Halloween Edition - 10-31

Welcome, American Treasure Tour blog-fans, to the Halloween Edition!  As anyone who has had the opportunity to visit the Treasure Tour knows, our eclectic collection of Americana has something to offer everyone, including store animations dedicated to Christmas, Easter, and virtually every other subject under the sun.  That said, we have decided after long consideration that the best way to acknowledge Halloween is to celebrate...Cold War spies!    

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The Spy Who Came In From The Cold  is a film adaptation of a 1963 John Le Carre novel that addressed the techniques used by governments both in the democratic west and the communist east in dealing with espionage.  This was an early representation of the Cold War inconsistent with the morality professed in those western countries where nationalism discouraged questions of methods of approach.  A popular best-seller, the book was adapted into an exceptional movie two years after its release. It starred Richard Burton as an exhausted spy disillusioned with his profession.  


Spy culture made an impressive impact on popular film in the 1960s.  Which of the following was not a spy in the 1960s? 

a)  Modesty Blaise

b)  James Bond

c)  Derek Flint

d)  Austin Powers

e)  Matt Helm

Answer Below. 


1864 was an important year for the United States.  The Civil War was raging, and it was an election year.  It was also the year that Nevada entered the union as a state, gaining admission only eight days before the aforementioned election.  Lincoln was concerned that he might lose the election, and some historians consider the decision to admit Nevada only eight days before election day was an effort on his part to assist his cause.  It turned out that his victory against Democratic candidate and former Union General George McClellan was easily won, but the 36th state became a permanent addition to the nation. 


Houdini died today.  It was Halloween, 1926, and the 52 year-old illusionist succumbed to peritonitis that aroused from a ruptured appendix.  His death may have been avoidable, had Houdini listened to the advise of doctors who recommended he submit to appendix surgery upon diagnosis.  Instead of going o the hospital, he gave what would be his final performance on October 24th, during which some reports tell of him fainting.  He did go to the hospital after the event, but it was too late for Houdini.  Although best known for his career as an illusionist, Houdini also starred in a number of films and went to great lengths to debunk the mystics and psychics who were very popular at the time.  He vowed that, if it were possible for people to come back from the dead and walk the earth again, he would be certain to do so.  No record of his reappearance has surfaced to date. 


 Special people have the opportunity to celebrate their birthday on Halloween, including a few American greats.  Ethel Waters is one such gifted woman, who began singing jazz in the 1920s, when she was in her twenties, and went on to star in a number of films.  She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, the second African-American woman ever to receive the honor, for the 1949 film Pinky , directed by Elia Kazan.

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Vanilla Ice, nee Robert Van Winkle, is celebrating his 46th birthday today.  Best-known for his song "Ice Ice Baby," released in 1990, he broke all records at the time for the fastest-selling hiphop album of the time.  Ice's career has moved in a number of different directions since his initial popularity, including roles in movies and television.  In the latter, he has starred in various reality shows and has even done some wrestling. 


The most valuable lesson I've ever learned in my life is that life is about family and friends, not about material things or any of that. It's about enjoying your life. If you have no family, no friends to enjoy it with, it don't matter how much you have, how much success you have, how much fame you have, how much money you have, it doesn't matter.  Vanilla Ice

Answer:  d)  Austin Powers (his first appearance in film was in the year 1997.