For over 30 years, nobody even knew or remembered the Roswell Incident.
Our use of the phrase “flying saucers” started on June 24, 1947, after Kenneth Arnold, an amateur pilot from Idaho, saw nine lit-up “circular-type” objects flying in formation near Mount Rainier, Washington.
When Arnold (center) landed, he reported what he saw, calculating that they were flying at around 1,700 mph and that they moved like “a saucer if you skip it across water.” News of the sighting spread quickly, and when the newspapers picked up the story they accidentally described them as “flying saucers.”
The sighting over Mount Rainier — which happened a couple of weeks before the supposed Roswell crash — started a rash of alleged sightings across the US and was the most well-known UFO sighting of the 1940s.
In case you were wondering, the word “UFO” or “unidentified flying object” was created in 1953, and it was meant to describe aerial phenomena that could not be immediately identified and not necessarily something of alien origin.
The whole Roswell Incident was mostly forgotten for over 30 years after the United States Air Force issued an almost immediate retraction that they had not recovered a crashed UFO in Roswell, New Mexico, and that it had been debris from a downed weather balloon.
In the late ’70s and early ’80s, interest in Roswell was renewed after the National Enquirer ran the uncorrected original news story about the alleged crash. There were also several books, like The Roswell Incident, that were published about it that further delved into it being a huge government cover-up.
Most everything we think about when we think of the “Roswell crash,” like the alien bodies, a nurse seeing them (who later died in suspicious circumstances), the military base being on high alert and filled with strange debris, came from an episode of Unsolved Mysteries. Those things mentioned in the episode came from Glenn Dennis, who was a mortician in Roswell in 1947 and claimed to have been contacted by the Air Force for child-sized hermetically sealed caskets and asked how to preserve bodies exposed to the elements, and that he was also friends with the nurse who saw the alien bodies first-hand.
Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball basically created the television industry with I Love Lucy. They shot the series with 35 mm film (instead of kinescope), which allowed for the series to air reruns and also be sold in syndication.
Kinescope was the standard way shows were broadcast in the early days of television. However, it was low quality and would deteriorate with each rebroadcast (which made it not even feasible to syndicate). The reason why Lucille and Desi chose to shoot in 35 mm actually had more to do with them not wanting to move to New York to do the series (at the time, TV shows had to shoot there because of the limitations of kinescope).
Selling the series into syndication did force Desi and Lucille to make one big change to the show: the intro. While the classic heart and satin intro is one of the things we associate most with I Love Lucy, it’s actually not the original intro.
The original intro, as well as the bumpers, that were shown during the original run of the show were animated. In fact there were various different animated intros that reflected whichever that week’s sponsor was. Once the series was in reruns, it meant episodes were no longer sponsored, so it was changed to the heart and satin intro.
Color television existed in the ’50s. But there weren’t many color TV shows or specials broadcast, since they were very expensive to produce.
Also, few people owned color TV sets because they were very pricey for the time. A color television set cost about $1,000 in 1954, which is over $10,000 today if adjusted for inflation.
And if you were wondering, on Jan. 1, 1954, NBC became the first US broadcaster to broadcast an event coast to coast in color (it was the Tournament of Roses Parade).
The last surviving witness to President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865 was alive during your grandparents’ and/or parents’ lifetime.
His name was Samuel J. Seymour. He was just 5 years old at the time and was at Ford Theatre the night Lincoln was assassinated. In February 1956, at age 95, Samuel appeared on the TV game show I’ve Got a Secret and told his story. He died a few months later.
There were actually a few assassination attempts on Lincoln’s life prior to Ford Theatre. The most famous of these was the Baltimore Plot. In February 1861, then-President-elect Lincoln was traveling by train from Springfield, Illinois, to Washington, D.C. He was supposed to stop in Baltimore to change trains. However, Allan Pinkerton, a private detective hired by one of the rail companies, uncovered that a secret society was plotting to kill Lincoln on the train platform during the train transfers.
Jackie Kennedy’s iconic pink suit is, of course, forever linked to JFK’s assassination and one of the most recognizable items of clothing of the 20th century. However, she wore the suit publicly at least six times before that day.
The suit was reportedly one of JFK’s favorite outfits to see her in. Jackie was photographed in it several times, including during a visit to London in March 1962…
…and during a visit by the Maharajah and Maharani of Jaipur at the White House in October 1962.
Contrary to popular belief, the suit is not a Chanel suit; it is actually a line-by-line copy put together by New York fashion salon Chez Ninon, using Chanel fabrics, buttons, and trim.
Jennifer Lopez wearing the green Versace dress to the 2000 Grammys was such an a sensation that it caused Google to create an image search. However, two other celebs wore that dress before J.Lo did.
Geri Halliwell (aka Ginger Spice), wore it a full month before at the NRJ Music Awards in Cannes, France.
And Donatella Versace wore it to the Met Gala on Dec. 6, 1999.
In fact, Sandra Bullock wore a slightly different variation of the same Versace dress to the VH-1/Vogue Fashion Awards on Dec. 5, 1999.
Network executives were inspired to create The Golden Girls after they watched actors Doris Roberts and Selma Diamond (who were both older) do a skit at the NBC upfronts.
Both actors were starring on NBC shows at the time (Doris was then starring in Remington Steele, while Selma was on Night Court), and they were asked to do a skit where they mishear the name of Miami Vice as Miami Nice, with them thinking that the show was about a bunch of old retired people.
Shortly before her death, Doris even tweeted about it:
In 1982, Billy Joel’s 1978 album 52nd Street became the first commercial CD to be released for purchase. The album went on sale in Japan on the same day that the first CD player was released.
When CDs first came out, manufacturers knew that people would be slow to adopt them. They were expensive, and most people were unlikely to replace decades worth of vinyl collections. So instead, they decided to market it toward classical music lovers who would be more affluent and care about sound quality.
At one point, 50% of the CDs being produced in the world were for AOL (if you’re old enough to remember those free trial CDs they’d mail out). The company spent over $300 million on those.
According to Vinnie Chieco — the copywriter at Apple who came up with the name — when he saw the original iPod for the first time, he immediately thought of 2001 and the line, “Open the pod bay door, Hal!” They then just added the ‘i’ prefix to it.
Coincidentally, the iPod was released in the same year that the film takes place: 2001.
And lastly, the word “podcast” is a portmanteau — a combination of the words “iPod” and “broadcast.” The term itself was actually created by accident in 2004.
The term was first coined by journalist Ben Hammersley in an article he was writing for the UK’s the Guardian about the new-emerging technology of being able to download audio programs and radio. According to Hammersley, he turned in the article, but was told it was a few words too short. In order to pad it out a bit more, he added the line: “But what to call it? Audioblogging? Podcasting? GuerillaMedia?” And the rest, is well, history!