Chuck E Cheese - July 3, 2014

Americans love our celebrities, which explains why so many of them are honored here at the American Treasure Tour.  Actors, musicians, and athletes have pictures and albums covering the walls.  A few even have mannequins on display!  But some just sort of blend in among the classic cars.  We are going to talk about the latter today, specifically, many of the cast of the popular pizza restaurant chain Chuck E. Cheese.

The Chuck E. Cheese Pizza Time Theater was founded in 1977 by the founder of Atari, Nolan Bushnell.  Inspired by his love of the Walt Disney theme parks, Bushnell incorporated animatronic characters, an indoor arcade, and amusement rides to his pizza restaurant.  Early sites had a number of different animatronic characters that would perform on stage - including Chuck E. Cheese himself, Helen Henny, Mr. Munch, Jasper T. Jowls, and Pasqually.  Although newer stores do not include them as prominently, you can just visit us to see your classic favorites!

QUESTION:  As of 2014, how many different Chuck E. Cheese franchises are there in the United States?

a)  1

b)  205

c)  477

d)  1,023

Answer Below

HISTORY TODAY:

We have the anniversary of another state's annexation today!  Yes, on July 3rd, 1880, the 43rd state entered the United States.  Idaho encompasses more space than all of New England, and yet it is sparsely populated.  From the start, the origin of the name "Idaho" has been shrouded in mystery.  Originally claimed to be a translation from the Native American Shoshone tribe that meant "gem of the mountains," the eccentric lobbyist George Willing who is accredited with presenting the name to Congress later confessed that he simply made it up.  Regardless, Idahoans are Americans now, and we couldn't be happier!

Fifty years to the day after the Confederate charge at Gettysburg that lost the battle for the forces of Robert E. Lee, veterans re-created the fateful scene.  This time, instead of receiving enemy fire, they received the outstretched hands of friendship by their former rivals.

BIRTHDAYS:

Celebrating his 69th birthday today, Michael Cole was an American heartthrob in the late-60's and early-70's, when he starred in the Aaron Spelling-produced television show The Mod Squad opposite Clarence Williams III and Peggy Lipton, the hippest and first young undercover cops on tv.  Cole initially declined the role, pronouncing that "I'm not going to take the part of a guy who finks on his friends!"  He clearly made the right decision, because he will now forever be the grooviest man on the right side of the law.

Laura Branigan was born today in 1952, in Armonk, New York.  She was a rare singer whose four-octave voice provided her exceptional range, and proved a challenge for her record label to categorize her.  Eventually, they called her a pop singer, with her biggest hit, "Gloria," being released in 1982.  She continued to release albums through the '80's and the '90's, doing better overseas than in the States, before she died quite unexpectedly at the age of 47 of a brain aneurysm.  

QUOTE:  I want to touch people's hearts, to get right down to their souls. - Laura Branigan

ANSWER:  c) 477