A Brief History On August 11, 1934, the Federal Penitentiary located on the island of Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay opened for civilian prisoners.  Despite its exotic-sounding name, Alcatraz was a state-of-the-art maximum security prison designed to hold the toughest, most dangerous prisoners. Digging Deeper Some of the desperadoes held there included: Al “Scarface” Capone; “Doc” Barker; Robert Stroud (“The Bird Man of Alcatraz”); “Bumpy“ Johnson (“The Godfather of Harlem“); “Whitey” Bulger; Alvin “Creepy” Karpis; and “Machine Gun” Kelly.  Apparently having a nickname was a good way to end up on “The Rock!” Considered to be escape-proof, the prison could…

A Brief History On August 10, 1978, 3 members of a family died in a fiery crash when their Ford Pinto was rear-ended.  The bolts on the differential were positioned in such a manner that in the case of a rear-end collision, the bolts would pierce the gas tank.  Ford had known about the problem but chose not to correct it, electing to pay off lawsuits instead.  This goof is just one of the many really bad design features on of cars over the years.  The following article lists the 10 worst features, as based on the author’s opinion. Which flaws would you include in the…

A Brief History On August 10, 1948, the American public first heard an unseen television announcer say, “Smile, you’re on Candid Camera!”  In the infancy of public broadcasting, Candid Microphone, a  popular radio show, was adapted for television by creator and producer Allen Funt. Digging Deeper With over 1,000 episodes in 38 full or partial seasons, Candid Camera proved very popular.  Hosts included Funt, himself, Arthur Godfrey, Durwood Kirby, Dom DeLuise, Suzanne Somers and former beauty queens Phyllis George and Bess Myerson among others. The idea was to have unsuspecting people spied on by a hidden camera while they were being subjected to pranks.  These…

A Brief History On August 9th, 1965, Tom Jones’ rendition of What’s New Pussycat?, the title song of the movie with the same name, was released in the UK. It was hugely successful in the music charts, having reached no. 3 in the US and no. 11 in the UK and was even nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song. Digging Deeper Two famous German-speaking actresses of the post-war years starred in the film adaptation: Romy Schneider and Ursula Andress. For more on them, please refer to Part 2 of the series. In this article we present German-speaking actresses…

A Brief History On August 9, 1969, members of the Manson Family, followers of cult leader Charles Manson, murdered actress Sharon Tate, her unborn baby, coffee heiress Abigail Folger and 3 other people.  Manson would later stand trial for orchestrating the murders but was never found to be insane, though to the layman he certainly appears to be.  Many historical figures seem to be  insane but are never ruled as such by a court or by psychiatric professionals (except maybe after they are dead).  Here we nominate 9 such people for History and Headlines’s loony bin.  Who would you add to the list? Digging Deeper…

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