Those We Lost
January thru March 2016
January 6th...Age 86
(American Actor....best known in his role as Dwayne Schneider, winning an Emmy and Golden Globe Award in the TV series "One Day at a Time")
January 7th...Age 82
(American Actor...best known for his film roles in "Fletch", "All of Me" and "Best Friends"
January 7th...Age 94
(American singer of the 1940s and 1950s ...was part of the Tommy Dorsey and Harry James orchestras...best known for her single hit "Little Things Mean Alot" and "My Coloring Book")
January 7th...Age 76
(American pop singer of the early 1960s best known for his # 1 song, "This Time")
January 10th...Age 69
(English Pop singer and actor of the 1970s..best known for his song "Fame" and his film role in "The Man Who Fell to Earth")
January 11th...Age 96
(At the time of his death, the oldest living former Negro League
player...was first approached by Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1945 to be the first Black player to play in the all white Major Leagues, but turned him down saying it was too soon to play following his active military duty during World War II....eventually being signed by the New York Giants in 1949...becoming a mentor of a young player named Willie Mays by then manager, Leo Durocher....Elected the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973)
William Del Monte
January 11th...Age 109
(The last known Survivor of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake)
January 11th...Age 78
(American character actor....best known as "Mayor Clotch" in the 1984 film "Ghostbusers"....and his role of "Neil Mink" as the mob lawyer for Tony Soprano in the TV series "The Sopranos")
January 14th...Age 69
(British actor best known for his role as The Sheriff of Nottingham in "Robin Hood...Prince of Thieves, and Severas Snape in the "Harry Potter" movie trilogy)
January 14th...Age 73
(manager and husband of singer Celine Dion)
January 15th...Age 74
(American actor...best known for starring in the movie and subsequent TV series "The Life & Times of Grizzly Adams")
January 15th...Age 72
("Mooche's sister....American actress best known as "Kelly"...and adopted daughter of John Forsythe on the hit TV series "Bachelor Father")
January 18th...Age 67
(American singer, songwriter, actor, and producer...former lead singer of the rock group "The Eagles")
January 19th...Age 112
(the world's oldest man)
January 23rd...Age 91
(One of the original members of the All-American Girls Baseball League which was immortalized in the film "A League of Their Own"...played for the South Bend Blue Sox & Fort Wayne Daisies ...is a part of the permanent display "Women in Baseball" at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York)
January 26th...Age 94
(American Actor...best known as "Fish" on the TV series "Barney Miller" and his role in "The Godfather" and "Godfather II")
January 28th...Age 75
(American actor...best known for his role of "Steve Elliott" in the TV sitcom "Petticoat Junction")
February 3rd...Age 92)
(Half of the Comedic Act of "Bob & Ray"....and father of actor Chris Ellott)
February 4th...Age 85
(Apollo 14 Lunar Module Pilot Astronaut...along with Alan Shephard, landed the "Antares" Lunar Module on the Moon in 1971)
February 4th...Age 76
(American pop singer best known for his hits "Wooden Heart" and "Little Red Rented Rowboat")
February 13th...Age 79
(Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court from September 26, 1986 to his death...29 years)
February 15th...Age 59
(1985, 1986 and 1987 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association All-Round Cowboy....inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1992)
February 15th...Age 98
(American actor...best known for his roles as Commandant Eric Lassard in the 1984 film "Police Academy" and Henry Warnimont in the 1984-1987 TV series "Punky Brewster")
February 19th...Age 89
(Author of the classic "To Kill a Mockingbird"...received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for Literature in 2007)
Betty Jane Watson
February 21st...Age 94
(American singer and actress known for her roles in early musical theater....especially the role of Laurie in "Oklahoma"...and numerous others including "Pajama Game", "South Pacific", and "Annie Get Your Gun"...also co-hosted the Radio-TV game show "Winner Take All"...the first game show produced by Mark Goodson & Bill Todman )
Yolande Betbeze Fox
February 22nd...Age 87
(Miss America 1951..from Alabama...married to Mathew Fox, president of Universal Studios until his death in 1964 at the age of 53...she never remarried )
(February 22nd...Age 87)
(American Country singer...had an unprecedented 16 straight #1 hits on the Country Billboards...in 2007 elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame....best known for his 1957 #1 hit "Young Love")
February 23rd...Age 74)
(American astronaut on board the Space Shuttle "Discovery" in 1985 and again on "Atlantis" in 1989 deploying the "Galileo" spacecraft which explored Jupiter...he was a resident of Sun City Anthem at the time of his passing)
February 23rd...Age 87
(Played in the All-American Girls Profesional Baseball League 1950-1951 as a catcher for the Springfield Sallies...the Ladie's League popularized by the 1992 film "A League of Their Own")
Dr. George Nichopoulos
February 24th...Age 88
(Infamous physician who was the personal doctor of Elvis Presley and accused of over prescribing drugs for Presley as well as other performers including Jerry Lee Lewis...was suspended from practice for 3 months and received 3 years of probation)
February 25th...Age 78
(American Actor...best known as "Duke" the trainer of Apollo Creed and Rocky Balboa in 6 of the "Rocky" films)
February 28th...Age 91
(American Actor...Best known as playing the role of "Dragline" and winning the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in the film, "Cool Hand Luke")
March 6th...Age 94
(First Lady from 1981 to 1989....best known for her "Just Say No" saying...also American actress...married to President Ronald Reagan for 52 years before his death in 2004)
March 8th...Age 85
(American actor....best known for his roles as James Dean's brother "Aron" in the film "East of Eden" and "Blind Dick" in the film "Cool Hand Luke")
March 9th...Age 91
(American actor best known for his role of frontier scout Flint McCullough in the TV 1957-1962 show "Wagon Train")
March 10th...Age 91)
(American singer...best known for her 1956 song "The Wayward Wind" )
March 10th...Age 71)
(Keyboard player in the rock group "Emerson Lake & Palmer"..tragic suicide)
March 10th...Age 88
(Canadian born professional hockey player...played for the Chicago Black Hawks, New York Rangers, and Detroit Red Wings 1946-1966...inducted into the NHL Hockey Hall of Fame in 1970)
March 12th...Age 88
(Starting Centerfielder for the Racine Belles of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League in 1945...along with other women, now enshrined in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York....made famous in the 1992 film "A League of their Own")
March 14th...Age 86
(First Baseman and Pitcher 1948-1954 for the Fort Wayne Daisies, Racine Belles, Battle Creek Belles, and Kalamazoo Lassies of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League ...inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum in 1988)
March 15th...Age 86
(Shortstop and Third Baseman for the Rockford Peaches 1947-1953...inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as part of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League Permanent Display in Cooperstown, New York)
March 16th...Age 79
(American Doo Wop Singer and lead singer of "Lee Andrews and the Hearts"...best known for their 1958 hit "Teardrops" and "Long Lonely Nights" in 1957)
Frank Sinatra Jr.
March 16th...Age 72
(Son of Frank Sinatra, brother of Nancy and Tina Sinatra)
March 17th...Age 66
(American actor best known as "Benny Stulwicz" and winner of 2 Emmy Awards for the TV show "LA Law")
March 18th...Age 84
(American actor best known as "Lt. Dennis Becker" on the TV show "The Rockford Files")
March 21st...Age 80
(American actor best known for his roles in TV westerns...played the role of Deputy Johnny McKay in the 50's "Lawman")
March 22nd...Age 46
(former Mayor of Toronto, Canada....embroiled in crack cocaine controversy...lost reelection bid in 2014)
March 22nd...Age 88
(American actress...best known at "Herodias" mother of Salome in the 1961 film "King of Kings")
March 22nd...Age 80
(American actor...best known for his role as Mr. Hanford the retired firefighter who worked at Hooper's Store on the TV show "Sesame Street" from 1990-1998 winning 8 Emmy Awards)
March 23rd...Age 90
(American baseball player and sportscaster for the St. Louis Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks and NBS Sports....winning a Peabody Award in 1973 for his Cardinal broadcasts and the Baseball Hall of Fame Ford Frick Award for Outstanding Broadcasting in 1991...elected to the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame in 2004)
March 23rd...Age 71
(American actor and president of the Screen Actors Guild...winner of Prime Time Daytime Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the mini-series "Grey Gardens"...best known as playing the role of "Thomas Jefferson" in the film, "1776")
March 24th...Age 66
(Stand-up comic and TV sitcom star of Showtime's "The Larry Sanders Show"...a frequent guest on Johnny Carson's "The Tonight Show")
March 28th...Age 94
(American actor best known as "Governor Eugene Gatling" on the TV sitcom "Benson"...also played the role of "Dr. John Witherspoon" in the film "1776")
March 29th...Age 69
(American actress...best known for "The Patty Duke Show" of the mid-60s....winner of the 1962 Oscar for Best Supporting Actress playing the young "Helen Keller" in the film "The Miracle Worker")
Saying Thanks to Those Who Allowed Us
Those We Lost
April thru June, 2016
April 1st...Age 97
(Original member of the "Rockford Peaches" of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League in 1943...immortalized in the 1992 movie "A League of Their Own")
April 4th...Age 78
(Bass Singer of the rock group "Dion & the Belmonts" who was the lead singer of the "Belmonts" after the group split...best known for the 1962 hit "Come On Little Angel")
April 4th...Age 89
(American pop singer of the 50s in the group "The Chordettes"...best known for their 1954 hit "Mr. Sandman", 1958 hit "Lolipop" and 1961 hit "Never on Sunday")
April 6th...Age 79
(American country singer...inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994...best known for his 1970 #1 hit " Okie from Musgkee" and named Best Entertainer of the Year in 1970)
April 12th...Age 90
(American Actress...wife of Eli Wallach for 69 years)
April 17th...Age 90
(American Actress...winner of 5 Emmy Awards...best known for her role as "Marie Barone" the mother of Raymond & Robert, on the TV hit
" Everybody Loves Raymond" starring Ray Romano, Brad Garrett, Peter Boyle & Patricia Heaton from 1996 to 2005)
April 19th...Age 76
(Major League Baseball pitcher....withe the Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, Atlanta Braves, and Chicago Cubs...most widely known for his no-hitter in 1972...and his argument with umpire Bruce Froemming)
(Prince Rogers Nelson)
April 21st...Age 57
(Legendary Rock star of the 80s...best known for his song/album "Purple Rain")
April 21st...Age 74
(American singer / songwriter / musician...best known for his famous "Flying V" electric guitar, "blues rock music, and recording of the instrumental "Memphis")
April 23rd...Age 93
(Canadian actress...best known as Reverend Mother Placido in the TV series "The Flying Nun" with Sally Field)
April 24th...Age 81
(American soul singer and Grammy winner...best known for his 1972 Number 1 hit, "Me & Mrs. Jones")
May 3rd...Age 85
(American actor best known for his role as "Bill Youngfellow" the only Native American member of the "The Untouchables" TV series from 1959-1963)
May 8th...Age 93
(American actor...in many films but best known for playing the role of "Martin Lane", the father of Patty Duke, on the "Patty Duke Show")
Julius La Rosa
May 12th...Age 86
(American singer...best known for his appearances on the Arthur Godfrey and Ed Sullivan TV shows..his most famous song "Eh Cumpari")
May 16th...Age 90
(American actress best known for her early TV commercials...notably on the Ed Sullivan Show)
May 19th...Age 84
(Best known for "60 Minutes" reports....46 years a member of that TV reporting staff...the longest serving reporter on that program...died 8 days after his formal retirement)
May 19th...Age 96
(American actor....best known for playing "Wilbur Post" the owner of "Mister Ed" from 1961 through 1966)
May 19th...Age 102
(American Actor...the last of the great vaudeville actors...best known as "Sidney Spritzer" on the Milton Berle Show for his sarcastic comedy...also one of Johnny Carson's favorite comedians)
June 2nd...Age 101
(Brother of actor, Denver Pyle...worked at Walt Disney Studios in animation department on the classics "Bambi", "Pinocchio", "Fantasia".....worked with Walter Lantz on "Woody Woodpecker" and created "Mr. Magoo" ...won an Academy Award in 1951 for the creation of cartoon character "Gerald McBoing-Boing")
June 3rd...Age 74
(Three time World Heavyweight Boxing Champion...best known for his fights with Joe Frazier and George Foreman..."The Greatest")
June 4th...Age 73
(Canadian born Rock 'n Roll Singer of the early 60s...best known in the USA for being a "one hit wonder with his song "Fortune Teller")
June 6th...Age 61
(American actress...best known for her roles in the TV series "The Commish" playing the role of "Rachel Scali" the wife of The Commish (Michael Chiklis) from 1991-1996...receiving a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress...and "Lennore La Motta" wife of Joe Pesci in the film "Raging Bull"...survived being stabbed 10 times by a stalking fan in 1982...playing the lead role in the TV movie "Victim for Victims...The Theresa Saldana Story")
June 10th...Age 88
("Mr. Hockey"...One of the greatest professional hockey players of all time with a professional career from 1946 to 1980...rated by "Hockey News" in 1998 as the 3rd greatest hockey play of all time...his greatest years with the Detroit Red Wings...a 23 time NHL All-Star...inducted into the National Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972)
June 11th...Age 22
("The Voice" 3rd place finisher in 2014....shot and killed following concert while signing autographs)
June 12th...Age 96
(American voiceover actress...best know as the voice of "Judy Jetson" on the TV series "The Jetsons")
Ronnie Claire Edwards
June 14th...Age 83
(American actress....best known for her role as "Corabeth Walton Godsey" on the TV series "The Waltons")
Ann Morgan Guilbert
June 14th...Age 87
(American actress...best known for her role as "Millie Helper" on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" in the 1960s)
May Ann King
June 17th...Age 82
(Host of the children's show "Romper Room"...long remembered for looking through her "magic mirror" to name her child viewers)
June 22nd...Age 94
(Tailgunnner Sgt. one of the two remaining members of the Doolittle Raiders)
June 27th...Age 82
(Singer songwritter....best known for writing the 1965 hit "Mustang Sally" for Wilson Pickett and "Respect Yourself" in 1969 for "The Staple Singers")
Pat Head Summitt
June 28th...Age 61
(Perhaps the greatest Women's basketball coach of all time....head coach of the Tennessee "Lady Vols" from 1974 to 2012 compiling a record of 1098 wins against only 208 losses...elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000...represented the USA at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal as a player...Head Coach in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics...awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012...authored the book "Sum It Up" covering her life and early diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease)
June 28th...Age 82)
(former Head Coach of the Philadephia Eagles from 1986 to 1990...but most remembered for being the Defensive Coordinator of the Chicago Bears from 1978 through their Super Bowl winning season of 1985...perfecting what has been referred to as the "46 defense")
June 28th...Age 84
(Ranked #29 of the top 100 guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine in 2011.....elected to the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame in 2000...best known for backing up Elvis Presley in his early years through the beginning of the Hollywood movies...often a guest on "The Elvis Channel" on Sirius Radio's Channel 19)
Saying Thanks to Those Who Allowed Us
Those We Lost
July thru September 2016
Part Three of Four
July 3rd...Age 95
(American actress...best known for the role of "Lois Lane" in the 1950's TV show "The Adventures of Superman")
July 6th...Age 86
(American Broadway and Film actor...nominated for Best Actor Tony Award numerous times ("Sweet Charity", "Show Boat", "High Society", "Into the Woods", "Grey Gardens")...inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 2009)
July 16th...Age 74
(Member of the NBA Hall of Fame....seven time All-Star...played for the Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Chicago Bulls....Number 42 retired by the Warriors and Cavaliers...known as "Nate the Great")
July 16th...Age 77
(Member of the the 50's group "The Browns" best known for their 1959 hit "The Three Bells"....inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2015)
July 19th...Age 81
(American actor, writer, Hollywood producer, director...created TV hits "Happy Days", "Laverne & Shirley", "Mork & Mindy"...directed numerous movies including "Runaway Bride", "Beaches" and "Pretty Woman"...acted in TV sitcoms notably "Murphy Brown" and his sister, Penny Marshall's film, "A League of Their Own"...inducted in the "Television Hall of Fame" in 1997)
July 22nd...Age 67
(NFL Head Coach of the Minnesota Vikings from 1992 to 2001 and Arizona Cardinals from 2004 to 2006...made the NFL playoffs in 8 of the 10 seasons he was Head Coach of the Vikings)
July 24th...Age 86
(known as "The Voice of Hollywood"....dubbed the singing voices of a number of actresses that included Deborah Kerr (The King & I), Natalie Wood (West Side Story), Audrey Hepburn (My Fair Lady), and Sophia Loren (A Boy on a Dolfin)...Time Magazine referred to her as
"The Ghostess with the Mostest")
Pat UptonJuly 27th...Age 75
(American singer, songwriter, and guitarist for the group "Spiral Staircase"...best known as the group's lead singer for the song" More Today Than Yesterday"... he owned the Club, "PJ's Alley"in Alabama, that starred Rick Nelson in his last concert....was asked to accompany Nelson later that night on December 30, 1985, to Dallas, but was unable to make the flight...Nelson died in a plane crash that evening)
July 31st...Age 91
(American actress...has Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame...portrayed her mother, Flora Parker DeHaven in the 1950 film "Three Little Words" with Fred Astaire...most recently played the love interest of Jack Lemmon in the 1997 comedy film "Out to Sea")
August 2nd...Age 85
(American actor....best known for his roles in the films"Blazing Saddles", "The Big Lebowski"...and numerous TV sitcoms)
August 6th...Age 82
(iconic American clarinetist..known for his Dixieland, Pop, Honky Tonk Jazz, and Creole music...2007 inducted in the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame...owner of Pete Founain's Club on Basin Street in New Orleans...performed numerous times on the Johnny Carson "Tonight Show")
August 7th....Age 63
(American actress...best known for her role as Dr. Jacqueline Wade on the 80's TV series "St. Elsewhere"...also appeared in the final episode of the TV series "M.A.S.H" )
August 10th...Age 90
(former head coach of the Chicago Bears 1978-1981...one of only two people who both played and coached in both the National Football League and the Canadian Football League)
August 10th...Age 66
(American actress and acting teacher whose students included Lisa Kudrow and Conan Obrian.....appeared in "National Lampoon's European Vacation" and on TV's "Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm")
August 11th...Age 86
(American folk singer....once a member of "The Limeliters"...left the group as a solo artist in 1964...best known for his hit "Baby The Right Must Fall" in 1965)
August 13th...Age 81
(3' 8" British actor...best known for playing the role of "R2D2" the 1976 film "Star Wars"...other notable roles in such films as Time Bandits" and "The Elephant Man"
August 14th...Age 93
(American Actor...best known for his role as public defender "David Wambaugh" in the TV series "Picket Fences"(1992-1996)...winning an Emmy in 1994 for "Best Supporting Actor in a Drama series...also known for his 2000-2004 portrayal of History Teacher "Harvey Lipschultz" in 63 episodes of the hit TV Series "Boston Public")
August 16th...Age 89
(Long remembered TV journalist best known for "The McLaughlin Group" on PBS...passed away after missing his first broadcast in 34 years )
August 19th...Age 80
(American TV actor best known for his role as the eccentric Elliot Carlin, a patient of Bob Newhart on the "Bob Newhart Show")
August 23rd...Age 94
(American Screen & TV actor...best known for his 10 year (2000-2010) portrayal of District Attorney Adam Schiff on the TV series "Law & Order")
August 25th...Age 89
(American Actor...best known for his role as Henry the Lineman who frequented Mel's Diner on the TV series "Alice" and a gas station attendant in the movie "It's A Mad Mad Mad World"...also the voice of "Choo Choo" on the TV series "Top Cat")
August 28th...Age 66
(Mexican singer who holds the record of the best selling album of all time in Mexico...wrote over 1,800 songs during his career, selling over 30 million albums...inducted into the Latin Billboard Hall of Fame in 1996 and International Latin Music Hall of Fame in 2003)
August 29th...Age 83
(American actor ...best known for his roles in a number of Mel Brooks films "The Producers", "Blazing Saddles", "Young Frankenstein", and four films with the late Richard Pryor....will always be known as "Willy Wonka" in the film, "Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory")
September 1st...Age 65
(American actor...best known as portraying Johnny Caspar in the film "Miller's Crossing", Detective Steve Crosetti in the TV series "Homicide: Life on the Street" and the role of Phil Bartoli in the TV series "Crime Story")
September 1st...Age 89
(The last surviving member of the folk music group "The Weavers"....produced the album "Alice's Restaurant" with Arlo Guthrie in 1967...was a target of Senator Joe McCarthy during the McCarthy hearings)
September 5th...Age 93
(American constitutional lawyer best known for her staunch conservative views....led successful campaign against the Equal Rights Amendment with her 1964 book entitled "A Choice, Not an Ego" ...remained on the lecture circuit until her death)
September 5th...Age 91
(best known for his portrayal of Wyatt Earp in the 1950s TV series "The Life & Legend of Wyatt Earp" which was aired for six years...elected to the Hall of Fame Western Performers in 1992)
September 7th...Age 64
(Former WBC Featherweight Boxing Champion 1974-1975 and WBC Super Featherweight Boxing Champion 1982-1983...elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2005)
Gretta Zimmer Friedman
September 8th...Age 92
(Woman in the most famous V-J Day photo of World War II in Times Square)
September 11th...Age 93
(One of the Wilde Twins...who starred in several films of the 1940s....sister Lee (right), passed away on September 5, 2015 at the age of 92)
September 17th...Age 73
(American actress...best known for her role as "Liesl Von Trapp" in the Oscar winning film "The Sound of Music")
September 19th...Age 88
(Child actor of the mid-1930s known for his soprano voice....starred in a number of movies, and at the time, was compared to child actors Freddie Bartholomew & Shirley Temple)
John D. Loudermilk
September 21st...Age 82
(American songwriter who wrote hits for many artists including "Abilene" for George Hamilton IV, "Ebony Eyes" for The Everly Brothers, "Indian Reservation" for Paul Revere & The Raiders, "Norman" and "Sad Movies" for Sue Thompson, "Thou Shalt Not Steal" for Dick & DeeDee, "Talk Back Trembling Lips" for Johnny Tillotson, "Tobacco Road" for The Blues Magoos, and many others)
September 25th...Age 24
(Miami Marlins star pitcher....three times caught defecting from Cuba before safely reaching US shore....National League "Rookie of the Year" in 2013...appeared in 2016 All-Star Game...sadly killed in a boating accident with two others)
September 25th...Age 87
("The King"...winner of "The Masters" in 1958, 1960, 1962, and 1964..."US Open" in 1960...elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974)
September 28th...Age 93
(9th President of Israel from 2007-2014 and twice Israeli Prime Minister,serving in Israeli government for 70 years...considered the last link to Israel's founding generation...winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994)
Those We Lost
October thru December, 2016
Part Four of Four
Joan Marie Johnson
October 3rd...Age 72
(American singer...a member of the "The Dixie Cups" best known for the song "Chapel of Love"
October 8th...Age 70
(American singer and songwriter...founding member of the pop group "The Critters" with their hit songs "Mr. Dieingly Sad" and "Younger Girl"...later joined Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons from 1973-1981 and "Tommy James and the Shondells" in 1987)
October 9th...Age 60
(American Boxer...known as "The Hawk",,,held the WBA Light Heavyweight Title from 1980 to 1983 and the IBF Title from 1984 to 1985....inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1996...named by the Associated Press in 1999 as the world's best Light Heavyweight Champion of the 20th Century)
October 17th...Age 81
(American actor...best known at "Richard Harrison", Paty Duke's boyfriend, on "The Patty Duke Show")
October 18th...Age 95
(pictured on left with singer Etta James)
(Co-founder of Chess Records...signing many recording artists including Etta James, Muddy Waters, Bo Didley, Chuck Berry, & Chubby Checker...elected to The Blues Hall of Fame as a Non-Performer in 1995)
October 19th...Age 87
(A member of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League from 1948 to 1953 as a pitcher for the Springfield Sallies and the Fort Wayne Daisies...a part of the "Women in Baseball" exhibit at the National Baseball Hall of Fame)
October 21st...Age 60
(American comedian....star of the short lived TV series "Uncle Buck"...appeared a number of times on The Tonight Show, Late Night with David Letterman, Regis & Kathy Lee, and Oprah Winfrey shows)
October 23rd...Age 76
(American activist...best known for his radical political views....leader of the SDS, a member of the "Chicago Seven" trial disrupting the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago...subsequent member of the California State Assembly 1982-1992 and California State Senate 1992 to 2000...former husband of actress Jane Fonda)
October 24th...Age 73
(American Early 60s Rock 'n Roll Singing Idol....having hits in the Top 100 and 10 in the Top 20...inducted in 2011 into the "Rockabilly Hall of Fame...best known for his hits "Rubber Ball" "Take Good Care of My Baby", "The Night Has a 1,000 Eyes", and "Come Back When You Grow Up")
October 30th...Age 82
(American Actress...best known for her role in the film "The Unsinkable Molly Brown")
Claude "Curly" Putman
October 30th...Age 85
(American songwriter...best remembered for writing the song "The Green Green Grass of Home" in 1964...and inspired Paul McCartney to write the hit song "Junior's Farm" after visiting the Putman farm in rural Tennessee)
November 2nd...Age 93
(First Baseman for the Milwaukee Chicks and the South Bend Blue Sox from 1944 to 1945 as a member of All-American Girls Professional Baseball League... part of the "Women in Baseball" exhibit at the National Baseball Hall of Fame)
November 3rd...Age 94
(American Singer of the 40s and early 50s best known for her two #1 songs "The Wheel of Fortune" and "The Rock & Roll Waltz")
November 7th...Age 78
(The First Female Attorney General of the U.S.....held the position during the entire administration of Bill Clinton)
Anthony St. Laurent
November 7th...Age 75
(American mobster....known as "The Saint"...Rhode Island mobster convicted of hiring a hitman to kill a fellow mobster in 2009...released from prision 2 weeks before his death)
November 7th...Age 82
(American songwriter, singer, musician, poet, novelist, and painter...wrote numerous songs, but perhaps the most popular and widely performed by many artists is "Hallelujah"...elected to the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame)
and "Hallelujah" from our local Las Vegas Star...Clint Holmes)
November 7th...Age 79
(American actress...best known for her role as Sandra Corleone, wife if Sonny Corleone, in the film "The Godfather"..also appeared in numerous TV shows in the 1960s and 1970s)
November 9th...Age 96
(Guitarist, composer & arranger....best known for his two instrumental hits of the early 60s, "The Magnificent Seven" and "Bonanza")
November 11th...Age 83
(American actor...best known for his role as "Napoleon Solo" in the TV series "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." and in the film "The Magnificient Seven")
November 13th...Age 74
(American musician...played on many sessions for recording artists...inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 2011...also wrote and performed to hits, "Tight Rope" and "Lady Blue")
November 14th...Age 61
(PBS American journalist, TV Newscaster, and author....Co-anthor and managing editor of PBS News Hour with Judy Woodruff)
November 14th...Age 71
(Canadian actress....best known for her role as "Emma Leroy" in the Canadian hit TV series "Corner Gas" (2004 to 2009) ...reprised the role of "Emma" in the 2014 movie "Corner Gas"The Movie")
November 14th...Age 59
(American Country singer and songwriter...had two #1 songs on the Country Music charts..."Are You Ever Gonna Love Me" and "You Really Had Me Going")
Lisa Ann Masters
November 15th...Age 52
(American actress and model...best known for her role in the 2004 remake of "The Stepford Wives"...apparent suicide)
November 16th...Age 94
(Wisconsin Congressman and US Secretary of Defense from 1969-1973 under the Nixon administration)
November 23rd...Age 90
(Professional Major League Pitcher....pitching 12 years for the Brooklyn Dodgers...known for being pitching to Bobby Thomson in what is known as "The Shot Heard Round the World" in the 1951 play-off series between the Dodgers and New York Giants)
Peggy Kirk Bell
November 23rd...Age 95
(American Pro Golfer...Came in 2nd at the LPGA Women's Open in 1950...awarded the Bob Jones Award (the highest award given by the US Golf Association of distinguished sportsmanship in golf...the first woman voted into the World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame in 2002...awarded the Patty Berg Award in 2013)
November 23rd...Age 78
(A lifelong friend and road manager of Elvis Presley....was Elvis' best man...member of The Memphis Mafia)
Nevember 24th...Age 82
(American actress...best known for her role as Carole Brady on the TV series "The Brady Bunch" (1969-1974)...the first woman to Guest Host the Tonight Show)
November 25th...Age 90
(Cuban Communist revolutionary and governing Cuba from 1959 to 2011)
November 25th...Age 71
(American Actor...best known in his role of "Detective Ron Harris on the TV show "Barney Miller")
November 26th...Age 90
(American stage and TV actor...working on stage and TV for over 40 years...best known for his TV roles in the TV movies "The Legend of Lizzie Borden" (1974) and miniseries "Holocaust" (1978) winning an Emmy nomination...winner of 1970 Tony Award for "Best Actor in a Play" ( "Child's Play")
November 28th...Age 90
(American Television Executive...Chairman & CEO of NBC (1981-1986)...co-founder of MTM Enterprises with his former wife, Mary Tyler Moore...elected to the Television Hall of Fame in 1997)
November 28th...Age 82
(American actor....best known for his role as Britt Reid as The Green Hornet in the 1966-1967 TV series "The Greeen Hornet"...also played the role of Kenny Madison in both the TV series "Bourbon Street Beat" in 1959 and "Surfside 6" in 1960)
November 28th...Age 49
(American Actor, producer and director....recently known as playing the role of Sergeant Detective Chang in the currently running TV show "Hawaii Five-0")
November 30th...Age 88
(American actress...best known for her role as the librarian in the 1984 film "Ghostbusters")
December 1st...Age 76
(American Actor for 40 years....best known for his roles as the bumbling hitman in the the 1989 cult film "Weekend at Bernie'" and mortician "Ernie Kattenbrunner in the 1985 cult horror-comedy "The Return of the Living Dead")
December 2nd...Age 72
(American child actor of the 50s....brother of TV's"Father Know's Best'" star Lauren Chapin (Kitten)....best known for his roles as "Christie Cooper" in the 1953 film "The Kid from Left Field" and "John Harper" in the 1955 class film "The Night of the Hunter")
December 5th...Age 42
(1994 Heisman Trophy winner while attending the University of Colorado...#1 draft pick of the Chicago Bears in 1995...apparent suicide)
December 7th...Age 69
(Singer, bassist and producer of the British of the 1970s rock group "Emerson Lake & Palmer" ...was preceded in death by his partner, Keith Emerson on March 11, 2016)
December 8th...Age 95
(American astronaut...the first American to orbit the earth on February 20, 1962 in his Friendship 7 space capsule...the last surviving member of the "Mercury Seven", the group chosen by NASA in 1959 to be the original astronauts...also a member of the "Discovery" Space shuttle team in 1998 at the age of 77...served as the US Senator of Ohio from 1974 to 1999....received numerous awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012)
December 8th...Age 87
(American actor....best known for his role of "Stefano DiMera" in the long running TV Soap, "The Days of Our Lives")
(pictured far left)
December 10th...Age 81
(American singer and original member of the singing group "The Four Coins" of the mid-1950s....best known for their 1957 hit song
December 12th...Age 93
(American singer and songwriter....best known for his 1956 Number 1 hit "The Green Door")
December 13th...Age 69
(Canadian actor actor and songwriter...wrote the theme song for the TV programs "Different Strokes" and "The Facts of Life"...best known for playing the role of "Jason Seaver" from 1985-1992 on the hit TV series "Growing Pains")
December 14th...Age 89
(Welsh actor...best known for his role as "Dr. Bombay" on the Television series "Bewitched" (1964-1972) and the bumbling "Colonel Crittendon"on the Television series "Hogan's Heroes" (1965-1971)
December 15th...Age 79
(American singer, actress, dancer & model....best known for her role in the 1963 film "The Pink Panther" singing the song "Meglio Stasera / It Had to be Tonight")
December 17th...Age 96
(American surgeon and best known for developing the famous Heimlich maneuver in 1974 to stop choking)
Zsa Zsa Gabor
December 18th...Age 99
(Hungarian-American actress best known for her role as "Jane Avril" in the 1952 movie "Moulin Rouge" which won an Oscar for the "Best Picture of The Year"...had nine husbands...would have turned age 100 on February 6, 2017....there was only one Zsa Zsa!)
December 18th...Age 94
(Canadian country singer best known for his appearances on the 1969 to 1971 TV show "Hee Haw" in various skits...elected to the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 1990)
December 25th...Age 53
(British songwriter and singer....selling more than 100 million records worldwide... best known for his late 1980s hits with the group, Wham, "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go", and later as a single performer "Careless Whisper")
December 27th...Age 60
(American actress...daughter of Eddie Fisher & Debbie Reynolds....best known for her role as Princess Leia in the various "Star Wars" movies over the years)
December 28th...Age 84
(American actress and singer....most widely known for her roles as "Kathy Selden" in 1952 film "Singin in the Rain" when she was just 19 years old, "Tammy" in the 1957 film "Tammy & the Batchelor", "Lilith Prescott" in "How the West Was Won" in 1963, "Molly Brown" in the 1964 movie "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" for which she was nominated for Best Actress by The Golden Globes and Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts & Sciences, "Sister Ann" in the 1966 movie "The Singing Nun", and "Beatrice Henderson" in the 1996 film "Mother"...also numerous Broadway stage and TV appearances over the years...was responsible for saving thousands of pieces of MGM movie memorabilia which included 3,500 costumes, 20,000 photographs, and props, which had to eventually be sold at auction after declaring bankruptcy... purchased the old Las Vegas Clarion Hotel & Casino in 1992, renaming it The Debbie Reynolds Hollywood Hotel, which also sadly declared bankruptcy in 1997...she then performed a live show on various stages in the US...appearing on the Dennis Bono Show when she was in Las Vegas)
December 31st...Age 84
(American actor...best known for his role as Father Mulcahy on the legendary hit TV sitcom "M*A*S*H" and subsequent TV spinoff "AfterMASH")
The Common Bond
With Hannukah and Christmas Eve falling on the same day in 2016, the celebration for both Christian and Jewish members of our community have a fascinating "common ground" in an aspect that many may not have considered...
And that common ground ?
The music celebrated during the Christmas season has all too often been written and composed by those of the Jewish faith !
So...I would like to celebrate this combined holiday season by saluting both the music...and...those who wrote it !
Let's begin with the most popular song of all time....
...performed by Bing Crosby in the movie, "Holiday Inn", and later repeated in the Christmas classic "White Christmas".
Of course, the name of that ageless piece:
...written by a Jewish Russian immigrant named Israel Isadore Baline, who arrived at the age of five in the United States in 1893 with his father, Moses, mother, Lena, and seven siblings.
The "pogroms" in Russia, under the rule of Czar Alexander III and Czar Nicholas II...
... would force many Jewish immigrants to find refuge in the United States, entering by way of Ellis Island. The film "Fiddler on the Roof", dramatized the fate of Jewish persecution in Russia.
Over the next 60 years, Israel Baline, would come to write 1,500 songs and become one of the greatest songwriting American patriots in history, living to the age of 101 !
He did change his name...and we know him as...
Then there was...
..a Jewish songwriter, but his claim to fame is not just one Christmas song, but FOUR. He was also a war hero, winning the Bronze Star and four battle stars during World War II.
Johnny Marks wrote:
How about Jewish composers...
We can thank them for....
Al Stillman (1906-1986) was Jewish as well. He co-authored the wonderful holiday song...writing the lyrics for...
George Wyle...was born Bernard Weissman. In addition to writing over 400 songs, he also wrote the theme song for the TV show, "Gilligan's Island".
He, along with Edward Pola, composed the tune...
Walkin where ?
Asked Jewish composer...
Asked Jewish composer...
...who, with Richard B. Smith, wrote...'Walking in a...
Here's the original 1934 first recording of the song.
Michael Hyman Pashelinsky, a Jewish immigrant from Lithuania, moved to Louisiana, at the age of six, and changed his name to...
Parish, a lyricist, along with composer, Leroy Anderson, wrote the holiday favorite...
Three Jewish songwriters combined their talents to produce one of World War II's greatest Christmas songs.
(born Walter Kauffman)
(born Samuel Ram)
(born James Kimball Gannon)
The songwriting team of Jewish writers....
(born Jacob Levinson)
....were hired by Paramount Studios to write a song for a movie called "The Lemon Drop Kid".
They agreed, and for that film, wrote the song...
From "The Lemon Drop Kid"
Last but not least, the most performed Christmas song was written by two Jewish songwriters, one a singer who went on to fame.
(born Robert Levinson)
Wishing all of our readers
the common bond...
Anthem Opinions Administration
Can You Name these 20 "Christmas" Movie
Actors & Actresses, The Movie, & A Favorite Song from the Film
The Answers to our Quiz
"Meet Me in St. Louis"
"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
3. & 4.
Will Ferrell & Zooey Deschanel
"Baby It's Cold Outside"
"Best Little Whore House in Texas"
"Hard Candy Christmas"
"Put a Little Love in Your Heart"
"We Need a Little Christmas"
Kermit the Frog
"Muppets Christmas Carol"
"One More Sleep to Christmas"
"The Polar Express"
(peformed by Josh Groban")
"Somewhere in My Memory"
"The Grinch Who Stole Christmas"
"You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch"
(performed by Bing Crosby & The Andrew Sisters"
"Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer"
"Have a Holly Jolly Christmas"
15. & 16.
James Stewart & Henry Travers
"It's A Wonderful Life"
"Hark the Herald Angels Sing"...and..."Old Auld Lang Syne"
17. & 18.
Edmund Gwenn & Natalie Wood
"Miracle on 34th Street"
No song in movie...Best Movie Clips
19. & 20.
Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy
"Babes in Toyland"
Best Movie Clip
"The March of the Wooden Soldiers"
Can You Name these 20 "Christmas" Movie
Actors & Actresses, The Movie, & A Favorite Song from the Film ?
3. & 4.
15. & 16.
17. & 18.
19. & 20.
The Answers ???
Check back tomorrow !
The Greatest Generation's
Day of Infamy
Can it really be 75 years since that horrible day, December 7, 1941?
History is remembering the past... the "good, bad, & ugly" moments that have brought us into the 21st century....
...the times that so many of today's youth know so little.
We will soon have a new president who is 70 years of age...
...a man who was not born until 5 years after the Pearl Harbor attack that jettisoned our nation into the 2nd World War....
...a "baby boomer" just like so many of us !
But...Oh...have the times and people changed since December 7, 1941 !
Our "baby booming" generation was a result of THEM...
The Greatest Generation !
...those who would first suffer over 10 years of Depression when...
.... jobs were all but nonexistent....
...crime rates soared...
...life savings were lost when banks closed....without any FDIC insurance.....
...homes were foreclosed...
...soup kitchens were opened to avoid starvation.
...People sold apples on a street corner to provide minimal substenance for their families.
A "Dust Bowl"....jeopardized our agricultural economy....
Social security was just beginning, when, on January 31, 1940, a lady named Ida May Fuller of Vermont...
...received the first Social Security check in the amount of $22.54.
(Ida would fool all the actuaries and live to the age of 100)
That was what THEY FACED....
....utter chaos and fear...looking at life in terms of mere survival with nothing positive in sight that would provide the slightest glimmer of hope.
Then, on a Sunday morning , December 7, 1941....
...the country many believed had abandoned them after 10+ years of economic DEPRESSION ....
And how did that weakened and depressed people respond ?
...with the greatest nationalistic attitude ...The American Spirit !
We were at WAR...
...and the needs they had personally suffered all those years....
...were placed on hold to SERVE THEIR NATION...
..because they BELIEVED IN, and LOVED, that NATION.
Men were drafted and enlisted in the various branches of the armed forces...
...not for a brief period of time, but for HOWEVER LONG IT TOOK...THE DURATION...to defeat an enemy who intended to destroy their existence as a people.
Women would join in as well...
...many in uniform...here on the home front... and abroad in dangerous battle grounds caring for the wounded.
...and "Rosie the Riveter" would make sure the war effort was supported by proving to their nation, THEY could do it AS WELL AS...or BETTER...
...than their male counterparts.
Yet did so...WITHOUT COMPLAINT...
...while husbands, brothers, and friends marched off to battle fronts in Europe and the South Pacific.
All these were AMERICANS who believed that loving their country meant serving it in any manner by which the "American Dream" might be preserved for future generations.
That is how I choose to remember...
"The Day of Infamy"
Much will be said about those honored dead....who perished on that Sunday morning....
2,008 members of the US Navy
109 members of the US Marine Corps
218 members of the US Army
By the time it was over in 1945...
American military would never return to their homes and families.
...but today I choose to honor ALL who sacrificed so many years of their lives....
The Greatest Generation
...to give us the lifestyle so many have today.
To our newest group...the Generation Xs and Ys and / or The Millennials ....
...many of those who believe our way of life is tainted and look for reasons to protest, or "use" that system our forefathers sacrificed so many years of their lives to build and protect...
THEY DID IT FOR YOU.
This is your history !
Know it !
Memorize it !
Cherish it !
Appreciate it !
Protect it !
They ...gave ... gave...and...gave... year... after year... after year !
All they ever asked future generations in return ?
Respect it !
Ones and Eights
With a Zero "Sandwiched" In Between
Knew Cubs Would
Win it All !
By now, the entire globe knows that the Chicago Cubs...
...after 108 years....
Are now the Champions of the Major League Baseball world
But...there's more to that story...
...and that number....
Was It Meant to be?
The World Series trophy is made of silver. Silver’s atomic weight is 108.
Frank Nitti, treasurer of Al Capone’s organization, used to own Harry Caray’s Restaurant’s building. Capone’s organization made $108 million per year.
The Plain White T’s, who performed at Harry’s Cubs rally, have recorded a total of 108 songs.
Hoodoo illustrates that Cubs fans in 1908 believed they could predict the team’s future by looking at the stars.
Hoodoo features a 1908 cartoon of a Cubs fan looking through a telescope at the sun, moon and earth to see the Cubs future.
a. The Sun is 108 times bigger than the Earth.
b. The distance between the Sun and Earth is 108 times the diameter for the Sun.
b. The distance between the Sun and Earth is 108 times the diameter for the Sun.
c. The distance between the Moon and Earth is 108 times the diameter of the Moon.
d. The first manned space flight to orbit the Earth lasted 108 minutes.
e. Stonehenge used the sun as a calendar and predicted eclipses as 108 feet in diameter.
f. The number 108 is a sacred in Yoga. Cubs pitcher, Jake Arrieta, does Yoga six days a week.
g. The movie Bull Durham has the same name as famous a Cub player (Leon Durham) and is 108 minutes long.
The movie compares religion to baseball with the line, “108 beads in a Catholic rosary and 108 stitches in baseball.”
h. Prayer necklaces used in Buddhism, Hinduism and Yoga have 108 beads to help keep count of 108 mantras. Cubs manager, Joe Maddon’s mantra is “Try Not To Suck”.
i. The Billy Goat Curse is a Greek curse.
In the Greek translation of the Bible the worst curses are all found in Psalm 108.
Notable Chicago Dates:
10/8 (1871) Great Chicago Fire starts and burns down Cubs ballpark, equipment and uniforms; team takes 2 years off as city rebuilds.
10/8 (1908) Controversial Merkle makeup game (where Giant's ballplayer Fred Merkle...
... forgot to touch 2nd base, forcing a play-off game where Cubs win pennant and go to on to win the 1908 World Series; their last World Series Championship.
10/8 (1929) First Cubs World Series game held at Wrigley.
10/8 (1945) Billy Goat Tavern owner William Sianis sent PK Wrigley the “Who smells now?” telegram that put a curse on the Cubs.
10/8 (1945) Last time Cubs won a World Series game.
There's More !
Cubs outfielder, Jorge Soler, 2015 Topps Rookie Card, is #108.
2016 NL Wild Card game Mets pitcher Noah “Thor” Syndergaard threw exactly 108 pitches in loss allowing Giants to move on to play Cubs.
Chicago Mayor Emanuel placed a bet on the Cubs-Giants series against the Mayor of San Francisco. Rahm bet 108 ounces of Prime Steaks from Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse.
Harry Caray’s Cubs Rally co-host actor Joel Murray’s birthday was on the 108th day of 2016 (April 17).
It takes 108 seconds to sing the song "Take Me Out to the Ballgame".
AG Spalding, the Chicago Cubs’ first manager and owner of the Spalding sporting goods, wrote a rule into the National League’s first set of rules requiring teams to only use Spalding baseballs. His baseballs had 108 stitches. His office in Chicago was located at 108 W. Madison Street.
The distance from both the left field and right field foul poles to home plate at Wrigley Field is 108 meters.
The City of Chicago’s zoning records show that Planned Development #108 belongs to Wrigley Field. There are 1,336 planned developments in the city of Chicago, each assigned its own unique number.
JJ Abrams most famous TV series was "Lost" and his first movie was "Taking Care of Business" (which features the Cubs winning the World Series). Lost had an obsession with the number 108. Taking Care of Business is 108 minutes long. The other famous movie in which the Cubs win the World Series is Back to the Future Part II. That movie is also 108 minutes long.
Cubs star pitcher Jon Lester was born in the 108th largest city in the US, Tacoma Washington (according to the 2010 National Census).
The Cubs honor the military every game. The “Chicago Brigade” of the US Army National Guard is the 108th.
Hall of Fame Chicago Cub Ryne Sandberg’s 2004 Fleer Greats Trading Card is #108.
The Chicago Cubs’ current owners, the Ricketts family, made their fortune with Omaha-based TD Ameritrade. Its corporate headquarters are located on 108th Avenue.
In 2015, the Adler Planetarium in Chicago said that the Chicago Cubs are seen in the Great Bear and the Lesser Bear Constellations. The center of the Great Bear is Galaxy M-108.
Chicago Cubs game broadcasts are transmitted from the top of the Willis Tower (formerly The Sears Tower) , which is 108 stories tall.
Chicago's CNA Insurance building turned itself into a giant Cubs’ sign for the 2015 playoffs. It sold for $108 million shortly thereafter.
The Chicago Cubs’ lawsuit against the State of Illinois to have games at night at Wrigley Field was recorded in Volume 108 of the Illinois Supreme Court Reports.
Last two Cubs to be inducted into the Hall of Fame—Ron Santo #10 and Andre Dawson #8.
Washington DC based Cubs fan club called the Emil Verban Society – whose members include presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Dick Cheney, George Will, Illiniois Senator Dick Durbin, President Barack Obama and Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel – is named after a player who was only a Cub for 3 seasons and his last season batting average with the Cubs was .108.
Cubs broadcaster, Harry Carey, who passed away 18 years ago...
...called the last pitch in the world series (in this ad for Budweiser)...a must watch of creativity !
And after all of this, why didn't I bet $100,000 on the Cubs ?
It surely was destiny !
Follies Bergere Remembered
"Les Follies Bergère: Entertaining Las Vegas, One Rhinestone at a Time"
At both the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Nevada State Museum, the exhibit explores the beauty, artistry and extravagance of the legendary Follies Bergère show.
Follies Bergère arrived direct from Paris to the Tropicana Las Vegas stage in December 1959 and ran for nearly 50 years before closing in March 2009.
Through the years, Las Vegas' longest-running Parisian cabaret show mesmerized audiences with its variety of classic music hall performances, including the world-famous cancan dance and the mystical showgirls.
In the exhibit, the legacy of the production is interpreted via photographs, costume and personal narratives of those individuals who brought life to the show.
The Las Vegas News Bureau and the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas have provided rarely seen photographs and spectacular stage costumes from their respective archives.
The exhibit will run through Jan. 15 at the Las Vegas Convention Center (3150 Paradise Road, Las Vegas) where it is free and open to the public.
The exhibit also can be viewed at the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas through Jan. 15, with admission to the museum.
Memories of The Last Show
March 28, 2009
It all Began in 1882
Labor Day is a celebration that is thought to have begun on May 14, 1882 when a proposal was make in New York by the Central Labor Union for a festival in early September to celebrate the emerging American Labor movement that had become quite powerful during that period of American history.
As to who gets the actual credit for its creation, is still a matter for discussion...and...Irish argument !
Was it a man named Matthew Maguire, a machinist, who first proposed a Labor Day holiday while serving as Secretary of the Central Labor Union of New York...
or was it Peter J. McGuire, a carpenter and member of the American Federation of Labor who put forward the actual proposal after witnessing a festival for labor in Toronto, Canada?
Peter J. McGuire
No matter who gets the actual credit, it became the beginning of the Labor movement in the 1870s as we know it today.
Sweatshops, child labor, and low wages were the norm in America, and the "pot boiled over" in 1877 when a group of Pennsylvania miners formed a secret association called the "Molly Maguires" who violently protested the conditions by burning buildings and murdering bosses and county officials. Eventually 10 members of that organization would be apprehended and hanged for the crimes they instigated and committed.
In that same year a group of unorganized railroad workers would also strike due to a 10% wage cut, the second they had suffered since the "Panic of 1873", the worst depression the United States and Europe would suffer until the "Great Depression" of the 1930s, lasting from 1873 to 1879.
President Rutherford B. Hayes...
... would eventually call in troops to settle the unauthorized strike that paralyzed the railroad industry, and by 1878 the unemployment rate in the US would reach a catastrophic 8.25%.
Building construction was halted, wages were further cut, real estate prices fell, and corporate profits vanished.
While the economy continued to weaken, another element would strike the American economy !
Due to the depression also having a drastic affect in Europe, the wave of European immigration would swell in the United States...an expansion that would continue until the 1920s.
As life in America would become difficult for many, this in turn would attract many in the labor force to organize in order to better the conditions they had been forced to endure.
The American political climate began to change, and "labor" would begin to turn to the Democratic party.
In the summer of 1882, Democratic New York gubernatorial candidate, Grover Cleveland, would state in his acceptance speech:
"The laboring classes constitute the main part of our population. They should be protected in their efforts peaceably to assert their rights when endangered by aggregated capital, and all statutes on this subject should recognize the care of the State for honest toil, and be framed with a view of improving the condition of the working man."
During 1882 the Labor Movement began to grow stronger and on May 14, 1882 a number of Labor Unions came together into one organization, The Central Labor Union, and came up with an idea to schedule a time to celebrate the emergence of their success.
They chose "Wendel's Elm Park" at 92nd Street and 9th Avenue, the largest park in New York at the time, for their event.
Within a month, they had sold over 20,000 tickets with the proceeds going to each local union that sold them.
And with those advance ticket sales, in August the Central Labor Union passed a resolution that...
"the 5th of September be proclaimed a general holiday for the workingmen in this city'"
Cleveland would subsequently be elected both our 22nd & 24th President in 1884 and again in 1892, and as the Labor movement in the country grew, another violent act in 1886 in Chicago, known as the Haymarket Riots...
...where seven police officers and one civilian were killed by labor anarchists....four of which were subsequently hanged for the murders...
...when the call for a national day honoring the labor force would grow year by year.
In 1894, more civil unrest would take place, the most famous being the Pullman Strike...
...again in Chicago, a movement that would eventually cause railroads across the United States to literally come to a halt as hundreds of thousands of organized workers from various unions supported the Pullman strikers.
Labor had been victorious; it had won the hearts of the people; and six days after the conclusion of the nationwide strike, President Cleveland, in support of the Pullman strikers, signed legislation creating Labor Day as a national holiday.
122 years have passed since that historic day when President Cleveland make Labor Day "official" (144 years since Maguire or McGuire conceived the idea)....
...and because of their efforts and dedication to a righteous cause, our nation now takes one day each year to salute those who have made our country strong through the blood, sweat, and tears millions of Americans have sacrificed in their labor efforts, allowing us to enjoy the greatest lifestyle in the world.
Anthem Opinions salutes you.
...and enjoy a tasty BBQ on the "unofficial last day of summer".
The Real Las Vegas
Vegas...."Sin City"....What goes on here, stays here, right?
Maybe not...because things have changed radically over the years...changes that some believe were good...and others, well, not so good.
How many times have you heard from those who have lived here for years, "it was better when the mob ran things"?
...while watching the "big corporations" take control with huge hotels, water parks, ferris wheels, and ziplines, forever changing the face of the town's landscape to create a "family" atmosphere !
What changed from those early days?
One man...a man who went on a quest to "clean up" the town, yet eventually capitalized on a "system" that he was largely responsible for destroying the corruption that existed !
When we think of "old Vegas" we think of Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky....
Lucky Luciano & Meyer Lansky
or Bugsy Siegel...
...and a number of others who saw a vision in the desert....men who believed it would bloom.....not with a flowering cactus, but with the green of cold cash !
Unlike anywhere else in the country, gambling was legal in Nevada...and it created a haven to "hide" the vast profits made from organized crime.
....and there was no better (or effective way) to hide the profits than a backroom in a casino where the cash was counted !
Ah...the counting room...the room where another word would come into existence...
Many people believe that the 1995 movie, "Casino", was all about Lefty Rosenthal and Tony Spilotro...
Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal
...the characters played by Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci...in the movie "Casino".
...but those individual's names would never have appeared in Las Vegas history, had it not been for...
What is the skim?
...the illegal transfer of funds from casinos to outside individuals WITHOUT official documentation....usually for the purpose of evading taxes.
It's called a "skim" because it involves small portions of the casino's profits so as not to arouse suspicion from regulators of law enforcement.
Problems regarding "the skim" began in May, 1963, when the FBI turned over to the Justice Department a two volume document called "The Skimming Report" which detailed the various methods casinos used to avoid "coming clean" as to their profits...and thereby avoiding taxes.
Prior to that, no one could be prosecuted due to the FBI's obtaining their information illegally by "bugging" the money rooms despite raid after raid by federal officials.
There were a number of ways casinos could hide their profits, but the counting room was by far the most effective.
...and it continued to work quite well....until the early 1970s...
...when a youthful 26 year old man who had visions of joining the FBI, became the youngest-ever chief of the Gaming Control's Audit Division in 1971.
His name....Dennis Gomes.
During the following six years, he oversaw collection of agents, lawyers, and accounts, uncovering organized crime elements at the "Aladdin" (now Planet Hollywood), the "Tropicana", and the "Stardust".
Gomes would introduce a scale in the counting rooms that would weigh the coins and automatically count...and...register...their contents...thus making it difficult to avoid an accurate count.
...but what baffled Gomes most of all....was the Stardust.
For some reason, the gaming revenue from the Stardust never seemed to "add up" in his mind.
The profits were counted in the same way as they were at other casinos, but were always substantially less than others.
And one day...it all made sense !
After finding a legal loophole to raid the Stardust, he closely examined the counting machine.
At first, it appeared to operate in the same manner as all the others...but then he turned it over and discovered a small "switch" on the bottom of the machine.
At first, it appeared to operate in the same manner as all the others...but then he turned it over and discovered a small "switch" on the bottom of the machine.
And sure enough...the Stardust had altered the scale in a manner that produced 72% accuracy...leaving 28% of the total unaccounted....and therefore, "saving" taxes on 28% of the "take."
...and the movie "Casino" actually portrayed the rise and fall of two individuals who were "executives" at the Stardust, dramatizing the manner in which they used the "skim" to enhance their connections to grace "the bosses".
We all know that things changed dramatically after that investigation was completed, and it was all due to the "snoop dog investigations" headed by a young man who was determined to "legalize" a system.
Dennis Gomes would face death on more than one occasion, as well as local corruption, in his attempts to clean up the "system" that made life almost impossible.
He was eventually removed from the Stardust case in 1977 after he convinced an individual named Jay Vandermark, involved in the Stardust skim, to testify for the prosecution.
Vandermark mysteriously "disappeared" following the Gomes' Stardust raid when authorities reported the "skim" being $7million.....yet reported only $4 million to the "bosses".
(It was eventually learned that the total amount skimmed was $20 million).
Gomes would attempt to locate him through Vandermark's son, but his son was found dead of a "crushed head" though reported as a drug overdose !
That same year, 1977, Gomes resigned when Nevada Governor Mike O'Callahan, refused to convene a special grand jury to try the Stardust case.
Governor of Nevada in 1977
An interesting sideline....
...the Nevada Lt. Governor of Nevada at the time was a man named Harry Reid.
It took nearly three additional decades, when Gomes would finally hit pay dirt in the famous "Family Secrets Trial" in a Chicago courtroom on July 30, 2007...when he became a key prosecutorial witness...along with 125 others...
...all found guilty of racketeering and related crimes on September 10, 2007.
What would become of Dennis Gomes?
After Gomes left Las Vegas in 1977, he took a similar position in New Jersey's Division of Gaming Enforcement, managing the original licensing investigation for "Resorts", which became Atlantic City's first casino.
He eventually became a casino operator overseeing the first Japanese ownerships in Las Vegas.
Mr. Gomes spent nearly 40 years as a gaming executive and regulator.
He was president of "Trump Taj Mahal Casino" from 1991 to 1995 and president of the "Tropicana Casino & Resort" from 1996 to 2005.
In 1991 his employment became the subject of a very public legal fight between Steve Wynn and Donald Trump.
In 2010 he and his son Aaron, became part of an ownership group that bought the rundown "Resorts" on the Boardwalk.
Times were getting tough in Atlantic City in 2010 and he knew that strolling the Boardwalk meant less time in the casinos, and that translated to lower casino revenue.
His response....refurbish the "Resorts" casino in a 1920s style to reflect the city's past...brought out by that television series, with female cocktail servers wearing skimpy flapper costumes...
He also opened a nightclub called "Prohibition" that is believed to be the first gay bar in any American casino.
Though the casino still could not produce a profit "at the tables", the food and bar revenue increased 40% as a result of his marketing strategy.
Sadly, on February 25, 2012, Dennis Gomes suddenly died at the age of 68.
He was survived by his "showgirl" wife, Barbara, who he had met in Las Vegas, and three daughters.
He was posthumously elected to the Gaming Hall of Fame in Las Vegas in October, 2012.
His daughter, Danielle Gomes, eventually published a book entitled "Hit Me" based on her many conversations with her dad.
There's action enough to fill a dozen Scorsese films...including midnight raids, showgirl romances, and deadly double-crosses.
Las Vegas "Mob-Buster"