World’s Strangest

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The Missing Links: Escape From Alcatraz – 50 Years Later

Gene Wilder Lives In A World of Pure Imagination How else could you explain his inspired idea for Willy Wonka’s grand entrance? * This Town Is F#%king Expensive The going rate for uttering a verbal bomb in Middleborough, Massachusetts is $20. Choose your words carefully. * Running From The Rock Fifty years ago yesterday Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin pulled [...]

8 Memorable Images from the 1980s

In case you missed the first two installments in this mini-series, here’s the ‘60s post and yesterday’s ‘70s post. Today, of course, we move on to the ‘80s. This is the decade I came of age, as many of you reading this blog did. Hence all our ‘80s-themed quizzes! Some of this will be referenced [...]

25 Years Ago Today, Pennsylvania’s Treasurer Shot Himself on Television

On this date in 1987, Pennsylvania Treasurer Budd Dwyer shot and killed himself during a televised press conference. Here’s a look back at that tragic, horrific story and the popular song you might not realize it inspired. In the late 1980s, Pennsylvania was embroiled in a bit of an accounting crisis. Employees of the Commonwealth [...]

10 Other People Ronald Reagan’s Diary Only Mentions Once

During last night’s GOP debate, Mitt Romney attempted to minimize Newt Gingrich’s connection to President Reagan: “I looked at the Reagan diary. You’re mentioned once in Ronald Reagan’s diary. And in the diary, he says you had an idea in a meeting of young congressmen, and it wasn’t a very good idea and he dismissed it. [...]

Three White House Security Breaches (and Two Royal Run-Ins)

Last week’s security breach/assassination attempt at the White House was a shocker, but it’s hardly the first time it’s happened. Here are a few other times suspicious characters have gotten too close for comfort.   Michael Winter You can imagine the three-ring media circus that would spring up over a successful attempt to break into the White House [...]

7 Giant Fences Dividing Good Neighbors

The existing 650-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexican border has been a hot political topic in the States for the last few years, and with the Republican primary campaign in full swing, it’s making headlines again. Already, Michele Bachmann has promised to build a “double-walled fence” along the entire 2,000-mile border, while Herman Cain has said [...]

Five Interesting Tributes to Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan on Mount Rushmore? Absolutely, if Grover Norquist has his way. As Chairman of the Reagan Legacy Project, Norquist believes that all 50 states should have a landmark of some kind named after the Gipper. At least 27 states already have something – streets, elementary schools, post offices, even an airport. But some of [...]

What Was Nixon’s “Checkers Speech”?

Fifty-nine years ago today, Republican VP candidate Richard Nixon went on TV to give what’s known as the “Checkers Speech.” Why does a speech named after a dog live on in our cultural subconscious all these years later? Let’s find out. Checkers, the Speech After practicing law and serving in the Navy during World War II, Nixon’s [...]

Ronald Reagan and Drew Barrymore Recruiting Future Astronauts in 1984

President Reagan with Drew Barrymore at a ceremony launching the Young Astronauts program on the South Lawn. (10/17/1984) From Jack Anderson’s column the following week: “Then Drew Barrymore, child star of the movie ET, came up to him, smiled sweetly and said, ‘Mr. President, meeting you has made my day.’ Reagan, smiling back, said that meeting the [...]

Get Out! How 8 Dictators Spent Their Exile Years

As civil war rages in Libya, many observers are calling for Qaddafi to step down and go into exile. This wouldn’t be the first time an oppressive leader has stepped aside in exchange for a relatively comfortable retirement abroad. We’ve compiled this handy list of famous exiled emperors and dictators for reference. 1. Napoleon Bonaparte (Elba [...]