James Dean - June 4, 2014

The collection of Americana here at the Treasure Tour is, to put it mildly, impressive.  If you can imagine it, there's a good chance it is here - from dragons to mermaids, pirates to dinosaurs (although, full disclosure, the dinosaur's name is Barney).  There is also a huge collection of posters and celebrity art, including the greats:  Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Jean Harlow, and of course, James Dean.  Today, we will briefly talk about Mr. Dean.

The Marion, Indiana native was born in 1931.  He died in a tragic car accident at the young age of 24, but he managed to connect with an entire generation during his all-too-brief acting career that included only three starring appearances:  in Rebel Without A Cause, Giant, and East of Eden. The angst he emoted on screen drew audiences to him, and he remains one of a very few actors to posthumously receive Oscar nominations for his performances.

QUESTION:  Prior to starring in his three iconic films, Dean had small, uncredited roles in a few other films.  In which of the following did he not appear?

a)  Fixed Bayonets

b)  The Big Heat

c)  Sailor Beware

d)  Has Anybody Seen My Gal?

Answer Below.


The state of Massachusetts became the first in the country to establish a minimum wage for workers on this day in 1912, a subject that remains as topical today as it was just over one hundred years ago.

Women's suffrage was another topic of hot conversation one hundred years ago.  Although women were able to apply pressure to their husbands to ensure that progressive laws were passed - including those that established a minimum wage, restricted child labor and the prohibition of alcohol - they had no direct power to vote themselves.  At least until headway was made on both the state and federal levels.  On this day in 1919, the Women's suffrage movement essentially won the fight.  The House had approved the 19th Amendment to the Constitution on May 21st.  Today, it passed the Senate.  Next, two-thirds of the states needed to approve it for women's suffrage to become official.  That would happen on August 18, 1920. Finally!


Waterbury, Connecticut welcomed a little girl to the world today in 1907 who would grow up with a secret love for the theater.  In fact, when she went away to college, Rosalind Russell led her parents to believe she was studying to become a teacher, when in fact she was learning comedy.  Things worked out for her, though.  For almost forty years, Russell starred in some extremely funny movies and showed her chops in other genres as well.  She is best remembered for holding her own against Cary Grant in 1940's His Girl Friday.

Only one original member of the 1960's-era folk rock band The Mamas & The Papas remains with us, and it is her birthday! Michelle Phillips turns seventy today.  Her huge success with the band, as well as a natural beauty, led Phillips in front of the camera as well.  Since 1970, she has made appearances in a number of films and television programs. 

QUOTE:  Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today. - James Dean

Answer:  b)  The Big Heat.