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Thursday, August 10, 2017

August 10, 1948

I have not forgotten about this blog.  As I have mentioned, real life is getting in the way of doing a daily entry.  I'm actually in the middle of a six-day stretch with all 5:00am shifts, so I'm quite exhausted at the end of each shift!  But at the very least, I can post a Throwback Thursday post!  Here's hoping that I will have more to say once this week is over!

Before I go any further though, let me pay my respects to country singer Glen Campbell, who died earlier this week at the age of 81.  May the Wichita Lineman live on forever in all of our hearts.

So you know the drill.  I'll just jump right into the events and history of August 10!

1519 - Ferdinand Magellan's five ships set sail from Seville in an attempt to circumnavigate the world

1680 - The Pueblo Revolt occurs in New Mexico

1792 - The Storming of the Tuileries Palace takes place during the French Revolution, and Louis XVI of France is taken into custody

1793 - The Louvre opens to the public

1821 - Missouri becomes the 24th state of the United States

1846 - The Smithsonian Institute is chartered by the United States Congress

1861 - The Battle of Wilson's Creek takes place

1901 - The United States Steel Recognition Strike begins

1913 - The Treaty of Bucharest is signed by delegates of five countries which effectively ceases conflict in the Second Balkan War

1928 - Actor/singer Eddie Fisher (d. 2010) is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - also on this date, singer and sausage company founder Jimmy Dean (d. 2010) is born

1932 - Rin Tin Tin dies at the age of 15

1939 - British actress Kate O'Mara (d. 2014) is born in Leicester, England

1940 - Righteous Brother member Bobby Hatfield (d. 2003) is born in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

1944 - The Battle of Guam ends

1954 - A ceremony celebrating the groundbreaking of the St. Lawrence Seaway is held in Massena, New York

1961 - Agent Orange is first used by the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War

1966 - In Ottawa, the Heron Road Bridge falls apart during construction - nine people lose their lives

1969 - Leno and Rosemary LaBianca are murdered by followers of Charles Manson - just one day after the slaying of Sharon Tate and four others

1977 - David Berkowitz (a.k.a. the Son of Sam) is arrested for the murders of several New York City residents in the community of Yonkers, New York

1981 - Two weeks after being abducted from a shopping plaza, the severed head of 6-year-old Adam Walsh is found - the murder inspires the series "America's Most Wanted" as well as the Code Adam page heard in stores for missing children

1988 - Ronald Reagan signs the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 - the move proclaims that any Japanese-American citizen forced to be relocated or placed in internment camps during World War II is entitled to a payment of $20,000

1995 - Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols are indicted in their role in the Oklahoma City Bombing of April 19, 1995

2008 - Singer/voice actor Isaac Hayes dies at the age of 65

And for celebrity birthdays, let's wish the following people a happy birthday - Rhonda Fleming, Anita Lonsbrough, Betsey Johnson, Ronnie Spector, Nick Stringer, Patti Austin, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Diane Venora, Rick Overton, Charlie Peacock, Rosanna Arquette, Antonio Banderas, Jon Farriss, Claudia Christian, Charlie Dimmock, Riddick Bowe, Todd Nichols, Emily Symons, Justin Theroux, Dilana Robichaux, Angie Harmon, Matt Morgan, Ryan Eggold, Ari Boyland, Brenton Thwaites, and Kylie Jenner.

So, for today's Throwback Thursday post, I've chosen a topic that has caught a lot of people by surprise, and some may have been a little bit annoyed at being the center of attention...but for the most part, it's been a topic filled with lots of laughs and smiles.

And it all began on August 10, 1948.

So, here's a question for all of you.  How many of you love playing practical jokes on people?  Whether it's April Fools Day or not, it can be fun to watch people's reactions to pranks that are set on unsuspecting friends and loved ones.  The whoopie cushion on a chair, the bucket of water over a door, the super-glue on your grandfather's dentures...

...well, okay, maybe that last one is a tad too extreme.

As long as nobody gets hurt physically or emotionally, I'd say that pranks can be great fun.  In this day and age, almost all pranks are uploaded on sites such as YouTube, or social media websites, but there was once a time in which television shows took practical jokes and amped them up to the next level.

On Dick Clark's "TV's Censored Bloopers and Practical Jokes", you'd see actors playing tricks on their co-stars and crew members.  Betty White gathered a group of senior citizens to play tricks on the youth in "Off Their Rockers".  And I'm sure almost all of us have watched at least one episode of "Punk'd", in which Ashton Kutcher famously played jokes on his famous friends...of which a couple of them likely became enemies as a result.

But there was one show that kick started the prank wars on network television long before those three programs ever existed.  I guess you could consider it the grandfather of all hidden camera and practical jokes of sorts.  Initially beginning as a radio program called "The Candid Microphone" in 1947, the show was brought to television audiences on August 10, 1948.

Of course, since the show was more visual in nature, the Candid Microphone became Candid Camera.  And over the course of the next sixty-nine years, the show has evolved and managed to stay relevant as recently as 2014 - the last time the show was on the air.

The show was created by Allen Funt, and when the show began broadcasting on the air in 1948, it wasn't expected to last more than a few seasons, but to everybody's surprise, the show became a massive hit and ran almost consecutively between 1948 and 1979!  And even then, there were special "Candid Camera" specials broadcast on CBS between 1979 and 1992.  And, of course, Allen Funt was there throughout the entire original run of the series.

Of course, the gags that the show used were quite harmless and basic in comparison to some of the pranks that are featured on shows like "Punk'd" and "Just For Laughs Gags".  Some of the pranks that were featured on the show included gags which involved chests of drawers being jammed shut, or people who can't figure out how to start a rigged car, or people getting trapped inside revolving doors that stop working.  After a few frustrating moments of trying to figure out what was going on, Funt himself or one of his staffers would reveal the gag by saying the iconic phrase "Smile, you're on Candid Camera"! 

Now, that's not to say that adults were the only victims.  Children were also often featured on the show as well, but unlike the adults, they were hardly ever used as the subject of pranks.  Instead they were brought into a room with some weird looking object and they were interviewed about what they thought it was.  

And don't think that the show ended with the death of Allen Funt in 1999.  His son Peter took over the Candid Camera franchise in 1996, and has hosted various incarnations of the show over the last few years.

So in celebration of Candid Camera, I thought I'd show you some of the pranks they've pulled over the years...just to give those of you who haven't seen the show an idea of what it was about.


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