Sun City Anthem

History & Holidays (Archives--Page Five)

How Much Do you Know about
The World We Live In ?

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Where is the Coldest Place in the World?

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East Antarctic Plateau
 On the high ridge of the East Antarctic Plateau, the temperature can drop to as low as -135.8  degrees Fahrenheit, which was recorded in August, 2010.
Where is the world's most populated city?
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At a whopping 24,150,000 permanent inhabitants, Shanghai  is the only city that is home to over 24 million people in one city.
            Where is the world's least populated city?

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Vatican City  
With a paltry population of 842, the city-state of Vatican City  is the smallest city and state in the world.

Where is the World's Wealthiest City? 

Tokyo, Japan  
Tokyo tops the charts with a GDP of $1,520 billion,
beating New York City by a mere $310 billion.
Where is the world's poorest city
 in the poorest country?  

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Kinshasa, Congo   
It is the poorest city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is also the  poorest country in the world, at a GDP of $55 billion. Many of its residents live on less $1 a day.
What is the highest point in the world?  

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Mount Everest
Towering 29,029 feet in the air, the top of Mount Everest is the closest you can get to touching outer space
 while still standing on Earth.
  Where is the lowest point in the world?

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  The Challenger Deep Trench
It is the lowest known natural point in the world at  35,797 ft  below sea level at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Only three people have ever made it to the bottom in a submersible, one of which was filmmaker James Cameron.
            What is the most photographed place in the US? 

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  The Guggenheim building in New York 
Photos have always told stories, but in today's world of cell phone cameras and social media, that story is relayed as data to companies who monitor everything we do.         
Where is the wettest spot on Earth? 

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Mawsynram, India  
In this city in India, it rains an average of  467.35 inches per year, and has a record of 1000 inches in 1985...
much more than any rain forest !
  Where is the driest spot on Earth?   

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  The Atacama Desert  
The  600 miles of South America's Atacama desert is recorded
 as the driest place on Earth. This desert has an average
of only 4 inches of rain every hundred years. 
  What city claims to be the sunniest place in the US ?

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In this city in Arizona, the sun shines for an average of 11 hours a day. The usual forecast is sun for 90 percent of the year,
averaging a total of 4015 daylight hours each year.
            Where is the most expensive city to live in?  

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This city has recently beat out Tokyo, Japan,
for the title of "most expensive city" for 2014.  
Where is the least expensive city  to live in?


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Mumbai, India
For some comparison, a loaf of bread that would cost $3.36 in Singapore, would only cost $0.91 in Mumbai.  
What country consumes the most food capita?

  The overweight United States 
We eat an average of 3,770 calories a day each. 

Where is the world's oldest city?

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 There is evidence of civilization that extends back over 11,000 years.
  Which is the youngest country in the world?

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South Sudan 
The people of South Sudan
were formally recognized as an independent country in 2011 , making it the youngest country in the world to-date.
            Which is the world's most visited city?

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After a several years of competition with Bangkok,
London has regained its place as the world's most visited city.

The city sees about 18.69 millions international visitors each year, 
generating  $19.3 billion in revenue for their city.
  What is the world's least popular country?

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On that same rating scale, Iran has come in dead last (at a 79% negativity rating) for many years. Only 15% of people polled viewed Iran in a positive light.
Where is the world's most dangerous city to live in?


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San Pedro, Honduras  
This city averages over three murders a day . The violence stems from the city's role as a major hub for illegal drug and arms trafficking.
Which country consumes the most caffeine 

in the world ?

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The Swedes consume an average of 388 mg of caffeine in coffee per person, per day (that's almost 5 Red Bulls in the U.S.).

Which country in the world drinks the most alcohol?

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In the little country of Belarus, each person above the age of 16 drinks an average of 4.62 gallons of alcohol every year.  

            Which country is the most bicycle friendly in the world?

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  The Netherlands    
By comparing cities using the average number of bicycle trips made daily, one city reigns supreme:  Groningen  in the Netherlands. 
About 50 percent of the population commute via bike daily, making it the city with the greatest proportion of cyclists.  
            Where is the world's most energy efficient city ?

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      Reykjavik, Iceland  
All of the energy and heat used by the citizens of Reykjavik, Icelandcome from geothermal plants and renewable hydropower making it the most sustainable and energy efficient city in the world. This city has also been replacing traditional buses with hydrogen-fueled buses, from which the only emissions are water.
Which country has the longest
 life expectancy in the world?   

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Monaco  tops the charts for longest living citizens with an average life expectancy of 87.2 years. Men in Monaco live an average 85.3 years, and women live longer to an average of 89 years.
  Which country has the shortest life expectancy ?


Sierra Leone  
The population of Sierra Leone live only to an average of 47 years. The men of Sierra Leone live to an average of 47 years old, whereas women live an average of 48 years. 
What country would qualify
as the most stressed-out nation in the world
because of their living conditions?


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By looking at the homicide rate, the GDP per capita, continued income inequality, corruption, lack of education opportunities
 and unemployment numbers, Nigeria's people are the most stressed out population in the world.
Which city has the highest average IQ?


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Hong Kong
Hong Kong has the highest IQ level, at an average of 107 points per person. 

  Which foreign city is the world's most well-connected one for internet use ?

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Seoul, South Korea
    With 10,000 government supported free WiFi spots dotting the city, and an internet speed that goes unchallenged globally,
Seoul is an internet junkie's paradise.
Stand-Up America
This is Your Day

Anthem Opinions wishes all of our readers a ...

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Let's look back and say "Thanks" for the 240 years we've been a nation and for the courageous individuals who met in Philadelphia and signed this cherished document !

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Could anyone have explained it better than the late John Wayne?

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The Land...

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Those Who Made It Great !


Happy Father's Day !

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"Dad"...what a great word and how that name has so many meanings.

We all have or had one, and hopefully those childhood memories of growing up, had a great influence on who and what you were yesterday, are today, and will be, tomorrow.

And...we want to celebrate you "dads" and your "dad'" by asking you to talk about them....not a long discussion, but in a fun manner.

Fun manner?

By taking a survey !

Our generation invented the "era of television".  We went from small black and white screens with rabbit ear antennas to the giant "H-D" ones we have today....

And TV shows have been a part of our culture for close to 70 years.

 Which are your favorites and does any one(s) remind  you of your dad ?

Here are our 25 nominees (with theme songs)

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Jim Anderson
(Robert Young)
"Father Knows Best"
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Danny Williams
(Danny Thomas)
"Make Room for Daddy"
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Ward Cleaver
(Hugh Beaumont)
"Leave it to Beaver"
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Ozzie Nelson
(Ozzie Nelson)
"The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet"
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Steve Douglas
(Fred MacMurray)
"My Three Sons"
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Bentley Gregg
(John Forsythe)
"Bachelor Father"
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Lucas McCain
(Chuck Connors)
"The Rifleman"
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Ben Cartwright
(Lorne Greene)
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Andy Taylor
(Andy Griffith)
"The Andy Griffith Show"
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Alex Stone
(Carl Betz)
"The Donna Reed Show"
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Herman Munster
(Fred Gwynne)
"The Munsters"
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John Walton
(Ralph Waite)
"The Waltons"
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Fred Sanford
(Redd Foxx)
"Sanford & Son"
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Steven Keaton
(Michael Gross)
"Family Ties"
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Archie Bunker
(Carroll O'Connor)
"All in the Family"
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Charles Ingalls
(Michael Landon)
"Little House on the Prairie"
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Howard Cunningham
(Tom Bosley)
"Happy Days"
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Heathcliff Huxtable
(Bill Cosby)
"The Cosby Show"
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Danny Tanner
(Bob Saget)
"Full House"
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Al Bundy
(Ed O'Neill)
"Married with Children"
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Mike Brady
(Robert Reed)
"The Brady Bunch"
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Tim Taylor
(Tim Allen)
"Home Improvement"
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Dan Conner
(John Goodman)
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Jason Seaver
(Alan Thicke)
"Growing Pains"
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Jay Pritchett
(Ed O'Neill)
"Modern Family"

Now it's your turn !

Send your vote(s) and comments to:

Anthem Opinions Administration
  1. From Marge McKee of Grayslake, Opinions

    Danny Thomas.

    Dad always carried me on his shoulders when I was little.

    1. From Dave Nall...of...Wilmington, North Opinions

      Wonderful job of research, Dick!

      Always an appropriate piece!
  1. From Linda Opinions

    The Cosby Show, even though in real life he is a sleaze bag!

Another Famous (Infamous) Vegas Hotel Dies


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It will shortly be imploded and become rubble, but those who have come to Las Vegas for years will never forget the "glory" on this monarch....

The Riviera Hotel & Casino

It was allowed to decay over the past decade to a point where the only alternative was to end it all....destroy it...kill it...but emotionally it will never die...
...because history will never allow that to take place.

So let's examine the glory and perhaps somewhat sordid history of that mighty Las Vegas Strip hotel.

It was originally to be called  the "Casa Blanca" when the idea was conceived in 1953, but licensing problems in Nevada hampered the project when it was learned that one of the original Miami partners had ties to mobster,  Meyer Lansky

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Later in 1953 the Nevada Tax Department approved the investor list that included Harpo & Gummo Marx of the Marx Brothers.

Finally a man named Sam Cohen and a group of Miami investors (and what many believe, influence of the "Chicago Outfit") pursued the dream... build Las Vegas' first "skyscraper" with nine stories having 221 rooms... a town that the 1950 census indicated 24,624 residents (compared to 2010 having 584,378).

It opened on April 20, 195561 years ago, when the original budget of $7.5 million grew by an additional $1 million before the doors would open.

It lasted three months until it went bankrupt, then being taken over by a man named Gus Greenbaum...

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...who was murdered in 1958.

It would have a number of owners over the years and was run by some interesting characters, one of which was the ex-husband of singer/actress Pia Zadora,  Meshulam Riklis.  

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...and even Dean Martin had 10% ownership at one time.

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But...what "built" the reputation of "The Riv" was the amazing entertainment....

...the greatest performers that Las Vegas would ever see.

And...they "broke the mold" when the hotel opened in 1955 paying an unheard of salary of $50,000 p/week (equivalent to $437,000 in 2016 dollars)  to a piano player named Liberace, who opened "The Clover Room" (later named "The Versailles Room") on April 29, 1955.

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Here's a poster from a show in 1963. 

It appears the "extra added attraction" did pretty well in later years !

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Liberace's salary would jump to $300,000 p/week in 1972.

Over the years here is a partial list of other famous entertainers who would grace the stages and lounges of The Riviera....

Frank Sinatra
Dean Martin
Elvis Presley
Bob Hope
Wayne Newton
Dolly Parton
 Ray Bolger 
Orson Welles
Rich Little
Anthony Newley
Petula Clark
 Shecky Greene
 Barry Manilow
Tom Jones
 Dionne Warwick
Bill Cosby
Totie Fields
Patrice Munsell
Buddy Hackett
John Davidson
Joan Rivers
Billy Gardell

There were shows that lasted for years...

"An Evening at La Cage"
(with a very young Frank Marino...for 23 years)
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"Crazy Girls"
(for 28 years)
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(originally with a revolving stage having guest entertainers...such as
"The Fifth Dimension")

The Comedy Club...that was started by a matre 'd named Steve Schirripa....

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...later to become famous in his own right on the hit TV show "The Sopranos"...

...hired celebrities Dennis LearyDamon Wayans, Drew CareyJeff DunhamEllen DeGeneresRichard Belzer , and Joe Rogan.

"The Riv" was the location of a number of Hollywood films...two of the most  memorable....

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There was the food.....

Anyone remember "The Hickory Room"?  

Back in '55 you wore a coat and tie...and that special person "dressed to the 9s" !

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Last but not least..."the stories"...some of the antics that took place over the  years.

Perhaps the craziest story was that of "Tahar", the “Splash” specialty act built up with teaser ads who turned out to be an alligator wrestler.

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The big reveal of the act was unintentionally comical.
The 14-foot alligator had to be unceremoniously dumped out of its cage onto the stage.
The poor thing seemed half-frozen as Tahar tried to pry its jaws open to feign the peril of putting his head in its mouth. The creature actually was hypnotized.
Either way, someone left the gate open. The Riviera had built a cage with air conditioning so the alligator could live out in the loading dock...
...but it escaped and crossed Riviera Boulevard to the north of the hotel, where it got run over by a car.
But that didn’t kill it.
No, the alligator died when Tahar spray-painted it green in an attempt to cover up the tire track.  Rumor has it that Tahar buried it next to some mobster in the desert.
Even if the elevators at the Riviera could talk …
Sinatra performed New Year’s shows at the Riv in 1990 and 1992.
For one of them, he and Pia Zadora first sang downstairs, then moved up to an invited-guests bash on the 24th floor of the Monaco Tower, the last of the Riviera’s piecemeal additions that spanned out like rings from a tree.
“We got stuck in the elevator,” Zadora says. “It was a mad rush, and everybody was going up in the elevator. Me in my Bob Mackie (gown),  Jilly Rizzo,  (Sinatra’s righthand man) and Frank in his perfect tux, Jilly started sweating and swearing: ‘What if we starve?’
“Frank’s looking at him like, ‘Jesus Christ, Jilly.’ We were there for like 30 seconds, and he was already talking cannibalism.”
The Dean Martin story...
Dean Martin, perhaps for good reason, always took the stairs. “He never went in an elevator,” Rich Little says. “Wherever he was staying, it had to be the first floor or a walk up to the second floor.”
So the Riv created a second-floor suite that eventually was torn down for one of the mid-’70s tower additions.
Martin ended up joining a recurring pattern of entertainers whose Riviera memories ended by walking away.
Comedian Shecky Greene was one of the most popular draws for the Riviera, pulling down $10,000 per week and points in the hotel to ply his comedy in the Starlite Lounge.
That was before Ed Torres moved over from the Fremont to run the hotel in 1968.
Greene hated Torres and told staffers to keep him out of the lounge while he was working.
When management sent down a birthday cake as a peace offering one night, Greene smashed it into his own face.
Back to Dean Martin....
Torres was the one who lured Martin over from the Sands, but the two eventually clashed when Torres wanted him to perform two shows a night.
“He was going to walk out on them, but he still had a contract there,” Rich Little recalls. 
Eddie Torres got so mad at him that he took all his clothes out of the suite and threw them in the hall.
“Dean went up there, saw all his clothes in the hallway, picked up one jacket and walked out and went to the MGM Grand. …
...It didn’t seem to faze him.”
And then at 2:00am on June 14, 2015...the end finally all it's glory ! this old majestic building joins the ranks of The Dunes, New Frontier, Hacienda, Sands, Stardust, and Desert Inn..

We say....
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Dick Arendt
  1. From Robert Opinions

    The "good old days" are gone forever.
  2. From Dave Nall of Wilmington, North Opinions

    As always, Dick, a great job with wonderful pictures.
  3. From Mary Lee Opinions

    Really informative, great research and editorial.

  1.           June 14, 2016 at 4:52 AM
  2. From Linda Opinions

    Thanks Dick, I loved reading this article.
    1. From Jill from Opinions

      Oh dear ... Such happy memories there !


 Grant Sawyer Building Honors Vets with Memorial

Over Memorial Day, the Las Vegas Veterans Memorial Foundation dedicated a national memorial on the grounds of the Grant Sawyer State Office Building, just north of downtown Las Vegas.
Built in a park-like setting, the memorial features 18 larger-than-life statues honoring various war veterans surrounded by granite walls that span our nation’s history from the Revolutionary War to today’s Global War on Terrorism, with the centerpiece being a bronze family sculpture looking on at the soldiers.

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The memorial was created by award-winning artist, Douwe Blumberg, and is a Must-See for any person residing in or visiting Las Vegas.
The address:
555 E. Washington Blvd.

Entertainment Contributor
Norm Johnson
"The Greatest"

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“Muhammad Ali”
I first met a very young Muhammad Ali in March, 1962 when he arrived in Los Angeles. All I knew about him was that he had won the 1960 Olympics Light-Heavyweight boxing gold medal and was going to be our headlining boxer at the Los Angeles Sports Arena in April.
I was working for Joe Louis (the former heavyweight champion of the world) at the time, and had been hired by Louis in 1960 to be the assistant publicist for United World Enterprises, the corporation backing Joe in promoting fights in Los Angeles.

My boss and mentor was an old newspaper sport writer, Sammy Schnitzer, who had been one of the top sports writers in Los Angeles.
By the end of 1961, Sammy was too ill to work and retired, thus I was promoted to the top spot.
We were and would be in direct competition with the “First Lady of Boxing,” Eileen Eaton—a fierce promoter who “loved Louis,” but disliked him for going up against her Olympic Auditorium.
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Of course when I met Ali at the Biltmore Hotel, in downtown Los Angeles, he was Cassius Clay.
My job was to make the rounds of the newspapers, television and radio stations, and to make sure he was a happy camper at the Main Street Gym, where he was training for his fight with George Logan.
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Angelo Dundee, had been hired by the group of 10 Louisville, Kentucky business men who were managing Clay at the time, to be his trainer, after Clay walked away from Archie Moore’s training camp because of certain rules at the San Diego camp.
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Clay had contacted Louis and Sugar Ray Robinson, asking them if they would like to be his trainer. Both champions declined the offer, thus enter Dundee.
From our first meeting, Cassius Clay and I became great friends.
He loved the fact that I had a 1960 Ford Thunderbird convertible that we would use to travel throughout Los Angeles.
His brother, Rahaman Clay, was always by his side, and trained with him at the Gym.
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There was no entourage, and no one to put words in his mouth. He was actually quite quiet and had not yet begun to predict his fights.
One afternoon at the Gym, I was watching him in the ring and he looked like he was floating around the ring.
I commented to him that he appeared to be floating, and he smiled and said“That sounds nice, maybe one day I might use it…”
He never showed the brashness that would become his theme for most of his fighting career. When I was with him, he was actually quite calm, rather bashful, and definitely was a sweet person, and always a gentleman.
He and his brother were like brothers—they would have an argument, and the silent treatment would begin.
Eventually, either Cassius or Rahaman would apologize.
Prior to the fight we had a huge dinner at Joe and Martha Louis home in the exclusive district of Los Angeles called Hancock Park. Martha cooked the entire dinner herself, and I remember the Clay brothers couldn’t get enough of the “greens,” and the other old style southern food she had specially prepared for that evening.
One of the special guests was Joe’s neighbor, Nat King Cole.
Another thing I took away from meeting Cassius that first fight was how humble he actually was.
He truly loved Joe Louis too!
His eyes, which were so expressive, bright and alive, would get real bright whenever Joe would show up at the gym, or when we would be together at some promotional event.
He was also a big tease: he loved to come up behind me and put his hands over my eyes, and trying to disguise his voice, he would ask, “Guess who?”  And I would say a few names and he’d begin to laugh.
At one point during the month he was in L.A., for his first west coast fight, I was asked to meet with Ali and Dundee, where I was asked if I would consider becoming his PR guy.
I turned the offer down to stay with Louis.
Another big mistake?  But, hey, I was working for Joe Louis—one of the most beloved champions in the world.
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(Norm Johnson on left...Joe Louis in back of picture)
Of course Clay (he did not become Mahammad Ali until 1964) won with a 6th round TKO over Logan.
We brought Cassius back to Los Angeles, and the Sport Arena, to fight the Argentine heavyweightAlejandro Lavorante , on July 20th, 1962 (another TKO victory in the 4th round).
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Next up was his former trainer and a personal friend of Louis, the long-time reigning World Light Heavyweight Champion Archie Moore

The fight was heavily promoted and even Walter Winchell (a very famous gossip columnist from New York) was in town to cover the fight.
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The odds were leaning heavily towards Clay.
Archie, at the time, was 46 and had held the title for 10 years, until he was stripped of the title by the various ruling sanctioning groups controlling boxing in those days.  
Archie was knocked down three times and the fight ended in the 4th round with Clay receiving a victory by KO.
That was the last time I would see him until we met up again in Las Vegas.
After my award winning story of the Watts Riot in August 1965, I moved to Las Vegas with my family to be a featured sports writer and columnist for the Las Vegas Sun.
 Clay had just won the Heavy Weight Title from Sonny Liston...
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...and was in town to take on former champion Floyd Patterson at the Las Vegas Convention Center in November, 1965. 
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Caesars Palace was still under construction at that time, but eventually it would become the arena of choice for 90 percent of the major fights in the village.
We continued to see each other through the years. In his later years when we met Ali, he would get that brief glint in his eyes, as if he remembered me from the past.
It’s very hard to wrap up a lifetime of “Hello’s and See ya’s” in one column. but, I tried.
I can honestly say that I met a true champion of the people.
Muhammad Ali was so loved by the men, women and children of the world, and he loved them back.
Ali was honest with his heart much to his detriment a couple of times, when he could’ve turned his cheek and walked away (or stepped forward). 
But....that was not the young man I first met in 1962, nor the last time I saw him at Caesars Palace.
He autographed a famous photo for me.
We said “goodbye,” and I walked away from his suite.
He really was "The Greatest" is so many ways.

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Rest in peace, champ, there will never be another one like you.

Norm Johnson
  1. From Old Opinions

    How can you honor an arrogant, draft dodger named Ali?
  2. Old Hippie,

    Many of us may not have agreed with Muhammed Ali's refusing induction into the armed forces, but let's not forget he applied for "conscientious objector" status, and the US Supreme Court finally, after 3.5 years, agreed with him.

    How easy it was in the 60s and 70s to "run" to Canada, yet he did not.

    Instead, he spent all of his boxing earnings on lawyers to plead his case, and gave up the only way he knew of making a living because of his deep personal convictions.

    That may be a draft dodger to some, but in other's minds, that was a person who stood by his beliefs, no matter what the consequence.

    We can never forget what he did for the sport of boxing by earning an Olympic Gold medal in 1960 and then coming home afterwards being refused to eat in a restaurant because of the color of his skin.

    I choose to look at the accomplishments of a man who grew up a poor kid in Kentucky, made the most of his talent, and became the most recognizable face on the earth, despite the indignities he faced.

    He was "The Greatest".

    Time to get past the 60s and's been over 40 years.


The Final Toast

They once were among the most universally admired and revered men in the United States. 
There were 80 of them in April 1942, when they carried out one of the most courageous and heart-stirring military operations in this nation's history. 
The mere mention of their unit's name, in those years, would bring tears to the eyes of grateful Americans.
Now only two survive.
After Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, with the United States reeling and wounded, something dramatic was needed to turn the war effort around.
Even though there were no friendly airfields close enough to Japan for the United States to launch a retaliation, a daring plan was devised.
Sixteen B-25s were modified so that they could take off from the deck of an aircraft carrier.
This had never before been tried...sending such big, heavy bombers from a carrier.
Shangrala's                                                          The Final                                                          Toast
Shangrala's                                                          The Final                                                          Toast
The 16 five-man crews, under the command of Lt. Col. James Doolittle, who himself flew the lead plane off the USS Hornet, knew that they would not be able to return to the carrier. 
They would have to hit Japan and then hope to make it to China for a safe landing.
Shangrala's                                                          The Final                                                          Toast
But on the day of the raid, the Japanese military caught wind of the plan. 
The Raiders were told that they would have to take off from much farther out in the Pacific Ocean than they had counted on. 
They were told that because of this they would not have enough fuel to make it to safety.
And those men went anyway!
Shangrala's                                                          The Final                                                          Toast
They bombed Tokyo and then flew as far as they could.
Four planes crash-landed; 11 more crews bailed out, and three of the Raiders died. 
Eight more were captured; three were executed.
Another died of starvation in a Japanese prison camp.
One crew made it to Russia.
Shangrala's                                                          The Final                                                          Toast
Shangrala's                                                          The Final                                                          Toast
Shangrala's                                                          The Final                                                          Toast
Shangrala's                                                          The Final                                                          Toast
Shan                                                          grala's The                                                          Final Toast
Lt. Colonel Robert Hite
The Doolittle Raiders sent a message from the United States to its enemies, and to the rest of the world:
 We will fightAnd, no matter what it takeswe will win.
Shangrala's                                                          The Final                                                          Toast
Shangrala's                                                          The Final                                                          Toast
Of the 80 Raiders62 survived the war.  They were  celebrated as national heroes, models of bravery.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer produced a motion picture based on the raid; "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo ," starring Spencer Tracy and Van Johnson. It was a patriotic and emotional box-office hit, and the phrase became part of the national lexicon.
In the movie-theater previews for the film, MGM proclaimed that it was presenting the story "with supreme pride."
This scene from the movie has been acclaimed as one of the greatest scenes in movie history.
Shangrala's                                                          The Final                                                          Toast
Shangrala's                                                          The Final                                                          Toast
Beginning in 1946, the surviving Raiders held a reunion each April, to commemorate the mission. 
The reunion was in a different city each year.
In 1959, the city of Tucson, Arizona, as a gesture of respect and gratitude, presented the Doolittle Raiders with a set of 80 silver goblets
Each goblet was engraved with the name of a Raider.
Every year, a wooden display case bearing all 80 goblets was transported to the reunion city.  Each time a Raider passed away, his goblet was turned upside down in the case at the next reunion, as his old friends bore solemn witness.
Shangrala's                                                          The Final                                                          Toast
Also in the wooden case was a bottle of 1896 Hennessy Very Special cognac
The year is not happenstance:
1896 was when Jimmy Doolittle was born 

There had always been a plan:
When there are only two surviving Raiders, they would open the bottle, at last drink from it, and toast their comrades who preceded them in death.
As 2013 began, there were five living Raiders; then, in February, Tom Griffin passed away at age 96.   
Shangrala's                                                          The Final                                                          Toast
What a man he was. After bailing out of his plane over a mountainous Chinese forest after the Tokyo raid, he became ill with malaria, and almost died. 
When he recovered, he was sent to Europe to fly more combat missions. 
He was shot down, captured, and spent 22 months in a German prisoner of war camp.
Shangrala's                                                          The Final                                                          Toast
The selflessness of these men, the sheer guts ... There was a passage in the Cincinnati Enquirer obituary for Mr. Griffin that, on the surface, had nothing to do with the war, but that was emblematic of the depth of his sense of duty and devotion:
"When his wife became ill and needed to go into a nursing home, he visited her every day. He walked from his house to the nursing home, fed his wife, and at the end of the day brought home her clothes.
At night, he washed and ironed her clothes. Then he walked then up to her room the next morning. He did that for three years until her death in 2005."
Shangrala's                                                          The Final                                                          Toast
In 2012, the 70th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid, of the original 80, only four Raiders remained: Dick Cole (Doolittle's co-pilot on the Tokyo raid), Robert HiteEdward Saylor, and David Thatcher.

All were in their 90s at that time.  They decided that there are too few of them for the public reunions to continue.
And in 2012, the event in Fort Walton Beach marked the end.
It had come full circle; Florida's nearby Eglin Field was where the Raiders trained in secrecy for the Tokyo mission. 
The town planned to do all it could to honor the men: a six-day celebration of their valor, including luncheons, a dinner and a parade.
Shangrala's                                                          The Final                                                          Toast
Did the men ever wonder if those of us for whom they helped save the country were worthy of their sacrifice? 
They didn't talk about that, at least not around other people. 
They decided that after that final public reunion in 2012, they would wait until a later date during that get together once more, informally, and in absolute privacy.
This is when they opened the bottle of brandy.
The years were flowing by too swiftly now; they are not going to wait until there are only two of them. They will fill the four remaining upturned goblets.
And raise them in a toast to those who are gone. 
Shangrala's                                                          The Final                                                          Toast
70th Anniversary Photo
It's four years later...two more have left us....
Edward Saylor died on January 24, 2015 at the age of 94, and Robert Hite passed away March 29, 2015 at the age of 95.
And then there were only two...Dick Colewho will turn age 101 on September 7, 2016, and David Thatcher, who will be 92 on July 31, 2016.
On April 15, 2015 the final two received the Congressional Gold Medal in Washington on behalf of the Doolittle Raiders....

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...presenting it to the National Museum of the US Air Force three days later on April 18th...the 73rd anniversary of the raid.
It is on display at the museum near Dayton, Ohio, joining an exhibit depicting the launch from an aircraft carrier of the Raiders' daring 1942 attack on Japan.
Let us all keep the original oath and raise a goblet to them as a tribute to the heroism of those brave 80 men, known to history as....
Shangrala's                                                          The Final                                                          Toast
The Doolittle Raiders
Dick Arendt
  1. From Jill from Opinions

    Beautiful and touching tribute.
  2. From Dave Nall of Wilmington, North Opinions

    A beautiful tribute, Dick!

    Thanks and Congratulations for bring this heroic episode to the attention of many Americans!
  3. From Robert Opinions

    Dick - good post about Doolittle & Crew 

    1. From...The Swing City Opinions

      We are thinking of all of our service men and women today and look forward to honoring them tonight!

      The Swing City Dolls will be performing Memorial Day ~ Monday, May 30th from 5:00 - 8:00 pm

      Club Fortune Casino
      725 S Racetrack Dr
      Henderson, Nevada 89015

      Backed by a live band, we singing your favorite tunes from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s and will be performing a Special Tribute to the Armed Forces.

    2. From Allison Opinions

      Looked up some data on deaths from Japanese actions from 1937 'til the end of WW-II.

      One series of studies by R.J.Rummell shows the total CIVILIAN victims of Japanese actions (democide) at 5,424,000 of which 3,695,000 were Chinese - - - this does not include the estimated 4000,000 Chinese POWs who died.

      Another study ("Imperial Japan World War Two 1931-1945" by Werner Gruhl) shows the total Civilian victims of Japanese actions at 12,352,000 of which 12,353,000 were Chinese and an additional 270,000 Chinese POWs.

      Either way the numbers are terrible and, in no way, should President Obama have ever even thought about saying how sorry he was that we took actions to stop the war and stop the slaughter.

      It is a shame that history is not emphasized in American schools. Not knowing what has happened gives us little capabilities to stop similar events in the present or in the future.

      I lived in Japan as a youngster and went back there many times in my military career. I have met many very nice people there, but, they, due to culture, can not and will not ever admit any fault nor assume any responsibility for their country's actions in any of the wars in which they were involved. I've no doubt that given the chance to once again enter a conflict and "take no prisoners", they would.

      Anyway, some thoughts from an old sailor.

Breaker 19....A Look Back at Trucks !

They may look like this today....but ....

Did you ever think that riding down a highway and just looking out your window and seeing those "18 wheelers" pass you by....that they too...

...have a history?

And it goes well past the love America discovered for them in 1975 when just about all of us bought that "CB radio" and had a "handle". 

I too was guilty.....I was the "Classy Chassis" ! 

(OK....I concede....time has changed that one time appropriate moniker !)

Remember this tune?

Believe it or not, the first "truck" was invented in 1896 by a German automotive pioneer named  Gottlieb Daimler, a name I'm sure many of you are not familiar.

Gottlieb Daimler

Mr. Daimler (1834-1900) was a man "before his time" when he developed a four horsepower engine and a belt drive with two forward speeds and one reverse.

It was the first "pick-up" truck.

When we think of the "horseless carriage", we often associate it with Henry Ford, but when Ford was first named Chief Engineer at the Edison Illuminating Company in 1893, Daimler had already been a noted inventor.

Daimler invented the first motorcycle in 1885, and is credited for inventing the first taxi in 1897, four years before Henry Ford established the Ford Motor Company.

But this article is about "trucks" and how they seem to have captivated the imagination of the American public....and entrepreneurs as the years passed...

....and I happen to be one of those individuals.

I think it all started when I first watched an old movie that was made before I  was born, John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath". 

Watching "Tom Joad" drive across the country with his family, looking for a new beginning during the great depression's "Dust Bowl", somehow began my fascination with them.

That old truck "matured" , and it began to take on a new meaning as the years passed...and leave it up to good old American ingenuity to turn them into what now...patrols our highways....

...bringing us needed goods to every city and state.

I have to admit, I've always been fascinated with strange looking things...and over time, those "trucks" the gambit from, "What were they thinking", to "that's pretty cool." 

I kinda miss that when I see creations like the following motoring optic delights that have graced our highways and byways over the years.

They were so simple, yet told the story of what they were all about...

And so....let's take a look at some of the more "creative" usages of what Gottlieb Daimler invented in 1896.

And My favorite....when I actually met the "Captain of this Ship", "Little Oscar" when I was a teenager working at Treasure Island Foods in Chicago 

So...when you get stuck in traffic behind one of these babies.....

...or one that looks like this....

Don't lose your "cool"...and have some respect for a piece of "Americana" they all represent.

Think of Gottieb Daimler, and this song !

Dick Arendt
  1. From Shep Opinions

    Hi Dick! You are not old enough…but your father and grandfathers were,and may have TOLD YOU…THAT INTERCITY AND RURAL PAVED HIGHWAYS WERE nonexistent AFTER WORLD WAR I…








The Man Who Should Have Been
"The First"
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With Spring training now behind us, Major League's million dollar players have begun the 2016 Baseball season...

...and the smell of the popcorn, hot dogs, and beer brought back those days as a kid when Baseball meant Spring ... the playground, and the joy of walking to Wrigley Field in Chicago as often as the profits from my "Kook-Aid" stand would allow me to go !

It didn't matter what the temperature was; that the vines in Wrigley Field were still brown awaiting nature's green birth, and it certainly didn't matter if it was a school day.... was every kid's National was Opening Day !

I was just 9 years old in 1956 when "Mosie", my fellow baseball fanatic friend, and I, decided to "divert" our path from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel grade school, down Belmont Avenue to Clark Street...turn right and eventually visit our shrine, Wrigley Field. 

Our Cubs were going to win it all that year! 

It didn't matter that they'd finished 6th out of an 8 team National League Division in 1955....

We were convinced....Wait 'til next year......was here !

And why were we so confident ?

The Cubs had landed one of the greatest baseball players we'd ever seen....a man who had led the New York Giants to winning pennants, and was actually on that great Giants team of 1951 when Bobby Thomson hit "the shot heard 'round the world" as the Giants won a playoff game against the crosstown Brooklyn Dodgers.

We had a guy named Monte Irvin !

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It didn't matter that 1956 would be his last season in major league baseball....because when you're nine years old, players never get old...they're ageless !  

The Cubs finished in last place that year losing 94 games in their 154 game schedule, but "Mosie" and I got to see a man who would become one of the greatest "unsung" players of all time...

...and that's what this bit of history is all about...the man who should have been what Jackie Robinson eventually became....

"The First"

History has a habit of forgetting some of its true heroes, and Monte Irvin certainly was one of those who was never properly credited with the accolades he always deserved...until 1973.

His story starts back in the early 1930s in Orange, New Jersey; when, in an attempt to keep this black kid out of trouble, his parents got him interested in sports.

A natural athlete in high school, starring in four sports and even setting the state's record in the javelin throw, he received a full football scholarship to the University of Michigan, but had to turn it down...

Monte couldn't afford to move to Ann Arbor.

Instead, he chose to enter the world of semi-pro baseball, playing for a local team, the Orange Triangles.

There, Monte caught the eyes of scouts from Lincoln University and after saving the money from his meager Orange Triangles income, could finally afford attending college, receiving a second athletic scholarship..for football.

Monte was a star...had a mind of his own, and had some difficulty with his football coach, who eventually dropped him from the Lincoln University team...which also meant the end of his scholarship.

Confused about his future, he went back to New Jersey and signed with the Newark Eagles of the Negro League in 1938.

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And where the REAL STORY of Monte Irvin begins !

After two years with the Newark Eagles, hitting .422 and .396 in 1940 and 1941, he left the Eagles for a short stint in the Mexican League, batting .397, in his first year, hitting 20 home runs in just 63 games, and eventually was named the League's Most Valuable Player.

The World was at war in the early 1940s and Monte served his country from 1943 to 1945, then returned to the Eagles, hitting .401 in a season that ended with the Eagles defeating the Kansas City Monarchs in the 7th game of the Negro World Series.

About that time, a man named Branch Rickey from the Brooklyn Dodgers began to see that these men of a different race, were pretty good ballplayers...that the world of the all-white major leagues was ready for change.
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Branch Rickey

And who was the first man Branch Rickey approached to "break the
color line?"

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Monte Irvin previously stated....history deals some a bad break...and Monte Irvin was one of those victims.

First, Monte felt that, after being in the army, he needed to get in better shape...


Second, Newark Eagles business manager...

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 Effa Manley

...demanded compensation for his release.

That...Mr. Rickey refused !

Rickey was known to be a shrewd businessman....

...and he "covered himself" by also holding secret negotiations with another Negro baseball player...

...this time, without having to pay compensation to anyone.

The name of that "2nd choice"....

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Jackie Robinson

Monte Irvin was the real valued commodity...not Robinson !

If it weren't for $$$$$...history would have changed as a result.

Years later, Irvin made this comment:

"... from a purely business standpoint, Mrs  Manley felt that Branch  Rickey was obligated to compensate her for my contract. That position probably delayed my entry into the major leagues ... Mrs. Manley told  Rickey that he had taken Don Newcombe for no money, but she wasn't  going to let him take me without some compensation. Furthermore, if he tried to do it, she would sue and fight him in court ... Rickey contacted  her to say he was no longer interested ".

Monte Irvin would then play in the Puerto Rican Winter League in 1945 and 1946, winning MVP honors in both years; played two additional years there, and spent the winters of 1948 and 1949 in Cuba. 

By then Jackie Robinson had made his 1947 debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers. 

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Jackie was a star...and...well...he was..."The First" black man to break the Major League color barrier on the field.... didn't take long before the name of Monte Irvin would make a mark in the baseball world.

The Giants came calling in 1949 and offered him a $5,000 contract. 

Playing a short time in the minor leagues in 1949 and 1950...hitting .510 in just 18 games, Monte Irvin got to "the bigs" in 1950.

He was not just a great hitter, he was a great influence on those who would follow him, and it was a man named Leo Durocher, who realized that Monte Irvin was just as valuable off the field, as he was on it.

In 1951, then Giants Manager Leo Durocher...

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Leo Durocher

... approached Monte to keep an eye on a new kid who had just joined the "big brother him"....'to mentor him" the early years.

Monte was happy to do so...

...and that kid's name was Willie Mays...

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Willie Mays

...who would eventually become one of the greatest...if not THE greatest, baseball player I ever had the honor of watching on a baseball diamond.
Mays later said of Monte Irvin...

 "In my time, when I was coming up, you had to have some kind of guidance. And Monte was like my brother... I couldn't go anywhere without him, especially on the road... It was just a treat to be around him. I didn't understand life in New York until I met Monte. He knew everything about what was going on and he protected me dearly."

...and in typical Monte Irvin fashion, Monte replied...

"I did that for two years and in the third year he started showing me around."

Monte remained with the New York Giants for the next 5 years before being traded to the Chicago Cubs in 1956 at the age of 30....his last full year in professional baseball.

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...and being a "diehard" Cub fan...that allows us "Windy City" folks to claim him as one of our own as well...if only for a short time.

After years of professional baseball, Monte Irvin would finally "hang up his spikes" in 1957 following numerous back problems. soon learned it required the presence of Monte Irvin.

He would later become a scout for the New York Mets in 1967 and 1968 until Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn would name him a Public Relations Specialist, a position in which he served until 1984.

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Monte Irvin with Bowie Kuhn

In 1972 Monte Irvin was named to the Mexican Professional Baseball Hall of Fame.

1973 would bring Monte Irvin the greatest honor bestowed on any American professional baseball player.  He was named to the National Baseball Hall of  Fame.

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On June 26, 2010, the San Francisco Giants retired his number.

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Monte Irvin passed away on January 11, 2016 at the age of 96.

He may not have been the first black player to set foot on a "white" filled diamond, but he was...


Since 1997 on April 15th of each baseball season...

...all players of all major league teams proudly display the number 42 on the backs of their uniforms...

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...a tribute to Jackie Robinson.

But...perhaps another day will come when the number 20 will also be displayed on their backs...

..for the man who should have been "the first" !

You did good, Monte Irvin....all true baseball fans owe you so much for the contributions you made to the game we call our "national pastime".

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Dick Arendt

Another Historical Treasure

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  The Nevada State Museum relocated from Lorenzi Park and opened on the Springs Preserve property in October 2011.

The two-level, 70,000-square-foot building is now closer to the Strip (about 15 minutes) and is twice the size of its old location.

According to a museum tour guide, visitors to the museum have stayed as short as 15 minutes and as long as nine hours.

The museum features a 13,000-square-foot gallery with permanent exhibits, a research library, a gift shop, lecture rooms and a banquet hall, complete with a spacious outdoor balcony overlooking the Springs Preserve and the Strip.  

It is divided into two sections -- its permanent fixtures and a rotating exhibit, which changes every few months.

The museum's permanent exhibit takes you through Nevada's geology, fossil and desert wildlife, as well as mining and railroad history. 

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One section of note covers the Great Basin (the desert covering central and Northern Nevada, and parts of Utah, California, Oregon and Wyoming) from dusk to dawn.

 It features low level dusk-like lighting and the sounds of desert animals (as well as specimens) -- like the great horned owl, cougar and Mojave rattlesnake -- to set the mood.

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It's a whole new level of Vegas nightlife!

Another standout is the skeletal replica of Nevada's state fossil, the ichthyosaur.

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This reptile swam in the seas of Central Nevada 225 million years ago and measured 48 feet long.

Nearby, you can view real fossil bones and take a closer peek at other fossil findings with a magnifying glass -- it's science class all over again. 

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Speaking of school, for those who loved learning about the Oregon Trail, the museum also offers an interactive travel game by testing your surviving skills in Old Nevada. 

The game is part of a larger section on Nevada settlers, highlighted by a nearby covered wagon and makeshift campfire. 

Walk inside a nearby cave and learn about the importance of mining to early settlers -- even see examples of fluorescent minerals.

Outside the cave, you can explore the tools and technology of the mining profession and learn how precious metals like silver, gold and copper are formed.

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From there you will learn about the boom time of the railway, the formation of the Nevada government and the construction of Hoover Dam.

The museum also offers extensive teachings and interactive exhibits on early Native American inhabitants of Nevada.

As you learn about the state's history in more modern times, you'll see an interactive Nevada nuclear test site section, World War II history, the "real" truth about Bugsy Siegel and the Flamingo hotel, a Las Vegas timeline from 1905 to today and much more.

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The museum even showcases items sealed in the home of Las Vegas mogul Howard Hughes after his death in 1976, like Grape Nuts cereal boxes, a brown sugar package and other household staples. 

Old slot machines, neon signs, and trinkets like a $25,000 poker chip from the old Dunes hotel (imploded in 1994) will make you nostalgic for vintage Vegas. 
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At the entrance to the museum you can stand next to a 1911 Desert Love Buggy, considered one of the most popular cars to cruise Fremont Street.

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Used mainly for promotional purposes, it made its first appearance in a parade in 1939, with its last one in 1994.

Another fantastic piece of vintage Vegas is one of the most brilliant displays of showgirl costumes through the ages. 

Lining a large pink sequined wall, the costumes and headpieces are encased behind oval cut-out glass windows. It's rare visitors get to see such elaborate, colorful costumes up close. 

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On the other half of the exhibit space, the "changing" gallery rotates every three to four months and includes a variety of Nevada art work. 

If you're a real history buff, the museum includes a research library.

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You'll find Northern and Southern Nevada periodicals from 1905 to present day.

The research library also includes files of all Nevada births, marriages and deaths from the early 1900s.

After you're finished, there's an extensive gift shop with all sorts of fun trinkets, art, jewelry, stuffed animals and more.

The Nevada State Museum is located inside Springs Preserve.

Monday: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Thursday: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Friday: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Sunday: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

(702) 486-5205

Admission to the Nevada State Museum is included with paid admission to the Spring Preserve.

$18.95 for adults, $17.05 for seniors 65 and older, students 18 and older and $10.95 for children 5-17 years old. Children 5 and younger are free.


Our Entertainment Editor
Remembers a Las Vegas Legend

Darwin Lamb

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 April 20, 1932 – January 24, 2016
Norm Johnson

A wonderful friend of mine, and a lot of history, has left this land he loved so much for a special place, on what I figure is a“Big Ranch in the Sky.”  

Darwin Lamb, the last of the iconic family that included Senator Floyd Lamb, and Sheriff Ralph Lamb, passed away on January 24th at his ranch in Cedar City, Utah.

I first met Darwin (83) in 1967 when I was working for the Mint Hotel as its public relations director.

At that time he was a member of the Clark County Commission, and I was working on an idea I had for an off-road race.

I knew he was a cowboy and that he probably would be the Go-to-Guy to help me, should I need permits for the race, etc.

Oh, the name of the race?

The Del Webb Mint 400 Off-Road Rally.”

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After sending off two guys and a news photographer to race from Las Vegas to Lake Tahoe (our sister hotel the Sahara Tahoe) in 1967, and getting all kinds of national publicity for the stunt, I talked to Darwin in the coffee shop of the hotel one day.

He loved the idea of making it a real race with a bunch of jeeps and dune buggies competing.

Everyone that knows anything about off-road racing knows the rest of that story—it’s one of the biggest and most important races of its kind in the world to this day.

The big thing was he would help push it through, and he wanted to race in it!

After Bill Bennett, General Manager of the Mint Hotel...

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 ...approved of the idea, I sat up a meeting with Darwin.

The date of the race was set for April, 1968.

Darwin suggested we go talk to the owner of the local American Motors dealership, Herb Biddulph, where they sold the good old World War II Jeep.

Darwin called and sat up a meeting. After about 30 minutes Lamb had convinced the owner to LOAN him a new jeep so he could race in the Mint 400, and to provide some AMC cars as official vehicles for the race.
Darwin had a roll-bar built on the Jeep and some other alterations to prepare it for the race.

I had a red jeep loaned to me which I used to get around town and to help publicize the race.

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Of course, Herb had no idea what an off-road race could do to a Jeep, or what Darwin was doing to it.

The race was a huge success, and Darwin, who crashed a couple of times, had to return the jeep to the dealership.

Needless to say it was pretty much destroyed. But, Darwin was so proud of the fact that he went further than Indy 500 champion Parnelli Jones, who destroyed his Bronco.

I think it was eventually sold as junk.

Over the years we would get together for various events, or just to sit down and enjoy telling stories over a glass of booze at his ranch like restaurant out on the edge of town. 

Clark Bingham, who at the time was married to one of the Lamb daughters, and I, had formed an off-road racing team.

We had a Class one unlimited race buggy built to compete in, not only the Mint 400, but the famous Baja races.

The Lambs had an annual tradition of rounding up wild Mustang Horses on a range outside of Alamo, where the Lamb ranch was located, and where the Lamb family was raised. It was a working ranch too.

Clark convinced Darwin to go to his brothers and ask if we could bring one of our dune buggies to the round-up.

We could outrun the horses and bring them across the valley quicker and deliver the herd to the wranglers on their horses, and they would finish up the job with fresh horses,” was how Bingham sold the idea.

Permission was granted.

But Ralph Lamb remained skeptical of course.

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We eventually proved to the Sheriff that it was a good idea.

That was the plan. 

It worked for a while, but we did end up getting a couple flat tires, then we crashed in a hidden gully, and by the time nightfall approached Clark and I were beat.

It was more work than racing in the Mint 400.

Every night Ralph would have a truck deliver a catered dinner for the group. We sat around a campfire and I listened to some of the wildest stories I had ever heard. 

We did this for a couple of years.

For a kid from the City to participate in something like a round-up, and to hear those stories, was a very special treat. And now those stories are gone forever.
The last time I talked to Darwin was just after his brother, Ralph, was buried. 

We said we would get together for a dinner soon.

I was planning on going to Utah next month.

Now I only have some wonderful memories of a great guy, who lived the life of a cowboy and did it good!

 He is survived by his beautiful wife, Mavourneen, and children Tommy, Ocey, Marion, and a number of grand-kids. Farewell old friend.  

Have a great ride.

Our Entertainment Contributor Tells a Story of "Old Vegas"

Norm Johnson

In 1967 I was a sports columnist for the Las Vegas Sun, and a story I wrote about Moe Dalitz and his PGA golf tournament at the Desert Inn Hotel, had gotten me blackballed from his two Strip Hotels and the tournament. 

 But, Hank Greenspun stood up for my story when Dalitz, who supposedly knew a few guys back east who sometimes hurt people, called him to complain.

I was offered the job by Greenspun personally in late 1965, after three years as an award winning sports writer in Los Angeles.  

When I walked into his office to accept the job, he said to me: “Just make sure every story you write is honest and substantiated by at least two sources.”

In March 1967, those words became very important for me.  

I had written a story dealing with one of the most powerful hotel owners in Las Vegas:   Moe Dalitz, who owned not only the Desert Inn, but the Stardust Hotel, and the world famous Tournament of Champions PGA golf tournament.

Moe Dalitz

The Desert Inn, and its lush golf course lined by expensive homes, had been the site of the Damon Runyon $100,000 Tournament of Champions for 14 years.  

It was a benefit for the Damon Runyon Cancer Foundation, and was limited to members of the Professional Golf Association (PGA) who had won a tournament during the prior season leading up to the April tournament.

The defending champion for the 15th tournament was Arnold Palmer. 

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It had also been carried on national TV for a number of years, and was locally televised each year. 

That was, I had learned, going to be a different story in 1967.

T of C Golf TV Blackout Here,” was the headline on the front page of the sports section on Saturday, March 18, 1967.

My source, who was very close to the owner, stated that, “Moe, himself, personally told the big-wigs at ABC-TV in New York, during contract negotiations in 1966, that he was losing money by allowing the local telecast and wanted it blacked out.”

It became a big story.

Here’s what happened:  

I began by calling a contact at our local ABC station, KSHO-TV, who had telecast it the year previously.  A station spokesman told me that on Friday, March 10, they were informed by New York that the station would not be permitted to carry the tournament in April.  

“We had fully expected to carry it again this year.”  The spokesman added that they were trying to contact someone at the Desert Inn to see if they could get them to change their minds, “But once those guys had set their mind on something, it’s pretty hard to get them to change. Besides, who do you talk to over there?”

Tuesday afternoon, March 14, I made a call to a big-wig friend of mine at ABC-TV in New York.  He verified that it was Dalitz who had actually made the statement credited to him.

He said he was tired of losing money and wanted it blacked out. We would love to feed it to the station, but until someone at the hotel tells us different, we’ll have to blackout the Las Vegas area.”

Saturday afternoon, after the story broke in the morning Sun, Hank received a call from the Desert Inn.

The person on the other end of the phone was screaming at Greenspun

My desk was just outside Hanks office.

Suddenly Ruthe Deskin, who had the title of Assistant to the Publisher, was waving at me, and pointing for me to get into Hank’s office.

Hank Greenspun

Greenspun was holding the phone away from his ear as I walked in, and signaled for me to sit down. 

Well listen Moe, I have Johnson in the office right now and are you telling me that the story he wrote was not truthful?

The phone went quiet for what felt like an hour to me but probably was a couple of seconds.

Well, no, but why did he have to write about it in the first place?” he screamed.

I remember Hank looking at me and sorta hunching his shoulder and smiling. 

Because the people of our city need to know Moe, that’s why!”

Well, that guy is blackballed from covering the tournament, and I’m telling security that he’s not even allowed to set foot on any of my properties,”  he yelled at Greenspun.  

Hank finally responded when Moe stopped screaming to catch a breath of air, “Well, Moe, if you really feel that way, the Sun will not cover your damn tournament at all. Now that’s my final answer. You can take it or change your mind about Johnson!”  

Another long pause and he soon replied in a more calmer, but still loud voice, “Well, alright, he can cover the damn tournament, but he can’t come into the hotel. He’ll have to enter the golf course from the outside gate.”

Greenspun looked at me, smiled and replied, “Alright. The Sun and the sports department will cover the tournament and Johnson will not go inside the hotel.”

In a subsequent page one story, it was learned that Howard Hughes was in the process of purchasing the Desert Inn, and I believe he didn’t want the tournament played on his golf course.  

It was announced that the tournament would move to the Stardust Hotel and its smaller par 70 golf course, located  on Desert Inn Road about two miles from the Strip.

That meant that all future records would forever carry an asterisk, just like baseball had to do after they added more games to the schedule.

On Tuesday, March 21, I again took on the powers-to-be at the Desert Inn in my column, with approval from the boss of course.  

I had gotten hold of the actual attendance records from 1966, which turned out to be 39,036 paid admissions.

With an admission price averaging six-bucks, I figured the total take was about $234,216 in cold hard cash, plus income from the booze, food, and hotel rooms

That didn’t even touch the gambling side.

I also noted that over the 14 previous years the fund had received only a small portion of the total revenue taken in by the tournament.

The figure I was told by my source amounted to about $500,000.

Mr. Dalitz didn’t like that column either, which was no surprise to me or Hank.

Once again guess who called the boss? 

 Greenspun again stood up to Dalitz. 

The one good thing, however, was that this time I didn’t have to sit and listen to him yelling at my boss.

As promised, I never stepped into either of the hotels until I was eventually informed by an executive at the Stardust that it was alright.

And...that does not even begin to tell the story about the famous “Lottery like $$$$$ pool,” where certain invited guests, etc., would gather inside a room at the D.I. the night before the tournament was to start, and bid a lot of money on the various champions who they thought would win the tournament. 

I remember that singer Frankie Laine won the “pool,” that year.   

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Frankie Laine

I believe Laine won the darn tournament three years in a row.

The publicity picture that went out across the world was of huge mountain of silver dollars being wheeled into the casino by two showgirls, escorted by a hotel executive and a couple of security guards, in a silver painted wheelbarrow.  

In those days silver dollars were the coin used in slot machines, for tips, and anything else under five dollars. I personally liked the fifty-cent coin for a tip.

Remember, I worked for Hank Greenspun! 

I loved the guy!

Wow! This was just one story from the great ol’ days of Las Vegas.

Read more about Moe Dalitz

Read more about Hank Greenspun


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 You've decided to buy a home here because you enjoy the lights of Las Vegas, the daily sunshine, the entertainment, and in all likelihood,  the gaming enjoyed previously as a tourist. much so....

...that you've decided to make it the perfect retirement atmosphere.


Did ya know...

How Henderson got its Name?

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This town many of us now call "home" is currently the 2nd largest populated city in the state of Nevada.  In 2013, the estimated population exceeded 270,800..and it continues to grow on a daily basis.

And best of all, it has been named as one of the safest cities in the United States.

In 2011 Forbes magazine rated Henderson as the second safest city in the country; and in 2014, according to the "FBI Uniform Crime Report", was named as one of the top 10 "Safest Cities in the United States".

But those who have resided in the Las Vegas valley for  years often smile when the subject of "Henderson" comes up in conversation, using these words from an old TV commercial to explain its growth..

"You've come a long way, baby"

The year was 1941 and our nation was preparing for war; and included in that preparation was the need for materials to preserve its strength.

Airplane engines, their frames, as well as incendiary munitions, had to be built...and one key ingredient in doing so...was...magnesium.

Why magnesium

...because magnesium strengthens aluminum.

...and a project completed a few years prior to 1941...Hoover Dam, was the perfect place to build a plant to provide it.

Why that location?

...because the power of the dam could be used to separate the metal from its ore by electrolysis.

A man named Fred D. Gibson, an engineer,  was sent to England to learn the secret of creating "the miracle metal" (aluminum).

Fred D. Gibson was the grandfather of subsequent three term Mayor of Henderson, James Gibson (1997 to 2009).

And...on September 15, 1941, a ground breaking ceremony took place establishing the " Basic Magnesium Incorporatedcompany...

Basic Magnesium Incorporated Ground Breaking

... with 13,000  SEGREGATED workers...residing in a small "tent city" near the plant.

Tent City

Between its construction through the conclusion of the war, "Basic Magnesium Incorporated" produced more than 166 million tons of magnesium for the war effort.

At one time the crew of the "Enola Gay", the plane which was subsequently designated to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, visited the plant.

Enola Gay Crew at Basic Magnesium plant
(the sign says "from Basic Magnesium to Berlin")

When World War II concluded in August, 1945, the need for a "war effort" no longer existed, and with the production of magnesium no longer necessary, the majority of the 13,000 original employees moved from the area, leaving the "tent city" in a state of decline.

The school district was reduced by two-thirds, and over half of the homes in the town site became vacant.

In 1947 the US Asset Management Administration even offered this unofficially named community called "Henderson" for sale as WAR SURPLUS PROPERTY.

The small town seemed doomed until the Nevada legislature sent a delegation to evaluate the possibility of the state's purchasing "Basic Magnesium Incorporated" and within days of the visit...

...the Nevada legislature UNANIMOUSLY voted to approve a bill giving the Colorado River Commission of Nevada the authority to purchase the industrial plants.

It was on March 27, 1946 that then Governor Vail Pittman...

Nevada Governor Vail M. Pittman

...signed the bill, saving Henderson from being sold as war surplus.

The town of "Henderson" was officially incorporated on April 16, 1953, and on May 23, 1953, it elected its first mayor, Dr. James French.

James French
First Mayor of Henderson, Nevada

Its population at that time was 7,410 and its boundaries included a mere 13 square miles...compared to today's 94 square miles.

and...the small town was finally officially named

 in honor of....

Senator Charles B. Henderson

Charles B. Henderson moved to Nevada with his parents in 1876 and attended public schools in Elko, receiving his law degree from the University of Michigan in 1895.

He served as a First Lieutenant in Teddy Roosevelt's "Rough Riders" during the Spanish-American War.

Returning to Elko, he was the district attorney of Elko County from 1901 to 1905 when he was elected and served in the Nevada assembly from 1905 to 1907.

In 1907 he was appointed a regent of the University of Nevada, and served in that position until 1917.

Mr. Henderson was appointed to the US Senate on January 12, 1918 to fill the vacancy of Senator Francis Newlands, who had died in office, and was elected in his own rite that same year, serving until 1921, when he was defeated for reelection.

He remained active in political activities, serving as a member of the board of directors of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, which in elected him as Chairman in 1941, resigning in 1947.

He then entered the private sector as the president and director of the Elko Telephone & Telegraph Company and also served as a a director for the Western Pacific Railroad.

He died on November 8, 1954 at the age of 81.

But...the City of Henderson's record historic growth was the result of a tragedy...

...a tragedy known as the PEPCON explosion.

In 1988 the "Pacific Engineering & Production Company of Nevada" (PEPCON), a rocket fuel factory...suddenly caught fire...

...and the resulting explosion spewed rocket fuel, smoke, and toxic fumes over Henderson, sending shockwaves throughout the city as well as parts of the Las Vegas valley...

PEPCON Explosion
(May 4, 1988)

...even causing minor earthquakes, some of which were recorded over 3.0 on the Richter Scale.

Two people were killed and 372 additional people were injured.

The result of this the evolution of how we see Henderson today....from a city built on industrial development to commercial development.

And now you know, not just the name of the individual for whom our hometown is named, but the important contribution it made in the annals of US history.
Dick Arendt

Those Who Left Us
October thru December


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Kevin Corcoran
October 6th...Age 66
(American known in Walt Disney productions "Spin & Marty", "Old Yeller". "Polyanna", "Swiss Family Robinson"...and as "Moochie" the Mousketeer)
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Billy Joe Royal
October 6th...Age 73
(American known for his hit" Down in the Boondocks")
Dean Chance
October 11th...Age 74
(Major League pitcher for 11 years....winner of the Cy Young Award in 1964...pitched a No-hitter in 1967)
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Joan Leslie
October 12th...Age 90
(American Actress with roles in such films as "HIgh Sierra", "Sargeant York", but best known as  in the role as "Mary", the wife of George M. Cohan, in "Yankee Doodle Dandy")
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Marianne Dickerson
October 14th...Age 54
(American Silver Medalist long distance runner in the 1983 World Marathon Championship in Helsinki, Finland)
Cory Wells
October 20th...Age 74
(Co-founder and continuing member of the American rock group
 "Three Dog Night")
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Marty Ingels
October 21st...Age 79
(American known for his TV series "I'm Dickens, He's Fenster" and his many cartoon voice overs ...married to actress Shirley Jones for 38 years before his death)
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Maureen O'Hara
August 24th...Age 95
(American actress best known for her roles in Christmas favorite "Miracle on 34th Street", "The Long Gray Line",  and "The Quiet Man")
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Al Molinaro
October 30th...Age 96
(American known as "Al Delvecchio" on the TV series "Happy Days" and as "Murray the Cop" on the TV series "The Odd Couple"....recommended an unknown comic named "Robin Williams" to play the part of an alien named "Mork from Ork")

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Fred Thompson
November 1st...Age 73
(A man who had "done it all"...American actor who starred in the TV series "Law & Order"...U.S. Senator from Tennessee from 1994 to 2003)
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Melissa Mathison
November 4th...Age 65
(First wife of Harrison known for writing the screenplays for "The Black Stallion" and "ET: The Extra-Terrestrial"...coined the phrase "ET Phone Home")
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Charlie Dick
November 8th...Age 81
(husband of the late Country & Pop singer, Patsy Cline ...1963....whose life and death was dramatized in the film "Sweet Dreams")
Nick Bockwinkel
November 14th...Age 80
(former American Wrestling Association known for ending Verne Gagne's 7 year reign at champ at the age of 40 in 1980)

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George T. "Joe" Sakato
December 2nd...Age 94
(Congressional Medal of Honor....Private George T. Sakato distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 29 October 1944, on hill 617 in the vicinity of Biffontaine, France. After his platoon had virtually destroyed two enemy defense lines, during which he personally killed five enemy soldiers and captured four, his unit was pinned down by heavy enemy fire. Disregarding the enemy fire, Private Sakato made a one-man rush that encouraged his platoon to charge and destroy the enemy strong point. While his platoon was reorganizing, he proved to be the inspiration of his squad in halting a counter-attack on the left flank during which his squad leader was killed. Taking charge of the squad, he continued his relentless tactics, using an enemy rifle and P-38 pistol to stop an organized enemy attack. During this entire action, he killed 12 and wounded two, personally captured four and assisted his platoon in taking 34 prisoners. By  continuously ignoring enemy fire, and by his gallant courage and fighting spirit, he turned impending defeat into victory and helped his platoon complete its mission. Private Sakato's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.)

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Robert Loggia
December 4th...Age 85
(American actor....nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 1985 in the film "Jagged Edge....but probably best known for playing "Mr. MacMillan, Tom Hanks boss in "Big"

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Martin E. Brooks
December 7th...Age 90
(American known for playing "Dr. Rudy Wells" on the TV shows "Six MIllion Dollar Man" and "The Bionic Woman")

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Bonnie Lou
December 8th...Age 91
(Country & Western singer of the 1950s and was a rockabilly pioneer singer)

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Patricia Elliott
December 20th...Age 77
(American known as "Renee Buchannan" on the ABC Soap Opera,  "One Life to Live"...winner of Tony Award for her portrayal of "Countess Charlotte Malcom" in the Sondheim musical "A Little Night Music)

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Angela McEwan
December 20th...Age 81
(American known as "Peg Nagy" in the 2013 Oscar nominated film "Nebraska)

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Meadowlark Lemon
December 27th...Age 83)
(Perhaps the most beloved and comedica Harlem Globetrotter who ever played on that team)

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Doug Atkins
December 30th..Age 85
(Chicago Bears "#81"...elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1982 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1985...member of the NFL 1960s All Decade Team..member of the NFL 1954 Cleveland Browns and 1963 Chicago Bears NFL championship teams)
Wayne Rogers
December 31st...Age 82
("Trapper John" on the TV series "Mash" and subsequently a financial contributor on FOX Business Network)
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Natalie Cole
December 31st...Age 65
(American singer....Grammy Award winner...daughter of the late Nat King Cole)

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Those Who Left Us
July thru September


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Ralph Lamb
July 3rd...Age 88
(Sheriff of Clark County, Nevada from 1961-1978...made famous by the TV Show "Vegas")
Diana Douglas
July 3rd...Age 92
(American actress...first wife of Kirk Douglas and mother of Michael known for her roles in TV's "Days of Our Lives" and movie, ""Planes Trains & Automobiles")

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Amanda Peterson
July 5th...Age 43
(American actress best known for her film  performance with a young Patrick Dempsey in 1987's "Can't Buy Me Love")
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Jerry Weintraub
July 6th...Age 77
(American talent agent, concert promoter, film producer and former Chairman and CEO of United Artists)
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Ken Stabler
July 8th...Age 69
("The Snake"...Quarterback of the 1977 Oakland Raiders Super Bowl Champions)
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Michael Masser
July 9th...Age 74
(American songwriter...wrote "Saving All My Love for You" and "The Greatest Love of All" for Whitney Houston, "Touch Me in the Morning" and "It's My Turn" for Diana Ross, "If Ever You're in My Arms Again" for Peabo Brice, and "A Long and Lasting Love" for Crystal Gayle)
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Omar Sharif
July 10th...Age 83
(Egyptian actor...most notable for his starring role in "Dr. Zhivago" and as Nicky Arnstein in "Funny GIrl")
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Roger Rees
July 10th...Age 71
(Welsh-American actor best known for his role as Robin Colcord in the TV series "Cheers" and The Sheriff of Rottingham in "Robin Hood: Men in Tights")
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Alex Rocco
July 18th...Age 79
(American known for his roles as "Moe Greene" in "The Godfather" and in the TV show "Facts of Life")
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George Coe
July 18th...Age 86
(American Actor....seen in numerous films..."Kramer vs Kramer"...and countless television original member of "Saturday Night Live")
Theodore Bikel
July 20th...Age 91
(Austrian-American Actor who is best known for playing he role of "Tevye" in "Fiddler on the Roof"...winning 9 Toni Awards in over 2,000 performances....also nominated for an Academy Award in 1958 for Best Supporting Actor in the film "The Defiant Ones")
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Lynn Anderson
July 30th...Age 67
(American Country singer best known for her hit "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden")
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Rowdy Roddy Piper
July 31st...Age 61
(Canadian Professional Wrestler....WWE, NWA, and WCW Hall of Fame)
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Billy Pierce
July 31st...Age 88
(beloved Chicago White Sox pitcher, member of the 1959 "Go Go White Sox", winners of the American League pennant...number #19 retired by the Chicago White Sox)
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Cilla Black
August 1st...Age 72
(British Pop Singer  of the known for her hit "You're My World" )
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 Louise Suggs
August 7th...Age 91
(American Golfer...winning 58 professional tournaments including 11 of the founders of the LPGA in 1950...inducted into the LPGA World Tour Hall of Fame in 1967 and World Golf Hall of Fame in 1979_
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Frank Gifford
August 9th...Age 84
(NFL Hall of Fame inducted in 1977...old #16...Broadcaster during the early days of NFL Monday Night Football....married to Kathie Lee Gifford for almost 29 years)
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Julian Bond
August 15th...Age 75
(American Civil Rights Leader and former president of the NCCAP)
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Yvonne Craig
August 17th...Age 78
(American actress best known as the original Batgirl on the TV series "Batman"...also co-starred with Elvis Presley in "It Happened at the World's Fair" and "KIssin' Cousins")
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Bud Yorkin
August 18th...Age 89
(With Norman Lear, he produced successful 70s television shows "All in the Family", "Maude", "Good Times" and "Sanford & Son"....also produced "What's Happening" after he split with 2002 was elected to the Television Hall of Fame)
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Melody Patterson
August 20th...Age 66
("Wrangler Jane" on the TV show "F Troop")
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Wes Craven
August 30th...Age 76
(Film producer...mostly known for his horror films "A Nightmare on Elm Street"...introducing a character named Freddy Kruger to the world of horror movies)

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Dean Jones
September 1st...Age 84
(starred in many Disney films..."The Love Bug"..."That Darn Cat"..."The Ugly Dachshund"...and the title role in the 1962 sitcom "Ensign O'Toole")
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Judy Carne
September 3rd...Age 76
(Best remembered for her starring role in Rowan and Martin's Tevisvision Show "Laugh-In" in the late 1960s....the "Sock it to Me" girl...first wife of Burt Reynolds)
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Jean Darling
September 4th...Age 93
(Silent screen era actress one of the few remaining members of the "Our Gang" comedies)
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Martin Milner
September 6th...Age 83
(American remembered for his roles in a number of television series that included "Route 66" and "Adam 12")
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Dickie Moore
September 7th...Age 89
(One of the last members of the "Our Gang" and "Little Rascals" comedy series...starred in over 100 films in later life that included "Sergeant York", the original 1933 adaptation of "Oliver Twist"...married to actress Jane Powell at the time of his death)
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Merv Adelson
September 8th...Age 85
(TV Mogul whose firm, Lorimar Productions, was of the most successful companies in television history....his most successful TV shows included "Dallas", "The Waltons", "Perfect Strangers", and "Eight is Enough"...third husband of Barbara Walters)
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Joaquin Andujar
September 8th...Age 62
(Major League pitcher most known for his role as a star pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1982 World Series....named to 4 All-Star teams...the top "Wins" winner of the National League in 1984)
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John Connell
September 10th...Age 91
(American actor best known for starring in the TV Soap Opera "Young Dr. Malone")

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Moses Malone
September 13th...Age 60
(Originally undrafted he played 21 years in professional basketball for a number of teams....made 12 consecutive appearances in NBA All-Star games...member of the 1983 NBA Champion Philadelphia Sixers...elected to the National Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001)
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Jack Larson
September 20th...Age 87
(American known as "Jimmy Olsen" on the original TV series "The Adventures of Superman")
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Yogi Berra
September 22nd...Age 90
(Played his entire 19 years of professional baseball with the New York Yankees...named to the American League All-Star Team 15 times....3 time American League Most Valuable Player....catcher in the only World Series Perfect Game pitched by Don Larsen in 1956...Manager of the Yankees and Mets...elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972...will be forever remembered for his "Yogisms"...most notably It Ain't Over Til it's Over")
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Catherine Coulson
September 28th...Age 71
(American film known for being "The Log Lady" on the TV series "Twin Peaks")
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Frankie Ford
September 28th...Age 76
(Early 50s Rock n Roll recording artist best known for
 his song "Sea Cruise")


Those Who Left Us
April thru June


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Cynthia Lennon
April 1st...Age 75
(Former wife of John Lennon and mother of Julian Lennon)
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Sarah Brady
April 3rd...Age 73
(Gun Control activist and passionate supporter of The Brady Law signed into law by President Clinton in 1993..wife of James Brady, press secretary to President Reagan and shot during assassination attempt in 1981)
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Julie Wilson
April 5th...Age 90
(Cabaret singer best known for her appearances at the St. Regis Hotel in Manhattan)
Richard Dysart
April 5th...Age 86 
(American actor..."Leland" on TV show "LA Law")
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Ray Charles
April 6th...Age 96)
(American musician, songwriter and singer...organizer of the "Ray Charles Singers" known for his singing the theme song to the TV show, "Three's Company" with singer Julia Rinker Miller)
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James Best
April 6th...Age 88
(Ameican known as the bumbling Sheriff Roscoe Coltrane on the TV show "Dukes of Hazzard")
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Percy Sledge
April 14th...Age 74
(American known for his 1966 hit "When A Man Loves A Woman"...the first gold record released by Atlantic Records)
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Francis Cardinal George
April 17th...Age 78)
(Archbishop of Chicago 1997- 2014 and President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops 2007-2010)
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Mary Doyle Keefe
April 21st...Age 92
(American model who posed for Norman Rockwell's
"Rosie the Riveter" during World War II)
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Wally Lester
April 21st....Age 73
(Singer and member of "The Skyliners" a 1950s group best remembered for the song "Since I Don't Have You")
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Sawyer Sweeten
April 23rd...Age 19
( known as one of the twin boys on the TV show "Everybody Loves Raymond")
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Jayne Meadows
April 26th...Age 95
(American actress...wife of the late Steve Allen...sister of of the late Audrey Meadows of "Honeymooners" TV show)
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Suzanne Crouch
April 27th...Age 52
(American actress best known as "Tracy Partridge"of the "Partridge Family" TV show)
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Verne Gagne
April 27th...Age 89
(16 time World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion...holds the record for the longest combined reign as a world of only 6 men to be elected by the WWE, WCW, and Professional Halls of Fame)
Gene Fullmer
April 27th...Age 83)
(American Boxer known as "The Cyclone" becoming the World Middleweight Boxing Champion on January 2, 1957 defeating Suger Ray Robinson)
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Calvin Peete
April 29th...Age 71
(American Golfer....lead the PGA in driving accuracy for 10 straight years from 1981-1990....inducted into the African American Ethics Sports Hall of Fame in 2002)
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Dan Walker
April 29th....Age 92
(Governor of Illinois from 1973 to 1977....first beating the "machine candidate" in the Democartic primary and then  defeating the incumbent Republican Governor by walking the entire state of Illinois walking 1,197 mies....the 2nd of 4 Illinois Governors to be convicted of federal crimes, serving 18 months in prison)
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Jean Nidetch
April 29th...Age 91
(Founder of Weight Watchers in 1963)
Ben E. King
April 30th...Age 76
(American singer...once a member of "The Drifters" before embarking on a solo career in known for his hits "Stand By Me" and "Spanish Harlem")

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Grace Lee Whitney
May 1st...Age 85
(American actress and singer best known for the role of "Janice Rand" on the original "StarTrek" television series)

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Jim Wright
May 6th...Age 92
(Former US Speaker of the House from 1987-89, resigning due to ethics violations scandal )

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Joanne Carson
May 8th...Age 83
(Second wife of Tonight Show Host, Johnny Carson...divorced after supposed affair with football star, Frank Gifford)

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Elizabeth Wilson
May 9th...Age 94
(American Actress best known for her role as Dustin Hoffman's mother, Mrs. Braddock in "The Graduate" and Roz in the movie, "9 to 5" )

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B.B. King
May 14th...Age 89
(Born Riley B. King, he bacame one of the greatest guitarists of all time with his guitar named "Lucille"...elected to the "Blues Hall of Fame" (1980) and the "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" (1987)....recipient of the "Presidential Medal of Freedom" (2006) by President George H. Bush)

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John Stephenson
May 15th...Age 91
(American Actor....roles on numerous TV series which included "Perry Mason", "The Beverly Hillbillies", "Bonanza"....most recently noted for voice overs...most famous role as "Mr. Slate" on "The Flinstones")

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Garo Yepremian
May 15th...Age 70
(Kicker on the undefeated 1972 NFL Miami of the best in the NFL...but sadly will be remembered in the 1973 Super Bowl in one of the biggest bloopers in NFL history)

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John Forbes Nash
May 23rd...Age 86
(American Mathematician....killed with his wife on the New Jersey turmpike in a taxi cab accident....winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1994...the man on whose life and struggle with schizophrenia was based in the academy award winning movie "A Beautiful Mind")

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Anne Meara
May 23rd...Age 86
(American actress...wife of actor/comedian Jerry Stiller for 61 years....mother of actor/comedian Ben Stiller...numerous TV roles)

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Doris Hart
May 29th...Age 89
(One the greatest American tennis Champions...won 3 Wimbleton Titles in the same day and ranked #1 in the world in 1951)
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Betsy Palmer
May 29th...Age 88
(American known for her being on "I've Got a Secret" panel 1958-1967)


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Vincent Bugliosi
June 6th...Age 80
(Prosecuting Attorney at the Charles Manson...Tate-Labianca murders in August, of the book "Helter Skelter")
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Christopher Lee
June 7th...Age 93
(British known for his roles in "Dracula" and "Saruman" in the "The Lord of the Rings")
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Ron Moody
June 11th...Age 91)
(British known for the role of "Fagan" in the movie "Oliver" in which he won a Golden Globe Award in 1968 for Best Actor in a musical/comedy)
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Monica Lewis
June 12th...Age 93
(American known as the voice of "Chiquita Banana"....and song "Put the Blame on Mame")
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Blaze Starr
June 15th...Age 83
(Notable American stripper who was involved with Governor Earl Long of Louisiana....subject of the movie "Blaze" in 1989 starring Paul Neuman as Governor Long)
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Kirk Kerkorian
June 15th...Age 98
(Called the "father of the mega-resort" of the most important figures in shaping the history of Las Vegas in building The International Hotel (now the Westgate), the MGM Grand Hotel (now Bally's), and the MGM Grand)
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Jeralean Talley
June 16th...Age 116
(the world's oldest living person on the date of her death)
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James Horner
June 22nd...Age 61
(composer who wrote the scores of the 2 top grossing movies of all time "Titanic" and "Avatar"...killed in a plane crash while in his private plane)
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Dick Van Patten
June 23rd...Age 86
(American motion picture and television known as patriarch "Tom Bradford" on the TV series "Eight is Enough")
Patrick Macnee
June 25th...Age 93)
(English American actor best known for his role as "John Steed" in the TV show "The Avengers" which aired 
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Jack Carter
June 28th...Age 93
(American comedian...the first host of "The Cavalcade of Stars" television show...recommending that Jackie Gleason replace him...appeared on numerous Friar's Club roasts)

Those Who Left Us
January thru March

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Donna Douglas
January 1st...Age 82
(Elly May on The Beverly Hillbillies)
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Mario Cuomo
January 1st...Age 82
(Former 3 Term Governor of New York)
Little Jimmy Dickens
January 2nd...Age 94
(American Country & Western Singer...achieving  success in 1949 with hit song, "Hillbilly Fever" and most notably in 1965 with his #1 hit, "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose")
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Edward M. Brooke
January 3rd...Age 95
(First Post Reconstruction Black Elected to the US Senate...Republican...Massachusetts)
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Stuart Scott
January 4th...Age 49
(ESPN anchor...most notably on Sport Center Show)
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Rod Taylor
January 7th....Age 84
(Actor..."The Birds" and "The Time Machine)
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Anita Ekberg
January 11th...Age 83
(Actress..."The Dolce Vita")
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Layne Tom, Jr.
January 14th...Age 87
(Pictured far right....#1 Son of Charlie Chan in Charlie Chan movies)
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Ernie Banks
January 23rd...Age 83
("Mr. Cub"...Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer)
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 Joe Franklin
January 24th...Age 88
(TV Radio Personality and early pioneer of the TV Talk Show)
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Rod McKuen
January 29th...Age 81
(Poet/Songwriter...Nominated for Oscar in 1969 for hit song "Jean)
Geraldine McEwan
January 30th...Age 82
(Actress...Best known for her playing "Miss Marble"in the late 2000s)
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 Taylor Negron
January 30th...Age 57
(American actor whose face you've seen a thousand times...but never knew his name....most notable role as the delivery boy in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High")
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Lizabeth Scott
January 31st...Age 92
(American Actress..."The Strange Love of Martha Ivers")

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Mary Healy
February 3rd...Age 96
(American Actress...Wife of Peter Lind Hayes)
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Billy Casper
February 7th...Age 83
(American Pro Golfer....Winner of US Open in 1959 and 1966  and Masters in 1970)
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Jerry Tarkanian
February 11th...Age 84
( "Tark the Shark"...UNLV Basketball  Coach 1989-90 NCAA "Runnin' Rebels" Camps...)
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Bob Simon
February 11th...Age 73
(CBS News Correspondent...."60 Minutes"...killed in a car accident)
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Gary Owens
February 12th...Age 80
(American DJ & Voice Actor....Best known for being the announcer on Rowan & Martin's "Laugh-In")
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Louis Jourdan
February 14th...Age 93
(French known for his role in "Gigi")
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Lesley Gore
February 16th...Age 68
(Pop Singer of the early '60s)
Leonard Nimoy
February 27th...Age 83
(American Actor...."Dr. Spock on "Star Treck")

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Minnie Minoso
March 1st...Age 90
(one of the most beloved members of the Chicago White Sox....playing in 5 decades...1949 to lifetime batting average of .298...but as of now...still not in the Baseball Hall of Fame)
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Eugene Patton
March 9th...Age 82
("Gene Gene..The Dancing Machine"---regular on "The Gong Show")
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Windell Middlebrooks
(March 9th...Age 36)
(Star of Miller Life commercials as the ranting delivery man)
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Al Rosen
(March 13th...Age 91)
(Major League baseball player with the Cleveland Indians for 10 years and eventual top front office executive for the New York Yankee, Houston Astros, and San Francisco Giants...the only baseball player to win both the Most Valuable Player Award and Top Executive Award)
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Jim Doherty
(March 14th...Age 74)
(Hall of Fame Harness Racing Trainer and Driver winning in excess of $3,000,000)

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 Chuck Bednarik
(March 21st...Age 89)
(one of the most devastating tacklers in NFL history...known primarily for "The Hit" against fellow NFL Hall of Famer Frank Gifford)
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Nick Peters
(March 23rd...Age 75)
(Baseball writer known as "The Greek" who covered the San Francisco Giants for 47 years...never missing a Giants opening day from 1958-2008...writing 5 books about the Giants...the Giants interview room is named in his honor)

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Oleg Bryzhak
(March 24th..,.Age 54)
(German Opera star...on board ill-fated Germanwings Airlines Flight 9525 in French Alps)
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Maria Radner
(March 24th...Age 34)
(Internationally known German Opera Star...on board ill-fated Germanwings Airlines Flight 9525 in French Alps)


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