Thursday, June 30, 2016

Watch This Strange Newsreel Footage of a Texas Mom Throw Knives at Her Daughters, ca. 1950s

Knife-throwing, known to connoisseurs as one of the “impalement arts,” has been a sideshow staple since the late 19th century. Usually, however, the thrower is a man, and the target a woman. (Often, the two are married.) This gender dynamic is so encoded that “target girl” is abbreviated as “TG” on the credits of YouTube clips of acts like the Great Throwdini. The Gallaghers’ act, with child TGs and a parent thrower, was highly unusual.

In this 1950 newsreel, the knife-thrower Louella Gallagher throws knives at her daughters Connie Ann, 5, and Colleena Sue, 2.5 yrs old, in Austin, Texas, backyard, as a crowd of children looks on. There’s a stark contrast between the suburban setting (mom in a dress, cropped grass, girls in playsuits) and the dangerous display.

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