Demi Moore - April 30, 2014

The American Treasure Tour is continuing our "Faces of the Tour" series - honoring the actors, athletes, musicians - and one politician - whose faces adorn the walls of the Toy Box.  We know you've been worried about the lack of recognition given to Demi Moore to date.  Well, worry no longer!  In fact, with two - count 'em, two! - plaques dedicated to Ms. Moore, there is no question we should have acknowledged her earlier.  Sorry about that.  It is healing time.

Roswell, New Mexico is an important city in the United States not only because of the U.F.O. controversies from there that refuse to go away, but also because that's where Demi Harmon was born in 1961.  She never knew her birth father, though, and was raised by her mother, who spent a fair amount of time in jail, and her step-father, who committed suicide in his thirties.  Demi left home at 16, and moved to Paris to be a model, marrying Freddy Moore the same year.  Returning to the States with her new husband after posing nude for the French fashion magazine Oui, Moore's film career started slowly with bit parts, until 1984, when she starred opposite Michael Caine in Blame It On Rio.  A series of successes brought her into the "brat pack" of the 80s, including St. Elmo's Fire and ...About Last Night.  Then, in 1990, Ghost became the most successful film of the year and her career skyrocketed.  She became the highest-paid female actor with 1996's Striptease, a commercial and critical flop, and has been going at a much slower pace ever since.  We're waiting for your comeback, Demi!

QUESTION:

Demi Moore voiced the heroine in which of the following Disney animated films?

a)  Beauty and the Beast

b)  The Little Mermaid

c)  Hercules

d)  The Hunchback of Notre Dame

e)  Frozen

Answer Below

HISTORY TODAY:

It is difficult for people today to fully grasp the significance of what happened on this day in 1789.  It was hardly a normal day when George Washington, standing on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in Manhattan, New York, took the oath of office that made him the first president of the new United States of America.  It represented the beginning of a new form of government that had not been tried since, arguably, the Roman Republic well over a millennium prior.  When he swore to uphold the U.S. Constitution for that very first time, Washington would become a participant in a grand experiment.  No one knew if someone elected from the general population could effectively run a country, since everyone else who ran a nation had been born into the job or selected among the aristocracy.  Now, theoretically, anyone could be President so long as they were born on American soil.  Would this new form of government work, or would it fail miserably?  Only time could tell.  (Spoiler alert:  it would work.  Despite a few wrinkles every now and again.)

The waffle cone, Dr. Pepper soda, peanut butter, iced tea, and cotton candy.  Potentially the hamburger AND the hot dog, too.  Jack Daniel's whiskey became a household name because of it.  Legend has it that all of these American treasures were introduced to the population at one very important site:  Saint Louis, Missouri, starting on this date in 1904.  The city had been transformed to celebrate one hundred years since Thomas Jefferson's purchase of the Louisiana Territory from Napoleon, for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition.  Granted, it opened one year later than initially intended, since the purchase technically happened on April 30, 1803, but the postponement ensured involvement by more participants.  1,500 buildings were used for exhibit halls, venues, restaurants, and anything else that could be thought of.  62 countries were represented, and 43 (out of 45) states showed up.  The fair also absorbed the 1904 Olympic Games, with close to twenty million guests in attendance.  Unlike some world's fairs, this one even made a profit!

BIRTHDAYS:

Was his first name Albert or Alexander?  His real last name was Meister, but everyone knew him as Lewis.  Was he born in 1910 or 1923?  We think he celebrated his birth on April 30th, so we will go with that.  We do know that Al Lewis started his acting career in the 1950s, performing in burlesques and vaudeville before hitting Broadway and television.  His first big role was in the sitcom Car 54, Where Are You? starring alongside another actor named Fred Gwynne.  Of course, the two would work together again in the 60s, Gwynne as Herman Munster, Lewis as Sam Dracula - more familiarly known as Grampa.  Whatever his age, Grampa was clearly not old enough to be the father of Yvonne De Carlo either way, since we know that she was born in 1922.  But that's show biz....

Eighty-one years ago today, the town of Abbott, Texas welcomed a baby boy into the world whose name on his birth certificate is Willie Nelson.  If anyone needs proof that some people are born with a gift, Nelson is evidence.  He started writing songs before his tenth birthday, and was on stage performing in high school.  He did not release his first studio album until he was 29.  ...And Then I Wrote became something of a hit in 1962, although it did not propel him to the star we know him to be today.  That came in the 70s, when he recorded a series of "outlaw country" albums, most notably Shotgun Willie and Red Headed Stranger.  And he's been going ever since, working in film, music and writing, despite troubles with the Internal Revenue Service and his outspoken support of some controversial legislation.  Happy big day, Willie!

QUOTE:  We create our own unhappiness.  The purpose of suffering is to help us understand we are the ones who cause it.  - Willie Nelson

Answer:  d) Demi Moore provided the voice for Esmeralda, the female lead in the 1996 film The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and its sequel six years later.