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January 16, 2021

Colossal Hand and Torch of the Statue of Liberty, on Display at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia

Originally designed as a lighthouse that would have stood at the mouth of the Suez Canal in Egypt, the Statue of Liberty took a meandering path to its ultimate destination in New York Harbor. After the Egyptian project collapsed, sculptor Frederic Bartholdi repurposed the idea for a U.S. market.

Financing the 22-story colossus through donations, he displayed the torch at Philadelphia’s Centennial Exhibition – a celebration of the United State’s 100th Birthday in 1876. For 50 cents, attendees ascended a ladder to the balcony encircling the copper torch. The money earned through that and souvenir sales allowed him to finish the 225-ton statue.

(Library of Congress)

In the late 1860s, Bartholdi approached Isma’il Pasha, Khedive of Egypt, with a plan to build Progress or Egypt Carrying the Light to Asia, a huge lighthouse in the form of an ancient Egyptian female fellah or peasant, robed and holding a torch aloft, at the northern entrance to the Suez Canal in Port Said.

Sketches and models were made of the proposed work, though it was never erected. There was a classical precedent for the Suez proposal, the Colossus of Rhodes: an ancient bronze statue of the Greek god of the sun, Helios. This statue is believed to have been over 100 feet (30 m) high, and it similarly stood at a harbor entrance and carried a light to guide ships. Both the khedive and Lesseps declined the proposed statue from Bartholdi, citing the expensive cost. The Port Said Lighthouse was built instead, by François Coignet in 1869.

Vintage Photos of Japanese-American Life After the War in the 1940s

On February 19, 1942, shortly after Imperial Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, a policy that people of Japanese ancestry would be forced to relocate and incarcerated in concentration camps in the western interior of the States. 

Following a Supreme Court decision in 1944, which ruled that the War Relocation Authority “has no authority to subject citizens who are concededly loyal to its leave procedure,” the interment came to an end, even though it was not only until March 1946 that the last camp was officially shut down. 

These photographs taken by American photographer Charles Mace below depict the Japanese-American reintegrating into American society after the wartime internment, but in retrospect, it is difficult not to consider them as pure propaganda for the government:

Children have their own standards in their selection of friends and playmates, Libertyville, Illinois, 1943.

A committee on housing is shown in session in Indianapolis. Mrs. Royal McLain (left) is seen discussing ways and means of finding suitable quarters for the many relocatees who are finding employment in Indianapolis, 1943.

Miss Susie Yuasa, 18, a former evacuee from the Jerome Relocation Center, now employed in a Chicago candy factory, turns from her task momentarily to display the familiar symbol of victory, 1943.

Miss Irene Eiko Yonemura works in the Peoria, Illinois, public library, where she has found work much to her liking and her training. Miss Yonemura is from the Poston center and came to Peoria in the summer of 1943, 1944.

Another freedom of considerable importance to the young feminine mind in America is the freedom to shop for and wear pretty clothes. These two Nisei girls are again enjoying that privilege, Chicago, Illinois, 1943.

45 Glamorous Photos of Connie Stevens in the 1950s and ’60s

Born 1938 as Concetta Rosalie Ann Ingolia in Brooklyn, New York City, Connie Stevens was raised there until age 12, when she was sent to live with family friends in rural Missouri after she witnessed a murder in the city. In 1953, at age 15, Stevens relocated with her father to Los Angeles, California.

Stevens began her career in 1957, making her feature film debut in Young and Dangerous, before releasing her debut album, Concetta, the following year. She subsequently had a supporting role in the musical comedy Rock-A-Bye Baby (1958) opposite Jerry Lewis, followed by the drama film The Party Crashers (also 1958) opposite Frances Farmer.

Stevens gained widespread recognition for her portrayal of “Cricket” Blake on the network television series Hawaiian Eye, beginning in 1959. She garnered concurrent musical success when her single “Sixteen Reasons” became a radio hit, peaking at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the UK Singles Chart in 1960. Stevens continued to appear in film and television throughout the 1970s and 1980s, as well as performing as a musical nightclub act.

Stevens’ later film roles include in the comedy Tapeheads (1988) and the drama Love Is All There Is (1996). In 2009, she made her directorial debut with the feature film Saving Grace B. Jones, which she also wrote and produced, based partly on elements of her own childhood.

Take a look at these glamorous photos to see the beauty of young Connie Stevens in the 1950s and 1960s.

January 15, 2021

Before Being a Nun: 35 Beautiful Photos of Dolores Hart in the 1950s and ’60s

Born 1938 in Chicago, Illinois, Dolores Hart is an American Roman Catholic Benedictine nun who was previously a prominent actress. She made ten films in five years, playing opposite Stephen Boyd, Montgomery Clift, George Hamilton, and Robert Wagner, having made her movie debut with Elvis Presley in Loving You (1957).

By the early 1960s, an established leading lady, Hart “stunned Hollywood” by announcing that she would forgo her life as an actress, leaving behind her career to enter the Abbey of Regina Laudis monastery in Connecticut, where she serves her monastic community

Hart was named prioress of the monastery in 2001, after the election of Mother David Serna as second abbess of Regina Laudis, and held that office until 2015. She remains a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, having in recent years become the only nun to be an Oscar-voting member.

A documentary film about Hart’s life, God Is the Bigger Elvis, was a nominee for the 2012 Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject) and was shown on HBO in April 2012. Hart attended the 2012 Academy Awards for the documentary; her last red-carpet Oscar event had been in 1959 as a Hollywood starlet.

In her autobiography, The Ear of the Heart: An Actress’ Journey From Hollywood to Holy Vows (Ignatius Press)—co-authored with lifelong friend Richard DeNeut and released May 7, 2013—Hart told her life story, from her birth in Chicago to becoming Catholic, from her Hollywood adventures to monastery life.

Before being a Roman Catholic Benedictine nun, here are beautiful portrait photos of a young Dolores Hart as an actress in the 1950s and 1960s.

Funny Photographs From the Batman Premiere Party, January 1966

In January 1966, ABC premiered its Batman television series, starring Adam West as the Caped Crusader and Burt Ward as Robin. The phenomenon began January 12, 1966.

Rather than a grim and dark take on the orphaned billionaire who spends his nights beating up petty criminals, the series was a campy half-hour comedy with colorful visuals and after-school special lessons on important topics, such as eating your vegetables.

The premiere episode also gifted the world with a new dance, the “Batusi,” where a dancer makes horizontal Vs with his fingers and draws them across his face. On the night of the premiere, a party was held to celebrate. In attendance were Batman creator Bob Kane, Penguin actor Burgess Meredith and, of course, an enthusiastic guy in a Batman costume.

A Woman Stomping Grapes for Wine in Frascati, Italy, 1957

Although presses have taken over almost everywhere in Italy, grapes are still crushed by foot at this winery in the famed wine making town of Frascati, near Rome, Italy. Atop a tall barrel, this woman steps through the ancient method, trampling bunches of grapes underfoot. The stems are removed later.

One of the earliest extant visual representations of the practice appears on a Roman Empire sarcophagus from the 3rd century AD, which depicts an idealized pastoral scene with a group of Erotes harvesting and stomping grapes at Vindemia, a rural festival.

Many contemporary wineries hold grape-stomping contests to attract visitors. The practice is also the subject of many depictions in contemporary media, including the 1974 Mel Tillis song “Stomp Them Grapes”, the I Love Lucy episode “Lucy’s Italian Movie”, and The Littlest Grape Stomper, a children’s book by Alan Madison.

Brutal Winter of 1978: 35 Amazing Photos of the Blizzard in Northern Germany From December 1978 to January 1979

On December 28, 1978, a combination of a low pressure system from the Mediterranean Sea, which brought moisture and mild temperatures, and a high pressure system from Scandinavia, which featured frigid temperatures, collided over the Baltic Sea, unleashing what was considered at that time “The Blizzard of the Century!”

Winds of up to 160 kph, combined with snow drifts of up to 7 meters (20 feet) and high tides that were half the height, literally brought everything to a standstill beginning on December 28, 1978 and ending on January 3, 1979. An average of 70 centimeters of snow fell in most of the affected regions while 30 centimeters of thick ice were reported! The entire northern half of West Germany and all of East Germany were affected- from Flensburg and Hamburg to Brunswick and Cologne; Rostock and Neu Brandenburg to Leipzig and Erfurt. All were affected. The island of Rügen was cut off from the rest of the world for days until help arrived. Snow blocked transport of coal from the Lausitz region to the burning plants, thus bringing blackouts in electricity to wide areas in East Germany. And motorways were littered with stranded cars from Frankfurt/Main all the way to the Danish border near Flensburg and beyond. Hundreds of people lost their lives in that storm.

This blizzard was just the beginning of the winter that crippled everything in Germany, for another round of snow and ice of similar proportions fell later on February 18/19, 1979. The total amount of snow that fell during the entire period was over 100 centimeters, double the amount the region receives per year.

And while the government was late in response to the New Year storms and have since improved on providing emergencies in cases like these, many documentaries have been produced to describe the events in detail from eyewitness accounts. Three of which have been dug out of the attic for you to have a look, to see how powerful the storm really was. It still ranks as one of the ten worst winter storms on record since 1949.


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