Hollywoodland Jul 13 2011
ASKING FOR TROUBLE
Be careful what you wish for—you may get it.

Tabloids wouldn’t be tabloids if they hadn't mastered the art of self-promotion. For editors, any mention of their imprint, no matter how inconsequential, humorous, or brief, is cause for celebration. Witness this Confidential from July 1961, which blares that Jackie Gleason “complained on TV to 20,000,000 viewers that Confidential had never written about him.” Gleason had made the remarks on his own Jackie Gleason Show as a reference to his hard-partying lifestyle. Confidential was happy to oblige two months later, spinning his cover appearance as a sort of victory for the magazine. Interestingly, by the time the issue hit the streets The Jackie Gleason Show was off-air—it had lasted only three episodes, at least in that particular incarnation. That alone probably puts the lie to Confidential’s claim that 20,000,000 people were watching. Gleason came back with a new version of the show in 1962 and that one lasted until 1970. In any case, he made it into Confidential. It was the first time, but not the last. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
August 23
1942—Battle of Stalingrad Begins
The Battle of Stalingrad, perhaps the most pivotal event of World War II, begins. It lasts for more than six months, spread across the brutal Russian winter, and ends with two million casualties. The Russian sacrifice reduces the powerful German army to a shell of its former self, and as a result Nazi defeat in the war becomes a simple matter of time.
1979—Alexander Gudonov Defects
Russian ballet dancer and actor Alexander Borisovich Godunov defects to the U.S. The event causes an international diplomatic crisis, but Gudonov manages to win asylum. He joins the famous American Ballet Theater, where he becomes a colleague of fellow-defector Mikhail Baryshnikov, and later earns roles in such Hollywood films as Witness and Die Hard.
August 22
1950—Althea Gibson Breaks the Color Barrier
Althea Gibson becomes the first African-American woman to compete on the World Tennis Tour, and the first to earn a Grand Slam title when she wins the French Open in 1956. Later she becomes the first African-American woman to compete in the Ladies Professional Golf Association.
1952—Devil's Island Closed
Devil's Island, the penal colony located off the coast of French Guiana, is permanently closed. The prison is later made world famous by Henri Charrière's bestselling novel Papillon, and the subsequent film starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman.
1962—De Gaulle Survives Assassination Attempt
Jean Bastien-Thiry, a French air weaponry engineer, attempts to assassinate French President Charles de Gaulle to prevent Algerian independence. Bastien-Thiry and others attack de Gaulle's armored limousine with machine guns, but after expending hundreds of rounds, they succeed only in puncturing two tires.
August 21
1911—Mona Lisa Disappears
Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece, the Mona Lisa, aka La Gioconda, is stolen from the Louvre. After many wild theories and false leads, it turns out the painting was snatched by museum employee Vincenzo Peruggia.
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