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TV Producer Aaron Spelling Passes Away - 2006

Saturday, June 23, 2007

On June 18 2006, after a 6 year battle against oral cancer, Aaron Spelling suffered a severe stroke at his estate in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, California. He died there five days later on June 23 2006, from complications of the stroke, at the age of 83.

Spelling produced many of the most popular TV shows worldwide, including; Mod Squad, S.W.A.T., Starsky & Hutch, Family, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Hart to Hart, Dynasty, Charlie's Angels, T.J. Hooker, Hotel, Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place, Models Inc., 7th Heaven, Charmed and many more.

Tribute to Arron Spelling at 2006 Emmy Awards

A Fans Personal Tribute to Spelling

When it came to catfights, DYNASTY weighed in as the Heavy-Weight Champ! Along with being known as the nicest man in Hollywood, Aaron Spelling also has a WICKED sense of humor!

Linda Evans -v- Joan Collins in Dynasty Catfights

Love Boat Opening Credits from 1982

Mod Squad Opening Credits

Starsky and Hutch Opening Credits

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Joe Lewis wins in 1938 and Judy Garland loses in 1969

Friday, June 22, 2007

On 22nd June 1938 in New York City Joe Louis defeated Max Schmelling by first round knockout in "The Fight" of the century. The battle was more for the national pride of Germany and America than any boxing belt.

Joe Louis vs Max Schmelling - "The Fight"

On 22nd June 1969 Judy Garland died in London following an overdose of sleeping pills.

Judy Garland and Mickey Deane at their wedding
(3 months before her death)

A few war anniversaries fall today too... like Gernamy invading Russia during world war 2. But I will leave the good people at Associated Press to fill you in on those ones today ;-)

AP Today In History

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Japan Surrenders Okinawa to the US - 1945

Thursday, June 21, 2007

On 21st June 1945 Japanese troops surrendered the Pacific Island of Okinawa to the United States after one of the longest and bloodiest battles of World War II. An estimated 150,000 civilians died during the almost 3 month long battle, many via mass suicide or at the hands of their own army.

The first 2 videos below are all original footage taken during battle and depict the Japanese view of the battle. Warning: includes some graphic scenes of death and what "appears" to be a war crime, where an injured and unarmed solidier is shot.

Battle of Okinawa pt.1
Filmed from Japanese point of view

Battle of Okinawa pt.2
Filmed from Japanese point of view

American Newsreel Report On The Start Of The Battle For Okinawa

This is a very detailed 105 minute UK documentary about the battle for Okinawa

Battlefield - Destination Okinawa

Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6
Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11

Kamikaze attacks against the US fleet off Okinawa created so many American casualties the assault was almost halted before it began.

Kamikaze Attacks on US fleet off Okinawa

Kamikaze Boats Subs and Planes

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Errol Flynn King of Swahbucklers Born - 1902

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Errol Flynn was born in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia on 20th June 1902. He moved to England to gain acting experience, joined the Northampton Repertory Company, and after a part in a film was offered a Hollywood contract. His first US film, Captain Blood (1935), established him as a hero of historical adventure films, and his good looks and athleticism confirmed him as the greatest Hollywood swashbuckler, in such films as The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) and The Sea Hawk (1940). During the 1940s his off-screen reputation for drinking, drug-taking, and womanizing became legendary, and eventually affected his career, which was briefly revived by his acclaimed performance as a drunken wastrel in The Sun Also Rises (1957). His autobiography was called My Wicked, Wicked Ways (1959).

Still Photographic Collage of Errol Flynn

"Just Like Errol Flynn"
(music by Dogs D'amour)

Errol Flynn in "The Charge of the Light Brigade"

In January 1959, Fidel Castro led his Cuban revolutionaries into Havana. It's a huge story, and the Canadian TV show Front Page Challenge has found an unlikely mystery guest: Errol Flynn, a Hollywood actor in the twilight of his career.

Famed for playing dashing swashbucklers, Flynn put on a reporter's hat while in Cuba for the revolution. Despite rumours he fought alongside the rebels, Flynn tells the panel he "didn't pick up anything more dangerous than a ballpoint pen."

(double click for full screen)

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God's Banker Found Dead - 1982

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

On 19th June 1982 the body of Italian banker Roberto Calvi was found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge in London.

Known as God's banker for his links with the Vatican, the 62-year-old was the chairman of Banco Ambrosiano in Milan and a central figure in a complex web of international fraud and intrigue.

He had been missing for nine days before his body was discovered by a passer-by hanging from scaffolding on a riverside walk under the bridge.

Police initially treated the death as suicide.

Background of the Calvi Case

It was later revealed that Roberto Calvi was found with five bricks in his pockets and had in his possession about $14,000 in three different currencies.

On 23 July an inquest jury returned a verdict of suicide. This was overturned in 1983 when a second inquest delivered an open verdict on the death.

In October 2002 forensic experts appointed by Italian judges concluded that the banker had been murdered.

They said his neck showed no evidence of the injuries usually associated with death by hanging and his hands had never touched the stones found in the pockets of his clothes. American Archbishop Paul Marcinkus was sought for questioning but was granted immunity as a Vatican employee. He retired in 1990 and died in 2006.

In October 2005 five people went on trial in Rome. They were Sardinian financier Flavio Carboni, his former girlfriend Manuela Kleinszig, Roman entrepreneur Ernesto Diotallevi, Calvi's former bodyguard, Silvano Vittor and convicted Cosa Nostra treasurer Pippo Calo.

They were acquitted earlier this month. (June 2007)

Update On Calvi Case

Jail Sentence

Mr Calvi became chairman of Banco Ambrosiano, now Italy's largest private bank, in 1975 and built up a vast financial empire.

In 1978, a report by the Bank of Italy on Ambrosiano concluded that several billion lire had been illegally exported.

In May 1981, Mr Calvi was arrested, found guilty, and sentenced to four years' imprisonment, but released pending an appeal. During his short spell in jail he attempted suicide.

Mr Calvi was due to appear in an Italian court to appeal against this conviction at the time of his death.

Later that month he was to be tried for alleged fraud involving property deals with Sicilian banker Michele Sindona, who was himself serving 25 years in America at the time, over the collapse of the Franklin National Bank in New York in 1974.

The Vatican was directly linked to Mr Calvi by Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, the Pope's bodyguard, a governor of the Vatican and head of the Vatican bank which had a shareholding in Ambrosiano.

Missing Millions

Ambrosiano was on the verge of collapse amid press reports that investigators found a £400m "hole" in its accounts. The bank's executive board had just decided to strip Mr Calvi of his authority.

The Italian Treasury dissolved the bank's administration and the Bank of Italy was a temporary commissioner.

Mr Calvi fled to Venice nine days ago after shaving his moustache to avoid being recognised.

From there it seems he hired a private plane to take him to London.

The day before he was found dead, his secretary committed suicide in Milan by jumping off the fourth floor of the bank's headquarters.

Teresa Corrocher, aged 55, left an angry suicide note condemning her boss for the damage she said he had done to Ambrosiano and its employees.

The Final Straw
(an ode to God's Banker)

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The Boy From Oz Peter Allen Passed Away - 1992

Monday, June 18, 2007

On June 18th 1992 Australian songwriter and singer Peter Allen passed away at the age of 48 in Leucadia, California from complications caused by AIDS.

Born Peter Allen Woolnough in Tenterfield, New South Wales, Allen began his performing career as one of the "Allen Brothers" who were a popular cabaret and television act in the early 1960s. Discovered by Judy Garland while Allen was performing in Hong Kong, she invited him to return with her to the United States where he performed with her and also married her daughter Liza Minnelli in 1967. (They were divorced in 1972)

In 1977 Allen released an album Taught By Experts, which reached number one in Australia, along with the number one singles "I Go To Rio" and "The More I See You". Although his recording career in the US never progressed, he became a popular performer in Las Vegas and had a long engagement at New York City's Radio City Music Hall.

"The More I See You"
(performed live on The Paul Hogan TV Show 1977)

"I Go To Rio"

He achieved most success during his lifetime writing for other performers. He wrote "Don't Cry Out Loud" for Melissa Manchester, and scored his biggest success with the song "I Honestly Love You" recorded by Olivia Newton-John. Her single reached number one in the United States and won two Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for Newton-John.

"Don't Cry Out Loud"
(performed by Melissa Manchester)

This is an incredibly well done collage made up of 25 different film clips of Olivia Newton-John singing this classic song over a 30 year time frame.

"I Honestly Love You"

After his death, one of his older songs I Still Call Australia Home, became popular through its use in television commercials for initially National Panasonic, then after 1988 Qantas tourism, and came to be regarded as an unofficial Australian national anthem.

"I Still Call Australia Home"

A musical based on his life, titled The Boy from Oz, opened in Australia in 1998. Using his largely autobiographical songs to form the soundtrack, the production starred Todd McKenney as Allen, and Christina Amphlett of rock group Divinyls as Garland. The show was an outstanding success. In 2003 it opened on Broadway, becoming the first Australian musical ever to be performed there. In this production Allen was played by Hugh Jackman who won a Tony Award for his portrayal in 2004.

"Boy From Oz at 2004 Tony Awards"

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First American Woman In Space - 1983

On 18th June 1983 astronaut Sally K. Ride became America's first woman in space as she and four colleagues blasted off on space shuttle flight #7 aboard the Challenger.

Space Shuttle Flight 7

Famous American Women Mosaic

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Army-McCarthy Hearings End In Death Of McCarthyism - 1954

Sunday, June 17, 2007

On June 17th 1954 the fully televised Army-McCarthy hearings ended, where the U.S. Army had accused Senator Joseph R. McCarthy (Republican, Wisconsin), and his chief counsel, Roy Cohn, of pressuring the Army to give preferential treatment to former McCarthy aide and friend of Cohn's, G. David Schine.

The hearings were televised, and many believe that they contributed significantly to McCarthy's subsequent decline in popularity.

This 10 minute documentary was made for and presented at the 2007 National History Day competition.

A month before the hearings began, TIME featured a cover story March 22, 1954, picturing Cohn and Schine and subtitled "The Army got its orders. Ten years after the hearings, in 1964, the documentary film Point of Order! was released, which consists of 93 minutes of footage selected from the 187 hours of kinescope that covered the hearings. (Review of Point of Order at Rotten Tomatoes)

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