popular name of Gabrielle Chanel
Fashion designer. Born on August 19, 1883, in Saumur, France.
With her trademark suits and little black dresses, Coco Chanel
created timeless designs that are still popular today. She herself
became a much revered style icon known for her simple yet
sophisticated outfits paired with great accessories, such as several
strands of pearls. As Chanel once said, ―luxury must be
comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.‖
Her early years, however, were anything but glamorous. After her mother‘s death, Chanel was put in an
orphanage by her father who worked as a peddler. She was raised by nuns who taught her how to sew—a
skill that would lead to her life‘s work. Her nickname came from another occupation entirely. During her
brief career as a singer, Chanel performed in clubs in Vichy and Moulins where she was called ―Coco.‖
Some say that the name comes from one of the songs she used to sing, and Chanel herself said that it was
a ―shortened version of cocotte, the French word for ‗kept woman,‖ according to an article in The
Around the age of 20, Chanel became involved with Etienne Balsan who offered to help her start a
millinery business in Paris. She soon left him for one of his even wealthier friends, Arthur ―Boy‖ Capel.
Both men were instrumental in Chanel‘s first fashion venture.
Opening her first shop on Paris‘s Rue Cambon in 1910, Chanel started out selling hats. She later added
stores in Deauville and Biarritz and began making clothes. Her first taste of clothing success came from a
dress she fashioned out of an old jersey on a chilly day. In response to the many people who asked about
where she got the dress, she offered to make one for them. ―My fortune is built on that old jersey that I‘d
put on because it was cold in Deauville,‖ she once told author Paul Morand.
In the 1920s, Chanel took her thriving business to new heights. She launched her first perfume, Chanel
No. 5, which was the first to feature a designer‘s name. Perfume ―is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate
accessory of fashion. . . . that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure,‖ Chanel once explained.
In 1925, she introduced the now legendary Chanel suit with collarless jacket and well-fitted skirt. Her
designs were revolutionary for the time—borrowing elements of men‘s wear and emphasizing comfort
over the constraints of then-popular fashions. She helped women say good-bye to the days of corsets and
other confining garments.
Another 1920s revolutionary design was Chanel‘s little black dress. She took a color once associated with
mourning and showed just how chic it could be for eveningwear. In addition to fashion, Chanel was a
popular figure in the Paris literary and artistic worlds. She designed costumes for the Ballets Russes and
for Jean Cocteau‘s play Orphée, and counted Cocteau and artist Pablo Picasso among her friends. For a
time, Chanel had a relationship with composer Igor Stravinsky.
Another important romance for Chanel began in the 1920s. She met the wealthy duke of Westminster
aboard his yacht around 1923, and the two started a decades-long relationship. In response to his marriage
proposal, she reportedly said ―There have been several Duchesses of Westminster—but there is only one
The international economic depression of the 1930s had a negative impact on her company, but it was the
outbreak of World War II that led Chanel to close her business. She fired her workers and shut down her
shops. During the German occupation of France, Chanel got involved with a German military officer,
Hans Gunther von Dincklage. She got special permission to stay in her apartment at the Hotel Ritz. After
the war ended, Chanel was interrogated by her relationship with von Dincklage, but she was not charged
as a collaborator. Some have wondered whether friend Winston Churchill worked behind the scenes on
While not officially charged, Chanel suffered in the court of public opinion. Some still viewed her
relationship with a Nazi officer as a betrayal of her country. Chanel left Paris, spending some years in
Switzerland in a sort of exile. She also lived at her country house in Roquebrune for a time.
At the age of 70, Chanel made a triumphant return to the fashion world. She first received scathing
reviews from critics, but her feminine and easy-fitting designs soon won over shoppers around the world.
In 1969, Chanel‘s fascinating life story became the basis for the Broadway musical Coco starring
Katharine Hepburn as the legendary designer. Alan Jay Lerner wrote the book and lyrics for the show‘s
song while Andre Prévin composed the music. Cecil Beaton handled the set and costume design for the
production. The show received seven Tony Award nominations, and Beaton won for Best Costume
Design and René Auberjonois for Best Featured Actor.
Coco Chanel died on January 10, 1971, at her apartment in the Hotel Ritz. She never married, having
once said ―I never wanted to weigh more heavily on a man than a bird.‖ Hundreds crowded together at the
Church of the Madeleine to bid farewell to the fashion icon. In tribute, many of the mourners wore Chanel
A little more than a decade after her death, designer Karl Lagerfeld took the reins at her company to
continue the Chanel legacy. Today her namesake company continues to thrive and is believed to generate
hundreds of millions in sales each year.
In addition to the longevity of her designs, Chanel‘s life story continues to captivate people‘s attention.
There have been several biographies of the fashion revolutionary, including Chanel and Her World
(2005) written by her friend Edmonde Charles-Roux.
In the recent television biopic, Coco Chanel (2008), Shirley MacLaine starred as the famous designer around
the time of her 1954 career resurrection. The actress told WWD that she had long been interested in playing
Chanel. ―What‘s wonderful about her is she‘s not a straightforward, easy woman to understand.‖
(Amelia Mary Earhart)
Aviator. Born on July 24, 1897, in
Atchison, Kansas. Inspired by her first ride
in an airplane in 1920, Amelia Earhart
became one of the greatest female pilots of
the twentieth century. She was the first
woman to fly across the Atlantic in 1928
and the first person to have flown both
oceans. In 1937, at the height of her career
she mysteriously disappeared while trying
to circumnavigate the glove from the
At a Long Beach air show in 1920, Amelia Earhart took a plane ride that transformed her life. It was only
10 minutes, but when she landed she knew she had to learn to fly. Working at a variety of jobs, from
photographer to truck driver, she earned enough money to take flying lessons from pioneer female aviator
Anita "Neta" Snook. Earhart immersed herself in learning to fly. She read everything she could find on
flying, and spent much of her time at the airfield. She cropped her hair short, in the style of other women
aviators. Worried what the other, more experienced pilots might think of her, she even slept in her new
leather jacket for three nights to give it a more "worn" look.
In the summer of 1921, Earhart purchased a second-hand Kinner Airster biplane painted bright yellow.
She nicknamed it "The Canary," and set out to make a name for herself in aviation. On October 22, 1922,
she flew her plane to 14,000 feet—the world altitude record for female pilots. On May 15, 1923, Amelia
Earhart became the 16th woman to be issued a pilot's license by the world governing body for
aeronautics, The Federation Aeronautique.
Throughout this period, the Earhart family lived mostly on an inheritance from Amy's mother's estate.
Amy administered the funds but, by 1924, the money had run out. With no immediate prospects of
making a living flying, Amelia Earhart sold her plane. Following her parents' divorce, she and her mother
set out on a trip across the country starting in California and ending up in Boston. In 1925 she again
enrolled in Columbia University, but was forced to abandon her studies due to limited finances. Earhart
found employment first as a teacher, then as a social worker.
Earhart gradually got back into aviation in 1927, becoming a member of the American Aeronautical
Society's Boston chapter. She also invested a small amount of money in the Dennison Airport in
Massachusetts, and acted as a sales representative for Kinner airplanes in the Boston area. She also wrote
articles promoting flying in the local newspaper and began to develop a following as a local celebrity.
After Charles Lindbergh's solo flight from New York to Paris in May 1927, interest grew for having a
woman fly across the Atlantic. In April 1928, Amelia Earhart received a phone call from Captain Hilton
H. Railey, a pilot and publicity man, asking her, "Would you like to fly the Atlantic?" In a heartbeat she
said "yes." She traveled to New York to be interviewed, and met with project coordinators, including
publisher George P. Putnam. Soon she was selected to be the first woman on a transatlantic flight...as a
passenger. The wisdom at the time was that such a flight was too dangerous for a woman to conduct
On June 17, 1928, Amelia Earhart took off from Trespassey Harbor, Newfoundland, in a Fokker
F.Vllb/3m named Friendship. Accompanying her on the flight was pilot Wilmer "Bill" Stultz and co-
pilot/mechanic Louis E. "Slim" Gordon. Twenty hours and 40 minutes later, they touched down at Burry
Point, Wales, in the United Kingdom. Due to the weather, Stultz did all the flying. Even though this was
the agreed upon arrangement, Earhart later confided she felt she "was just baggage, like a sack of
potatoes." Then she added, "...maybe someday I'll try it alone."
The Friendship team returned to the United States, greeted by a ticker-tape parade in New York, and later
a reception held in their honor with President Calvin Coolidge at the White House. The press dubbed her
"Lady Lindy," a derivative of the "Lucky Lind," nickname for Charles Lindbergh. George Putnam had
already published several writings by Lindbergh, and he saw Earhart's flight as a bestselling story with
Amelia as the star. Thus began their personal and professional relationship. Putnam started to heavily
promote her through a book, lecture tours, and product endorsements. Earhart actively became involved
in the promotions, especially woman's fashions. For years she had sewn her own clothes, and now she
contributed her input to new line of women's fashion that embodied a sleek and purposeful, yet feminine,
Through her celebrity endorsements, she gained notoriety and acceptance in the public eye. She accepted
a position as associate editor at Cosmopolitan magazine, using the media outlet to campaign for
commercial air travel. From this forum, she became a promoter for Transcontinental Air Transport, later
known as Trans World Airlines (TWA), and was a vice president of National Airways, which flew routes
in the northeast.
Not content with just celebrity status, Amelia set her sights on establishing herself as a respected aviator.
Shortly after returning from the transatlantic fight, she set off on a successful solo flight across North
America. In 1929, she entered the first Santa Monica-to-Cleveland Woman's Air Derby, and placed third.
In 1931, Earhart powered a Pitcairn PCA-2 autogyro and set a world altitude record of 18,415 feet.
During this time, Earhart became involved with the Ninety-Nines, an organization of female pilots
advancing the cause of women in aviation. She became the organization's first president in 1930.
Rumors of an affair with George Putnam led to speculation that Amelia Earhart was responsible for the
destruction of his marriage in 1929. But the couple insisted the early part of their relationship was strictly
professional. After his divorce, Putnam actively pursued Earhart, and eventually fell in love with her. He
asked her to marry him on several occasions, but Earhart declined. Finally, on February 7, 1931, they
were wed in Putnam's mother's home in Connecticut. Earhart referred to their marriage as a partnership
with dual control. On the day of their wedding, she wrote a letter to Putnam telling him, "I want you to
understand I shall not hold you to any medieval code of faithfulness to me nor shall I consider myself
bound to you similarly."
She recognized her limitations and continuously worked to improve her skills, but the constant promotion
and touring never gave her the time she needed to catch up. Recognizing the power of her celebrity, she
strove to be an example of courage, intelligence, and self-reliance. She hoped her influence would help
topple negative stereotypes about women, and open doors for them in every field.
Sometime before their marriage, Earhart and Putnam worked on secret plans for a solo flight across the
Atlantic Ocean. By early 1932, they had made their preparations. They announced that on the fifth
anniversary of Charles Lindbergh's flight across the Atlantic, Amelia would attempt the same feat. On the
morning of May 20, 1932, she took off from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, with that day's copy of the
local newspaper to confirm the date of the flight.
Almost immediately, the flight ran into difficulty as she encountered thick clouds and ice on the wings.
After about 12 hours the conditions got worse, and the plane began to experience mechanical difficulties.
She knew she wasn't going to make it to Paris as Lindbergh had, so she started looking for a new place to
land. She found a pasture just outside the small village of Culmore, in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, and
successfully landed. The nearly 15-hour flight established her as the first woman to fly solo across the
Atlantic. As a result, Earhart won many honors, including the Gold Medal from the National Geographic
Society as presented by President Hoover, the Distinguished Flying Cross from the U.S. Congress, and
the Cross of the Knight of the Legion of Honor from the French government.
Several other notable flights followed for Amelia Earhart, including a solo trip from Honolulu, Hawaii, to
Oakland, California. This flight established her as the first woman—as well as the first person—to fly
both across the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. In April 1935, Earhart flew solo from Los Angeles to
Mexico City, and a month later she flew from Mexico City to New York. Between 1930 and 1935,
Amelia Earhart set seven women's speed and distance aviation records in a variety of aircraft. By 1935,
Earhart began to contemplate one last fight that would set her apart for all others: to circle the world.
On March 17, 1937, they took off from Oakland on the first leg. They experienced some periodic
problems flying across the Pacific, and landed in Hawaii for some repairs at the United States Navy's
Field on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor. After three days, the Electra began its takeoff, but something went
wrong. Earhart lost control, and looped the plane on the runway. How this happened is still the subject of
some controversy. Several witnesses, including an Associated Press journalist, said they saw a tire blow.
Other sources, including Paul Mantz, indicated it was pilot error. Though no one was seriously hurt, the
plane was severely damaged and had to be shipped back to California for extensive repairs.
In Lae, Earhart contracted dysentery that lasted for days. While she recuperated, several necessary
adjustments were made to the plane. Extra amounts of fuel were stowed on board. The parachutes were
packed away, for there would be no need for them while flying along the vast and desolate Pacific Ocean.
The flyer's plan was to head to Howland Island, 2,556 miles away, situated between Hawaii and
Australia. A flat sliver of land 6,500 feet long, 1,600 feet wide, and no more than 20 ft. above the ocean
waves, the island would be hard to distinguish from the similar looking cloud shapes. To meet this
challenge, Earhart and Noonan had an elaborate plan with several contingencies. Celestial navigation
would be used to track their route and keep them on course. In case of overcast skies, they had radio
communication with a U.S. Coast Guard vessel, Itasca, stationed off Howland Island. They could also use
their maps, compass, and the position of the rising sun to make an educated guess in finding their position
relative to Howland Island. After aligning themselves with Howland's correct latitude, they would run
north and south looking for the island and the smoke plume to be sent up by the Itasca. They even had
emergency plans to ditch the plane if need be, believing the empty fuel tanks would give the plane some
buoyancy, as well as time to get into their small inflatable raft to wait for rescue.
On the morning of July 3, 1937, at 7:20 AM, Amelia reported her position, placing the Electra on course
at 20 miles southwest of the Nukumanu Islands. At 7:42 AM the Itasca picked up this message from the
Earhart, "We must be on you, but we cannot see you. Fuel is running low. Been unable to reach you by
radio. We are flying at 1,000 feet." The ship replied but there was no indication that Earhart heard this.
The flyers' last communication was at 8:43 AM. Though the transmission was marked as "questionable,"
it is believed Earhart and Noonan thought they were running along the north, south line. However,
Noonan's chart of Howland's position was off by five nautical miles. The Itasca released its oil burners in
an attempt to signal the flyers, but they apparently did not see it. In all likelihood, their tanks ran out of
fuel and they had to ditch at sea.
Realizing they had no more contact, the Itasca began an immediate search. Despite the efforts of 66
aircraft and nine ships—an estimated $4 million rescue authorized by President Franklin D. Roosevelt—
the fate of the two flyers remained a mystery. The official search ended on July 18th, 1937, but George
Putnam financed additional search efforts, working off tips of naval experts and even psychics in an
attempt to find his wife. In October 1937, he acknowledged that any chance of Earhart and Noonan
surviving was gone. On January 5, 1939, Amelia Earhart was declared legally dead by the Superior Court
in Los Angeles.
Many theories emerged after the disappearance of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan. Some believed
Earhart was on a spy mission to the Marshall Islands authorized by President Roosevelt, and was captured
by Japanese troops. This theory extended to claiming that Earhart was forced to broadcast to American
GIs as "Tokyo Rose" during World War II. Another theory claims she purposely crashed the plane into
the Pacific on a suicide run.
There are two theories that seem to have the greatest credibility. One is that the Electra Earhart and
Noonan were flying was ditched or crashed, and the two perished at sea. Several aviation and navigation
experts support this theory concluding that the outcome of the last leg of the flight came down to "poor
planning, worse execution." Investigations concluded that the Electra aircraft was not fully fueled, and
couldn't have made it to Howland Island even if conditions were ideal. The fact that there were so many
issues creating difficulties lead investigators to the conclusion that the plane simply ran out of fuel some
35 to 100 miles off the coast of Howland Island.
(born August 4, 1901, New Orleans, Louisiana,
U.S.—died July 6, 1971, New York, New York)
the leading trumpeter and one of the most
influential artists in jazz history. (Click here for a
video clip of Louis Armstrong playing ―I Cover
Armstrong grew up in dire poverty in New
Orleans, Louisiana, when jazz was very young.
As a child he worked at odd jobs and sang in a
boys' quartet. In 1913 he was sent to the Colored
Waifs Home as a juvenile delinquent. There he
learned to play cornet in the home's band, and playing music quickly became a passion; in his teens he
learned music by listening to the pioneer jazz artists of the day, including the leading New Orleans
cornetist, King Oliver. Armstrong developed rapidly: he played in marching and jazz bands, becoming
skillful enough to replace Oliver in the important Kid Ory band about 1918, and in the early 1920s he
played in Mississippi riverboat dance bands.
Fame beckoned in 1922 when Oliver, then leading a band in Chicago, sent for Armstrong to play second
cornet. Oliver's Creole Jazz Band was the apex of the early, contrapuntal New Orleans ensemble style,
and it included outstanding musicians such as the brothers Johnny and Baby Dodds and pianist Lil
Hardin, who married Armstrong in 1924. The young Armstrong became popular through his ingenious
ensemble lead and second cornet lines, his cornet duet passages (called ―breaks‖) with Oliver, and his
solos. He recorded his first solos as a member of the Oliver band in such pieces as ―Chimes Blues‖ and
―Tears,‖ which Lil and Louis Armstrong composed.
Encouraged by his wife, Armstrong quit Oliver's band to seek further fame. He played for a year in New
York City in Fletcher Henderson's band and on many recordings with others before returning to Chicago
and playing in large orchestras. There he created his most important early works, the Armstrong Hot Five
and Hot Seven recordings of 1925–28, on which he emerged as the first great jazz soloist. By then the
New Orleans ensemble style, which allowed few solo opportunities, could no longer contain his explosive
creativity. He retained vestiges of the style in such masterpieces as ―Hotter than That,‖ ―Struttin' with
Some Barbecue,‖ ―Wild Man Blues,‖ and ―Potato Head Blues‖ but largely abandoned it while
accompanied by pianist Earl Hines (―West End Blues‖ and ―Weather Bird‖). By that time Armstrong was
playing trumpet, and his technique was superior to that of all competitors. Altogether, his immensely
compelling swing; his brilliant technique; his sophisticated, daring sense of harmony; his ever-mobile,
expressive attack, timbre, and inflections; his gift for creating vital melodies; his dramatic, often complex
sense of solo design; and his outsized musical energy and genius made these recordings major
innovations in jazz.
Armstrong was a famous musician by 1929, when he moved from Chicago to New York City and
performed in the theatre review Hot Chocolates. He toured America and Europe as a trumpet soloist
accompanied by big bands; for several years beginning in 1935, Luis Russell's big band served as the
Louis Armstrong band. During this time he abandoned the often blues-based original material of his
earlier years for a remarkably fine choice of popular songs by such noted composers as Hoagy
Carmichael, Irving Berlin, and Duke Ellington. With his new repertoire came a new, simplified style: he
created melodic paraphrases and variations as well as chord-change-based improvisations on these songs.
His trumpet range continued to expand, as demonstrated in the high-note showpieces in his repertoire. His
beautiful tone and gift for structuring bravura solos with brilliant high-note climaxes led to such
masterworks as ―That's My Home,‖ ―Body and Soul,‖ and ―Star Dust.‖ One of the inventors of scat
singing, he began to sing lyrics on most of his recordings, varying melodies or decorating with scat
phrases in a gravel voice that was immediately identifiable. Although he sang such humorous songs as
―Hobo, You Can't Ride This Train,‖ he also sang many standard songs, often with an intensity and
creativity that equaled those of his trumpet playing.
Louis and Lil Armstrong separated in 1931. From 1935 to the end of his life, Armstrong's career was
managed by Joe Glaser, who hired Armstrong's bands and guided his film career (beginning with Pennies
from Heaven, 1936) and radio appearances. Though his own bands usually played in a more conservative
style, Armstrong was the dominant influence on the swing era, when most trumpeters attempted to
emulate his inclination to dramatic structure, melody, or technical virtuosity. Trombonists, too,
appropriated Armstrong's phrasing, and saxophonists as different as Coleman Hawkins and Bud Freeman
modeled their styles on different aspects of Armstrong's. Above all else, his swing-style trumpet playing
influenced virtually all jazz horn players who followed him, and the swing and rhythmic suppleness of his
vocal style were important influences on singers from Billie Holiday to Bing Crosby.
In most of Armstrong's movie, radio, and television appearances, he was featured as a good-humoured
entertainer. He played a rare dramatic role in the film New Orleans (1947), in which he also performed in
a Dixieland band. This prompted the formation of Louis Armstrong's All-Stars, a Dixieland band that at
first included such other jazz greats as Hines and trombonist Jack Teagarden. For most of the rest of
Armstrong's life, he toured the world with changing All-Stars sextets; indeed, ―Ambassador Satch‖ in his
later years was noted for his almost nonstop touring schedule. It was the period of his greatest popularity;
he produced hit recordings such as ―Mack the Knife‖ and ―Hello, Dolly!‖ and outstanding albums such as
his tributes to W.C. Handy and Fats Waller. In his last years ill health curtailed his trumpet playing, but
he continued as a singer. His last film appearance was in Hello, Dolly! (1969).
More than a great trumpeter, Armstrong was a bandleader, singer, soloist, film star, and comedian. One of
his most remarkable feats was his frequent conquest of the popular market with recordings that thinly
disguised authentic jazz with Armstrong's contagious humour. He nonetheless made his greatest impact
on the evolution of jazz itself, which at the start of his career was popularly considered to be little more
than a novelty. With his great sensitivity, technique, and capacity to express emotion, Armstrong not only
ensured the survival of jazz but led in its development into a fine art.
Tom Thomson, the brilliant, pioneering Canadian artist for whom the City of
Owen Sound‘s Art Gallery is named, was born near Claremont, Ontario, northeast
of Toronto on August 5, 1877, the sixth of ten children born to John Thomson and
Margaret Matheson. Two months later, the family moved to their new home, Rose
Hill, near Leith, eleven kilometres northeast of Owen Sound. It was in this quiet
rolling country side, overlooking the shores of Georgian Bay that Thomson grew
Thomson was raised on the farm and received his education locally, though ill
health kept him out of school for a period of time. He was said to have been
enthusiastic about sports, swimming, hunting and fishing. He shared his family‘s
sense of humour and love of music.
Indeed, Tom‘s Victorian upbringing, gave him an immense appreciation for the
arts. Drawing, music, and design were valuable and honoured pursuits. Within this Scottish family
structure, however, there were also pressures to succeed, to find an occupation, to marry, and to have a
Tom had a restless start to his adulthood. Unsuccessful at enlisting for the Boer War in 1899 due to health
reasons, Tom apprenticed as a machinist at Kennedy‘s Foundry in Owen Sound for 8 months. Still
undecided on a career, he briefly attended business school in Chatham. In 1901, he moved to Seattle,
Washington to join his brother George at his business college. Here he became proficient in lettering and
design, working as a commercial artist during the next few years. By 1905, he had returned Canada to
work as a senior artist at Legg Brothers, a photo-engraving firm in Toronto. Tom continued to return
home to visit his family his entire life, though his parents had, by this time, sold the farm in Leith, and
moved to a house in Owen Sound.
In 1909 Thomson joined the staff of Grip Ltd., a prominent Toronto photo-engraving house, and this
proved to be a turning point in his life. The firm‘s head designer, artist-poet J.E.H. MacDonald,
contributed much to Thomson‘s artistic development, sharpening his sense of design. Fellow employees
included Arthur Lismer, Fred Varley, Franklin Carmichael and Franz Johnson - all adventurous young
painters who often organized weekend painting trips to the countryside around Toronto. After Tom‘s
death, these men, together with Lawren Harris and A.Y. Jackson, would go on to form Canada‘s first
national school of painting, the Group of Seven.
Curator Charles Hill comments that ―Thomson‘s surviving artwork prior to 1911 consists of drawings in
ink, watercolour and coloured chalk, of women‘s heads very much in the vein of the American illustrator
Charles Dana Gibson, who had established the ―Gibson girl‖ look, as well as ink and watercolour
landscapes done around Leith, Owen Sound and Toronto and illuminated text presented as gifts to
members of his family or friends.‖ He also states ―The arrangements of some texts and designs has a
similarity to the patterning of stained glass and are most likely characteristic of the Arts and Crafts-
influenced commercial work he might have done.‖
In 1912, inspired by tales of Ontario‘s ―far north‖, Thomson traveled to the Mississagi Forest Reserve
near Sudbury, and to Algonquin Park, a site that was to inspire much of his future artwork. It was during
this same year that Thomson began to work for the commercial art firm Rous and Mann.
He was joined there by Varley, Carmichael and Lismer. Later the same year, at J.E.H. MacDonald‘s
studio, Thomson met art enthusiast Dr. James MacCallum, a prominent Toronto Ophthalmologist.
When out painting on location, Thomson would use a small wooden sketch box, not much bigger then a
piece of letter-sized paper, to carry his oil paints, palette, and brushes; his small painting boards were
safely tucked away from each other in slots fitted in the top. Sitting down in the canoe, on a log or rock,
with the sketch box in front of him, he would quickly capture the landscape around him.
In 1913 Thomson exhibited his first major canvas, A Northern Lake, at the Ontario‘s Society of Artists
exhibition. The Government of Ontario purchased the canvas for $250 a considerable sum in 1913,
considering Thomson‘s commercial artist‘s weekly salary was $35 in 1912. That same year, Dr. James
MacCallum guaranteed Thomson‘s expenses for a year, enabling him to devote all his time to painting.
Taking leave from his work as a commercial artist, Thomson returned north.
Thomson‘s home base when he visited Algonquin was Mowat Lodge, a small hotel in the tiny community
of Mowat at the north end of Canoe Lake. Thomson would stay at the Lodge in the early spring, as he
waited for the lakes and rivers to break up before he would go camping, and again in the late fall. Painting
and fishing competed for his attentions in the park. He was not only an active guide for his colleagues
from Toronto, but also for other summer park visitors.
From a letter Tom sent to Dr. MacCallum from Camp Mowat, on October 6, 1914, Tom wrote: ―Jackson
and myself have been making quite a few sketches lately and I will send a bunch down with Lismer when
he goes back. He & Varley are greatly taken with the look of things here, just now the maples are about
all stripped of leaves but the birches are very rich in colour. We are all working away but the best I can
do does not do the place much justice in the way of beauty.‖
Charles Hill notes that it appears that painting was not something Thomson learned easily, and the
process was accompanied by much self-doubt. Jackson recounted that in the fall of 1914 in Algonquin
Park Thomson threw his sketch box into the woods in frustration. Jackson claimed that Thomson ―was so
shy he could hardly be induced to show his sketches.‖
War had broken out in Europe in summer of 1914. Thomson was not able to enlist due to health reasons,
but many of his artist friends and colleges did, or went overseas to work as war artists.
From 1914 to 1917 Thomson spent the spring and fall sketching, and acted as a guide and fire Ranger
during the summer in Algonquin Park. He became an expert canoeist and woodsman. He spent the
winter in ―Thomson‘s Shack‖, a construction shed outside the Studio Building in Toronto. It was here
where he painted his now famous canvases, The Jack Pine, The West Wind, and Northern River, among
This was a time of great change in the world with the First World War raging in Europe. As Thomson
continued to paint in the North, he become interested in the subtle changes all around him. Thomson
documented changes in the season, shifts in the weather and changes in the light over the day; for him
these were exciting changes.
Many of Thomson‘s paintings from Georgian Bay and Algonquin Park strike an interesting balance; his
imagery is at once innovative, but rooted in careful observation. His artwork changed dramatically: from
painting every detail in an almost photographic manner in his earlier work, to capturing the true spirit of
the landscape around him. Within a six-year period, he had developed a strong personal style of bold
colour combinations, expressive brush strokes and unique images of the Northern landscape.
Art historians have noted that Thomson paintings from this period show the artist‘s appreciation of the
rugged beauty of Algonquin Park. The bold immediacy of Thomson‘s sketches was to define a new style
of painting that would be attributed as uniquely Canadian and would shape how generations of people
think about the Canadian landscape.
Thomson was able to convey the dynamism and volatility of nature, breaking away from the traditional
detail style of painting in his earlier works, to bold splashes of colour and non traditional compositions.
His paintings came to suggest the drama of the woodland, and the forces of nature on the forests and
Thomson found beauty in the most uncommon scenes – Jackson wrote: ―To most people Thomson‘s
country was a monotonous dreary waste, yet out of one little stretch he found riches undreamed of. Not
knowing all the conventional definitions of beauty, he found it all beautiful: muskeg, burnt and drowned
land, log chutes, beaver dams, creeks, wild rivers and placid lakes, wild flowers, northern lights, the flight
of wild geese and the changing seasons from spring to summer to autumn.‖
These were important times spent in Algonquin, bringing together Thomson and his fellow artists to
exchange ideas, techniques, stories and philosophies, and inevitably building strong collegial bonds.
Thomson‘s confidence as a painter really developed during these years, encouraged and coaxed along by
his peers. Thomson, the man, also found peace. He was seeking freedom from the repressive confines of
Victorian family life, and escape from the hustle and bustle of Toronto‘s art world where he never quite
fit in. It was in the solitude of Algonquin‘s lakes and woods that he became himself.
Tom Thomson died sometime between July 8, when he was last seen, and July 16, 1917, when his body
was found floating in Canoe Lake. The cause of death was recorded as accidental drowning.
On Monday, July 16, Dr. G.W. Howland, a Toronto physician and professor of neurology at the
University of Toronto, saw an unidentifiable object lying in the water some yards from the shore. Dr.
Howland asked two local guides, George Rowe and Lourie Dickson, who were on the water at the time,
to investigate. They found Tom's body.
Tom would have celebrated his fortieth birthday on August 5. His watch had stopped at 12:14. Dr.
Howland was asked to examine the body before burial. He reported a bruise about 10 cm across the right
temple, air issuing from the lungs, and some bleeding from the right ear. And though his death was
officially recorded as accidental due to drowning, his demise has become one of Canada‘s greatest
Thomson was initially buried in a small cemetery up the hill from Mowat Lodge, overlooking Canoe
Lake in Algonquin Park. But at the request of his family, the body was reinterred in the family plot
beside Leith United Church.
In September of 1917, J.E.H. MacDonald, Dr. MacCullum and J.W. Beatty built a stone cairn on
Hayhurst Point, overlooking Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park, close to one of Tom Thomson‘s favourite
camp sites across from the bay from Mowat. The cairn is a memorial to Thomson, marking the date and
the place where he had died. Thomson‘s death was a tragedy for his fellow artists – they lost an inspiring
colleague, a great friend and their guide to the north woods. This untimely loss prompted a clarification
of his artist friends‘ vision for Canadian art; it strengthened their resolve and gave rise to the formation of
The Group of Seven.
Al Jolson lived "The American Dream." Born in Lithuania, Jolson rose
through the ranks of vaudeville as a comedian and a blackface "Mammy"
singer. By 1920, he had become the biggest star on Broadway, but he is
probably best remembered for his film career. He starred in THE JAZZ
SINGER (1927), the first talking movie ever made, and his legend was
assured in 1946 with the release of the successful biography of his life
called THE JOLSON STORY. Jolson was the first openly Jewish man to
become an entertainment star in America. His marginal status as a Jew
informed his blackface portrayal of Southern blacks. Almost single-
handedly, Jolson helped to introduce African-American musical
innovations like jazz, ragtime, and the blues to white audiences. The
brightest star of the first half of the 20th century, Jolson was eternally grateful for the opportunities
America had given him. He tirelessly entertained American troops in World War II and in the Korean
War, and he contributed time and money to the March of Dimes and other philanthropic causes. While
some of his colleagues in show business complained about his inflated ego, he certainly deserved his
moniker: "The World's Greatest Entertainer."
Perhaps it should come as no surprise that the man who made his mark singing "My Mammy" in
blackface was himself a "mamma's boy." Jolson was born Asa Yoelson in Seredzius, Lithuania, sometime
between 1883 and 1886. He was the youngest of four children -- the baby of the family and his mother
Naomi's favorite. When Asa was four, his father, Rabbi Moshe Reuben Yoelson, left Lithuania to put
down roots for the family in America. From age four to age eight, Asa was raised by his mother. She
introduced him to the violin and told him that if he practiced hard he could become a star performer in
America someday. When Asa was eight Rabbi Yeolson brought his family to Washington, D.C., where he
had found work as a rabbi and a cantor at a Jewish congregation. Later that same year, Naomi died.
Seeing his mother in her death throes traumatized young Asa, and he spent much of his life struggling
with that trauma. After her death, he remained withdrawn for seven months until he met Al Reeves, who
played the banjo, sang, and introduced him to show business. At age nine, Asa and his older brother
Hirsch changed their names to Al and Harry, and by age 11 Al was singing in the streets for nickels and
dimes that he used to buy tickets to shows at the National Theater.
After running away from home to New York City and doing a stint with a circus, Al joined his brother
Harry on the vaudeville circuit. In 1904, the brothers teamed up with a disabled man named Joe Palmer to
form a comedy troupe. A friend of Joe's wrote them a comedy skit, but Al was uncomfortable with it until
he took James Dooley's advice to try performing it in blackface. Jolson remained in blackface for the rest
of his stage and screen career. His blackface routine was a hit on the vaudeville circuit and he came to
New York to perform it in 1906. His trademarks were a whistling trick that approximated a frenetic
birdcall, a performance of vocal scales, and very dramatic facial expressions. He billed himself "The
Blackface with the Grand Opera Voice." After his New York debut, he had success as a blackface
comedian and singer in California. In 1911 he returned to New York to star in "La Belle Paree," a
vaudeville revue. There Jolson quickly established himself as the biggest star on Broadway.
Jolson's film career began inauspiciously with a short film for the Vitagraph Company in 1916. In 1923,
he agreed to star in a film by D. W. Griffith, but backed out of his contract after filming had begun
because Griffith had assigned an assistant to direct Jolson's scenes. In 1926, he made another short film
for Warner Brothers, and in 1927, he was signed to star in a screen version of Samuel Raphelson's play
"The Jazz Singer." This was the role that Jolson had waited his whole life to play. Based on Jolson's own
life, it was the story of a Jewish boy named Jackie Rabinowitz who runs away from his father, who is a
cantor from the old world, because Jackie wants to be in show business. Jackie returns home to chant the
Kol Nidre service as his father lies on his deathbed. The film was incredibly popular because it combined
old silent film technology (words printed on the screen) with four dramatically innovative vitaphone
"talking" sequences. Jolson quickly became the first movie star in the modern sense. He went on to make
THE SINGING FOOL (1928), SAY IT WITH SONGS (1929), MAMMY (1930), and BIG BOY (1930)
before returning to Broadway in 1931. His star dimmed a bit in the late 1930s and early 1940s until the
highly acclaimed biographical film THE JOLSON STORY, starring Larry Parks, was released in 1946.
Parks mouthed the songs which Al Jolson himself sang for the film, and the sound track of the film sold
several million copies.
Al Jolson was to jazz, blues, and ragtime what Elvis Presley was to rock 'n' roll. Jolson had first heard
African-American music in New Orleans in 1905, and he performed it for the rest of his life. Like Elvis,
Jolson gyrated his lower body as he danced. In THE JAZZ SINGER, white viewers saw Jolson moving
his hips and waist in ways that they had never seen before. Historian and performer Stephen Hanan has
written in TIKKUN that Jolson's "funky rhythm and below-the-waist gyrations (not seen again from any
white male till the advent of Elvis) were harbingers of the sexual liberation of the new urban era. Jolson
was a rock star before the dawn of rock music." Al Jolson paved the way for African-American
performers like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, and Ethel Waters. It is remarkable that a
Jewish mamma's boy from Lithuania could do so much to bridge the cultural gap between black and
Original name: Gladys Mary Smith
Actress, producer, screenwriter. Born Gladys Mary Smith on
April 8, 1892, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Known as America‘s
sweetheart, Mary Pickford was a legendary film actress during the
age of silent pictures. She often appeared on screen in young girl
roles, even when she was an adult. Pickford began performing at the
age of five on the stage and was known for a time as "Baby
Gladys." After touring in different shows and productions for
more than nine years, she went to New York to conquer
Broadway. Taking the stage name, Mary Pickford, she made her
Broadway debut in The Warrens of Virginia.
Soon after the show‘s run, Mary Pickford got into film, working for D. W. Griffith, a director and head of
American Biography Company. At the time, most films were short and she appeared in more than 40
movies in 1909. When Griffith moved his operation to California the following year, Pickford went with
him. Over the years, her fame grew as well as her salary. She became an international star, beloved for
her beauty and charm.
Some of Mary Pickford‘s greatest films were a collaborative effort with friend and writer-director Frances
Marion. Together they worked on such hits as Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1917) and Poor Little Rich
Girl (1917). Pickford also worked behind the scenes as a producer and founded the United Artists (UA), a
film company, in 1919, with D. W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, and Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., who would
become her second husband. She had been married to actor Owen Moore and divorced him to be with
Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks married in 1920, becoming one of Hollywood‘s earliest
supercouples. Fans adored the pairing, and the couple were known to host fabulous events at their home,
called Pickfair, which were attended many of the leading figures in film.
In the 1920s, Mary Pickford continued to score more box-office hits with Polyanna (1920) and Little
Lord Fauntleroy (1922). She went on to help establish the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
in 1927. Around this time, the film industry was changing and talking pictures were on the rise. In 1929,
Pickford starred in her first talkie Coquette, which explored the dark side of a wealthy family. She won an
Academy Award for her work on the film. Still she was never quite able to recreate the phenomenal
success she had in the silent pictures with the sound films. Her last film was 1933‘s Secrets.
After retiring from the screen, Mary Pickford continued to be involved in filmmaking. She worked as a
producer on such films as One Rainy Afternoon (1936), Susie Steps Out (1946), and Sleep, My Love
(1948). She also was on the board of directors for UA for many years. She married her third husband,
Charles ―Buddy‖ Rogers, in 1937. They stayed together until her death and adopted two children.
In her final years, Mary Pickford became reclusive. She largely stayed home at Pickfair and choosing to
only see a select few. She died on May 29, 1979, in Santa Monica, California.
(Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin)
(1889 - 1977)
(born April 16, 1889, London, England—died December 25, 1977,
Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland) British comedian, producer, writer,
director, and composer who is widely regarded as the greatest comic
artist of the screen and one of the most important figures in motion-
Named after his father, a British music hall entertainer, Chaplin
spent his early childhood with his mother, the singer Hannah Hall.
He made his own stage debut at age five, filling in when his mother
lost her voice in mid-song. The mentally unstable Hall was later
confined to an asylum, whereupon Charlie and his half-brother Sydney were sent to a series of bleak
workhouses and residential schools. Using his mother's show-business contacts, Charlie became a
professional entertainer in 1897 when he joined the Eight Lancashire Lads, a clog-dancing act. His
subsequent stage credits included a small role in William Gillette's Sherlock Holmes and a stint with the
vaudeville act Casey's Court Circus. In 1908 he joined the Fred Karno pantomime troupe, quickly rising
to star status as The Drunk in the ensemble sketch A Night in an English Music Hall.
While touring America with the Karno company in 1913, Chaplin was signed to appear in Mack Sennett's
Keystone comedy films. Though his first Keystone one-reeler, Making a Living (1914), was not the
failure that historians have claimed, Chaplin's initial screen character, a mercenary dandy, did not show
him to best advantage. Ordered by Sennett to come up with a more workable screen image, Chaplin
improvised an outfit consisting of a too-small coat, too-large pants, floppy shoes, and a battered derby. As
a finishing touch, he pasted on a postage-stamp mustache and adopted a cane as an all-purpose prop. It
was in his second Keystone film, Kid Auto Races at Venice (1914), that Chaplin's immortal screen alter
ego, ―the Little Tramp,‖ was born.
In truth, Chaplin did not always portray a tramp; in many of his films his character was employed as a
waiter, store clerk, stagehand, fireman, and the like. His character might be better described as the
quintessential misfit: shunned by polite society, unlucky in love, jack-of-all-trades but master of none. He
was also a survivor, forever leaving past sorrows behind, jauntily shuffling off to new adventures. The
Tramp's appeal was universal: audiences loved his cheekiness, his deflation of pomposity, his casual
savagery, his unexpected gallantry, and his resilience in the face of adversity. Some historians have traced
the Tramp's origins to Chaplin's Dickensian childhood, while others have suggested that the character had
its roots in the motto of Chaplin's mentor, Fred Karno: ―Keep it wistful, gentlemen, keep it wistful.‖
Whatever the case, within months after his movie debut, Chaplin was the screen's biggest star.
His 35 Keystone comedies can be regarded as the Tramp's gestation period, during which a caricature
became a character. The films improved steadily once Chaplin became his own director. In 1915 he left
Sennett to accept a $1,250-weekly contract at Essanay Studios. It was there that he began to inject
elements of pathos in his comedy, notably in such shorts as The Tramp (1915) and Burlesque on Carmen
(1916). He moved on to an even more lucrative job ($670,000 per year) at the Mutual Company Film
Corporation. There, during an 18-month period, he made the 12 two-reelers that many regard as his finest
films, among them such gems as One A.M. (1916), The Rink (1916), The Vagabond (1916), and Easy
While working for First National Pictures (1918–19), Chaplin made the three-reel Shoulder Arms (1918),
the four-reel The Pilgrim (1923), and his first starring feature, The Kid (1921). Some have suggested that
the increased dramatic content of these films is symptomatic of Chaplin's efforts to justify the praise
lavished upon him by the critical intelligentsia. A painstaking perfectionist, he began spending more and
more time on the preparation and production of each film. From 1923 through 1929 he issued only three
features: A Woman of Paris (1923), which he directed but did not star in; The Gold Rush (1925), widely
regarded as his masterpiece; and The Circus (1928), an underrated film that may rank as his funniest. All
three were released by United Artists, the company cofounded in 1919 by Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks,
Mary Pickford, and D.W. Griffith.
As the Little Tramp, Chaplin had mastered the subtle art of pantomime, and the advent of sound gave him
cause for alarm. After much hesitation, he released his 1931 feature City Lights as a silent, despite the
ubiquity of talkies after 1928; his gamble paid off, and the film was a success. His next film, Modern
Times (1936), was a hybrid, essentially a silent with music, sound effects, and brief passages of dialogue.
In this film Chaplin gave his Little Tramp a voice, as he performed a gibberish song; perhaps
significantly, it was the character's farewell to the screen. Chaplin's first full talkie was The Great
Dictator (1940), a devastating lampoon of Adolf Hitler that proved to be the comedian's most profitable
Throughout his career, Chaplin's offscreen activities had stirred up controversy. In 1918 he married 16-
year-old Mildred Harris, and in 1924 he wed another teenager, Lita Grey; both marriages ended in
divorce. His third marriage, to actress Paulette Goddard, was clouded by rumours that their union, which
lasted until 1942, had never been legalized; and in 1943 he was the target of a paternity suit. When he
began lobbying for a Second Front in Russia during World War II, his detractors alleged that he was a
communist sympathizer. His 1947 film Monsieur Verdoux, which argued that an individual murderer was
an ―amateur‖ compared with the warmongers of the world, further provoked his enemies.
En route to the London premiere of his last American film, Limelight (1952), Chaplin learned that he
would be denied a reentry visa to the United States. The embittered filmmaker moved to Switzerland with
his fourth wife, Oona (daughter of playwright Eugene O'Neill), and their children; his next film, made in
England, was A King in New York (1957), in which an exiled monarch watches helplessly as his world
crumbles. In 1964 Chaplin published My Autobiography, and two years later he directed his last film, the
much-maligned A Countess from Hong Kong. Eventually the animosity between Chaplin and the U.S.
government subsided, and in 1972 he returned to Hollywood to accept a special Academy Award. It was a
bittersweet homecoming. Chaplin had come to deplore the United States, but he was visibly and deeply
moved by the 12-minute standing ovation he received at the Oscar ceremonies. As Alistair Cooke
described the events,
He was very old and trembly and groping through the thickening fog of memory for a few simple
sentences. A senile, harmless doll, he was now—as the song says—“easy to love,” absolutely safe to
Chaplin made one of his final public appearances in 1975, when he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth.
Several months after his death, his body was briefly kidnapped from a Swiss cemetery by a pair of
bungling thieves—a macabre coda that Chaplin might have concocted for one of his own two-reelers.
1. 1928 - Amsterdam Olympic Games - Gold medal, 100m
2. - Amsterdam Olympic Games - Gold medal, 200m
3. 1929 - Won 21 out of 22 races on North American indoor
4. 1930 - Gold medal, 100yd., British Empire Games
5. 1932 - Captain, Canadian Olympic Track and Field Team
6. 1950 - Named Canada‘s Top Track and Field Athlete of
7. - Credited with the greatest Canadian sporting
moment of the half-century
In 1950, when a Canadian Press poll was held to determine
Canada's greatest athletes of the half-century, voters were also
asked to recall the most dramatic event in Canadian sport for this
same time period. The choice was obvious: Percy Williams'
thrilling double victory in the 100m and 200m races at the 1928
Though slight, sickly, and spindly as a teenager, Williams was a bullet on his Vancouver high school
track. In 1926, his incredible speed caught the attention of coach Bob Granger, who immediately took
him under his wing and began to prepare the young athlete for the great races of which he knew him to be
By 1927, Williams had beaten some of the finest sprinters on the west coast and broken his province's
records in the 100yd. and 220yd. dashes. At the British Columbia Olympic trials, he equaled the Olympic
record of 10.6 seconds in the 100m sprint on a rough, inclined grass track, and at the national Olympic
trails in Hamilton, he easily won a spot on the boat to the Amsterdam Games with victories in the 100m
and 200m races.
Despite his impressive record, few expected Williams to leave his mark on the international track scene,
let alone reach the Olympic podium. Canadians were stunned on July 29, 1928, when the news broke that
19-year-old Williams had won the Olympic gold medal in the 100m event, beating out the favoured
runners from England, Germany, and the United States. This, however, was only the beginning. Three
days later, the Canadian underdog whipped the world's best once again in the 200m race, establishing
himself as the fastest man on earth.
Many critics tried to downplay Williams' tremendous victories, claiming that they were mere flukes, but
the Canadian sprinter soon proved his worth and demolished all doubts. In 1929, he joined the North
American indoor track circuit and decisively swept the competition, winning an impressive 21 out of 22
By 1930, Williams had earned the title of the "Canadian Cheetah" when he set a world record of 10.3
seconds in the 100m race. Later that year, he won a gold medal in the 100yd. race at the British Empire
Games (now known as the Commonwealth Games) in Hamilton, despite running with a pulled leg
Unfortunately, Williams never fully recovered from the leg injury that plagued him during this race. In
1932, he captained the Canadian track and field team to the Olympic Games in Los Angeles but was
eliminated in the semifinals of the 100m event. He retired from competition shortly thereafter and
embarked on a career in insurance.
The 1950 Canadian Press poll proved that Williams' incredible Olympic performance made a significant
impression on the Canadian public, while his subsequent achievements solidified his place among the
nation's greatest sporting heroes. He was named Canada's top track and field athlete of the half century in
1950 and named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1980.
1. 1923 - Beat Canadian champion Rosa Grosse in
2. - Beat world champion Helen Filkey in 100yd.
3. 1924 - Toronto grass-courts tennis championship title
4. 1925 - Five 1st place and two 2nd place titles at
Ontario Ladies‘ Track and Field Championships
5. - World record, 100yd. dash (11.0 seconds)
6. 1928 - Member, ―Matchless Six,‖ Canada‘s first
Olympic women‘s track team
7. - Gold medal, 4x100m relay, Olympic Games
8. - Silver medal, 100m, Olympic Games
9. - 5th place, 800m, Olympic Games
10. 1931 - Leading home-run hitter in softball league
11. 1931-32 - Most outstanding woman hockey player in
"Athletic maids, to arms! ... We are no longer satisfied with being just a 'rib of Adam,' but we have
elected to hurl the discus, throw the javelin, run and jump as 'Adam' does." These words are enough to
give the reader a hint as to the strength and character of Bobbie Rosenfeld, one of Canada's greatest
female athletes. Anyone familiar with her accomplishments will know that she was true to these words,
and then some; she hurled the discus, threw the javelin, ran, jumped, hit the baseball, shot the basketball,
passed the puck, and back-handed the tennis ball at a time when sport was deemed an unladylike, even
unhealthy activity for a young woman to engage in.
Fanny Rosenfeld, better known by her nickname, "Bobbie," was born in Russia in 1903, came to Canada
as an infant, and was raised in Barrie, Ontario. From a young age, Rosenfeld could not be kept off the
softball diamonds, basketball courts, hockey rinks, lacrosse fields, tennis courts, and running tracks.
Though she never had any sort of formal training, let alone the guidance of a coach, she easily excelled in
whatever sport she undertook.
Rosenfeld moved to Toronto with her family in 1922 and quickly made her presence felt in the city's
athletic community. While working at the Patterson chocolate factory, she joined the company's athletic
club, as well as the hockey and basketball teams of the Young Women's Hebrew Association. Rosenfeld,
however, did not realize her own competitive potential until she attended a small sporting event in
Beaverton, Ontario, in 1923. She was participating as part of the factory girls' softball team but was soon
persuaded by her teammates to compete in the 100-yard dash. Rosenfeld finally agreed and, even though
she had to run in her big softball "pup tent bloomers," she won the race. Much to her surprise, she was
later informed that she was running against, and had beaten, Canadian sprinting champion Rosa Grosse.
Rosenfeld, a true sporting "superwoman," continued to dominate athletic events throughout the 1920s.
She defeated 100yd. world champion Helen Finkley in 1923, won the 1924 Toronto grass-courts tennis
championship, led several of her teams into championship competition, and tied her running rival, Rosa
Grosse, for the world 100yd. dash record with a time of 11 seconds flat. In a single afternoon at the 1925
Ontario Ladies' Track and Field Championships, she won the shot put, discus, running broad jump,
200yd. dash, and 100yd. low hurdles, while placing second in the 100yd. dash and the javelin. As there
was no women's sporting attire available in these times, Rosenfeld performed many of these feats in men's
swimming trunks and her father's borrowed socks.
Nineteen-twenty-eight marked the first year that track and field events were open to women at the
Olympics, and Rosenfeld was a vital part of the "Matchless Six," Canada's first and most famous national
women's track team. She won a silver medal in the 100m race. In the 4 x 100m relay, Rosenfeld and her
teammates claimed the gold medal in a record time of 48.2 seconds.
Though she was not trained as a distance runner, Rosenfeld entered the 800m event in order to help Jean
Thomson, a fellow Matchless Six member who was injured and ailing, make it through the race. As
Thompson started to fade, Rosenfeld ran beside her, coaxing her to a remarkable fourth-place finish.
Though she easily could have reached the podium herself, Bobbie claimed fifth place behind Thompson,
a testament to her sportsmanship and unwavering team devotion. When asked about her amazing placing
in an event she had not intended to enter, Rosenfeld brushed off her accomplishment and addressed
officials in her usual joking manner, telling them that she only trained twice a week and kept her strength
up with at least two pints of beer a day.
Merely a year after her great Olympic triumphs, Rosenfeld was stricken with severe arthritis. When a
doctor recommended she have a foot amputated, she characteristically refused, resigning herself to eight
months in bed and a year on crutches. By 1931, she was back on the softball field, leading her league in
home runs, and in 1932 she was voted Ontario's most outstanding women's hockey player. Her arthritis
returned, however, in 1933, and she was forced to retire permanently from competition.
Rosenfeld's health may have kept her off the field, but her strong athletic spirit could not be kept out of
the game. She dabbled in coaching, taking the women's track-and-field team to the 1934 British Empire
Games, and became a sports writer for Toronto's Globe and Mail in 1937. Her column, "Sports Reel,"
which was laced with her sharp wit and "salty" humour, promoted, encouraged, and defended women's
sports. In her writing, she also worked to dispel attitudes surrounding the image of female athletes and
"give the lie to those pen flourishes who depict us not as paragons of feminine physique, beauty and
health, but rather as Amazons and ugly ducklings - all because we have become sports-minded and have
chosen to delve whole-heartedly into competitive sport." Her column ran for twenty years, after which
time Rosenfeld took on the responsibilities of the paper's public relations manager. Illness forced her into
retirement in 1966.
Despite her vast collection of glittering trophies and medals, Rosenfeld considered her greatest victory to
be the day she was voted Canada's female athlete of the half century by the Canadian Press in 1950. This
proved that she had truly left her mark on the athletic world and helped to change the existing attitudes
toward women in sport. As she lived to observe: "The girl athletes have successfully crashed the sacred
sanctum of men's sports realms. The sporting public likes them and wants them." The fact that the media
even created a prestigious position such as a female athlete of the half century speaks volumes about
Rosenfeld's revolutionary accomplishments. Today, an award in her name is annually bestowed upon
Canada's top female athlete.
Following the 1921 Federal election, Agnes Macphail
became the country‘s best–known woman as Canada‘s first female
member of Parliament. But Agnes was not celebrated primarily as
a fighter for women‘s suffrage; her campaigns were mainly for co-
operation and against war, for a better deal for the farmers, and
against the existing Canadian penal system. In fact, though she
fought to better the conditions of women, she walked into politics
as if sexual differences did not exist. She fought as an equal with
men for the issues that moved her.
Agnes was born in 1890 in a three-room log house on a farm
in Ontario. After completing elementary school, she remained at
home to help her mother with two younger sisters. Her family
eventually saved money for her board so in 1908 to the new
teacher‘s college in Stratford, where she lived with her uncle and
aunt. Agnes was so impressed with their religious faith and social
conscience that she joined the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. When her
aunt presented her with a Bible, she read it diligently, noting passages in both the Old and the New
Testaments that she found particularly significant.
Between 1910 and 1921, Agnes taught in rural schools in southern Ontario and Alberta. Her contact
with the United Farmers and Farm Women of Ontario afforded her opportunities for political
involvement. Although this agrarian movement for rural social and economic betterment had only begun
in 1914, a grassroots upheaval during the 1919 Ontario election led to the formation of the Farmer-Labour
government of E.C. Drury. While helping to organize local groups, Agnes gained recognition as a
forceful speaker, leading to her 1921 federal candidacy on the Farmer-Labour ticket and to her becoming
the first woman member of the House of Commons. In Parliament, she soon joined other Progressives led
by T.A. Crerar. Despite the affiliation, her position as the only woman in the House of Commons until
1935 attracted significant attention. But the media spotlight intensified as a result of her unconventional
ideas. She likened the agrarian revolt to a righteous uprising against corruption in government and the
subordination of the needs of ordinary people to the special interests dominating the two old-line parties.
Although she found the prophecies of Isaiah to be a source of personal inspiration in advocating ways to
change Canadian life for the better, she was outspoken in support of religious and ethnic tolerance.
Politics were a sufficient source of division; religion should not have to be as well.
Agnes believed in thinking anew about collective problems rather than reverting to outmoded
prescriptions. Considered a radical, she found much of the establishment in Toronto and Vancouver
closed to her. Despite her attacks on big business, the media, and her feminist ideology, her rural
constituents continued to re–elect her to Parliament—four times. She emerged as one of the best orators
in the House of Commons, but often found herself praying silently for guidance about how to vote. Agnes
supported the Progressives‘ anti-imperialism and their quest for Canadian autonomy, but it was her
championing of the advancement of women, peace, and prison reform that really set her apart.
By working to remove laws that treated women differently from men in such matters as citizenship
and divorce, Agnes strove to enhance the position to her gender. ―I desire that women have equal rights,‖
she said. As a regular on the Canadian Chautaugua circuit in the 1920s, she once was confronted by a
male heckler who yelled, ―Don‘t you wish you were a man?‖ She retorted, ―Yes, don‘t you?‖
In 1929, he activity in the Women‘s International League for Peace and Freedom along with Lucy
Woodsworth led to he being appointed as Canada‘s first woman delegate to the League of Nations in
Geneva. With the onset of the system that she likened to an elephant dancing among the chickens while
crying ―every man for himself.‖ In 1932, she led the United Farmers of Ontario into affiliation with the
new Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) headed by J.S. Woodsworth.
As prison populations burgeoned, Agnes intensified her efforts to end the inhumane treatment of
criminals and the inordinately high recidivism rates that made beggars of inmates‘ wives and children.
She was especially concerned that young offenders be treated apart from the adult population. Her
courageous and well–orchestrated campaign led to a 1938 royal commission that revealed gross defects in
the country‘s penitentiaries, resulting in prison reform after World War II.
In 1940, Agnes lost her seat in the House of Commons after nineteen years of membership.
Following a family tragedy in which a niece shot an uncle, Agnes whisked her nieces and nephews off to
Toronto, rented a large house, and began taking in boarders to pay the rent, all the while serving on the
executives of the Canadian Civil Liberties Union and the Canadian Association for Adult Education. In
1943, she ran for the CCF in the Ontario election. She was elected for York East, becoming the first
woman seated in the provincial assembly, She was defeated in 1945 and re–elected in 1948. By
advocating improved provincial correctional facilities for young women, Agnes inspired the founding of
the Elizabeth Fry Society of Toronto. Genuine pay equity for women was another concern, but in the end
the province legislated only equal pay for equal work before Agnes retired from public life in 1951.
Agnes lived in Leaside and attended Don Mills United Church , where she also taught Sunday
school. No explanation is offered as to why she left her former church for a mainline Protestant
denomination, but it is understood that faith played a meaningful role in her life. ―No one person built the
church,‖ she reflected, ―but each had it is part in something which by its very age and continuity became
something more than the sum of them all.‖ She believed that to ―be happy we all need to lose our little
spirits in the Great Spirit which is called God. A person who has no bigger idea of himself is almost
certain to be a deeply unhappy person.‖
After suffering various ailments throughout her life, including a thyroid imbalance, Agnes Macphail
died of a heart attack in Toronto in 1954 at the age of sixty-three. At her funeral, her minister eulogized:
―Her life might have been much easier. But this was the path she chose—the craggy course.‖
Emily Murphy was a prominent suffragist and reformer. In 1917,
she spearheaded the fight to have women declared "persons" in
Canada and, therefore, eligible to serve in the Senate. She became
the first female police magistrate in the British Empire and wasn't
afraid to face a battle. If she had a good cause in hand, she was
prepared to see it through to a successful end.
For Murphy, the Persons' Case was only one triumph in a lifetime
of achievement. She combined family life with a writing career and
a wide variety of reform activities in the interests of women and
children. Murphy was a member of the Canadian Women's Press
Club (president, 1913-1920), the National Council of Women, the
Federated Women's Institutes, and 20 other organizations.
On one occasion, while accompanying her husband on a trip
around the countryside, Murphy met a woman who had been left
homeless and penniless when her husband sold their farm and left without her and their children. Much to
Murphy's horror, there was no legal recourse for the woman who had spent 18 years working on the
Murphy set out to change this situation, and spent several years studying on her own. She worked to
convince MLAs to support her cause. In 1917, the Dower Act was finally passed in the Alberta
legislature, establishing a wife's right to one-third of her husband's estate. Unfortunately, it took many
years before authorities enforced its provisions.
The fight for the Dower Act, plus Murphy's work in the courts through the Local Council of Women, led
her to request a female magistrate for the women's court. The Attorney General accepted the idea and
much to her surprise, appointed Murphy herself in 1916. After her first day in court, Murphy wrote, "It
was as pleasant an experience as running a rapids without a guide."
1933',2)Justice Murphy was not in court a full day before her presence there was challenged and the cause
for her next battle became evident. A lawyer, Eardley Jackson, challenged her appointment as a judge
because, he argued, women were not "persons" under the British North America Act of 1867. Although
this objection was overruled that and many days after, it was not until 1917, when the Alberta Supreme
Court settled the issue for Alberta by ruling that women were persons—thus answering a gender-based
challenge to a ruling by Justice Alice Jamieson of Calgary. This, however, was not the case in other
provinces or in federal matters.
Eventually, Murphy decided to test the situation, and allowed her name to go to the Prime Minister, Sir
Robert Borden, as a candidate for the Senate. He rejected her on the grounds that, under the British North
America Act women indeed were not "persons." This interpretation was based on a British Common Law
ruling of 1876, which stated that "women were eligible for pains and penalties, but not rights and
The campaign to appoint a woman to the Senate, particularly Murphy, was gaining momentum across the
country. Nearly 500,000 Canadians signed a petition asking that she be appointed to the Senate.
Prime Minister Borden and Mackenzie King both indicated that they were willing to appoint a woman to
the Senate but because of the 1876 ruling, were not able to do so. Despite her achievements and national
renown, as far as the federal government was concerned, there seemed to be no hope for women unless
the British North America Act could be changed.
Murphy decided she would simply have to work to change it. With the help of one of her brothers (who
was a lawyer) Murphy devised a plan to work through the Supreme Court to ask for constitutional
clarification regarding women becoming Senators. Such a question had to be submitted by a group of at
least five citizens, but that posed no problem for Murphy.
Her group—Henrietta Muir Edwards, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney, Irene Parlby, and herself—met
for tea at Murphy's house on August 27, 1927, and signed her petition to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Disregarding the two questions which Murphy and her colleagues submitted, the Department of Justice
recommended to Prime Minister King that the best question to present to the Supreme Court was, Does
the word "persons" in Section 24, of the British North America Act, 1867, include female persons? The
arguments were presented on March 14, 1928 (Murphy's 60th birthday), and after a daylong debate, the
Supreme Court of Canada decided against the women on April 24, 1928.
Despite this setback, the Famous 5 refused to resign themselves to the situation and with the approval of
Prime Minister Mackenzie King, the decision was appealed to the Judicial Committee of the Privy
Council in London, England, the true Supreme Court for Canada at that time.
After several more months of waiting, Murphy and her colleagues finally received the answer they had
been campaigning for. On October 18, 1929, the Privy Council ruled that women are "persons" and can
serve in the Senate.
Murphy was elated, but was not the first woman to be appointed to the Canadian Senate. Approximately
five months after the landmark verdict, Cairine Wilson began female representation in the Senate. In
1931, the Edmonton Press Club wired Prime Minister R. B. Bennett: "This woman [Murphy] in Canada
has given so freely of herself to the public service of her country, and no woman is more worthy"—but
Murphy was never appointed.
Senate appointments are made on the basis of geographic areas and also political allegiances. The first
opening after the victory of the Persons' Case occurred in Ottawa; Murphy lived in Edmonton. Prime
Minister Mackenzie King was a Liberal and Murphy was an ardent Conservative. In 1931, R. B. Bennett,
was required to appoint a Senator from northern Alberta. He was advised that because the other Senators
from Alberta were Protestants, it was necessary to appoint a Catholic, like the member who had died. The
senator appointed, Patrick Burns, a Catholic and a Liberal. Many people still wonder why it was possible
in this case to overlook political affiliation but not religious affiliation. It was not until 1979, when
Martha Bielish was appointed to the Senate, that Alberta's first female senator was appointed.
On October 17, 1933, at the age of 65, Emily Murphy died of diabetes in Edmonton. Her mausoleum
drawer lists her many achievements, including the 'Persons' Case, which significantly improved the
democratic life of women throughout the British Empire.
"He shoots - he scores!" - four words that became the trademark for
Canada's premier play-by-play hockey broadcaster - Foster Hewitt. Foster
first started in radio by selling crystal sets, but foumd there was too much
competition. Instead, he moved behind the microphone to become a
reporter for the Toronto Star where his father was Sports Editor.
In 1922, the Star had established a radio station - CFCA - with studios in
The Toronto Star Building, 18 - 20 King Street West. One of Foster's jobs
was to read news. On March 22, 1923, with only a few hours notice he was assigned the task of giving a
play-by-play account that evening of an intermediate play-off game between Kitchener and Toronto
Parkdale teams at the Mutual Street arena in Toronto. He did the broadcast using an ordinary telephone of
the era, cramped inside an improvised 4' x 4' glass booth at ice level. The game went into 3 periods of
overtime, and the broadcast lasted 3 hours. For a long time, the sports broadcasting facilities were crude
and uncomfortable. Foster would help set up the booth - often in an unsafe place to get the best viewpoint.
These facilities were a far cry from the overhead gondola built years later at the Maple Leaf Gardens,
from which Foster's description of the NHL games were transmitted over CN-CP telegraph lines, first to
stations in Ontario and then to radio stations from coast-to-coast.
The Toronto Star station was short-lived, the paper (along with others) turning-in their license and pulling
the plug in 1931, anticipating that the government stations would ultimately replace the pioneering private
stations. The General Motors Hockey Broadcasts, produced by the MacLaren Advertising Agency in the
early 30s and "starring" Foster Hewitt, were carried by CFRB and ultimately keyed to a coast-to-coast ad
In 1934, Imperial Oil took over sponsorship and it was identified as "The Imperial Esso Hockey
Broadcast ". In 1936 when the CBC was formed and made its network available to advertisers, MacLaren
were obliged to use CBC-affiliated stations, including CBL Toronto. However, for a few years, both CBL
and CFRB carried the broadcasts. It was not until the 50's that the broadcast was dubbed "Hockey Night
When Hockey broadcasts were introduced to television, Foster was at the microphone for the first
broadcast. However, he decided to stay with radio, and in 1957, his son, Bill took over TV.
In 1951, Foster started his own radio station - CKFH at 1430 on the dial. The power in the beginning was
only 250 watts. Foster's station was bought by Telemedia and the call letters "CKFH' were retired, In
1997, Fairchild Holdings bought the transmitter site and 1430 became CHTK. However, a few years
before CKFH became history, Foster had begun to broadcast the Leaf's mid-week out-of-town games,
which put an end to the reconstructed broadcasts on another Toronto station.
Foster was the recipient of several awards including The Order of Canada, a number of broadcasting
industry awards, as well as memberships in the Canada Sports Hall of Fame and the Hockey Hall of
Foster Hewitt died April 21, 1985 at 83 years of age. In 1989, he was inducted into the CAB Broadcast
Hall of Fame.
George Herman Ruth Jr., later known as Babe Ruth, was
born on February 6, 1895, in Baltimore, Maryland, one of
George Herman Ruth and Kate Schamberger's eight
children. Of the eight, only George Jr. and a sister, Mamie,
survived. Ruth's father owned a tavern, and running the
business left him and his wife with little time to watch over
their children. Young George began skipping school and
getting into trouble. He also played baseball with other
neighborhood children whenever possible.
At the age of seven Ruth was sent to the St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys, a school that took care of
boys who had problems at home. It was run by the Brothers (men who had taken vows to lead religious
lives) of a Catholic order of teachers. Ruth wound up staying there off and on until he was almost twenty.
At St. Mary's, Ruth studied, worked in a tailor shop, and learned values such as sharing and looking out
for smaller, weaker boys. He also developed his baseball skills with the help of one of the Brothers.
Signs baseball contract
Ruth became so good at baseball (both hitting and as a left-handed pitcher) that the Brothers wrote a letter
to Jack Dunn, manager of the Baltimore Orioles minor league baseball team, inviting him to come see
Ruth. After watching Ruth play for half an hour, Dunn offered him a six-month contract for six hundred
dollars. Dunn also had to sign papers making him Ruth's guardian until the boy turned twenty-one.
When Dunn brought Ruth to the Oriole locker room for the first time in 1914, one of the team's coaches
said, "Well, here's Jack's newest babe now!" The nickname stuck, and Babe Ruth stuck with the team as
well, performing so well that he was moved up later that year to the Boston Red Sox of the American
League. Ruth pitched on championship teams in 1915 and 1916, but he was such a good hitter that he was
switched to the out-field so that he could play every day. (Pitchers usually play only every four or five
days because of the strain that pitching has on their throwing arm.) In 1919 his twenty-nine home runs set
a new record and led to the beginning of a new playing style. Up to that point home runs occurred very
rarely, and baseball's best players were usually pitchers and high-average "singles" hitters. By 1920
Ruth's frequent home runs made the "big bang" style of play more popular and successful.
Becomes legend with the Yankees
In 1920 Babe Ruth was sold to the New York Yankees for one hundred thousand dollars and a three
hundred fifty thousand dollar loan. This was a huge event which increased his popularity. In New York
his achievements and personality made him a national celebrity. Off the field he enjoyed eating, drinking,
and spending or giving away his money outright; he earned and spent thousands of dollars. By 1930 he
was paid eighty thousand dollars for a season, a huge sum for that time, and his endorsement income
(money received in return for public support of certain companies' products) usually added up to be more
than his baseball salary.
Ruth led the Yankees to seven American League championships and four World Series titles. He led the
league in home runs many times, and the 60 he hit in 1927 set a record for the 154-game season. (Roger
Maris hit 61 home runs in a 162-game season in 1961.) Ruth's lifetime total of 714 home runs is second
only to the 755 hit by Hank Aaron (1934–). With a .342 lifetime batting average for 22 seasons of play,
many consider Babe Ruth the game's greatest player.
When Ruth's career ended in 1935, he had hoped to become a major league manager, but his reputation
for being out of control made teams afraid to hire him. In 1946 he became head of the Ford Motor
Company's junior baseball program. He died in New York City on August 16, 1948.
( James Cleveland Owens)
(born September 12, 1913, Oakville, Alabama, U.S.—died March
31, 1980, Phoenix, Arizona) American track-and-field athlete,
who set a world record in the running broad jump (also called long
jump) that stood for 25 years and who won four gold medals at the
1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. His four Olympic victories were a
blow to Adolf Hitler's intention to use the Games to demonstrate
As a student in a Cleveland, Ohio, high school, Owens won three
events at the 1933 National Interscholastic Championships in
Chicago. In one day, May 25, 1935, while competing for Ohio State University (Columbus) in a Western
(later Big Ten) Conference track-and-field meet at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), Owens
equaled the world record for the 100-yard dash (9.4 sec) and broke the world records for the 220-yard
dash (20.3 sec), the 220-yard low hurdles (22.6 sec), and the long jump (8.13 metres [26.67 feet]).
Owens's performance at the 1936 Berlin Olympics has become legend, both for his brilliant gold-medal
efforts in the 100-metre run (10.3 sec, an Olympic record), the 200-metre run (20.7 sec, a world record),
the long jump (8.06 metres [26.4 feet]), and the 4 100-metre relay (39.8 sec) and for events away from the
track. One popular tale that arose from Owens's victories was that of the ―snub,‖ the notion that Hitler
refused to shake hands with Owens because he was an African American. In truth, by the second day of
competition, when Owens won the 100-metre final, Hitler had decided to no longer publicly congratulate
any of the athletes. The previous day the International Olympic Committee president, angry that Hitler
had publicly congratulated only a few German and Finnish winners before leaving the stadium after the
German competitors were eliminated from the day's final event, insisted that the German chancellor
congratulate all or none of the victors. Unaware of the situation, American papers reported the ―snub,‖
and the myth grew over the years.
Despite the politically charged atmosphere of the Berlin Games, Owens was adored by the German
public, and it was German long jumper Carl Ludwig (―Luz‖) Long who aided Owens through a bad start
in the long jump competition. Owens was flustered to learn that what he had thought was a practice jump
had been counted as his first attempt. Unsettled, he foot-faulted the second attempt. Before Owens's last
jump, Long suggested that the American place a towel in front of the take-off board. Leaping from that
point, Owens qualified for the finals, eventually beating Long (later his close friend) for the gold.
For a time, Owens held alone or shared the world records for all sprint distances recognized by the
International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF; later International Association of Athletics
After retiring from competitive track, Owens engaged in boys' guidance activities, made goodwill visits to
India and East Asia for the U.S. Department of State, served as secretary of the Illinois State Athletic
Commission, and worked in public relations.
(April 16, 1907 - February 18, 1964)
A Canadian inventor and businessman, who invented the snowmobile and was
the founder of Bombardier.
He made his first snowmobile prototype when he was 15 years old.
He was born in a large family of prosperous farmers and small shop-keepers
in the small town of Valcourt, not too far from Sherbrooke, South East of
Montreal in the province of Quebec. His brothers were later to help him about
in several aspects of running what would eventually become a large
mechanical engineering concern, leaving him free to concentrate on mechanical innovations and high
level corporate orientations. Later still, his own sons and daughters were to be instrumental in making his
company grow to international proportions.
He started off small by opening a garage in Valcourt in 1926, fixing cars and selling gas in the three
snow-free seasons of the year, and tinkering with his project of building a snowmobile during the
snowbound winter. Before World War II and on through much of the 1940s the Quebec government did
not plough the rural roads around Valcourt and elsewhere in the province. The inhabitants had to put
away their cars and light trucks and resort to horse-drawn sleighs, when heavy trucks were not available.
The heavy snow made things difficult for family doctors or just about anybody who had urgent business
to do in these areas, and Joseph-Armand Bombardier saw this as a challenge.
Bombardier was largely self-taught, picking up mechanical engineering by fixing things, reading, and
taking notes. He had a mechanical genius and a driving ambition to make the winter months as easy to
navigate as the other ones. The first snowmobile of his teenage years was a small surface skimming
contraption with a propeller.
In 1937, after years of research and development he stated producing the B-7, an enclosed Half-track
machine with his patented caterpillar track and sprocket assembly in the back and skis in the front.
Previous track systems were not suitable for the humid snow conditions of Southern Quebec.
In 1942 he incorporated his company and produced the B-12 machine, which could hold 12 passengers
snugly and featured many improvements. The production of the B-12 went on for several decades and
examples of it were still found running at the turn of the millennium in remote snowbound areas all over
The decision of the Quebec government to plough country roads in the winter of 1949 made Bombardier
lose much of its local market for the B-12 and its variants. This led Joseph-Armand Bombardier to
diversify in other off-terrain tracked vehicles, such as a heavy duty Muskeg tractor meant for mining
exploration and the forestry industries.
Dissatisfaction with suppliers of rubber track for the big Muskeg tractor led him to make his own, in a
subsidiary operated by his son Germain. This in turn made it possible for him to produce a relatively
small continuous rubber track for the light one or two person snowmobile he had dreamt of as a teenager.
When small, reliable two stroke engines appeared in the 1950s he had all the ingredients he needed in
hand. He produced the first prototype of the snowmobile in 1958 and started production in 1959. Sales
were slow in the first years snce the mass consumer market was very different from his usual industrial
and commercial customer base. When he died in 1964, snowmobiles had gone from sales of 200 a year to
8200, spurring several factory expansions.
In 2000, Joseph-Armand Bombardier was honored by the government of Canada with his image on a
(1863 - 1947)
(born July 30, 1863, Wayne county, Mich., U.S.—died April 7, 1947,
Dearborn, Mich.) American industrialist who revolutionized factory
production with his assembly-line methods.
Ford spent most of his life making headlines, good, bad, but never
indifferent. Celebrated as both a technological genius and a folk hero, Ford was the creative force behind
an industry of unprecedented size and wealth that in only a few decades permanently changed the
economic and social character of the United States. When young Ford left his father's farm in 1879 for
Detroit, only two out of eight Americans lived in cities; when he died at age 83, the proportion was five
out of eight. Once Ford realized the tremendous part he and his Model T automobile had played in
bringing about this change, he wanted nothing more than to reverse it, or at least to recapture the rural
values of his boyhood. Henry Ford, then, is an apt symbol of the transition from an agricultural to an
The company was a success from the beginning, but just five weeks after its incorporation the Association
of Licensed Automobile Manufacturers threatened to put it out of business because Ford was not a
licensed manufacturer. He had been denied a license by this group, which aimed at reserving for its
members the profits of what was fast becoming a major industry. The basis of their power was control of
a patent granted in 1895 to George Baldwin Selden, a patent lawyer of Rochester, New York. The
association claimed that the patent applied to all gasoline-powered automobiles. Along with many rural
Midwesterners of his generation, Ford hated industrial combinations and Eastern financial power.
Moreover, Ford thought the Selden patent preposterous. All invention was a matter of evolution, he said,
yet Selden claimed genesis. He was glad to fight, even though the fight pitted the puny Ford Motor
Company against an industry worth millions of dollars. The gathering of evidence and actual court
hearings took six years. Ford lost the original case in 1909; he appealed and won in 1911. His victory had
wide implications for the industry, and the fight made Ford a popular hero.
―I will build a motor car for the great multitude,‖ Ford proclaimed in announcing the birth of the Model T
in October 1908. In the 19 years of the Model T's existence, he sold 15,500,000 of the cars in the United
States, almost 1,000,000 more in Canada, and 250,000 in Great Britain, a production total amounting to
half the auto output of the world. The motor age arrived owing mostly to Ford's vision of the car as the
ordinary man's utility rather than as the rich man's luxury. Once only the rich had travelled freely around
the country; now millions could go wherever they pleased. The Model T was the chief instrument of one
of the greatest and most rapid changes in the lives of the common people in history, and it effected this
change in less than two decades. Farmers were no longer isolated on remote farms. The horse disappeared
so rapidly that the transfer of acreage from hay to other crops caused an agricultural revolution. The
automobile became the main prop of the American economy and a stimulant to urbanization—cities
spread outward, creating suburbs and housing developments—and to the building of the finest highway
system in the world.
The remarkable birth rate of Model T's was made possible by the most advanced production technology
yet conceived. After much experimentation by Ford and his engineers, the system that had evolved by
1913–14 in Ford's new plant in Highland Park, Michigan, was able to deliver parts, subassemblies, and
assemblies (themselves built on subsidiary assembly lines) with precise timing to a constantly moving
main assembly line, where a complete chassis was turned out every 93 minutes, an enormous
improvement over the 728 minutes formerly required. The minute subdivision of labour and the
coordination of a multitude of operations produced huge gains in productivity.
In 1914 the Ford Motor Company announced that it would henceforth pay eligible workers a minimum
wage of $5 a day (compared to an average of $2.34 for the industry) and would reduce the work day from
nine hours to eight, thereby converting the factory to a three-shift day. Overnight Ford became a
worldwide celebrity. People either praised him as a great humanitarian or excoriated him as a mad
socialist. Ford said humanitarianism had nothing to do with it. Previously profit had been based on paying
wages as low as workers would take and pricing cars as high as the traffic would bear. Ford, on the other
hand, stressed low pricing (the Model T cost $950 in 1908 and $290 in 1927) in order to capture the
widest possible market and then met the price by volume and efficiency. Ford's success in making the
automobile a basic necessity turned out to be but a prelude to a more widespread revolution. The
development of mass-production techniques, which enabled the company eventually to turn out a Model
T every 24 seconds; the frequent reductions in the price of the car made possible by economies of scale;
and the payment of a living wage that raised workers above subsistence and made them potential
customers for, among other things, automobiles—these innovations changed the very structure of society.
Control of the company
During its first five years the Ford Motor Company produced eight different models, and by 1908 its
output was 100 cars a day. The stockholders were ecstatic; Ford was dissatisfied and looked toward
turning out 1,000 a day. The stockholders seriously considered court action to stop him from using profits
to expand. In 1909 Ford, who owned 58 percent of the stock, announced that he was only going to make
one car in the future, the Model T. The only thing the minority stockholders could do to protect their
dividends from his all-consuming imagination was to take him to court, which Horace and John Dodge
did in 1916.
The Dodge brothers, who formerly had supplied chassis to Ford but were now manufacturing their own
car while still holding Ford stock, sued Ford for what they claimed was his reckless expansion and for
reducing prices of the company's product, thereby diverting money from stockholders' dividends. The
court hearings gave Ford a chance to expound his ideas about business. In December 1917 the court ruled
in favour of the Dodges; Ford, as in the Selden case, appealed, but this time he lost. In 1919 the court said
that, while Ford's sentiments about his employees and customers were nice, a business is for the profit of
its stockholders. Ford, irate that a court and a few shareholders, whom he likened to parasites, could
interfere with the management of his company, determined to buy out all the shareholders. He had
resigned as president in December 1918 in favour of his son, Edsel, and in March 1919 he announced a
plan to organize a new company to build cars cheaper than the Model T. When asked what would become
of the Ford Motor Company, he said, ―Why I don't know exactly what will become of that; the portion of
it that does not belong to me cannot be sold to me, that I know.‖ The Dodges, somewhat inconsistently,
having just taken him to court for mismanagement, vowed that he would not be allowed to leave. Ford
said that if he was not master of his own company, he would start another. The ruse worked; by July 1919
Ford had bought out all seven minority stockholders. (The seven had little to complain about: in addition
to being paid nearly $106,000,000 for their stock, they received a court-ordered dividend of $19,275,385
plus $1,536,749 in interest.) Ford Motor Company was reorganized under a Delaware charter in 1920
with all shares held by Ford and other family members. Never had one man controlled so completely a
business enterprise so gigantic.
The planning of a huge new plant at River Rouge, Michigan, had been one of the specific causes of the
Dodge suit. What Ford dreamed of was not merely increased capacity but complete self-sufficiency.
World War I, with its shortages and price increases, demonstrated for him the need to control raw
materials; slow-moving suppliers convinced him that he should make his own parts. Wheels, tires,
upholstery, and various accessories were purchased from other companies around Detroit. As Ford
production increased, these smaller operations had to speed their output; most of them had to install their
own assembly lines. It became impossible to coordinate production and shipment so that each product
would arrive at the right place and at the right time. At first he tried accumulating large inventories to
prevent delays or stoppages of the assembly line, but he soon realized that stockpiling wasted capital.
Instead he took up the idea of extending movement to inventories as well as to production. He perceived
that his costs in manufacturing began the moment the raw material was separated from the earth and
continued until the finished product was delivered to the consumer. The plant he built in River Rouge
embodied his idea of an integrated operation encompassing production, assembly, and transportation. To
complete the vertical integration of his empire, he purchased a railroad, acquired control of 16 coal mines
and about 700,000 (285,000 hectares) acres of timberland, built a sawmill, acquired a fleet of Great Lakes
freighters to bring ore from his Lake Superior mines, and even bought a glassworks.
The move from Highland Park to the completed River Rouge plant was accomplished in 1927. At 8
o'clock any morning, just enough ore for the day would arrive on a Ford freighter from Ford mines in
Michigan and Minnesota and would be transferred by conveyor to the blast furnaces and transformed into
steel with heat supplied by coal from Ford mines in Kentucky. It would continue on through the foundry
molds and stamping mills and exactly 28 hours after arrival as ore would emerge as a finished
automobile. Similar systems handled lumber for floorboards, rubber for tires, and so on. At the height of
its success the company's holdings stretched from the iron mines of northern Michigan to the jungles of
Brazil, and it operated in 33 countries around the globe. Most remarkably, not one cent had been
borrowed to pay for any of it. It was all built out of profits from the Model T.
The unprecedented scale of that success, together with Ford's personal success in gaining absolute control
of the firm and driving out subordinates with contrary opinions, set the stage for decline. Trusting in what
he believed was an unerring instinct for the market, Ford refused to follow other automobile
manufacturers in offering such innovative features as conventional gearshifts (he held out for his own
planetary gear transmission), hydraulic brakes (rather than mechanical ones), six- and eight-cylinder
engines (the Model T had a four), and choice of colour (from 1914 every Model T was painted black).
When he was finally convinced that the marketplace had changed and was demanding more than a purely
utilitarian vehicle, he shut down his plants for five months to retool. In December 1927 he introduced the
Model A. The new model enjoyed solid but not spectacular success. Ford's stubbornness had cost him his
leadership position in the industry; the Model A was outsold by General Motors' Chevrolet and Chrysler's
Plymouth and was discontinued in 1931. Despite the introduction of the Ford V-8 in 1932, by 1936 Ford
Motor Company was third in sales in the industry.
A similar pattern of authoritarian control and stubbornness marked Ford's attitude toward his workers.
The $5 day that brought him so much attention in 1914 carried with it, for workers, the price of often
overbearing paternalism. It was, moreover, no guarantee for the future; in 1929 Ford instituted a $7 day,
but in 1932, as part of the fiscal stringency imposed by falling sales and the Great Depression, that was
cut to $4, below prevailing industry wages. Ford freely employed company police, labour spies, and
violence in a protracted effort to prevent unionization and continued to do so even after General Motors
and Chrysler had come to terms with the United Automobile Workers. When the UAW finally succeeded
in organizing Ford workers in 1941, he considered shutting down before he was persuaded to sign a union
During the 1920s, under Edsel Ford's nominal presidency, the company diversified by acquiring the
Lincoln Motor Car Company, in 1922, and venturing into aviation. At Edsel's death in 1943 Henry Ford
resumed the presidency and, in spite of age and infirmity, held it until 1945, when he retired in favour of
his grandson, Henry Ford II.
Henry Ford was a complex personality. Away from the shop floor he exhibited a variety of enthusiasms
and prejudices and, from time to time, startling ignorance. His dictum that ―history is more or less bunk‖
was widely publicized, as was his deficiency in that field revealed during cross-examination in his
million-dollar libel suit against the Chicago Tribune in 1919; a Tribune editorial had called him an
―ignorant idealist‖ because of his opposition to U.S. involvement in World War I, and while the jury
found for Ford it awarded him only six cents. One of Ford's most publicized acts was his chartering of an
ocean liner to conduct himself and a party of pacifists to Europe in November 1915 in an attempt to end
the war by means of ―continuous mediation.‖ The so-called Peace Ship episode was widely ridiculed. In
1918, with the support of Pres. Woodrow Wilson, Ford ran for a U.S. Senate seat from Michigan. He was
narrowly defeated after a campaign of personal attacks by his opponent.
In 1918 Ford bought a newspaper, The Dearborn Independent, and in it published a series of scurrilous attacks
on the ―International Jew,‖ a mythical figure he blamed for financing war; in 1927 he formally retracted his
attacks and sold the paper. He gave old-fashioned dances at which capitalists, European royalty, and company
executives were introduced to the polka, the Sir Roger de Coverley, the mazurka, the Virginia reel, and the
quadrille; he established small village factories; he built one-room schools in which vocational training was
emphasized; he experimented with soybeans for food and durable goods; he sponsored a weekly radio hour on
which quaint essays were read to ―plain folks‖; he constructed Greenfield Village, a restored rural town; and
he built what later was named the Henry Ford Museum and filled it with American artifacts and antiques from
the era of his youth when American society was almost wholly agrarian. In short, he was a man who baffled
even those who had the opportunity to observe him close at hand, all except James Couzens, Ford's business
manager from the founding of the company until his resignation in 1915, who always said, ―You cannot
analyze genius and Ford is a genius.‖ Ford died at home in 1947, exactly 100 years after his father had left
Ireland for Michigan. His holdings in Ford stock went to the Ford Foundation, which had been set up in 1936
as a means of retaining family control of the firm and which subsequently became the richest private
foundation in the world.
Pilot, inventor, writer. Born Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr.,
on February 4, 1902, in Detroit, Michigan. Lindbergh became
famous for making the first solo transatlantic airplane flight in
1927. Before he took to the skies, Lindbergh was raised on a
farm in Minnesota and the son of a lawyer and a
Lindbergh studied mechanical engineering at the University
of Wisconsin before leaving school to pursue his interest in
flight. He went to Lincoln, Nebraska, where he made his first
solo flight in 1923. Lindbergh became a barnstormer, or
daredevil pilot, performing at fairs and other events. He
enlisted with the U.S. Army in 1924 and trained as an Army
Air Service Reserve pilot. He later worked as an airmail pilot,
flying back and forth between St. Louis and Chicago.
There was a prize of $25 000 offered by hotel owner
Raymond Orteig to the first pilot to make the journey from New York to Paris without making any stops.
Lindbergh wanted to win this challenge and enlisted the support of some St. Louis businessmen. Several
others had tried and failed, but this didn't deter him. Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field in Long
Island, New York, on May 20, 1927. Flying a monoplane named Spirit of St Louis, he crossed the
Atlantic Ocean. Lindbergh landed at Le Bourguet Field near Paris after 33.5 hours in the air. During his
groundbreaking trip, he had traveled more than 3,600 miles. Upon his arrival, Lindbergh was welcomed
by more than 100,000 people who came to see aviation history in the making. After his daring feat, large
crowds enthusiastically greeted wherever he went. Lindbergh received many prestigious honors,
including the Distinguished Flying Cross medal from President Calvin Coolidge.
Lindbergh dedicated much of his time to promoting the field of aviation. Traveling around the country, he
flew his famous plane to different cities where he gave speeches and participated in parades. The public
couldn't get enough of Lindbergh—his book on the legendary flight entitled We (1927) became a best
seller. Nicknamed "Lucky Lindy" and "The Lone Eagle," he became an international celebrity and he
tried to use that fame to help aviation and other causes he believed in.
During a trip to Latin America, he met Anne Morrow in Mexico whom he wed in 1929. The next year he
taught her how to fly a plane, and the two enjoyed the privacy that flying afforded them. Together they
charted routes for commercial air travel around the world.
Seeking a life away from the spotlight, Lindbergh and his wife went to live on an estate in Hopewell,
New Jersey. The couple started a family with the birth of their first child, Charles Augustus, Jr. At only
20 months old, the boy was kidnapped from their home in 1932. The crime made headlines around the
world. The Lindberghs paid the $50,000 ransom, but sadly their son's dead body was found in the nearby
woods weeks later. The police traced the ransom money to Bruno Hauptmann, a carpenter with a criminal
record, and arrested him for the crime. To compound Lindbergh's grief, the ensuing trial of his son's
accused killer became a media frenzy. Hauptmann was convicted and later executed in 1936.
To escape the constant media attention, the couple moved to Europe, living in England and then France.
Around this time, Lindbergh did some scientific research, inventing an early type of artificial heart with a
French surgeon. He also continued his work in aviation, serving on the board of directors for Pan-
American World Airways and acting as a special advisor at times. Lindbergh was invited to tour German
aviation facilities by Nazi leader Hermann Göring and was impressed by what he saw.
Concerned that German air power was unbeatable, Lindbergh became involved with the America First
Organization, which advocated that the United States stay neutral in the war in Europe. His position on
the war, eroded his public support, and some believed that he had Nazi sympathies. After the attack on
Pearl Harbor, however, Lindbergh became active in the war effort, working with Henry Ford on bombers
and acting as an advisor and test pilot for United Aircraft.
After the war, Lindbergh wrote several books, including Of Flight and Life (1948) and The Spirit of St.
Louis (1953), which won the 1954 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography. He also lobbied for
environmental preservation. In his later years, he and his wife moved to the Hawaiian island of Maui.
Lindbergh died of cancer on August 26, 1974, in his remote Maui home. He was survived by his wife and
five living children: Jon, Land, Anne, Scott, and Reeve. Reports surfaced in 2003 that he had three other
children with a German woman with whom he reportedly had a long-term affair.
Despite any personal controversies, Lindbergh is credited with helping to usher in the age of commercial
aviation. His incredible acts of courage continue to inspire others. His grandson, Erik Lindbergh,
recreated the flight that made his grandfather famous in 2002.
Wilfrid Reid "Wop" May
(April 20, 1896 – June 21, 1952)
A pioneering aviator who created the role of bush
pilot while working the Canadian west.
May was born in Carberry, Manitoba, son of a
carriage maker. His family moved to Edmonton in
1902, and while on the way they stayed with family
and friends, and his 2 year old cousin gave him his
After growing up in Edmonton, May joined the Army
in February 1916 during World War I. He rose
through the enlisted ranks to Sergeant, and spend most
of 1916 as a gunnery instructor. In 1917 his battalion was shipped to England, where he and his friend
Ray Ross applied to join the Royal Flying Corps. His first flight resulted in the destruction of both his
own and another aircraft, but nevertheless the RFC accepted his applications and May resigned from the
Army. After initial training in London in October, he was moved to a fighter training squadron and
graduated in February 1918.
On April 9th May was transferred to 209 Squadron of what had just become the Royal Air Force, 209
formerly being a unit of the Royal Naval Air Service until April 1st when the RAF was created. The
209th was commanded by another Canadian, former school friend Roy Brown, who held an envious
record as a commander, having never lost a pilot under his command. May spent most of April getting
used to his Sopwith Camel, but on the 20th was in combat which a German Fokker Triplane who crashed
of his own accord during their brief fight.
The next day the 209th was again on patrol with similar instructions as before -- May was to stay out of
the fights and simply keep an eye out. Around 10AM the squadron encountered a group of Triplanes and
attacked them, while May flew above the flight and circled. He spotted another plane doing the same
thing and decided to attack, chasing this aircraft right into the middle of the fight. His guns soon jammed
and he dove out of combat. Unknown to anyone at the time, May's target was Wolfram von Richthofen,
cousin of Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron. Like May, Wolfram was also new to flying, and had
also been told to simply sit it out above the fight and watch.
Manfred, seeing his cousin in trouble, watched May dive out of the fight and started to chase him. This
was generally his way, looking for aircraft in trouble and attacking them. However he was also careful to
never chase aircraft over enemy lines, something he had avoided in years of combat. There is speculation
that his recovery from battle fatigue was not complete, or that he had simply become lost as the entire
dogfight had been blown eastward over the allied lines. Watching von Richthofen chasing May, Roy
Brown decided to give chase as well, and soon the three planes were descending to rooftop height just
west of no man's land. Richthofen eventually broke off his chase, but it appears he may have been
confused as to where he was, because when he "turned for home" he flew over some of the most heavily
defended portions of the Somme. Although the credit for shooting down Richthofen was never officially
granted, Brown and Australian gunners on the ground both had good claim.
May continued flying with the 209th until the end of the war, and eventually claimed 13 aircraft and 4
probables. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1918.
After returning to Edmonton at the end of the war, May and his brother rented a Curtiss JN-4 Jenny and
started May Aeroplanes Ltd., opening the first "air harbour" (or aeroport) in Canada just north of town.
They appeared at various functions during 1919, and would now be considered to be one of the first
barnstorming companies in the world. In September May Aeroplanes was hired by the RCMP during their
manhunt for John Larsen, wanted on two counts of murder and a break-in. May flew Detective James
Campbell to the small town of Edson, and Larsen was caught soon thereafter. They were soon joined by
George Gorman to become May-Gorman Airplanes Ltd. and took delivery of another Jenny (built by
Standard Aircraft though) in which George delivered the Edmonton Journal newspaper to Wetaskiwin, 45
miles south of Edmonton.
In 1924 the business failed, and May married Violet "Vi" Bode in November. He decided to get a "real"
job, joining National Cash Register in Dayton, Ohio where he went for training. While working on a lathe
he was hit in the eye by a shard of steel, and from then until 1938 he was slowly going blind. Convinced
that flying really was his calling, he formed the Edmonton and North Alberta Flying Club in 1927, and
became a flight instructor.
In December 1928 Bert Logan was posted to Little Red River, Alberta, by his employer, the Hudson's
Bay Company. On arrival he was unpacking when he suddenly got very ill. His wife, a nurse, realized he
had diphtheria, and a desperate effort started to get inoculations to the town before anyone else was
seriously infected. Simply getting the word out that help was needed was an adventure in its own, at the
time there were no roads in the north, and the nearest telegraph station was miles away over a frozen
landscape. The message eventually reached Edmonton, and on January 1st May was asked if he could
deliver the medicine. He left with another flying club member, Vic Horner, the next day around noon, and
landed on a lake for the night just before 4PM when it was becoming dark. They refuelled on the Peace
River and continued their flight, arriving in Fort Vermilion at 3PM. A group had just arrived from Little
Red River and the drugs were quickly distributed. They had to stop in Peace River on the return flight due
to engine damage from the low quality fuels, and didn't arrive back in Edmonton until the 7th. By this
point his flight had become known across Canada as "the race against death", and he and the mayor
arrived to find a media circus waiting for them in town.
In early 1932 May was involved in another manhunt, this time for Albert Johnson, soon known as the
Mad Trapper. While serving a search warrant for illegal trapping on the Rat River, Constable King of the
RCMP was shot by Johnson, sparking off a long chase that became front-page news across the continent.
May was again hired to see if he could find Johnson, who had seemingly disappeared. On February 13th
May solved the mystery when he noted a set of footprints leading off from a caribou on the middle of the
river. Johnson had been following their tracks to hide his own, but had to strike off the path to set up
camp at night. Following the trail over the next few days the RCMP rounded a bend on the river on the
17th to find Johnson in the middle of the trail again, unable to dodge for the bank without his snowshoes
on. A firefight broke out during which one of the RCMP officers was seriously wounded and Johnson
killed. May arrived just after the action ended, and landed beside the injured officer and flew him 125
miles to a doctor, being credited with saving his life.
With the start of World War II, it was decided that Canada would become the major place of training for
pilots in the RAF joining from countries in the British Commonwealth. The British Commonwealth Air
Training Plan set up airbases across Canada, and May became the commander of the No.2 Air Observer
School in Edmonton, as well as supervisor of all the western schools.
While this was going on the United States was also ferrying huge numbers of aircraft to the Soviet Union,
flying through Edmonton on their way. A number of these crashed due to mechanical problems, in which
case there was no way for an injured pilot to get out of the "back country" when this happened. The idea
came up that a team of parachute jumpers should be formed that could be dropped in on the crash sites to
stabilize the injuries and start moving the pilots out of the bush. Early efforts were comical but dangerous,
but the US trained a number of jumpers at a smokejumper school in Montana, and it was not long before
the Para-Rescue team was in service. Several additional Para-Rescue teams were set up during the war,
and by the time the war ended the value of these teams was recognized. They were soon re-organized into
their own command within the Canadian military, Search and Rescue. For his work in Search and Rescue,
May was awarded the Medal of Freedom, with Bronze Palm in 1947 by the USAAF.
May was on vacation with his son in June 1952 when he suffered a serious stroke and died.
Alphonse Capone, also called Scarface
Al "Scarface" Capone was an American gangster who rose to
power during the Prohibition era (1920–33), when the United
States banned the production and sale of liquor. His vicious career
illustrated the power and influence of organized crime in the
"Scarface" is born
Alphonso Caponi was born on January 17, 1899, in Brooklyn, New York. He was one of seven children
born to Gabriel and Teresa Caponi, who came to the United States from Italy in 1893. His father was a
barber. Capone attended school through the sixth grade, at which point he beat up his teacher one day and
was himself beaten by the school's principal afterward.
Like many other American children at the time, Capone was taught that the main purpose of life was to
acquire wealth and that the United States was the land of opportunity. He discovered that prejudice
(unfair treatment) based on his ethnic background made it difficult to succeed in school and that others
looked down on the children of immigrants and members of the working class. Angered by the gap
between the American dream and his own reality, Capone began to engage in criminal activities as a way
of achieving success in what he saw as an unjust society.
Capone worked at odd jobs for a while but found his calling when a gangster named Johnny Torrio
(1882–1957) hired him to work in a bar owned by Torrio's friend. Torrio knew Capone did not mind
violence and often had him beat up people who were unable to repay loans. Over time, Capone learned
more and more about the criminal world. During a fight in a bar he received a razor cut on his cheek,
which gained him the nickname "Scarface." He then met a woman named Mae Coughlin (1897–1986),
with whom he had a child named Albert Francis Capone (nicknamed Sonny). Capone and Coughlin
married a short time later, on December 18, 1918.
Success in Chicago
In 1919 the U.S. government approved the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, a law prohibiting
(or preventing) the manufacture, sale, and transport of liquor. The same year, Capone fled Brooklyn for
Chicago to avoid a murder charge. In Chicago he joined the Five Points Gang and quickly moved up its
ranks. He became the top assistant to the gang's leader, his old friend Johnny Torrio, who had set up
operations in the city. Capone worked as a bartender and enforcer for Torrio and was arrested many times
for assaulting people, but Torrio's influence saved him from jail.
After Torrio fled the country, Capone found himself in control of part of the bootlegging (illegal
supplying of alcohol) in Chicago that had sprung up after Prohibition (preventing by law the production,
sale, or transportation of liquor). The citizens of Chicago had not been in favor of Prohibition. Many of
them were more than willing to break the law by purchasing alcohol. Capone took advantage of this
attitude and conducted his business openly. As he would tell reporter Damon Runyon, "I make money by
supplying a public demand. If I break the law, my customers … some of the best people in Chicago, are
as guilty as me."
Capone protected his business interests, which also included gambling houses, by waging war on rival
gangs. During the St. Valentine's Day massacre in 1929, seven members of a rival gang led by George
"Bugsy" Moran were shot to death in a Chicago garage. Protecting these businesses also often involved
either bribing or beating up public officials. As Capone's profits continued to grow, he began to act as if
he were a well-to-do businessman rather than a vicious criminal. Many people, including members of the
police and city government, admired him. Between 1927 and 1931 he was viewed by many as the real
ruler of Chicago.
The truth is that Capone was totally unworthy of admiration. He was a cold-blooded criminal who killed
hundreds of people without a second thought. He paid off mayors, governors, and other elected officials
to allow his crooked operations to continue. He could even influence elections by having members of his
gang intimidate people into voting the way he wanted. Capone's reign of terror gave the city of Chicago a
reputation as a gangster-infested place that it would hold for years, even after he was long gone.
Menace to society
Most of the rest of the country (and even some people in Chicago) correctly regarded
Capone as a menace. In the late 1920s President Herbert Hoover (1874–1964) ordered his secretary of the
treasury to find a way to put Capone behind bars. Capone had up to this point managed to escape jail time
for any of his crimes. The government's decision to crack down on him just added to the problems he was
having. His profits from bootlegging had started to decline as a result of the coming of the Great
Depression (a period from 1929 to 1939 during which nearly half the industrial workers in the country
lost their jobs) and the ending of Prohibition.
After detailed investigations, U.S. Treasury agents were able to arrest Capone for failure to file an income
tax return. Forced to defend himself while being tried on a different charge in Chicago, Capone's
testimony regarding his taxes did not match previous statements he had made, and he was found guilty of
tax fraud. In October 1931 he was sentenced to ten years of hard labor, which he served in a prison in
Atlanta, Georgia, and in prison on Alcatraz Island in California's San Francisco Bay.
Capone suffered from syphilis, a disease passed from person to person through sexual contact. The
disease can affect the brain if left untreated. Capone became physically weak and started to lose his mind.
As a result, his power within the nation's organized crime system ended. Released on parole in 1939,
Capone spent the rest of his life at his estate in Palm Island, Florida, where he died on January 25, 1947.
Rocco Perri, the most famous and successful Mafia boss in Canadian
history, was born in a small, poor village in southern Italy in 1887, Like
many Italians who sought a better life, Perri left his homeland for America
while still young. He arirved in Boston in 1903, and moved to New York
City. Nothing is known of his life in the United States. However, he arrived
in Canada in 1908, living for a few months in Montreal; then for the next
three years in Parry Sound, Ontario, from there, he moved to Trenton,
Ontario for six months, and then to Hamilton.
By the Spring of 1912, Perri was living in Toronto, working as a labourer in the Ward. It was there that he
met Besha (Bessie) Starkman. Although she was married to Harry Tobin, Starkman soon fell in love with
Perri, and the couple moved to St.Catharines, where Perri worked as a labourer on the Welland Canal.
At the outbreak of the First World War, the government cut off all funding to the Welland Canal, and
Perri was unemployed. After working for a while in a bakery, Perri moved to Hamilton to take position as
a salesman for the Superior Macaroni Company. Life in Hamilton during the years of the First World War
was not very pleasant. Although the economy was strong as a result wartime demand for steel and
textiles, conditions for labourers were abysmal, In particular, non-British immigrants faced widespread
hostility and racism. Perri and Starkman, who sought a better life for themselves, found the opportunity
they needed when, on 16 September 1916, the Ontario Temperance Act came into effect.
Although the Act did not completely prohibit the sale and consumption of alcohol in the province, it
placed severe restrictions on its sale and distribution. Perri and Starkman entered the bootlegging business
immediately, and using Starkman's business acumen and Perri's connections, established a profitable
liquor distribution business. By the summer of 1917, they were wealthy enough to hire a yacht 'that sailed
out into Lake Ontario for parties far away from the prying eyes of the Hamilton police.' To meet
Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup.
In the following years, three developments ensured Perri's bootleg operations would continue to profit:
the first of these was the declaration of Prohibition in Canada on 23 December 1917 by the Borden
government. Using the powers of the War Measures Act, Borden declared that the recent federal election
had given his coalition government a mandate to prosecute the war, and that the sale of liquor in Canada
was inconsistent with that goal; in April 1918, it became illegal to transport alcohol in Canada; in 1920,
the ratification of the Eigteenth Amendment to the United States' Constitution prohibited the sale and
consumption of alcohol in the United States. Perri began expanding his operation to the Niagara frontier
and the Buffalo area. The term Prohibition, also known as Dry Law, refers to a law in a certain country by
which the manufacture, transportation, import, export, and sale of alcoholic beverages is restricted or
illegal. ... The War Measures Act (enacted in August 1914, replaced by the Emergencies Act in 1988) was
a Canadian statute that allowed the government to assume sweeping emergency powers. ...
Through the 1920s, Perri became the leading figure in organzed crime in Southern Ontario. Not limiting
himself to the bootlegging business, Perri diversified into gambling, extortion and prostitution. Starkman
remained the business "brains" of the operation, and it was she who specialized in laundering the profits
from their various enterprises. Gambling has had many different meanings depending on the cultural and
historical context in which it is used. ... Extortion is a criminal offense, which occurs when a person
obtains money, behaviour, or other goods and/or services from another by wrongfully threatening or
inflicting harm to this person, reputation, or property. ... Laundering can refer to: Money laundering,
disguising the origin of illegally gained wealth Clothes laundering, washing clothes or other textilles. ...
Perri became a well-known figure in Hamilton and it was his reputation and influence which established
Hamilton rather than Toronto as the 'mob capital of Ontario.' Throughout the 1920s, Perri was under
constant surveillance by the police, and his activities were widely known. He specialized in exporting
liquor from old Canadian distileries, such as Seagram's and Gooderham's to the United States, and, in
effect, helped these companies to obtain a large share of the American market--a share which they were
able to retain after Prohibition was lifted.
In 1922, the suicide of Olive Routledge who had been Perri's mistress outside of Hamilton, brought
further attention to Perri's activities, as did the murder, in 1930, of Bessi Perri. While in the garage after
returning to their home on Bay street on 15 August 1930, Starkman and Perri were fired at by gunmen.
Starkman died, but Perri was unharmed. There was speculation as to the motive for the murder. Some
believed that Perri had arranged the killing in order to wrest control of their finances from his wife, while
others suggest that Starkman was killed because of the Mafia's displeasure with a woman in a position of
influence in their organization. In any event, the murderers were not apprehended. The elaborate funeral,
and controversy surrounding Starkman's buriel in a Jewish cemetery (she had renounced her faith some
fifteen years earlier) brought more notoriety to the Perri name.
Following the death of Starkman, Perri went into a severe depression. Not only was he upset over the loss
of his wife, but the economic realities of the Depression, and the lifting of Prohibition in North America
meant sharp decline in bootlegging profits. He diversified into the narcotics trade, but was facing a
number of law suits as a result of debts he had incurred during the 1920s. In the fall of 1933, Perri was
sentenced to ten days in jail for failing to pay a debt to a Hamilton tin dealer. Newspapers heralded the
'downfall' of Rocco Perri, declaring that 'Bessie Perri was really the brains and direction force behind the
whole Perri organization' and that without her help, Perri was facing 'an ignoble end.' The Great
Depression was a global economic slump that began in 1929 and bottomed in 1933. ...
However, in 1933, Perri's new common-law wife and partner in crime, Anne Newman, helped him to
reorganize his life and business. The end of prohibition in the United States had made it a source of
cheap, high quality liquor for the Ontario market, which although not as restricted as it had once been,
was still governed by strict liquor laws. Perri simply reversed the flow of alcohol, and instead of
exporting to the United States, he began importing liquor into Ontario.
During the 1930s, Perri prospered once again, and resumed his role as Ontario's premier mobster.
However, with the entrance of Italy into the Second World War, Perri, along with many other Italian
Canadians, were rounded up by the RCMP and interned in Camp Petawawa in Northern Ontario. By the
time he was released on 10 October 1943, Perri was no longer a public figure. Preoccupied with the
Second World War, Canadians had little time for news of mob activities, which, in any event, had sharply
decreased. Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km into the air. ... The
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP or Mounties; French, Gendarmerie royale du Canada, GRC) is
both the federal police force and the national police of Canada. ... Canadian Forces Base Petawawa,
commonly referred to as CFB Petawawa, is a Canadian Forces Base located in Petawawa, Ontario. ...
On 23 April 1944, Rocco Perri was seen for the last time in Hamilton. Although his body has never been
found, there is speculation that he was murdered, possibly by being put in a barrel filled with cement and
dumped into the Burlington Bay. As one RCMP concluded in a 1954 interview, "We won't find his body
until the Bay dries up."
Although he was the most significant mob figure in Canadian history, few people outside the Hamilton
area have heard of Rocco Perri, as he has been overshadowed by his American counterparts. As Al
Capone said when asked if he knew Rocco Perri, "I don't even know what street Canada is on." Capone
g',' Emilio Picariello, 1922',1);Emilio Picariello, a.k.a. Emil Picarello,
Emperor Pic, Pick, the Bottle King, family man, entrepreneur, the
Godfather of working-class Italian immigrants, an Italian Robin Hood, a
murderer—just who was the man?
Since the moment of the crime, many answers to this question have been
offered. However, so much myth has grown up around the Emperor Pic
that it is, at times, difficult to separate fact from fiction.
Born on November 27, 1879 in Capriglia, Avellino, Italy, by the turn of the 20th century Emilio
Picariello was an immigrant living in Toronto, Ontario operating a confectionary store and raising with
his young bride Marianino (Mariau) the first of what would be seven children.
Prior to WWI, and perhaps lured by friends and the promise of work in the coal mines of the Crowsnest
Pass, the Picariello family moved west, settling in Fernie, British Columbia where Emilio went to work
in Mr. G. Maraniro's Macaroni Factory. Known for his astute business sense, Emilio soon expanded his
Alberta, the Alberta Hotel was purchased by Emilio Picariello in 1918.',1);endeavours, employing
women to roll cigars and operating an ice cream and peanut wagon. He also began collecting bottles,
which earned him the first of many nicknames, "The Bottle King".
In 1918 Emilio bought the Alberta Hotel in Blairmore and Emilio became the sole agent for Sick's
Lethbridge Brewery. When total Prohibition came into effect in Alberta on April 1, 1918, he entered
the bootlegging business.
Although there are few factual records documenting Emilio‘s career as a whiskey-runner, he was re
puted to have considerable wealth from the trade. At the time of the shooting of Constable Lawson,
Picariello owned six touring cars, each large enough to be loaded with dozens of cases of illicit liquor
and powerful enough to travel at daring speeds.1 He employed a full-time mechanic and had various
drivers on the payroll. At
family, 1915.',1);the time of his arrest, the Lethbridge Daily Herald estimated his assets at $200,000.2
That Picariello profited is a point reinforced by recollections that he was generous with his fortunes,
easily sharing with the less fortunate in the community. He handed out packages of food and
entertained local children with movie shows. In fact, a certain fondness and respect of the community
for the man developed alongside his bootlegging success, and when he made a bid for town council in
the early 1920s, he was elected.
1922. Located close to where Constable Lawson was shot, this car is most likely a McLaughlin Six, the
type of vehicle used by Emilio Picariello for bootlegging runs.',1);Prior to the fateful day in the autumn
of 1922, Picariello had experienced encounters with the law, although none were considered serious
and generally took the form of raids and seizures of his bootlegging stock. With the shooting of
Stephen Lawson, however, this changed. This time he would neither endure the accusations nor survive
Manhunt%3cbr%3e%3cbr%3eFollowing the shooting of Constable Stephen Lawson on September 21,
1922 a manhunt for Emilio Picariello was conducted. Picariello was apprehended and arrested two
days later.',1);During the trial, he was noted by the press as being distraught and following the
sentencing was apparently treated for depression. Like Florence, following the guilty verdict he
consulted with Father Fidelis Chicoine, who took a statement from the condemned man three days
before his execution, which once again reiterated what the bootlegger had earlier claimed— he had no
intention of shooting Lawson and simply wanted the constable to accompany him to retrieve his injured
son, and that the fatal shot was fired not from within the car, but from some distance away. 3
Since the events of 1922-1923, insinuations about Emilio Picariello have ranged from adulterer to
master criminal, aspersions that were typically inaccurate. In later correspondence, defence counsel
statement taken by Father Fidelis Chicoine from Emilio Picariello, April 30, 1923.',7);Cameron pointed
out the absurdity of many of the characterizations, noting that to suggest that the bootlegger in
someway contrived Florence Lassandro‘s part in the crime was ludicrous, as "he had no such cunning
brain as would figure the matter out in this way, and subsequent events showed that it was not a
cunning calculation at all, besides which Picariello had practically no education and I do not suppose
that he could tell you anything about the statistics relating to hangings in Canada, and it is very
probable that the matter never entered his head."4
Cameron, 1918 ',1);To top it all off, Cameron described the allegation that Picariello was a member of
an ―Italian Murder Society‖ to be ―perhaps the crowning absurdity in the whole story" as ―it is
absolutely without the slightest foundation, and . . . I have no hesitation in saying that no such society
exists in this province, and if any such society ever existed, Picariello would be the last Italian in
Canada to have anything to do with it.‖
F. Scott Fitzgerald
(born Sept. 24, 1896, St. Paul, Minn., U.S.—died Dec. 21, 1940,
Hollywood, Calif.) American short-story writer and novelist famous for
his depictions of the Jazz Age (the 1920s), his most brilliant novel being
The Great Gatsby (1925). His private life, with his wife, Zelda, in both
America and France, became almost as celebrated as his novels.
Fitzgerald was the only son of an unsuccessful, aristocratic father and an
energetic, provincial mother. Half the time he thought of himself as the
heir of his father's tradition, which included the author of ―The Star-
Spangled Banner,‖ Francis Scott Key, after whom he was named, and
half the time as ―straight 1850 potato-famine Irish.‖ As a result he had
typically ambivalent American feelings about American life, which seemed to him at once vulgar and
He also had an intensely romantic imagination, what he once called ―a heightened sensitivity to the
promises of life,‖ and he charged into experience determined to realize those promises. At both St. Paul
Academy (1908–10) and Newman School (1911–13) he tried too hard and made himself unpopular, but at
Princeton he came close to realizing his dream of a brilliant success. He became a prominent figure in the
literary life of the university and made lifelong friendships with Edmund Wilson and John Peale Bishop.
He became a leading figure in the socially important Triangle Club, a dramatic society, and was elected to
one of the leading clubs of the university; he fell in love with Ginevra King, one of the beauties of her
generation. Then he lost Ginevra and flunked out of Princeton.
He returned to Princeton the next fall, but he had now lost all the positions he coveted, and in November
1917 he left to join the army. In July 1918, while he was stationed near Montgomery, Ala., he met Zelda
Sayre, the daughter of an Alabama Supreme Court judge. They fell deeply in love, and, as soon as he
could, Fitzgerald headed for New York determined to achieve instant success and to marry Zelda. What
he achieved was an advertising job at $90 a month. Zelda broke their engagement, and, after an epic
drunk, Fitzgerald retired to St. Paul to rewrite for the second time a novel he had begun at Princeton. In
the spring of 1920 it was published, he married Zelda, and
riding in a taxi one afternoon between very tall buildings under a mauve and rosy sky; I began to bawl
because I had everything I wanted and knew I would never be so happy again.
Immature though it seems today, This Side of Paradise in 1920 was a revelation of the new morality of
the young; it made Fitzgerald famous. This fame opened to him magazines of literary prestige, such as
Scribner's, and high-paying popular ones, such as The Saturday Evening Post. This sudden prosperity
made it possible for him and Zelda to play the roles they were so beautifully equipped for, and Ring
Lardner called them the prince and princess of their generation. Though they loved these roles, they were
frightened by them, too, as the ending of Fitzgerald's second novel, The Beautiful and Damned (1922),
shows. The Beautiful and Damned describes a handsome young man and his beautiful wife, who
gradually degenerate into a shopworn middle age while they wait for the young man to inherit a large
fortune. Ironically, they finally get it, when there is nothing of them left worth preserving.
To escape the life that they feared might bring them to this end, the Fitzgeralds (together with their
daughter, Frances, called ―Scottie,‖ born in 1921) moved in 1924 to the Riviera, where they found
themselves a part of a group of American expatriates whose style was largely set by Gerald and Sara
Murphy; Fitzgerald described this society in his last completed novel, Tender Is the Night, and modeled
its hero on Gerald Murphy. Shortly after their arrival in France, Fitzgerald completed his most brilliant
novel, The Great Gatsby (1925). All of his divided nature is in this novel, the naive Midwesterner afire
with the possibilities of the ―American Dream‖ in its hero, Jay Gatsby, and the compassionate Princeton
gentleman in its narrator, Nick Carraway. The Great Gatsby is the most profoundly American novel of its
time; at its conclusion, Fitzgerald connects Gatsby's dream, his ―Platonic conception of himself,‖ with the
dream of the discoverers of America. Some of Fitzgerald's finest short stories appeared in All the Sad
Young Men (1926), particularly ―The Rich Boy‖ and ―Absolution,‖ but it was not until eight years later
that another novel appeared.
The next decade of the Fitzgeralds' lives was disorderly and unhappy. Fitzgerald began to drink too much,
and Zelda suddenly, ominously, began to practice ballet dancing night and day. In 1930 she had a mental
breakdown and in 1932 another, from which she never fully recovered. Through the 1930s they fought to
save their life together, and, when the battle was lost, Fitzgerald said, ―I left my capacity for hoping on
the little roads that led to Zelda's sanitarium.‖ He did not finish his next novel, Tender Is the Night, until
1934. It is the story of a psychiatrist who marries one of his patients, who, as she slowly recovers,
exhausts his vitality until he is, in Fitzgerald's words, un homme épuisé (―a man used up‖). Though
technically faulty and commercially unsuccessful, this is Fitzgerald's most moving book.
With its failure and his despair over Zelda, Fitzgerald was close to becoming an incurable alcoholic. By
1937, however, he had come back far enough to become a scriptwriter in Hollywood, and there he met
and fell in love with Sheilah Graham, a famous Hollywood gossip columnist. For the rest of his life—
except for occasional drunken spells when he became bitter and violent—Fitzgerald lived quietly with
her. (Occasionally he went east to visit Zelda or his daughter Scottie, who entered Vassar College in
1938.) In October 1939 he began a novel about Hollywood, The Last Tycoon. The career of its hero,
Monroe Stahr, is based on that of the producer Irving Thalberg. This is Fitzgerald's final attempt to create
his dream of the promises of American life and of the kind of man who could realize them. In the
intensity with which it is imagined and in the brilliance of its expression, it is the equal of anything
Fitzgerald ever wrote, and it is typical of his luck that he died of a heart attack with his novel only half-
finished. He was 44 years old.
Author, ballerina, and painter, Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald is considered and
assessed as a woman of exceptional energy and ability. Her novel, Save
Me the Waltz, is described as "the deeply felt and carefully crafted
expression of a creative, independent spirit."
Born in Montgomery, Alabama, Zelda attended The Margaret Booth
School and Sidney Lanier High School. In the summer of 1918, at a
dance at the Montgomery Country Club, she met Army Lieutenant, F.
Scott Fitzgerald. Following a stormy courtship of nearly two years,
Zelda married him after the publication of his first novel. Their only
child, Scottie, was born in October, 1921.
Several magazines published works by Zelda. "Friend Husband's Latest" appeared in New York Tribune,
April 1922. "Miss Ella" (December 1931) and "A Couple of Nuts" (August 1932) were published by
Scribner's Magazine. "Eulogy on the Flapper" was published by Metropolitan Magazine in June 1922 and
"The Continental Angel" was published by The New Yorker in June 1932.
In Paris, at the age of 27, Zelda began to study ballet under Madame Lubov Egorova. Because of hard
work and sheer determination, she made progress. Ultimately, however, Zelda realized she was starting
the pursuit of ballet too late.
Her paintings, though difficult to date precisely, are primarily from the 1930's and 1940's. She painted
dancers, city scenes, fantasies, flowers, and religious subjects. These works were exhibited in 1934 at the
New York Gallery of Carey Ross and in 1974 at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. During her
lifetime there were also smaller, informal showings in Ashville and Montgomery.
Scott and Zelda
The perennially famous pair F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald personified the American Jazz Age, a time of
frivolity, wild music, bootleg liquor and emphasis on youth and vitality. Initiating the decade with the
1920 publication of his novel This Side of Paradise, twenty-three year old Scott Fitzgerald also resumed
his love affair with Zelda Sayre, a free-spirited young woman from Montgomery, Alabama. Born on July
24, 1900, Zelda was a heedless and modern Southern belle with many suitors and little concern for
convention. Fitzgerald had met Zelda during World War I, when he was training at Montgomery‘s Camp
Sheridan. He was immediately and provocatively captivated by the red-haired beauty, and while Zelda
found Scott intriguing as well, she did not wish to lead the life of a poor writer‘s wife and refused his
initial marriage proposal.
Devastated by her rejection, Scott went on a booze binge for several days yet rallied upon return to his
family home in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he reworked his first novel The Romantic Egoist, later known
as This Side of Paradise. Zelda, whose personality traits can be found in both Rosalind and Eleanor in
This Side of Paradise, had officially become Fitzgerald‘s muse, a role she would continue to play both
willingly and unwillingly throughout his career. This Side of Paradise was an instant sensation and with
his newfound fame, Fitzgerald won Zelda over and the couple married soon after.
Success and Wild Times
Such began the celebrated whirlwind of continental travel, cocktails, spending sprees and the eventual
disillusion and madness that marked the Fitzgerald union. Initially living in New York then moving to
Paris, Italy, and along the Riviera, Scott and Zelda were fêted everywhere they went. Unfortunately, while
Scott Fitzgerald‘s success continued through subsequent novels such as The Beautiful and the Damned
and The Great Gatsby, along with numerous short stories published in the top magazines of the day,
almost all the money he earned went to fueling a lavish lifestyle. The Fitzgeralds‘ daughter Frances was
born in 1921, but the hectic pace continued, as did Scott‘s increasing alcoholism. Zelda also drank a great
deal and kept up her flapper-ish ways, but the issue which seemed to cause Zelda‘s greatest inner torment
was perhaps that which had caused the wildness of her youth: unexpressed and unchanneled creativity.
Breakdown and Beyond
After trying her hand at writing yet finding herself overshadowed by her well-known husband, Zelda
turned toward ballet, which she had shown marked talent for as a child. While in Paris, Zelda resumed her
study of dance. She worked tirelessly to join a European ballet company, but soon realized that she was
not young enough to begin a professional career. Frustrated and depressed, Zelda‘s schizophrenic
tendencies deepened and in 1930 she suffered her first mental breakdown.
In the following years of her life, spent primarily in various mental institutions, Zelda wrote an
autobiographical novel entitled Save Me The Waltz, a play called Scandalabra, and also took up painting
and drawing. First exhibited in 1934, Zelda‘s artwork showed the sense of intense vitality and sometimes
chaotic energy that had inspired her husband‘s writings. Sadly, eight years after the death of Scott
Fitzgerald in 1940, Zelda was killed in a fire at Highland Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, almost as
if the element of burning passion that had dominated her being once again grew too strong to control.
(1905 - 1965)
An American actress and sex symbol, best known for
her film work in the 1920s and early 1930s. To some,
Bow was the era's archetype of the flapper.
Bow was born in a tenement in Brooklyn, New York,
the only surviving child of a family afflicted with
mental illness and Dickensian poverty and physical
and emotional abuse. Her mother, Sarah Gordon,
who was mentally ill as well as an epileptic, was
noted for her public and frequent affairs with local
firemen. Her father, Robert Bow, was rarely present
and may have been mentally retarded; he reportedly
raped Clara when she was a young girl. The couple's
eldest child, a daughter, died two days after birth,
and the body was dumped in a trash can.
She was working as an actress by her mid-teens, having dropped out of school at the age of seven. She
won the Fame and Fortune contest in 1921 and began making motion pictures the following year. Her
first film was Down to the Sea in Ships, made in 1922. This being the Roaring 20s, all of her early movies
were on the silent screen. She was selected as one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars in 1924. The movie
through which she broke out into cinematic stardom was 1925's The Plastic Age, written by feminist
silent-era screenwriter Frederica Sagor Maas. She soon became known for her expressiveness,
spontaneity, and ability to project sexuality and self-mocking humor. She made an astonishing 58 motion
pictures in 11 years.
In 1927, Clara made It, a vehicle for her sex-appeal. Consequently, Bow was dubbed "The IT Girl" — "It"
being a euphemism for sex-appeal, as defined by the British novelist Elinor Glyn. This image was enhanced by
various off-screen love affairs publicized by the tabloid press. Some Hollywood insiders considered her
socially undesirable, especially in light of rumored sexual escapades (Bela Lugosi, Gary Cooper, Gilbert
Roland, and John Gilbert were among her lovers), alcoholism, and drug abuse. Budd Schulberg, a producer's
son, said, "Clara Bow, no matter how great her popularity, was a low life and disgrace to the community."
Very few of these rumors are true, but Bow probably inherited her mental instability from her mother.
Her acting, however, was finer than her good-time-girl reputation implied. She was praised for her vitality and
enthusiasm — Adolph Zukor said that "She danced even when her feet weren't moving" — though her roles
rarely allowed her to show much range. At least one important film writer, Adela Rogers St. John, felt that
Bow had enormous promise that was never tapped by the studios. Documentation indicates that as Bow
developed a reputation as "Crisis-a-Day Clara," Paramount went out of its way to humiliate the increasingly
emotionally frail actress by cancelling her films, docking her pay, charging her for unreturned costumes, and
insisting that she pay for her publicity photographs. Her contract also included a morality clause offering her a
bonus of $500,000 for behaving like a lady and staying out of the papers.
In 1927, Clara also made Wings, a war picture largely re-written to accommodate Bow, who at the time was
Paramount's biggest star. The film went on to win the first Academy Award for Best Picture. After movies
such as Wings, Bow's career continued with limited success into the early sound film era, (despite her thick
unmanageable Brooklynese accent) with notable success as a singer, until she retired in 1933 to raise her
children with her husband, cowboy actor Rex Bell (actually George F. Beldon), later a lieutenant governor of
Nevada. They married in 1932 and had two sons, Tony Beldon (born 1934, changed name to Rex Anthony
Bell Jr.) and George Beldon Jr. (born 1938). After being diagnosed a schizophrenic in 1949 and suffering a
mental-health regimen that included shock treatments, Clara Bow died on September 26, 1965 and was
interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.
(1905 - 1990)
(born September 18, 1905, Stockholm, Sweden—died April 15,
1990, New York, New York, U.S.) one of the most glamorous
and popular motion-picture stars of the 1920s and '30s who is
best known for her portrayals of strong-willed heroines, most of
them as compellingly enigmatic as Garbo herself.
The daughter of an itinerant labourer, Greta Gustafsson was
reared in poverty in a Stockholm slum. She was working as a
department-store clerk when she met film director Erik Petschler, who gave her a small part in Luffar-
Petter (1922; Peter the Tramp). From 1922 to 1924 she studied at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in
Stockholm, and in 1924 she played a major role in Gösta Berlings Saga (―The Story of Gösta Berling‖).
The film's director, Mauritz Stiller, gave her the name Garbo, and in 1925 he secured her a contract with
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in Hollywood.At first, MGM chief Louis B. Mayer was skeptical of Garbo's
talent, but he and all studio executives were impressed by the initial rushes of her first American film, The
Torrent (1926). Garbo projected a luminous quality that was perfect for silent pictures, motivating Mayer
to sign her to an exclusive contract and raise her salary even before she completed work on this film.
Throughout the remainder of the decade, Garbo appeared in such popular romantic dramas as Flesh and
the Devil (1927), Love (1927), A Woman of Affairs (1928), and The Kiss (1929). She often co-starred with
John Gilbert, with whom she was romantically involved offscreen. Garbo's success during this stage of
her career was based not only on her mysterious, ethereal screen persona, but also on public interest in the
Garbo-Gilbert affair .Sound allowed for Garbo to become an even bigger star, although her popularity
was always greater in Europe than in the United States. ―Garbo talks!‖ was MGM's promotional tagline
for Anna Christie (1930), Garbo's first sound film. Her first spoken words on screen—―Give me a
viskey‖—revealed a husky, resonant voice that added to her allure and her somewhat androgynous
persona that has appealed to both genders throughout the years. It was also one of two films she made in
1930—the other being Romance—for which Garbo received an Academy Award nomination. She
poignantly portrayed an aging ballerina in the all-star classic Grand Hotel (1932), the film in which she
first uttered her signature line of ―I want to be alone.‖ Her stardom was such at this point that she was
billed merely as ―Garbo‖ for the film.Modern critics are divided as to whether Garbo's best films of the
1930s are the period vehicles, which were always her most successful, or those set in contemporary times,
in which she in many ways embodied the cinema's first modern, emancipated woman. Her leading roles
in Mata Hari (1932) and Queen Christina (1933) were among her most popular and they were mildly
scandalous for their frank-as-the-times-would-permit treatment of eroticism and bisexuality, respectively.
Garbo portrayed contemporary protagonists in As You Desire Me (1932) and The Painted Veil (1934), the
latter film being highly reminiscent of the type of love-triangle potboilers Garbo made during her silent
days. Her three best-known films of the 1930s, and the roles upon which the Garbo mystique is largely
based, are Anna Karenina (1935), in which Garbo portrayed Leo Tolstoy's title character; Camille (1936),
in which, despite being ill during much of the production, Garbo delivers one of her most radiant and
compelling performances as Alexandre Dumas fils's tragic heroine; and Ninotchka (1939), an Ernst
Lubitsch-directed farce in which Garbo, in a somewhat self-parodying turn as a Russian agent, proved
herself a capable comic performer. Perhaps her most enduringly popular film, Ninotchka garnered another
Oscar nomination for Garbo.The war in Europe may have been a factor in the end of Garbo's screen
career. Because her films had been more popular abroad than at home, and because markets for American
films were swiftly dissipating throughout occupied European countries, it has been said that executives at
MGM conspired to kill Garbo's career by casting her in a film they knew would bomb, the comic misfire
Two-Faced Woman (1941). Contrary to popular perception, Garbo did not leave Hollywood in disgust
after this film. She was nearly lured back to the screen twice—once to portray George Sand, the other
time to star in Alfred Hitchcock's The Paradine Case (1947)—but instead chose permanent retirement, a
move that added to her enigma and increased her cult following. After a screen career of 20 years, Garbo
lived the next five decades in her New York City apartment and made no public appearances. She was
awarded an honorary Oscar in 1955; true to form, she did not attend the ceremonies.
Handsome, romantic lead of silent films, Gilbert reached his
peak in the late 1920s starring opposite Greta Garbo in several
features. The son of itinerant actors, Gilbert entered films as a
bit player, screenwriter and director in 1916. He worked for
Triangle, Fox and other studios, where his dark, brooding good
looks were more in demand than his writing or directing skills.
Gilbert gradually worked his way up to supporting player and
leading man in films like "The Princess of the Dark" (1916),
"Nancy Comes Home" (1918), "Heart o' the Hills" (1919, with
Mary Pickford), "The Great Redeemer" (1920, also screenplay)
and "Cameo Kirby" (1923).
Stardom finally came with a leading role in "His Hour" (1924),
an adaptation of a heavy-breathing Elinor Glyn romance.
Gilbert signed with MGM that year, the studio which would make him a major star in the mid-1920s and
break him a few years later. He had good roles in "He Who Gets Slapped" (1924, starring Lon Chaney)
and as a roguish villain in "The Snob" (also 1924) before starring with Mae Murray in Erich von
Stroheim's highly successful but problem-plagued "The Merry Widow" (1925). He went on to prove
himself both a handsome lead and a talented actor in two films directed by King Vidor: the WWI story
"The Big Parade" (1925) and "La Boheme" (1926).
The romantic, headstrong Gilbert tended to fall in love with actresses, particularly his co-stars. He
married and divorced Olivia Burwell, Leatrice Joy (with whom he had a daughter), Ina Claire and
Virginia Bruce. But his most high-profile romance began in 1926 when he co-starred with recent import
Greta Garbo in "Flesh and the Devil". The on-again, off-again affair lasted three years, and the two
successfully co-starred in "Love" (a modern-dress "Anna Karenina", 1927) and "A Woman of Affairs"
(1929). His other leading ladies included Joan Crawford ("Twelve Miles Out", 1927 and "Four Walls",
1928), Renee Adoree ("The Show", 1927 and "The Cossacks", 1928) and stage great Jeanne Eagels
("Man, Woman, and Sin", 1928).
Gilbert's career ended with a crash when talkies arrived, and it's generally assumed that his voice was to
blame. Actually, he had a perfectly serviceable voice: it was a personality clash with Louis B Mayer and
poor films that did him in. Dim, badly-written fare like "His Glorious Night" (1929), "Redemption" and
"Way for a Sailor" (both 1930), "Gentleman's Fate" (1931) and "Fast Workers" (1933) may indeed have
been a plot to end Gilbert's career. There were a few high points: he played a magician/thief in "The
Phantom of Paris" (1931) and a charming, soulless servant in "Downstairs" (1932). Garbo kindly insisted
he co-star with her in "Queen Christina" (1933), but it wasn't much of a role. By that time, he was
drinking heavily and more quarrelsome than ever. Gilbert's last hurrah was as an alcoholic would-be
writer in "The Captain Hates the Sea" (1935). He turned in a brilliant character performance, and current
love Marlene Dietrich was trying to hire him for a second lead in "Desire" (1936) when he died of a heart
(born April 29, 1899, Washington, D.C., U.S.—died May
24, 1974, New York, N.Y.) American pianist who was the
greatest jazz composer and bandleader. One of the
originators of big-band jazz, Ellington led his band for
more than half a century, composed thousands of scores,
and created one of the most distinctive ensemble sounds in
all of Western music.
Ellington grew up in a secure middle-class family in
Washington, D.C. His family encouraged his interests in
the fine arts, and he began studying piano at age seven. He
became engrossed in studying art during his high-school
years, and he was awarded, but did not accept, a scholarship to the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York.
Inspired by ragtime performers, he began to perform professionally at age 17.Ellington first played in
New York City in 1923. Later that year he moved there and, in Broadway nightclubs, led a sextet that
grew in time into a 10-piece ensemble. The singular blues-based melodies; the harsh, vocalized sounds of
his trumpeter, Bubber Miley (who used a plunger [―wa-wa‖] mute); and the sonorities of the distinctive
trombonist Joe (―Tricky Sam‖) Nanton (who played muted ―growl‖ sounds) all influenced Ellington's
early ―jungle style,‖ as seen in such masterpieces as ―East St. Louis Toodle-oo‖ (1926) and ―Black and
Tan Fantasy‖ (1927).Extended residencies at the Cotton Club in Harlem (1927–32, 1937–38) stimulated
Ellington to enlarge his band to 14 musicians and to expand his compositional scope. He selected his
musicians for their expressive individuality, and several members of his ensemble—including trumpeter
Cootie Williams (who replaced Miley), cornetist Rex Stewart, trombonist Lawrence Brown, baritone
saxophonist Harry Carney, alto saxophonist Johnny Hodges, and clarinetist Barney Bigard—were
themselves important jazz artists. (The most popular of these was Hodges, who rendered ballads with a
full, creamy tone and long portamentos.) With these exceptional musicians, who remained with him
throughout the 1930s, Ellington made hundreds of recordings, appeared in films and on radio, and toured
Europe in 1933 and 1939.The expertise of this ensemble allowed Ellington to break away from the
conventions of band-section scoring. Instead, he used new harmonies to blend his musicians' individual
sounds and emphasized congruent sections and a supple ensemble that featured Carney's full bass-clef
sound. He illuminated subtle moods with ingenious combinations of instruments; among the most famous
examples is ―Mood Indigo‖ in his 1930 setting for muted trumpet, unmuted trombone, and low-register
clarinet. In 1931 Ellington began to create extended works, including such pieces as Creole Rhapsody,
Reminiscing in Tempo, and Diminuendo in Blue/Crescendo in Blue. He composed a series of works to
highlight the special talents of his soloists. Williams, for example, demonstrated his versatility in
Ellington's noted miniature concertos ―Echoes of Harlem‖ and ―Concerto for Cootie.‖ Some of Ellington's
numbers—notably ―Caravan‖ and ―Perdido‖ by trombonist Juan Tizol—were cowritten or entirely
composed by sidemen. Few of Ellington's soloists, despite their importance to jazz history, played as
effectively in other contexts; no one else, it seemed, could match the inspiration that Ellington provided
with his sensitive, masterful settings.A high point in Ellington's career came in the early 1940s, when he
composed several masterworks—including the above-mentioned ―Concerto for Cootie,‖ his fast-tempo
showpieces ―Cotton Tail‖ and ―Ko-Ko,‖ and the uniquely structured, compressed panoramas ―Main
Stem‖ and ―Harlem Air Shaft‖—in which successions of soloists are accompanied by diverse ensemble
colours. The variety and ingenuity of these works, all conceived for three-minute, 78-rpm records, are
extraordinary, as are their unique forms, which range from logically flowing expositions to juxtapositions
of line and mood. Tenor saxophonist Ben Webster and bassist Jimmy Blanton, both major jazz artists,
were with this classic Ellington band. By then, too, Billy Strayhorn, composer of what would become the
band's theme song, ―Take the ‗A' Train,‖ had become Ellington's composing-arranging partner.Not
limiting himself to jazz innovation, Ellington also wrote such great popular songs as ―Sophisticated
Lady,‖ ―Rocks in My Bed,‖ and ―Satin Doll‖; in other songs, such as ―Don't Get Around Much Any
More,‖ ―Prelude to a Kiss,‖ ―Solitude,‖ and ―I Let a Song Go out of My Heart,‖ he made wide interval
leaps an Ellington trademark. A number of these hits were introduced by Ivy Anderson, who was the
band's female vocalist in the 1930s.During these years Ellington became intrigued with the possibilities of
composing jazz within classical forms. His musical suite Black, Brown and Beige (1943), a portrayal of
African-American history, was the first in a series of suites he composed, usually consisting of pieces
linked by subject matter. It was followed by, among others, Liberian Suite (1947); A Drum Is a Woman
(1956), created for a television production; Such Sweet Thunder (1957), impressions of William
Shakespeare's scenes and characters; a recomposed, reorchestrated version of Nutcracker Suite (1960;
after Peter Tchaikovsky); Far East Suite (1964); and Togo Brava Suite (1971). Ellington's symphonic A
Rhapsody of Negro Life was the basis for the film short Symphony in Black (1935), which also features
the voice of Billie Holiday (uncredited). Ellington wrote motion-picture scores for The Asphalt Jungle
(1950) and Anatomy of a Murder (1959) and composed for the ballet and theatre—including, at the height
of the Civil Rights Movement, the show My People (1964), a celebration of African-American life. In his
last decade he composed three pieces of sacred music: In the Beginning God (1965), Second Sacred
Concert (1968), and Third Sacred Concert (1973).Although Ellington's compositional interests and
ambitions changed over the decades, his melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic characteristics were for the
most part fixed by the late 1930s, when he was a star of the swing era. The broken, eighth-note melodies
and arrhythms of bebop had little impact on him, though on occasion he recorded with musicians who
were not band members—not only with other swing-era luminaries such as Louis Armstrong, Ella
Fitzgerald, and Coleman Hawkins but also with later bop musicians John Coltrane and Charles Mingus.
Ellington's stylistic qualities were shared by Strayhorn, who increasingly participated in composing and
orchestrating music for the Ellington band. During 1939–67 Strayhorn collaborated so closely with
Ellington that jazz scholars may never determine how much the gifted deputy influenced or even
composed works attributed to Ellington.The Ellington band toured Europe often after World War II; it
also played in Asia (1963–64, 1970), West Africa (1966), South America (1968), and Australia (1970)
and frequently toured North America. Despite this grueling schedule, some of Ellington's musicians
stayed with him for decades; Carney, for example, was a band member for 47 years. For the most part,
later replacements fit into roles that had been created by their distinguished predecessors; after 1950, for
instance, the Webster-influenced Paul Gonsalves filled the band's solo tenor saxophone role originated by
Webster. There were some exceptions to this generalization, such as trumpeter-violinist Ray Nance and
high-note trumpet specialist Cat Anderson.Not least of the band's musicians was Ellington himself, a
pianist whose style originated in ragtime and the stride piano idiom of James P. Johnson and Willie ―The
Lion‖ Smith. He adapted his style for orchestral purposes, accompanying with vivid harmonic colours
and, especially in later years, offering swinging solos with angular melodies. An elegant man, Ellington
maintained a regal manner as he led the band and charmed audiences with his suave humour. His career
spanned more than half a century—most of the documented history of jazz. He continued to lead the band
until shortly before his death in 1974.Ellington's sense of musical drama and of his players' special talents
and his wide range of moods were rare indeed. His gift of melody and his mastery of sonic textures,
rhythms, and compositional forms translated his often subtle, often complex perceptions into a body of
music unequaled in jazz history. Charles Ives is perhaps his only rival for the title of the greatest
American composer. Ellington's autobiography, Music Is My Mistress, was published in 1973.
Louise McKinney was the first woman elected to government
in Canada--a choice made by both men and women. In 1917, in
the first election in which women were allowed to run for office
or given the vote, McKinney ran as a Non-Partisan League
(NPL) candidate in Alberta. She ran for the NPL because she
believed liquor and brewing companies influenced the major
political parties through their donations. She won a seat in the
election, as did Nursing Sister Roberta MacAdams, but because
she was sworn into the Alberta Legislature before Sister
MacAdams, McKinney has the distinction of being the first.
McKinney organized 20 Woman's Christian Temperance Union
(WCTU) chapters in the West, serving as president of the Alberta and Saskatchewan Union for 20 years.
Under her guidance, the WCTU strongly influenced the political and social growth and development of
Alberta. The WCTU stood not merely for temperance but also for promoting a Christian lifestyle. Many
social reform movements had the support of the WCTU, which played a major part in obtaining the
franchise for women in 1916. Social service and immigrant work were also important areas of focus for
the organization. However, McKinney's focus was on the temperance movement. She believed in the
educational value of prohibition campaigns and was active in promoting her views on the negative effects
of alcohol and smoking. She had a major role in the 1915 provincial campaign to ban alcohol, which
made Alberta the second province to adopt prohibition.
McKinney was significantly involved in politics; but often questioned partisan practices. The power of
liquor contributions to political party funds was an issue that she took a stand on by not belonging to
either of the two major parties. When the NPL was established in Alberta she gave it her enthusiastic
support. She was persuaded to occupy candidacy in Claresholm during the 1917 provincial election and to
her own surprise, was successful, becoming the first female legislator in the British Empire.
McKinney also became known very quickly as one of the most capable debaters in the Assembly when
bills were introduced and debated. She was interested in legislation to aid people with disabilities, and
consistently pressured the government until prohibition laws were made more effective. Her major
initiative was the improvement of the legal status of widows and separated wives. McKinney and
Henrietta Muir Edwards drafted a bill which she introduced which was passed to become the Dower Act,
one of Alberta's most progressive laws. A strong proponent of women's rights, McKinney urged the
adoption of social welfare measures for immigrants and widows.
McKinney was a delegate to the final Methodist General Conference in 1925. She attended the first
General Council of the United Church of Canada and signed the Basis of Union as one of the
Commissioners—one of only four women and the only woman from Western Canada. Back then, the
Temperance Union's members were powerful activists who took on taboo issues such as family violence.
Defeated in her second election in 1926, McKinney subsequently retired from active politics. In 1929, she
was one of the five women of Alberta who carried the appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy
Council which finally established the status of women as "persons" under the British North America Act
of 1867. In recognition of that work, McKinney was made a World Vice-President of the Imperial Order
of the Daughters of the Empire (IODE).
On January 23, 1930, the Calgary Women‘s Canadian Club held a victory lunch in the Crystal Ballroom
of the Palliser Hotel for the Famous 5. When it was McKinney‘s turn to speak, as noted in the Alberta,
she called on women, "to dream big and act honourably."
The women's organizations of Alberta raised a fund to honour this nation builder by having her portrait
painted by J. Forster, of Toronto. Sittings were interrupted by her death, but the portrait was completed
from photographs and now hangs in the Legislative Building in Edmonton.
Many paid tribute to Louise McKinney on her death in 1931. Tributes came from men and women in
public life all over Canada, and from WCTU leaders from many different countries who dropped
hundreds of white ribbons into her coffin. Nellie McClung said of her: "Mrs. McKinney was a great lover
of people and because she loved them she could not look with complacency on any of life's evils."
Louise McKinney died at Claresholm, the home of her legislative seat, on 10 July 1931, aged 63. Her
gravestone reads only "Mother."
Louise Brooks (1906 - 1985)
An American actress and one of the most famous faces of the silver
screen. Born Mary Louise Brooks in Cherryvale, Kansas, this
beautiful dark-haired actress is primarily known for her roles in
silent films made during the late Roaring Twenties in the United
States and three films made in Europe in 1929 and 1930, as well as
her trend-setting "bob" hairstyle.
Her parents were somewhat "ethereal", and although they inspired
her with a love of books and music—her mother was a talented
pianist who played the latest Debussy and Satie for her - they failed
to protect her from childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a
neighborhood predator. This single series of events was a major
influence on her life and career—she once claimed she was
incapable of real love. A natural actress and dancer, she was
destined for great highs and lows.
She began her entertainment career as a talented dancer, appearing in her teens with the revolutionary
Denishawn modern dance company whose members included Martha Graham, Ruth St. Denis, and Ted
Shawn. After leaving Denishawn under a cloud (her soon-to-be-famous obstinacy did her a disservice
here), she turned to her influential friends, and she was quickly a featured dancer in the Ziegfeld Follies
on Broadway, where she was immediately noticed by the then New York-based movie studios for her
great beauty. Signing with Paramount Studios, where she stayed for most of the remainder of her
American film career, her film debut was in the silent The Street of Forgotten Men in an uncredited role
in 1925. Soon, however, she was playing the lead female role in a number of silent light comedies and
"flapper" films over the next few years, starring with Adolphe Menjou, and W. C. Fields among others.
She was noticed in Europe for her pivotal vamp role in the Howard Hawks directed silent "buddy film", A
Girl In Every Port in 1928.
Her best American role was in one of the last silent film dramas, Beggars Of Life (1928), as an abused
country girl on the run with Richard Arlen and Wallace Beery playing hoboes she meets while riding the
rails. Much of this film was shot on location, an unusual practice for the time, and the boom microphone
was invented for this film by the director, William Wellman, who needed it for one of the first
experimental talking scenes in the movies. At this time in her life, she was rubbing elbows with the rich
and famous, and was a regular guest of William Randolph Hearst and his mistress, Marion Davies, at San
Simeon. Her pageboy bob haircut had started a sensational trend, as many women in the Western world
cut their hair like hers. Soon after this film was made, Louise, who loathed the Hollywood "scene",
refused a request to record voice-over tracks for The Canary Murder Case, and left for Europe to make
films for G. W. Pabst, the great German Expressionist director, effectively ending her Hollywood Studio
She starred in the 1928 film Pandora's Box, in which her waiflike role as the doomed flapper, Lulu, who
meets her fate at the hands of Jack the Ripper after a series of salacious escapades, made her an icon of
life and death in the Jazz Age. This film is notorious for its frank treatment of modern sexual mores,
including the first screen portrayal of a lesbian. Louise then starred in the controversial social dramas
Diary Of A Lost Girl (1929) and Prix de Beaute (1930), the latter being filmed in France, and having a
famous, but mesmerizing, shock ending. All these films were heavily censored, as they were very "adult"
and considered shocking in their time for their portrayals of sexuality, in addition to being highly critical
of society. Although overlooked at the time because "talkies" were taking over the movies, these three
films were later recognized as masterpieces of the Silent Age, with her role of Lulu now regarded as one
of the greatest performances in film history.
Louise is considered one the first "natural" actors in film, her acting being subtle and nuanced compared
to many other silent performers. The close-up was just coming into vogue with directors, and Louise's
almost hypnotically beautiful face was perfect for this new technique. Louise had always been very self-
directed, even difficult, and was notorious for her salty language, which she didn't hesitate to use
whenever she felt like it. In addition, she had made a vow to herself never to smile on stage unless she felt
compelled to, and although the majority of her publicity photos show her with a neutral expression, she
had a dazzling smile. By her own admission, she was a sexually liberated woman, not afraid to
experiment, even posing nude for "art" photography, and her liaisons with many film people were
legendary, although much of it is speculation.
She was also a notorious spendthrift in her later years, but was kind and generous to her friends, almost to
a fault. When she returned to Hollywood, she found herself effectively black-listed, and never again
enjoyed her previous success. Rumours purportedly sent out by the studios claimed she had the wrong
voice for the new sound films, but she actually possessed a hard-won beautiful and cultured voice. After
the humiliation of being cast in B pictures by studio executives as punishment for her outspokenness and
disdain for ill-written scripts, in 1938, she retired from show business, briefly returning to Wichita, where
she was raised. "But that turned out to be another kind of hell," she wrote. "The citizens of Wichita either
resented me having been a success or despised me for being a failure. And I wasn't exactly enchanted
with them. I must confess to a lifelong curse: My own failure as a social creature." She returned East and
worked as a sales girl in a Saks store in New York City for a few years, then eked out a living as a
companion to a few select wealthy men. Louise unfortunately had a life-long love of alcohol, and was an
alcoholic for a major portion of her later life, although she exorcised that particular devil enough to begin
writing about film, which became her second life.
Her many lovers from years before had included a young William S. Paley, the founder of CBS, who
quietly provided for her while she was an outcast from the entertainment world, and living frugally.
French film historians rediscovered her films in the early 1950s, proclaiming her as an actress who
surpassed even Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo as a film icon, much to her amusement, but it would
lead to the still ongoing Louise Brooks film revivals, and rehabilitated her reputation in her home country.
James Card, the film curator for the George Eastman House, discovered Louise living as a recluse in New
York City about this time, and persuaded her to move to Rochester, New York to be near the George
Eastman House film collection. With his help, she became a noted film writer in her own right. A
collection of her witty and cogent writings, Lulu in Hollywood, was published in 1982. She was famously
profiled by the noted film writer Kenneth Tynan in his essay, "The Girl With The Black Helmet", the title
of which was an allusion to her fabulous bob, a hair-style claimed as one of the 10 most influential in
history by beauty magazines the world over.
She rarely gave interviews, but had a special relationship with John Kobal and Kevin Brownlow, the film
historians, and they were able to capture on paper some of her amazing personality. She had lived alone
by choice for many years, and Louise passed away quietly in 1985, after suffering from arthritis and
emphysema for many years.
A German-born physicist who developed the special and
general theories of relativity and won the Nobel Prize for
Physics in 1921 for his explanation of the photoelectric
effect. Einstein is generally considered the most influential
physicist of the 20th century.
Einstein applied directly to the Eidgenössische
Polytechnische Schule (―Swiss Federal Polytechnic
School‖; in 1911, following expansion in 1909 to full
university status, it was renamed the Eidgenössische
Technische Hochschule, or ―Swiss Federal Institute of
Technology‖) in Zürich without the equivalent of a high
school diploma if he passed its stiff entrance examinations.
His marks showed that he excelled in mathematics and
physics, but he failed at French, chemistry, and biology. Because of his exceptional math scores, he was
allowed into the polytechnic on the condition that he first finish his formal schooling.
After graduation in 1900, Einstein faced one of the greatest crises in his life. Because he studied advanced
subjects on his own, he often cut classes; this earned him the animosity of some professors, especially
Heinrich Weber. Unfortunately, Einstein asked Weber for a letter of recommendation. Einstein was
subsequently turned down for every academic position that he applied to. He later wrote,
During 1905, often called Einstein's ―miracle year,‖ he published four papers in the Annalen der Physik,
each of which would alter the course of modern physics:
1. Über einen die Erzeugung und Verwandlung des Lichtes betreffenden heuristischen Gesichtspunkt
(―On a Heuristic Viewpoint Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light‖), in which Einstein
applied the quantum theory to light in order to explain the photoelectric effect. If light occurs in tiny
packets (later called photons), then it should knock out electrons in a metal in a precise way.
2. Über die von der molekularkinetischen Theorie der Wärme geforderte Bewegung von in ruhenden
Flüssigkeiten suspendierten Teilchen (―On the Movement of Small Particles Suspended in Stationary
Liquids Required by the Molecular-Kinetic Theory of Heat‖), in which Einstein offered the first
experimental proof of the existence of atoms. By analyzing the motion of tiny particles suspended in still
water, called Brownian motion, he could calculate the size of the jostling atoms and Avogadro's number (
3. Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Körper (―On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies‖), in which
Einstein laid out the mathematical theory of special relativity.
4. Ist die Trägheit eines Körpers von seinem Energieinhalt abhängig? (―Does the Inertia of a Body
Depend Upon Its Energy Content?‖), submitted almost as an afterthought, which showed that relativity
theory led to the equation = 2. This provided the first mechanism to explain the energy source of the Sun
and other stars.
In the 19th century there were two pillars of physics: Newton's laws of motion and Maxwell's theory of
light. Einstein was alone in realizing that they were in contradiction and that one of them must fall.
Even as his fame spread, Einstein's marriage was falling apart. He was constantly on the road, speaking
at international conferences, and lost in contemplation of relativity. The couple argued frequently about
their children and their meager finances. Convinced that his marriage was doomed, Einstein began an
affair with a cousin, Elsa Löwenthal, whom he later married. (Elsa was a first cousin on his mother's side
and a second cousin on his father's side.) When he finally divorced Mileva in 1919, he agreed to give her
the money he might receive if he ever won a Nobel Prize.
One of the deep thoughts that consumed Einstein from 1905 to 1915 was a crucial flaw in his own theory:
it made no mention of gravitation or acceleration. His friend Paul Ehrenfest had noticed a curious fact. If
a disk is spinning, its rim travels faster than its centre, and hence (by special relativity) metre sticks placed
on its circumference should shrink. This meant that Euclidean plane geometry must fail for the disk. For
the next 10 years, Einstein would be absorbed with formulating a theory of gravity in terms of the
curvature of space-time. To Einstein, Newton's gravitational force was actually a by-product of a deeper
reality: the bending of the fabric of space and time.
In November 1915 Einstein finally completed the general theory of relativity, which he considered to be
his masterpiece. In the summer of 1915, Einstein had given six two-hour lectures at the University of
Göttingen that thoroughly explained general relativity, albeit with a few unfinished mathematical details.
Much to Einstein's consternation, the mathematician David Hilbert, who had organized the lectures at his
university, then completed these details and submitted a paper in November on general relativity just five
days before Einstein, as if the theory were his own. Later they patched up their differences and remained
friends. Einstein would write to Hilbert,
I struggled against a resulting sense of bitterness, and I did so with complete success. I once more think
of you in unclouded friendship, and would ask you to try to do likewise toward me.
Einstein's work was interrupted by World War I. A lifelong pacifist, he was only one of four intellectuals
in Germany to sign a manifesto opposing Germany's entry into war. Disgusted, he called nationalism ―the
measles of mankind.‖ He would write, ―At such a time as this, one realizes what a sorry species of animal
one belongs to.‖
After the war, two expeditions were sent to test Einstein's prediction of deflected starlight near the Sun.
One set sail for the island of Principe, off the coast of West Africa, and the other to Sobral in northern
Brazil in order to observe the solar eclipse of May 29, 1919. On Nov. 6, 1919, the results were announced
in London at a joint meeting of the Royal Society and the Royal Astronomical Society.
The headline of The Times of London read, ―Revolution in Science—New Theory of the Universe—
Newton's Ideas Overthrown—Momentous Pronouncement—Space ‗Warped.'‖ Almost immediately,
Einstein became a world-renowned physicist, the successor to Isaac Newton.
Invitations came pouring in for him to speak around the world. In 1921 Einstein began the first of several
world tours, visiting the United States, England, Japan, and France. Everywhere he went, the crowds
numbered in the thousands. En route from Japan, he received word that he had received the Nobel Prize
for Physics, but for the photoelectric effect rather than for his relativity theories. During his acceptance
speech, Einstein startled the audience by speaking about relativity instead of the photoelectric effect.
Einstein also launched the new science of cosmology. His equations predicted that the universe is
dynamic—expanding or contracting. This contradicted the prevailing view that the universe was static, so
he reluctantly introduced a ―cosmological term‖ to stabilize his model of the universe. In 1929 astronomer
Edwin Hubble found that the universe was indeed expanding, thereby confirming Einstein's earlier work.
In 1930, in a visit to the Mount Wilson Observatory near Los Angeles, Einstein met with Hubble and
declared the cosmological constant to be his ―greatest blunder.‖ Recent satellite data, however, have
shown that the cosmological constant is probably not zero but actually dominates the matter-energy
content of the entire universe. Einstein's ―blunder‖ apparently determines the ultimate fate of the universe.
During that same visit to California, Einstein was asked to appear alongside the comic actor Charlie
Chaplin during the Hollywood debut of the film City Lights. When they were mobbed by thousands,
Chaplin remarked, ―The people applaud me because everybody understands me, and they applaud you
because no one understands you.‖ Einstein asked Chaplin, ―What does it all mean?‖ Chaplin replied,
To his horror, during the late 1930s, physicists began seriously to consider whether his equation = 2
might make an atomic bomb possible. In 1920 Einstein himself had considered but eventually dismissed
the possibility. However, he left it open if a method could be found to magnify the power of the atom.
Then in 1938–39 Otto Hahn, Fritz Strassmann, Lise Meitner, and Otto Frisch showed that vast amounts of
energy could be unleashed by the splitting of the uranium atom. The news electrified the physics
In July 1939 physicist Leo Szilard asked Einstein if he would write a letter to U.S. President Franklin D.
Roosevelt urging him to develop an atomic bomb. Following several translated drafts, Einstein signed a
letter on August 2 that was delivered to Roosevelt by one of his economic advisers, Alexander Sachs, on
October 11. Roosevelt wrote back on October 19, informing Einstein that he had organized the Uranium
Committee to study the issue. ( primary source document: Einstein's letter to President Roosevelt, 1939.)
Einstein was granted permanent residency in the United States in 1935 and became an American citizen
in 1940, although he chose to retain his Swiss citizenship. During the war, Einstein's colleagues were
asked to journey to the desert town of Los Alamos, N.M., to develop the first atomic bomb for the
Manhattan Project. Einstein, the man whose equation had set the whole effort into motion, was never
asked to participate. Voluminous declassified Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) files, numbering
several thousand, reveal the reason: the U.S. government feared Einstein's lifelong association with peace
and socialist organizations. (FBI director J. Edgar Hoover went so far as to recommend that Einstein be
kept out of America by the Alien Exclusion Act, but he was overruled by the U.S. State Department.)
Instead, during the war Einstein was asked to help the U.S. Navy evaluate designs for future weapons
systems. Einstein also helped the war effort by auctioning off priceless personal manuscripts. In
particular, a handwritten copy of his 1905 paper on special relativity was sold for $6.5 million. It is now
located in the Library of Congress.
Einstein was on vacation when he heard the news that an atomic bomb had been dropped on Japan.
Almost immediately he was part of an international effort to try to bring the atomic bomb under control,
forming the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists.
The physics community split on the question of whether to build a hydrogen bomb. J. Robert
Oppenheimer, the director of the atomic bomb project, was stripped of his security clearance for having
suspected leftist associations. Einstein backed Oppenheimer and opposed the development of the
hydrogen bomb, instead calling for international controls on the spread of nuclear technology. Einstein
also was increasingly drawn to antiwar activities and to advancing the civil rights of African Americans.
The other reason for Einstein's increasing detachment from his colleagues was his obsession, beginning in
1925, with discovering a unified field theory—an all-embracing theory that would unify the forces of the
universe, and thereby the laws of physics, into one framework. In his later years he stopped opposing the
quantum theory and tried to incorporate it, along with light and gravity, into a larger unified field theory.
Gradually Einstein became set in his ways. He rarely traveled far and confined himself to long walks
around Princeton with close associates, whom he engaged in deep conversations about politics, religion,
physics, and his unified field theory. In 1950 he published an article on his theory in Scientific American,
but because it neglected the still-mysterious strong force, it was necessarily incomplete. When he died
five years later of an aortic aneurysm, it was still unfinished.
To millions at home and abroad he's known as the man who discovered
insulin, bringing new hope to diabetics the world over. Frederick Banting's
groundbreaking research in the early 1920s brought him worldwide acclaim
and earned him a lifetime annuity from the federal government, a
knighthood in the British crown and Canada's first ever Nobel Prize.
But not long before he made his mark in medical history, Banting was just
a young doctor and First World War veteran struggling with a fledgling
medical practice in London, Ontario while teaching medical classes at the
University of Western Ontario.
But that all changed on Oct. 31, 1920 after a journal article about diabetes research sparked a moment of
inspiration. The 28-year-old quickly recorded his thoughts in a notebook -- to try and extract the
mysterious hormone associated with the withering disease from the pancreases of dogs.
In his day, diabetics faced shorter lives, blindness and even lost limbs as a result of their body's low levels
of insulin, a naturally occurring hormone that converts sugar into energy. At the time researchers knew
that diabetics suffered from an imbalance of blood sugar, but they were unable to prescribe anything
beyond starvation diets and exercise routines.
With this in mind, Banting spent several months looking for lab space, finally finding a sympathetic ear in
John James Richard Macleod, a University of Toronto professor and diabetes expert. In May 1921,
Macleod introduced Banting to 22-year-old Charles Best, one of his brightest students who had moved
from the U.S. to study medicine. After Best's undergraduate exams the pair quickly began their work in
an overheated and under-funded lab.
Over the summer of 1921 they conducted numerous tests on dogs, advancing their ideas with guidance
from the more experienced Macleod. Along the way, another researcher, James Bertram Collip, helped to
refine a workable sample of insulin for human use.
On Jan. 23, 1922 the researchers gave their serum its first human trial on 14-year-old Leonard Thompson,
a severe diabetes sufferer. The teenager's health improved almost immediately, which lead to other tests
on diabetics, all of whom displayed similar miraculous turnarounds. With insulin reintroduced to their
blood stream, diabetics could bring their blood sugar level under control for the first time. The discovery,
though not a cure for the disease, heralded a new healthy life for millions living with diabetes.
The following year Banting and Macleod were nominated for and awarded the 1923 Nobel Prize for
Physiology or Medicine. While the announcement puts Canada on the map, the omission of Best and
Collip proved contentious. Banting himself was annoyed by the exclusion of Best, who he had considered
an equal in the landmark discovery. He made a point of publicly expressing his support for his lab mate
and split his share of the prize money with him, as does Macleod with Collip.
In a selfless move, the quartet decided not to seek a patent for their life-saving serum, a move that surely
cost them a fortune. Instead, they sold the rights to their formulation to U of T for $1 as a means of
ensuring that insulin could be affordably manufactured for years to come.
In the two decades following his discovery Banting struggled to make another similar breakthrough.
Despite research into silicosis and cancer, he failed to make any major discoveries.
However, he did create the world's first G-suit to help pilots cope with high-speed flight. This led to his
appointment in 1939 as the chairman of the National Research Council's Committee on Aviation Medical
Research. And he even found time to make a name for himself as an amateur artist.
As part of his duties, he boarded a bomber plane on Feb. 21, 1941 bound for England. Shortly after
takeoff the plane crashed in Musgrave Harbour, Newfoundland. Only the pilot survived. Banting was 49