaken at 4:00 AM in fear of having ruined their good reputations.

The Everly Brothers would earn 25 top-40 hits over the first five years of their hugely influential recording career, including two more #1s: "All I Have To Do Is Dream" (1958) and "Cathy's Clown" (1960).


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 Post subject: Today in history. 10-15
PostPosted: 15 Oct 2017, 10:39 
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1954
Hurricane Hazel hits the Carolinas and Ontario

Hurricane Hazel, the fourth major hurricane of 1954, hammers southern Ontario, Canada, on this day in 1954. Hazel hit hard from Jamaica to Canada, killing more than 400 people and causing over $1 billion in damages.

On October 5 hurricane hunters spotted Hurricane Hazel about 50 miles east of the island of Grenada. The storm gathered strength as it moved west across the Atlantic Ocean and then began to turn north. First in its line of fire was Jamaica. Then, with winds reaching 140 miles per hour, Hazel struck Haiti on October 12. The towns of Cayes, Marfranc and Moton were demolished. Hundreds of families lost their homes and nearly half of the island’s coffee and cacao crop was destroyed. Moving northeast, the Category 4 storm rocked the edge of Puerto Rico, where eight people lost their lives.

Early on the morning of October 15, the storm made landfall at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and then moved along the U.S. coast to North Carolina and Virginia. Though coastal towns suffered the worst damage, even cities far from the ocean were affected. In Raleigh, North Carolina, winds were recorded at over 100 miles per hour. In Wilmington, Delaware, a woman was killed when winds picked her up and slammed her into a trolley car.

As Hazel slowed, even inland areas experienced excessive rain. The Ohio River flooded in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Thousands had to be evacuated from their homes and four people died in Pittsburgh. Moving north on the night of October 15, Hazel caught the Toronto area relatively unaware. When the Humber River flooded, entire neighborhoods were washed away and 81 people were killed. The storm finally dissipated the following day.


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 Post subject: Re: Today in history.
PostPosted: 15 Oct 2017, 11:52 
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1582 – Pope Gregory XIII implements the Gregorian calendar. In Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain, October 4 of this year is followed directly by October 15.

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 Post subject: Today in history. 10-16
PostPosted: 16 Oct 2017, 10:09 
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1958
Chevrolet introduces the El Camino

On October 16, 1958, Chevrolet begins to sell a car-truck hybrid that it calls the El Camino. Inspired by the Ford Ranchero, which had already been on the market for two years, the El Camino was a combination sedan-pickup truck built on the Impala body, with the same “cat’s eye” taillights and dramatic rear fins. It was, ads trilled, “the most beautiful thing that ever shouldered a load!” “It rides and handles like a convertible,” Chevy said, “yet hauls and hustles like the workingest thing on wheels.”

Ford’s Ranchero was the first “car-truck” sold in the United States, but it was not a new idea. Since the 1930s, Australian farmers had been driving what they called “utes”—short for “coupé utility”—all around the outback. Legend has it that a farmer’s wife from rural Victoria had written a letter to Ford Australia, asking the company to build a car that could carry her to church on Sundays and her husband’s pigs to market on Mondays. In response, Ford engineer Lewis Brandt designed a low-slung sedan-based vehicle that was a ritzy passenger car in the front, with wind-up windows and comfortable seats and a rough-and-tumble pickup in back. The ute was a huge hit; eventually, virtually every company that sold cars Down Under made its own version.

In the United States, however, ute-type vehicles were slower to catch on. Though the Ranchero was a steady seller, the first incarnation of the El Camino was not and Chevy discontinued it after just two years. In 1964, the company introduced a new version, this one built on the brawnier Chevelle platform. In 1968, the more powerful SS engine made the El Camino into one of the iconic muscle cars of the late 1960s and 1970s.

In 1987, Chevrolet dropped the El Camino from its lineup for good. Today, the car is a cult classic. In 2008, Pontiac announced plans to introduce an El-Camino–inspired “sport truck” and even considered naming it the El Camino, before settling on the shorter G8 ST. In 2009, however, GM’s financial difficulties forced the carmaker to postpone production of its new models; it also announced plans to eliminate the Pontiac brand altogether by 2010.


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 Post subject: Today in history. 10-17
PostPosted: 17 Oct 2017, 08:46 
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Who else remembers?

1973
OPEC states declare oil embargo

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) implements what it calls “oil diplomacy” on this day in 1973: It prohibits any nation that had supported Israel in its “Yom Kippur War” with Egypt, Syria and Jordan from buying any of the oil it sells. The ensuing energy crisis marked the end of the era of cheap gasoline and caused the share value of the New York Stock Exchange to drop by $97 billion. This, in turn, ushered in one of the worst recessions the United States had ever seen.

In the middle of 1973, even before the OPEC embargo, an American oil crisis was on the horizon: Domestic reserves were low (about 52 billion barrels, a 10-year supply); the United States was importing about 27 percent of the crude petroleum it needed every year; and gasoline prices were rising. The 1973 war with Israel made things even worse. OPEC announced that it would punish Israel’s allies by implementing production cuts of 5 percent a month until that nation withdrew from the occupied territories and restored the rights of the Palestinians. It also declared that the true “enemies” of the Arab cause (in practice, this turned out to mean the United States and the Netherlands) would be subject to an indefinite “total embargo.” Traditionally, per-barrel prices had been set by the oil companies themselves, but in December, OPEC announced that from then on, its members would set their own prices on the petroleum they exported. As a result, the price of a barrel of oil went up to $11.65, 130 percent higher than it had been in October and 387 percent higher than it had been the year before.

Domestic oil prices increased too, but shortages persisted. People waited for hours in long lines at gas stations—at some New Jersey pumps, lines were four miles long!–and by the time the embargo ended in March 1974, the average retail price of gas had climbed to 84 cents per gallon from 38 cents per gallon. Sales of smaller, more fuel-efficient cars skyrocketed. At the same time, declining demand for the big, heavy gas-guzzlers that most American car companies were producing spelled disaster for the domestic auto industry.


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 Post subject: Today in history.10-18
PostPosted: 18 Oct 2017, 11:19 
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1867
U.S. takes possession of Alaska

On this day in 1867, the U.S. formally takes possession of Alaska after purchasing the territory from Russia for $7.2 million, or less than two cents an acre. The Alaska purchase comprised 586,412 square miles, about twice the size of Texas, and was championed by William Henry Seward, the enthusiasticly expansionist secretary of state under President Andrew Johnson.

Russia wanted to sell its Alaska territory, which was remote, sparsely populated and difficult to defend, to the U.S. rather than risk losing it in battle with a rival such as Great Britain. Negotiations between Seward (1801-1872) and the Russian minister to the U.S., Eduard de Stoeckl, began in March 1867. However, the American public believed the land to be barren and worthless and dubbed the purchase “Seward’s Folly” and “Andrew Johnson’s Polar Bear Garden,” among other derogatory names. Some animosity toward the project may have been a byproduct of President Johnson’s own unpopularity. As the 17th U.S. president, Johnson battled with Radical Republicans in Congress over Reconstruction policies following the Civil War. He was impeached in 1868 and later acquitted by a single vote. Nevertheless, Congress eventually ratified the Alaska deal. Public opinion of the purchase turned more favorable when gold was discovered in a tributary of Alaska’s Klondike River in 1896, sparking a gold rush. Alaska became the 49th state on January 3, 1959, and is now recognized for its vast natural resources. Today, 25 percent of America’s oil and over 50 percent of its seafood come from Alaska. It is also the largest state in area, about one-fifth the size of the lower 48 states combined, though it remains sparsely populated. The name Alaska is derived from the Aleut word alyeska, which means “great land.” Alaska has two official state holidays to commemorate its origins: Seward’s Day, observed the last Monday in March, celebrates the March 30, 1867, signing of the land treaty between the U.S. and Russia, and Alaska Day, observed every October 18, marks the anniversary of the formal land transfer.


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 Post subject: Today in history. 10-19
PostPosted: 19 Oct 2017, 10:24 
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1957
Rocket Richard scores 500 goals

On October 19, 1957, Maurice “Rocket” Richard of the Montreal Canadiens becomes the first N.H.L. player to score 500 goals in his career when he slaps a 20-foot shot past Chicago Blackhawks goalie Glenn Hall. Richard was one of the most consistent and intimidating goal-scorers in pro hockey history: In all, he scored 544 regular-season and 82 post-season goals. “When he came flying toward you with the puck on his stick,” Hall remembered, “his eyes were all lit up, flashing and gleaming like a pinball machine. It was terrifying.”

Many people say that Richard was one of the greatest hockey players who ever lived. He played 18 seasons with the Canadiens and helped them win eight Stanley Cups. In 1944-1945, he became the first player to score 50 goals in a season, and he did it in just 50 games. (His 50-goal season record stood for 20 years, until Blackhawk Bobby Hull scored 54 times in 1965-66, but Hull was playing a 70-game season. In 1981, New York Islander Mike Bossy tied his 50-goals-in-50-games record. The next year, Wayne Gretzky scored 50 goals in just 39 games.) Richard was an N.H.L. All-Star almost every season that he played and was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame just one year after he retired. “When God created the perfect goal scorer,” referee Red Storey once said, “it came in the form of the Rocket.”

But Richard wasn’t just an outstanding player—he was also an icon to French-speaking Quebecois who felt alienated and ignored in an increasingly Anglophilic Canada. To them, one reporter noted, Richard was Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson rolled into one. Their loyalty led to one of the most remarkable events in hockey history. In 1955, N.H.L. president Clarence Campbell suspended Richard for the last three regular-season games plus the entire postseason because he’d punched a linesman during a fight on the ice on Boston. When Campbell arrived in Montreal for the next game, the city erupted in a riot—complete with tear-gas bombs, broken shop windows and looting. Enterprising Montrealers even sold cans of Rocket Richard tomato soup to hockey fans whose devotion to Richard wouldn’t permit them to eat Campbell’s (even though the N.H.L. Campbells and the soup Campbells weren’t related). Only a plea from Richard, broadcast on French-language radio, restored calm. “I will take my punishment and come back next year to help the club and the younger players to win the Stanley Cup,” he said. And he did—five times in a row, an unprecedented streak.

After he retired in 1960, Richard dabbled in coaching and ran a fishing-supply business out of his home. When he died in 2000, he lay in state at the Montreal hockey arena; thousands and thousands of fans came to pay their respects.


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 Post subject: Today in history. 10-20
PostPosted: 20 Oct 2017, 10:06 
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1803
U.S. Senate ratifies the Louisiana Purchase

On this day in 1803, the U.S. Senate approves a treaty with France providing for the purchase of the territory of Louisiana, which would double the size of the United States.

At the end of 18th century, the Spanish technically owned Louisiana, the huge region west of the Mississippi that had once been claimed by France and named for its monarch, King Louis XIV. Despite Spanish ownership, American settlers in search of new land were already threatening to overrun the territory by the early 19th century. Recognizing it could not effectively maintain control of the region, Spain ceded Louisiana back to France in 1801, sparking intense anxieties in Washington, D.C. Under the leadership of Napoleon Bonaparte, France had become the most powerful nation in Europe, and unlike Spain, it had the military power and the ambition to establish a strong colony in Louisiana and keep out the Americans.

Realizing that it was essential that the U.S. at least maintain control of the mouth of the all-important Mississippi River, early in 1803 President Thomas Jefferson sent James Monroe to join the French foreign minister, Robert Livingston, in France to see if Napoleon might be persuaded to sell New Orleans and West Florida to the U.S. By that spring, the European situation had changed radically. Napoleon, who had previously envisioned creating a mighty new French empire in America, was now facing war with Great Britain. Rather than risk the strong possibility that Great Britain would quickly capture Louisiana and leave France with nothing, Napoleon decided to raise money for his war and simultaneously deny his enemy plum territory by offering to sell the entire territory to the U.S. for a mere $15 million. Flabbergasted, Monroe and Livingston decided that they couldn’t pass up such a golden opportunity, and they wisely overstepped the powers delegated to them and accepted Napoleon’s offer.

Despite his misgivings about the constitutionality of the purchase (the Constitution made no provision for the addition of territory by treaty), Jefferson finally agreed to send the treaty to the U.S. Senate for ratification, noting privately, “The less we say about constitutional difficulties the better.” Despite his concerns, the treaty was ratified and the Louisiana Purchase now ranks as the greatest achievement of Jefferson’s presidency.


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 Post subject: Today in history. 10-21
PostPosted: 21 Oct 2017, 10:18 
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1959
Von Braun moves to NASA

President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs an executive order transferring the brilliant rocket designer Wernher von Braun and his team from the U.S. Army to the newly created National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Von Braun, the mastermind of the U.S. space program, had developed the lethal V-2 rocket for Nazi Germany during World War II.

Wernher von Braun was born into an aristocratic German family in 1912. He became fascinated with rocketry and the possibility of space travel after reading Hermann Oberth’s The Rocket into Interplanetary Space (1923) when he was in his early teens. He studied mechanical engineering and physics in Berlin and in his free time assisted Oberth in his tests of liquid-fueled rockets. In 1932, Von Braun’s rocket work attracted the attention of the German army, and he was given a grant to continue his work. He was eventually hired to lead the army’s rocket artillery unit, and by 1937 he was the technical director of a large development facility located at Peenemünde on the Baltic Sea.

Von Braun’s rocket tests impressed the Nazi leadership, who provided generous funding to the program. The most sophisticated rockets produced at Peenemünde were the long-range ballistic missile A-4 and the anti-aircraft missile Wasserfall. The A-4 was years ahead of rockets being produced in other nations at the time. It traveled at 3,600 mph, was capable of delivering a warhead a distance of more than 200 miles, and was the first rocket to enter the fringes of space. In 1944, the Nazis changed the name of A-4 to V-2 and began launching the rockets against London and Antwerp. The V stood for Vergeltung—the German word for “vengeance”—and was an expression of Nazi vindictiveness over the Allied bombardment of Germany. The V-2s took many lives but came too late to influence the outcome of the war.

Von Braun and 400 members of his team fled before the advancing Russians in 1945 and surrendered to the Americans. U.S. troops quickly seized more than 300 train-car loads of spare V-2 parts, and the German scientists were taken to the United States, eventually settling at Fort Bliss, Texas, where they resumed their rocketry work. At first, they were closely supervised because of their former allegiance to Nazi Germany, but it soon became apparent that they had fully shifted their loyalty to America and the great scientific opportunities it provided for them.

In 1950, von Braun and his team, which now included Americans, were transferred to Huntsville, Alabama, to head the U.S. Army ballistic-weapons program. During the 1950s, von Braun enthusiastically promoted the possibilities of space flight in books and magazines. In 1955, he became a U.S. citizen.

The USSR successfully launched Sputnik—the world’s first artificial satellite—in October 1957, but von Braun’s team was not far behind with its launching of the first American satellite—Explorer 1—in January 1958. In July of that year, President Eisenhower signed legislation establishing NASA, and on October 21 von Braun was formally transferred to the new agency. Von Braun, however, did not really go anywhere; NASA’s George C. Marshall Space Flight Center was built around von Braun’s headquarters in Huntsville. In 1960, he was named the Marshall Center’s first director.

At Huntsville, von Braun oversaw construction of the large Saturn launch vehicles that kept the United States abreast of Soviet space achievements in the early and mid 1960s. In the late 1960s, von Braun’s genius came to the fore in the space race, and the Soviets failed in their efforts to build intricate booster rockets of the type that put the first U.S. astronauts into a lunar orbit in 1968. Von Braun’s Saturn rockets eventually took 27 Americans to the moon, 12 who walked on the lunar surface. Von Braun retired from NASA in 1972 and died five years later.


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 Post subject: Today in history. 10-22
PostPosted: 22 Oct 2017, 09:43 
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1797
The first parachutist

The first parachute jump of note is made by André-Jacques Garnerin from a hydrogen balloon 3,200 feet above Paris.

Leonardo da Vinci conceived the idea of the parachute in his writings, and the Frenchman Louis-Sebastien Lenormand fashioned a kind of parachute out of two umbrellas and jumped from a tree in 1783, but André-Jacques Garnerin was the first to design and test parachutes capable of slowing a man’s fall from a high altitude.

Garnerin first conceived of the possibility of using air resistance to slow an individual’s fall from a high altitude while a prisoner during the French Revolution. Although he never employed a parachute to escape from the high ramparts of the Hungarian prison where he spent three years, Garnerin never lost interest in the concept of the parachute. In 1797, he completed his first parachute, a canopy 23 feet in diameter and attached to a basket with suspension lines.

On October 22, 1797, Garnerin attached the parachute to a hydrogen balloon and ascended to an altitude of 3,200 feet. He then clambered into the basket and severed the parachute from the balloon. As he failed to include an air vent at the top of the prototype, Garnerin oscillated wildly in his descent, but he landed shaken but unhurt half a mile from the balloon’s takeoff site. In 1799, Garnerin’s wife, Jeanne-Genevieve, became the first female parachutist. In 1802, Garnerin made a spectacular jump from 8,000 feet during an exhibition in England. He died in a balloon accident in 1823 while preparing to test a new parachute.


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 Post subject: Today in history. 10-23
PostPosted: 23 Oct 2017, 09:35 
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1813
American fur traders turn over Astoria, Oregon, to the British

On this day in 1813, the Americans operating the Pacific Fur Company trading post in Astoria, Oregon, turn the post over to their rivals in the British North West Company, and for the next three decades Britons dominate the fur trade of the Pacific Northwest.

The town and fur trading post at Astoria were founded in 1811 at the behest of John Jacob Astor, a German-born American immigrant who had hoped to beat out his British rivals and develop the Pacific Northwest fur trade for America. Unfortunately for Astor, the outbreak of the War of 1812 between the U.S. and Great Britain threw the fate of his enterprise into doubt, raising the threat that at any moment a British warship might arrive and seize Astoria as a spoil of war. Astor’s partners in the Pacific Fur Company were mostly Canadian, and they saw little reason to risk losing their entire investment in a British takeover so they sold their interests to the British North West Company in early October 1813. Just as they had feared, within weeks of the sale a man-of-war arrived and took possession of Astoria for Great Britain. In December 1813, the stars and strips came down, the Union Jack went up, and Astoria became Fort George.

Although Great Britain gave the settlement of Astoria back to the United States after the War of 1812, the British maintained control of Fort George and the Pacific Northwest fur trade, primarily through the royally chartered Hudson Bay Company. For the next 20 years the Hudson Bay Company’s British representatives ruled as benevolent despots over the traders, settlers, and Indians of the Pacific Northwest. By the 1840s, the beaver population had dwindled, while American settlement in the area was on the rise. Unwilling to protect the Hudson Bay Company’s claim to the region, the British agreed to accept American control of the territory below the 49th parallel in 1846 and ceded to the U.S. the territory encompassing the future states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.


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 Post subject: Today in history. 10-24
PostPosted: 24 Oct 2017, 09:31 
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1951
Truman declares war with Germany officially over

On this day in 1951, President Harry Truman finally proclaims that the nation’s war with Germany, begun in 1941, is officially over. Fighting had ended in the spring of 1945.

Most Americans assumed that the war with Germany had ended with the cessation of hostilities six years earlier. In fact, a treaty with Germany had not been signed. Complicating the treaty process was the status of territory within what was formerly the German state. Following the Second World War, the major Western powers (U.S., Britain and France) and the Soviets agreed to divide the country, including the capital city of Berlin, into democratic and communist-controlled sectors. Both East and West Berlin ended up within the Soviet-controlled territory of East Germany and the capital became the epicenter of increasing tensions between the West and Soviet Russia. Each side claimed the other had violated post-war treaties regarding their respective spheres of influence in post-war Europe. The conflict over Berlin came to a head in June 1948 when Stalin ordered a blockade of the city. Truman did not want to abandon Berlin to the Soviets and ordered an airlift to supply the western sectors with food and fuel. The treaty process was put on hold until the Western powers could agree on what to do about Berlin. A Soviet atomic weapons test on October 3, 1951, increased the tension.

In his proclamation on this day, Truman stated that it had always been America’s hope to create a treaty of peace with the government of a united and free Germany, but that Soviet policy had “made it impossible.” The official end to the war came 10 years and two months after Congress had declared open war with Nazi Germany on December 11, 1941.


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 Post subject: Today in history. 10-25
PostPosted: 25 Oct 2017, 09:40 
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2002
“Camelot,” “Harry Potter” star Richard Harris dies

On this day in 2002, Irish-born actor Richard Harris, whose career spanned six decades and included starring roles in films ranging from “Camelot” to the “Harry Potter” series, dies of cancer at age 72 in London. Harris was known for his acting talent as well as his carousing off-camera. As BBC.com reported after his death, “He was everything a bad-boy Hollywood star should be: a handsome, boozing, brawling, womanizing, jet-setter whose moody magnificence brought glamour to even his weakest movies.”

Richard St. John Harris was born on October 1, 1930, in Limerick, Ireland, where his family had a flour-milling business. As a young man, Harris was a talented rugby player, but his athletic career was cut short by a battle with tuberculosis. He went on to study acting in the mid-1950s at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and afterward found work in various London theater productions. By the late 1950s, he was earning small roles on the big screen. Among his early film credits were supporting parts in “The Guns of Navarone” (1961), featuring Gregory Peck and Anthony Quinn, and “Mutiny on the Bounty” (1962), with Marlon Brando.

Harris shot to international stardom with his performance as a coal miner tuned rugby player in 1963’s “This Sporting Life.” The role earned him an Academy Award nomination for best actor. A long list of acting credits would follow—Harris made more than 70 films over the course of his career—including a 1967 cinematic adaptation of the Broadway musical “Camelot,” in which he played King Arthur. In addition to his movie roles, Harris became equally famous for his reputation as a raconteur and hell-raiser. He reportedly suffered nine broken noses during his life and received last rites twice from a priest.

Harris portrayed a hardened Irish farmer in 1990’s “The Field,” for which he garnered a second Oscar nomination for best actor. He went on to appear in such movies as “The Unforgiven” (1992) directed by Clint Eastwood, “Patriot Games” (1992), “Cry, the Beloved Country” (1995) and “Gladiator” (2000), in which he played Marcus Aurelius to Russell Crowe’s Maximus.

In 2001, Harris gained legions of new fans when he played Albus Dumbledore, the wise, white-bearded headmaster of Hogwarts School, in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” Harris reprised this role for the second film in the series, “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” which was released in the U.S. in November 2002, just weeks after his death.


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