Jane Seymour - March 27, 2014

Ever unpredictable, the American Treasure Tour blog is arbitrarily going to change focus again, and return to the "Faces of the Tour" series, which examines our photographs mounted on plaques that are then displayed in the Toy Box.  Today, we are going to spend a little time discussing the beautiful and talented actor Jane Seymour.

Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg was born in 1951, a native of Middlesex, England.  She adopted the name of King Henry VIII's third wife for her acting career, which began when she was a teenager.  She hit her stride with the James Bond film Live and Let Die, the 1973 debut of Roger Moore in the iconic roll, which projected her into the list of "Top Ten Bond Girls." Seymour has moved easily between film and television during her substantial career, although she has left her most indelible mark on the small screen, with the 1980s miniseries War and Remembrance and, for five seasons, as Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.  She continues to act, while also dedicating herself to helping in children's causes.


Who of the following was never cast as a "Bond girl" in a James Bond film?

a)  Denise Richards

b)  Teri Hatcher

c)  Halle Berry

d)  Jaclyn Smith

e)  Famke Janssen

Answer Below


One of the things that makes human kind so amazing is our ability to invent technologies to improve our lives.  The Industrial Revolution of the late-18th and 19th centuries served to create creature comforts that were never before considered possible.  We refer, of course, to trains, electricity, telephones, mechanical musical instruments (like orchestrions and band organs), and other essentials.  But mostly the band organs.  Some inventions, though, are appreciated by one gender more than another.  One example of this might be the bra.  Another might be the urinal. On this day in 1866, the smoke from the Civil War was practically still hanging in the air when Andrew Rankin patented the first functioning urinal.  It may seem odd now - and certainly a strange thing to honor - but the urinal was one of many innovations intended to provide a sanitary solution to very real health concerns in overpopulated cities that were often lacking in ... um ... effective methods of ... er ... keeping the streets clean. They were also part of a massive movement to permit people privacy where they never had it before.  Say what you like, but Mr. Rankin's invention did quite a bit to improve life for people in the United States and the world. Thank you, Andrew!

Another Andrew did something on the very same day in the very same year for which he does not deserve any thanks. President Andrew Johnson, who took office after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, vetoed a bill that was intended to ensure civil rights for the freed men after the Civil War.  Johnson expressed little or no interest in protecting the interests of African Americans during his presidency, and his veto only confirmed that. Fortunately, his disapproval was largely disregarded, as the 14th Amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing citizenship and equal rights would be ratified two years later.  Maybe not a perfect situation, but better than what Johnson wanted!


Today, we celebrate the 1899 birth of one of the more-recognizable actresses from the early American cinema - Gloria Swanson.  An army brat born in Chicago, Swanson traveled a lot as a child, and only got involved in the silent film industry on a lark.  An aunt got her a part as an extra in The Song of Soul in 1914.  She liked the experience and stuck around.  Five years later, working with Cecil B. DeMille on such films as Don't Change Your  Husband and Male and Female, she became a star in her own right.  Although she survived the transition to talkies, her film career lost momentum in the 1940s.  During the War, she worked to help Jewish scientists and inventors escape the Nazi regime by establishing a patent company specifically for that purpose. But by 1950, she was all but forgotten on the silver screen.  That was the year Sunset Boulevard was released, in which she created the immortal role of Norma Desmond.  If you have never seen Sunset Boulevard, you are truly missing out on an odd-but-compelling classic.  Its greatness is in no small part due to the contribution of Miss Swanson.

Now, it is time to celebrate another famous American entertainer:  Mariah Carey.  Born today in 1969, Carey began her singing career at the age of 21, and she has been going strong ever since. The pop singer has broken many sales records during her decades-long career, most notably when she sold over 200 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling artists of all time.  She is, of course, most famous for her amazing voice.  She can reach five separate octaves and make it sound easy.


I know that the purpose of life is to understand and be in the present moment with the people you love.  It's just that simple.  - Jane Seymour

Answer:  d)  Jaclyn Smith