Category Archives: Commentary

Two Of The Dionne Quintuplets Turn 90-Years-Old Today

Annette and Cécile Dionne Turn 90 On May 28, 2024

Turning 90 is still considered a feat of longevity and cause for celebration.

But for two Canadian women, Annette Dionne Allard and Cécile Dionne Langlois, turning 90 on  May 28 will still be a bittersweet day. Their siblings are dead and much of their early lives were lived under constant scrutiny.

Annette and Cécile, are each one fifth of what were the world’s most famous sisters.

When it was announced that five baby girls were born to Oliva-Édouard and his wife Elzire Dionne on May 28 1934 in rural Callendar, Ontario Canada, the world went into Dionne Quintuplet-mania.

The Dionne’s were the first known set of quintuplets to survive infancy. Continue reading

May Day Gathering In New York For Socialists And Communists

May 1 Brings Out The Socialists And Communists In 1930s New York

Socialists Hold May Day Celebration In Central Park
Shown above is a scene on the Mall in Central Park, New York City on May Day as the Socialists listened to the various speakers. The Mall was crowded to capacity. credit: Acme May 1, 1935

In 1930s New York socialism was a popular draw. Continue reading

The Terrible Truth – Marijuana Use Leads To Being A Junkie 1951

73 Years Ago American Teens Were Warned About The Dangers Of Pot

In the pantheon of anti-drug films The Terrible Truth (1951), a ten minute short, holds a special place in my heart.

Not because of its low production values. Not because its message is totally alarmist. But akin to many stag films of the same period, Continue reading

National Lampoon’s 1970s Funky Advertisers

In The 1970s, National Lampoon Magazine Took Any & All Advertisers

Model demonstrating the proper facial use of a vibrator. From National Lampoon, January 1977

Matty Simmons the CEO of National Lampoon and author of If You Don’t Buy This Book We’ll Kill This Dog (Barricade Books), describes in his 1994 memoir the challenges of getting traditional advertisers during National Lampoon magazine’s first decade. Continue reading

He Wrote ALL These Pop Rock Hit Songs For Different Artists

“He” Is Mike Chapman, Writer, Producer Extraordinaire

Mike Chapman (wearing sunglasses) in the studio with Blondie photo: GEMS/Redferns

From age 18 to 80 the fact that even novices of melody will recognize many of Mike Chapman’s songs, says a lot about his talent.

Mike Chapman (born in Queensland, Australia, April 13, 1947) is not just a record producer, but also a songwriter of major importance.

He has written and / or produced music with The Sweet, Suzi Quatro, The Knack, Pat Benatar, Tina Turner, Divinyls, Nick Gilder, Scandal, Billy Squier, Agnetha from ABBA, Lita Ford, Smokie and arguably most successfully, Blondie.

But it’s Chapman’s skill at songwriting that will remain his legacy. Continue reading

Radio As Effective As Morphine According To Beth Israel Hospital – 1925

Better Than Drugs – Radio Is Good For Patients

Radio As Effective As Morphine
This photo shows several young patients at Beth Israel Hospital, N.Y. listening in to concerts on the radio taking their minds off their ailments, and making them happy.

According to Beth Israel Superintendent L.J. Frank, the doctors and nurses agree that in a large number of cases, that, at times the radio is as effective as morphine, bromine and other narcotics. Many sufferers of rheumatism and other chronic afflictions require no other sedative other than radio since it was introduced at that hospital as a treatment. photo: United Press International / Acme –  August 25, 1925

Radio, morphine? An interesting comparison.

When doctors made this proclamation 99 years ago Continue reading

Food & Grocery Prices 100 Years Ago

Grocery Prices From The Buffalo Evening News February 21, 1924

Every so often we look back at life in the Unites States 100 years ago. In this case, we were looking at Buffalo, New York.

Besides the household prices for groceries, we glanced quickly at a few news items from the Buffalo Evening News newspaper for February 21, 1924.

Buffalo was dealing with a major blizzard. Continue reading

Miss America Swimsuit Contestants -1926

Those Racy Bathing Suits In The 1926 Miss America Beauty Pageant

Pick of Nation In Race For Nation’s Beauty Crown!
A staggering fascinating view of the cream of America’s beauty , gathered from all corners of the United States to vie for title of Miss America at Atlantic City. The beauties of all sorts and moods – are pictured as they appeared September 8, lined up for rehearsal of ceremony of picking of winner. photo: Pacific and Atlantic Photos 9/9/1926

The Miss America prize was awarded to “The Most Beautiful Bathing Girl in America” starting in 1921. As you can see in our photo, originally the competitors were from various cities around the United States and not representing individual states.

The irrelevant Miss America contest still takes place but without the bathing suit competition. Continue reading

New York 1921 Not Quite A Sanctuary City

In 1921 Police Were Not Concentrating On Rounding-Up Illegal Aliens

Instead They Were Arresting The Unemployed, Especially Those From Other Cities

Page 2 article New York Herald January 16, 1921

In 1921 instead of illegals, the New York City Police Department were gathering up men from other cities who were jobless.

This article is from the January 16, 1921 New York Herald:

POLICE ROUNDING UP NON-RESIDENT IDLE

Jobless Who Do Not Live Here Arrested as Vagrants.

Squads of detectives and uniformed policemen, under orders to arrest unemployed men who could not prove themselves residents of New York City, went through the lower East Side last night and early to-day inspecting saloons and lunch rooms. At one saloon at 199 Worth street twenty-nine men, who had nothing to do but warm themselves  beside a stove, were made prisoners and locked In the Elizabeth street station on charges of vagrancy. Continue reading