Femmes Fatales Jun 3 2009
VENUS IN SPURS
The smartest name change in showbiz history helped propel her toward international fame.

Her given name was comically awful—Willis Marie Van Schaack. But when she decided to abandon the chorus line for a career as an erotic dancer, she became Lili St. Cyr. From that point forward her life was a turbulent, pulptacular ride, marked by marriages and divorces, suicide attempts, obscenity lawsuits, and lots of tabloid headlines. Hers were perhaps the most creative acts in all of burlesque, and her influence changed acquaintance Marilyn Monroe from just another brown-haired girl to a platinum sex goddess. Lili St. Cyr, aka the Anatomic Bomb, was born today in 1918.

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Femmes Fatales Feb 28 2009
A GALAXINA FAR FAR AWAY
All stars burn bright but some don't last long.

Canadian centerfold, actress and cult celebrity Dorothy Stratten in four publicity stills from the film Galaxina. She was born today in 1960, and murdered by her estranged husband in 1980.

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Intl. Notebook Jan 19 2009
POE DISPOSITION
What do you mean? I am smiling.

American poet, writer and inventor of the detective story Edgar Allen Poe, looking his typically cheerful and raucous self. He was born today in 1809.

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Femmes Fatales Dec 21 2008
A STAR IN STRIPES
Birthday Barbie is still queen of the galaxy, in our book.

What would sci-fi be without Jane Fonda? Just watching her overheat Dr. Durand Durand’s Excessive Machine is enough to get your juices flowing. We have several Barbarella posters, but we’ll save those until their premiere dates. Meantime, here’s a promo shot from Barbarella. Jane Fonda turns 61 today.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
November 30
1936—Crystal Palace Gutted by Fire
In London, the landmark structure Crystal Palace, a 900,000 square foot glass and steel exhibition hall erected in 1851, is destroyed by fire. The Palace had been moved once and fallen into disrepair, and at the time of the fire was not in use. Two water towers survived the blaze, but these were later demolished, leaving no remnants of the original structure.
November 29
1963—Warren Commission Formed
U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson establishes the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. However the long report that is finally issued does little to settle questions about the assassination, and today surveys show that only a small minority of Americans agree with the Commission's conclusions.
November 28
1942—Nightclub Fire Kills Hundreds
In Boston, Massachusetts, a fire in the fashionable Cocoanut Grove nightclub kills 492 people. Patrons were unable to escape when the fire began because the exits immediately became blocked with panicked people, and other possible exits were welded shut or boarded up. The fire led to a reform of fire codes and safety standards across the country, and the club's owner, Barney Welansky, who had boasted of his ties to the Mafia and to Boston Mayor Maurice J. Tobin, was eventually found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
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