Labor Day stems from deadly labor strike, but few Americans know the history


A labor movement in Chicago in 1894 left 30 Pullman workers dead, and later spurred Congress and President Grover Cleveland to pass a bill creating Labor Day. But the history of this holiday is rarely taught in schools, and there are few full-time labor journalists to write about working class communities.

Sunday, August 31, 2014, 7:31 PM

16 Vintage Photos of Labor Day Celebrations

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While most of us now celebrate Labor Day with barbecues or end-of-summer vacations, the holiday was originally much more focused on labor unions and was meant to celebrate the economic and social contribution of blue collar workers. In fact, the holiday was only made a federal celebration in 1894 in an attempt to placate labor unions after the famous Pullman Strike, which resulted in 30 deaths. This labor-centric meaning is particularly apparent when looking at vintage photos of the holiday like these, which are courtesy of the Library of Congress.


Original documents aiming to establish Labor Day as a holiday called for a parade that would be followed by family-friendly festivities. As a result, parades were a huge part of the celebrations during the early days of the holiday as you can see in the top picture from the Fireman’s Labor Day Parade from 1929.


Not only were the unions a big part of the reason the holiday was created, but they continued to be a big part of the celebrations for years to come. In fact, many of the early parades were made up largely of groups of different local union workers, like the Women’s Auxiliary Typographical Union pictured here in 1909.


The parades also provided unions with a good opportunity to raise funds to support striking union workers, like this man was doing on behalf of the Furriers Union in 1915.


Of course, like modern parades, there were still plenty of fun sources of entertainment for kids. These four clowns, for example, were happy to amuse the crowd in the Silverton, Colorado parade of 1940.


Similarly, even a small silver mining town like Silverton, Colorado had a high school marching band present to bring a little marching music to the parade, as you can see in this 1940 image by Russell Lee.


As the years wore on, the floats got more elaborate and the parades started attracting larger crowds as well. Here’s a group that was fortunate enough to have balcony seating for the 1940 Labor Day Parade in Du Bois, Pennsylvania, as photographed by Jack Delano.


When WWII rolled around, the unions continued to provide floats for the parades, but they focused their float themes on patriotism and winning the war. In 1942, photographer Arthur S. Siegel captured the Detroit Local 600 of the Congress of Industrial Organizations showing their electrical workers electrocuting Hitler.


Even the clowns at that 1942 Detroit parade had it out for Hitler, showing his headquarters were holed up inside of an outhouse all while promoting bonds to support the war effort. Photograph by Arthur S. Siegel.


Even in the midst of electrocutions and outhouses though, the Detroit parade still made a place for this adorable little girl with her American flag to show her support for the war effort and Labor Day festivities. Image taken in 1942 by Arthur S. Siegel.


As for those family-friendly festivities, well, those varied from location to location, although classic picnic games like potato sack races seemed to be pretty popular across the board. I don’t know who won this particular race shot in 1940 by Russell Lee in Ridgeway, Colorado, but I’d put my money on the big kid on the left.


Depending on the size of the festival, some places would even put up fun carnival rides for the kids. I particularly love this picture of a tiny miner from Silverton, Colorado, taken by Russell Lee in 1940.


The best part of the Labor Day past and present might just be families getting to spend a nice weekend together, like these miners enjoying the holiday with their youngsters back in 1942. Photo taken in Silverton, Colorado by Russell Lee.


Not everyone put away their tools on Labor Day. In fact, the miners of Silverton actually competed to show off who was the best driller. Here’s one participant hand drilling on a massive boulder, as photographed by Russell Lee.


Of course, while many people enjoyed watching contests on Labor Day, most didn’t want to work on the holiday. That’s why going to the race track was so popular in Benning, Maryland back in 1916. Labor Day races like this one included both motorcycle and car events.


While many modern Labor Day celebrations revolve around backyard barbecues, they used to be much larger, community affairs. In fact, this 1940 celebration in Ridgeway, Colorado required dozens of volunteers to prep, cut and serve the massive, free barbecue that fed practically everyone in the whole town. Photo by Russell Lee.


Despite the rain, everyone at the 1940 Ridgeway barbecue seemed grateful to wait in line for such a delicious Labor Day treat, presumably only furthering that feeling of community. Image taken by Russell Lee.

Cookouts now mark Labor Day, instead of parades honoring country’s labor movement, says AFL-CIO honcho Richard Trumpka.



WASHINGTON — Monday is the day to celebrate the American worker and his sacrifices and economic and social achievements.

You do know that, right?

If you don’t, you’re not alone.

Few recall the bloodstained origins of this holiday as we fire up the grill, throw on the burgers and dogs and turn on the U.S. Open tennis or maybe the Yanks, Mets or another ballgame.

And, in a sign of the times, the Sunday morning network news shows didn’t even offer their usual, token pre-Labor Day weekend spot for the head of the nation’s labor movement.

“No,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka when I asked him. “No invitations this year.”

President Grover Cleveland signed legislation to create Labor Day.ANONYMOUS/APPresident Grover Cleveland signed legislation to create Labor Day.

I told the former mine worker-turned-lawyer that there seems to be a precious lack of understanding of the holiday’s origins.

In fact, it stems from an awful confrontation in Chicago in 1894 that saw federal marshals and the Army kill 30 striking Pullman railroad strikers.

Soon after the Pullman walkout ended, Congress and President Grover Cleveland quickly passed and signed legislation for the holiday.

That history is rarely taught in schools and there are few full-time labor journalists anymore.

So with many millions jobless or involuntarily working part-time, we’ll have a few pro forma parades, but not much else.

Americans will be grilling hot dogs on Labor Day rather than honoring the history of the holiday.BOB FILA/KRTAmericans will be grilling hot dogs on Labor Day rather than honoring the history of the holiday.

“Unfortunately, I think your analysis is spot on,” said Trumka, who will take part in celebrations in his native Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh, while President Obama does the same Monday with one in Milwaukee.

“From assembly lines to classrooms, across highways and steel mills, American workers strengthen the foundation of our country and demonstrate that our economy grows best from the middle out,” Obama says in his formal holiday proclamation.

Yes, but sadly, “There is virtually no labor writing anymore and little, if any, reporting on the working class or working class communities,” said William Serrin, a longtime NYU journalism professor and former New York Times labor writer.

“It could be a gold mine of important stories. It’s a shame,” he said Sunday.

Hey, anybody need another burger?

Read more:

Beat Punks: A Brief History of the Counterculture from William S. Burroughs to Kurt Cobain | Imperium Pictures


hobo hippie:

An interview with Victor Bockris on his book Beat Punks
by Phil Weaver

Originally posted on Loud Alien Noize:

An interview with Victor Bockris on his book Beat Punks

by Phil Weaver

Bull Will.

I’m a huge fan of Victor Bockris’ book Beat Punks, a collection of interviews and photographs documenting the relationship between the Beat generation and the punk movement in the 1970s downtown New York scene. The book does a great job of illustrating the cross-pollination of two generations (’50s Beats and ’70s punks) that resulted in one of the most extraordinary cultural flowerings of the 20th century. I recently talked to Bockris about some of the ideas behind the book, and I was pleased to hear he’s about to begin work on a follow up with interlinking prose. He didn’t want to give away too much about the forthcoming book, so I proposed a general interview on the history of the counterculture’s clashes with the establishment in the mid-to-late 20th century. Burroughs was the through-line in a…

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Counterculture Heavyweights

COOL PEOPLE – BILLY BRAGG And He Performs Surprise Set at the Royale For Ferguson: “Liberty and Justice for All!”


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This song comes from the 1998 album, Mermaid Avenue. The lyrics to all the songs on this

album were written by Woody Guthrie sometime before his death in 1967 and put to music

by Billy Bragg and Wilco about 30 years later. The words to this song paint a picture of

sleeping and dreaming beneath the beautiful California stars.


Billy Bragg & Wilco – Walt Whitman’s Niece (Lyrics)

Way Over Yonder In The Minor Key – Billy Bragg & Wilco

Billy Bragg Biography




Billy Bragg


December 20, 1957 (age 56)


Barking, England


Stephen William Bragg

Finding inspiration in the righteous anger of punk rock and the socially conscious folk tradition of Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, Billy Bragg was the leading figure of the anti-folk movement of the ’80s. For most of the decade, Bragg bashed out songs alone on his electric guitar, singing about politics and love. While his lyrics were bitingly intelligent and clever, they were also warm and humane, filled with detail and wit. Even though his lyrics were carefully considered, Bragg never neglected to write melodies for songs that were strong and memorable. Throughout the ’80s, he managed to chart consistently in Britain, yet he only gathered a cult following in America, which could be due to the fact that he sang about distinctly British subject matter, both politically and socially.

Bragg began performing in the late ’70s with the punk group Riff Raff, which lasted only a matter of months. He then joined the British Army, yet he quickly bought himself out of his sojourn with £175. After leaving the Army, he began working at a record store; while he was working, he was writing songs that were firmly in the folk and punk protest tradition. Bragg began a British tour, playing whenever he had the chance to perform. Frequently he would open for bands with only a moment’s notice; soon, he had built a sizable following, as evidenced by his first EP, Life’s a Riot with Spy vs. Spy (1983), hitting number 30 on the U.K. independent charts. Brewing Up with Billy Bragg (1984), his first full-length album, climbed to number 16 in the charts.

During 1984, Bragg became a minor celebrity in Britain, as he appeared at leftist political rallies, strikes, and benefits across the country; he also helped form the “Red Wedge,” a socialist musicians’ collective that also featured Paul Weller. In 1985, Kirsty MacColl took one of his songs, “New England,” to number seven on the British singles chart. Featuring some subtle instrumental additions of piano and horns, 1986’s Talking with the Taxman About Poetry reached the U.K. Top Ten.

Bragg’s version of the Beatles’ “She’s Leaving Home,” taken from the Sgt. Pepper Knew My Father tribute album, became his only number one single in 1988 — as the double A-side with Wet Wet Wet’s “With a Little Help from My Friends.” That year, he also released the EP Help Save the Youth of America and the full-length Workers Playtime, which was produced by Joe Boyd (Fairport Convention, Nick Drake, R.E.M.). Boyd helped expand Bragg’s sound, as the singer recorded with a full band for the first time. The following year, Bragg restarted the Utility record label as a way of featuring non-commercial new artists. The Internationale, released in 1990, was a collection of left-wing anthems, including a handful of Bragg originals. On 1991’s Don’t Try This at Home, he again worked with a full band, recording his most pop-oriented and accessible set of songs; the album featured the hit single, “Sexuality.” Bragg took several years off after Don’t Try This at Home, choosing to concentrate on fatherhood. He returned in 1996 with William Bloke.

In 1998, he teamed with the American alternative country band Wilco to record Mermaid Avenue, a collection of performances based on unreleased songs originally written by Woody Guthrie. Reaching to the Converted, a collection of rarities, followed a year later, and in mid-2000 Bragg and Wilco reunited for a second Mermaid Avenue set. While touring in support of Mermaid Avenue, Vol. 2, Bragg formed the Blokes in 1999 with Small Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan. Lu Edmonds (guitar), Ben Mandelson (lap steel guitar), Martyn Barker (drums), and Simon Edwards (bass) solidified the group while Bragg moved from London to rural Dorset in early 2001. One year later, the Blokes joined Bragg for England, Half English, his first solo effort since William Bloke.

In 2004, Bragg collaborated with Less Than Jake for “The Brightest Bulb Has Burned Out,” a track included on the Rock Against Bush, Vol. 1 compilation. The two-CD Must I Paint You a Picture? The Essential Billy Bragg appeared in 2003 with initial copies featuring a third bonus CD of collectibles and rarities. The Yep Roc label released the box set Volume 1 in 2006. The set included seven CDs and two DVDs of previously unavailable live footage, and the label simultaneously reissued four titles from Bragg’s early back catalog in expanded editions. Billy Bragg spent the next year recording in London, Devon, and Lincolnshire, and 2008 saw the release of Mr. Love & Justice, his first solo effort in six years. Although the Blokes served as Bragg’s backing band on the album, a limited-edition package also included a second disc comprised of intimate solo recordings. The barebones Woody Guthrie-inspired Tooth & Nail arrived in early 2013 and the following year brought the DVD & CD set, Live at the Union Chapel, which included an encore performance of Life’s a Riot with Spy vs. Spy in its entirety as a bonus feature. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Billy Bragg Performs Surprise Set at the Royale For Ferguson: “Liberty and Justice for All!”

Bryan Sutter
Billy Bragg addresses a crowd of about 100 people on the Royale’s patio. See more photos here.

Billy Bragg stood at the microphone toward the end of his set at the Royale, thoughtfully looking up into the night sky as he tried to put words to what’s happening in Ferguson.

“The true enemy is our own cynicism,” Bragg finally told the audience. “We have to fight to overcome that cynicism. We have to show the world that St. Louis is not a cynical place, a place where people give in to their worst impulses.”

Bragg, known worldwide for speaking out against human-rights violations and bigotry, performed an hourlong set at the Royale on just a few hours’ notice, deciding to stop in St. Louis as he made his way south to Arkansas on a photography tour of the old Rock Island Line railroad path for Aperture magazine. Several performances over the next week are planned, but Bragg and fellow guitarist Joe Purdy already have made a habit of impulsively playing where they’ve felt moved to do so, such as outside a school in Illinois where teachers were striking for better pay. St. Louis was just such an impulse stop.

See also:
PHOTOS: Billy Bragg Supports Ferguson with Impromptu Set at the Royale
Tonight: Billy Bragg to Support Ferguson with Surprise Show at the Royale

“Yesterday, I tweeted from Rock Island [Illinois] about where I should go, and people from here and Britain reminded me that St. Louie wasn’t far,” Bragg said. “It’s not just people here that care [about Ferguson]. We saw a demonstration of a dozen people walk past our hotel in Rock Island.”

Bragg then said that he contacted his friend Karl Haglund, an artist who paints canvases of iconic guitars, about where he might perform. Upon advice from Magnolia Summer’s Chris Grabau, Haglund suggested the Royale and put Bragg into contact with owner Steven Smith. The performance was announced on Twitter and Facebook 30 minutes later, with Smith using the show as a way to rally up bins of toiletries, food, school supplies and first-aid kids from the 100 or so people attending — all donations that would be distributed in Ferguson through St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.

On the Royale’s patio in front of an orange-red garage, Bragg and Purdy opened their acoustic set with “Rock Island Line,” an old American folk song that Lonnie Donegan famously covered and that initially inspired the journey. Bragg went solo next, delighting the crowd with his song “Sexuality.”

Bragg said that he and Purdy would be switching off to “stay fresh,” giving up the “stage.” Purdy, now solo, joked, “The problem with traveling with Billy Bragg is that you have to follow him.” He performed “Down to the Water” on “this old pawn-shop guitar.” “But I still love you,” he said to the instrument.

Bragg returned for a few train-based songs, saying, “I don’t think there was any invention as transformative in human existence as the railroad.” The duo performed “There Is Power in a Union,” which moved the toe-tapping audience to yip and clap, especially once Bragg finished the song and shouted “Solidarity forever!” with a fist pump.

See the Riverfront Times’ complete coverage of Michael Brown and Ferguson.

Playing solo, Bragg reminded the crowd of his love and respect for folk hero Woody Guthrie, sharing that “Guthrie as a young man witnessed the aftermath of lynchings and wrote this song,” before beginning “Hangknot, Slipknot.” The lyrics, “Who makes the laws for that hangknot?” resonated through the rapt audience.

Bragg reminded the crowd again about seeing the Ferguson supporters through his hotel window. “These are difficult times,” he said as the Royale crowd spontaneously began chanting, “Hands up, don’t shoot!” — a now-iconic phrase coined because of reports that Michael Brown had his hands in the air when Ferguson officer Darren Wilson shot him on August 9.

Moved by the night’s emotion, Bragg continued. “I was trying to think of a song I could play for this tonight. There’s an old song I know from the civil-rights days, written in 1968, but it may have some resonance now. You have a great weight to resolve this in a peaceable and transparent way, and you have our support.” Bragg and Purdy then began harmonizing on “Cryin’ in the Streets,” punctuating the line “I see people marching in the streets” with a powerful “Yeah!” and growing louder throughout the song.

At the end of the night, Bragg ceded the floor to Royale owner Smith, who emphasized that showing solidarity with the people of Ferguson was important. Pastor Steve Lawler of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Ferguson then shared a story about a little girl who recently collected food with her family amid the chaos. “She had a cartoon drawing of people getting food in her hand, and she wanted me to say something to the people who had given her this food.”

“What do you want me to tell them?” Lawler had asked the girl.

“Say thanks, and say don’t be afraid.”

The evening closed with the crowd on its feet, clapping and shouting along with Bragg and Purdy to Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” but Bragg had one more thought as he closed the famous tune. “And liberty and justice for all!” he shouted, shaking the Royale patio with force. The audience agreed, erupting into “No justice, no peace,” another chant made famous recently in Ferguson.

Steven Smith surveyed the scene and vowed, “We’re going to create a new normal.”

Watch Bragg perform several songs in this video playlist by Stephen Houldsworth:

COOL PEOPLE -A Gourmet Weed Dinner At Hunter S. Thompson’s House


A Gourmet Weed Dinner At Hunter S. Thompson’s House

10 Devastating Author-To-Author Insults


10 Devastating Author-To-Author Insults


Throughout history, some of the most renowned authors were also the most harshly criticized—often by their equally famous peers. Some of the best-known works of literature, from Shakespeare’s plays to Hemingway’s novels, have been on the receiving end of some truly excoriating putdowns.

10George Bernard Shaw On Shakespeare


George Bernard Shaw, the only writer to receive both an Academy Award and the Nobel Prize for Literature, produced a variety of well-known (and award-winning) plays, the most famous of which was Pygmalion. Apparently, his success as a playwright led him to believe he had the credentials to make a few scathing comments about Shakespeare himself:

“With the single exception of Homer, there is no eminent writer, not even Sir Walter Scott, whom I can despise so entirely as I despise Shakespeare. The intensity of my impatience with him occasionally reaches such a pitch, that it would positively be a relief to me to dig him up and throw stones at him.”

Shaw wasn’t the only famous author who loved hating the Bard: Voltaire called Shakespeare a “drunken savage” who only appealed to audiences in “London and Canada.” For good measure, he also described his works as a “vast dunghill.”

9Mark Twain On Jane Austen


For many, Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) remains the quintessential American author. And apparently he harbored some strong feelings about perhaps the quintessential English novelist. In a critical essay on Jane Austen’s works, Twain remarked:

“She makes me detest all her people, without reserve. Is that her intention? It is not believable. Then is it her purpose to make the reader detest her people up to the middle of the book and like them in the rest of the chapters? That could be. That would be high art. It would be worth while, too. Some day I will examine the other end of her books and see.”

“Every time I read Pride and Prejudice, I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”

Twain’s talent for vitriol wasn’t limited to Austen—he also penned a hilarious essay titled “Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses,” in which he claimed that Cooper’s The Deerslayer managed to commit “114 offenses against literary art out of a possible 115 . . . its humor is pathetic; its pathos is funny; its conversations are—oh! indescribable; its love-scenes odious; its English a crime against the language.” Some argue that Twain addressed these jibes at other famous authors just for the fun of it.

8Charlotte Bronte On Jane Austen


Jane Austen might be known for her refined characters, but she certainly had a way of making people angry. Charlotte Bronte, a near-contemporary of Austen known to prefer passion over stolid practicalism, let loose after a cursory reading of Pride and Prejudice:

“She ruffles her reader by nothing vehement, disturbs him with nothing profound. The passions are perfectly unknown to her. What sees keenly, speaks aptly, moves flexibly, it suits her to study: but what throbs fast and full, though hidden, what the blood rushes through, what is the unseen seat of life and the sentient target of death—this Miss Austen ignores.”

Later, in a letter to a friend who had warned her not to be too melodramatic, Bronte said she couldn’t have tolerated being confined to the refined gardens and elegant society featured in Austen’s novels.

Authors and critics often base their opinion of Austen on her development of emotion (or lack thereof). Ian Watt claimed that Austen’s works appeal only to those who view logic as superior to emotion. Virginia Woolf, on the other hand, valued Austen’s work, arguing that she was “mistress of greater emotion than appears on the surface.”

7Oscar Wilde On Alexander Pope


Both authors are among the most prominent in British history, among the few to be honored with memorials in Poet’s Corner of Westminster Abbey. But it appears that Wilde wasn’t a fan of his renowned predecessor. A famously quotable author, full of flippant jabs and insults, Wilde once wrote a letter to a friend in which he observed:

“There are several ways to dislike poetry; one is to dislike it, the other is to read Alexander Pope.”

Since Pope was dead at the time, he didn’t get the chance to reply to Wilde’s putdown, but it’s a fairly safe bet that his response would have been scathing. After all, when the writer Lewis Theobald criticized his adaptations of Shakespeare, Pope responded by making him the main character of an epic, four-volume work of poetry called “The Dunciad,” in which he is supposedly the son and favorite of the goddess “Dulness.” When he later fell out with the playwright Colley Cibber, Pope rewrote the poem to make him the title character instead.

Despite his seeming disdain, critics have noted allusions to Pope’s work in Wilde’s only novel, The Picture Of Dorian Gray, where a turn of conversationstrikingly resembles a line from Pope’s The Rape of the Lock.

6Virginia Woolf On James Joyce


In a 1922 letter to T.S. Eliot, Woolf asked the poet for his sincere opinion on Joyce’s newly released book, Ulysses. That same year, she wrote to her sister, encouraging her to get to know Joyce: “I particularly want to know what he’s like.”

However, Woolf’s fascination with Joyce didn’t at all indicate that she respected his literary skills. After reading the first few hundred pages ofUlysses, she confided to her diary:

“An illiterate, underbred book it seems to me: the book of a self-taught working man, and we all know how distressing they are, how egotistic, insistent, raw, striking, and ultimately nauseating.”

Woolf wasn’t the only author who had trouble making it through Ulysses. D.H. Lawrence, often associated with Joyce as a master of the modern novel, claimed to be “one of the people who can’t read Ulysses,” although he conceded that Joyce would doubtless “look as much askance on me as I on him.”

5T.S. Eliot On Aldous Huxley


Some experts seem to think that T.S. Eliot and Aldous Huxley admired each other, at least to some degree. Both were members of the Bloomsbury Circle of Lady Ottoline Morrel, an artsy social group of the time, and both read the others’ work closely. Huxley’s most famous work, Brave New World, and Eliot’s The Hollow Men share many of the same ideas. But that didn’t stop Eliot from taking potshots at Huxley, once remarking:

“Huxley, who is perhaps one of those people who have to perpetrate thirty bad novels before producing a good one, has a certain natural—but little developed—aptitude for seriousness. Unfortunately, this aptitude is hampered by a talent for the rapid assimilation of all that isn’t essential.”

H.G. Wells, another author whose works centered on futuristic, often dystopian scenarios, was greatly disappointed in Huxley’s dark vision of things to come, saying that a writer of Huxley’s standing had “no right to betray the future as he did in that book.”

4William Faulkner On Ernest Hemingway


Some authors, like Huxley and Wells, fall out over philosophical differences. Faulkner’s beef with Hemingway was much more straightforward— he didn’t like his style. Of Hemingway’s characteristically brief, simple sentences, Faulkner said:

“He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.”

Faulkner’s writing style was certainly more complex than Hemingway’s—it’s not unusual to encounter page-long sentences in his works. Those prolix sentences weren’t an accident; they were part of his writing philosophy. In an interview, Faulkner said he wanted “to put the whole history of the human heart on the head of a pin . . . the long sentence is an attempt to get [a character’s] past and possibly his future into the instant in which he does something.”

And forget using a dictionary to look up words—some of Faulkner’s fabricated portmanteau words, including “allknowledgeable,” “droopeared,” and “fecundmellow,” wouldn’t be found in even the most exhaustive reference works.

3Ernest Hemingway On William Faulkner


Of course, as a man who once responded to an insult by punching Orson Welles, Hemingway wasn’t about to back down from a fight. In response to Faulkner’s “dictionary” quip, Hemingway sneered:

“Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?”

Hemingway believed that writing should be clear and straightforward enough that readers wouldn’t have to hunt down a reference book to decipher an idea. The best writers don’t need to consult dictionaries, he maintained.

Ironically, some of Hemingway’s works are riddled with foreign words and phrases, which can be tricky for a monolingual English-speaker to understand. Apparently, sending readers to a dictionary was only a problem for Hemingway when an English dictionary was required.

If you want to copy Hemingway’s style, the ever-helpful Hemingway App can assist you by highlighting sentences that need to be simplified and adverbs that need to be deleted. If, on the other hand, you prefer to adopt Faulkner’s style, you might want to sit down with an unabridged Oxford English Dictionary and start reading and randomly combining words.

2W.H. Auden and T.S. Eliot On Edgar Allan Poe


Edgar Allan Poe was one of the great writers of the 19th century. Many call him the inventor of the murder mystery, and he was certainly a dark, brooding predecessor to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. Poe also won worldwide acclaim (mostly posthumously) for his lyric poetry, which often focuses on death or loss.

But not everyone approved of Poe’s macabre tales and melodramatic, depressed style. The poet W.H. Auden was less than complimentary, calling Poe:

“An unmanly sort of man whose love-life seems to have been largely confined to crying in laps and playing mouse.”

T.S. Eliot, slightly more politely, attributed to Poe: “the intellect of a highly gifted person before puberty.”

Poe’s life was almost as rocky as his dark stories and poems. After dropping out of school because of financial trouble, finding out his sweetheart had become engaged to another man, and going to visit his mother only to find that she had died, he set out on a quest for fame.

When he was 27, he married 13-year-old Virginia Clemm, who died of tuberculosis a short time later. Poe ultimately expired in a manner as mysterious as his own macabre stories—he was found dead in a public house after disappearing in Baltimore for five days. Today, Poe is either hailed as a literary mastermind or reviled as a pedophile with a fetish for blackbirds.

1Martin Amis On Miguel de Cervantes


We all have them—those family members or friends whose visits only serve to convince us that they’ve completely lost their minds. Martin Amis, an English novelist most famous for the cult classics Money and London Fields, seems to think Miguel de Cervantes’s famous 17th-century masterpiece embodies that eccentric, ever-inappropriate relative:

“Reading Don Quixote can be compared to an indefinite visit from your most impossible senior relative, with all his pranks, dirty habits, unstoppable reminiscences, and terrible cronies.”

Though Don Quixote met with a mixed reception on its release, many now hail it as the first real modern novel. Harold Bloom, well-respected literary critic and Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale, only has scintillating things to say about Cervantes’ landmark novel:

“Cervantes and Shakespeare, who died almost simultaneously, are the central western authors, at least since Dante, and no writer since has matched them, not Tolstoy or Goethe, Dickens, Proust, Joyce.”

In the same article, Bloom makes an interesting point: “Cervantes inhabits his great book so pervasively that we need to see that it has three unique personalities: the knight, Sancho, and Cervantes.” If that’s true, maybe Cervantes himself is the personification of that “impossible senior relative” we all know.

Steffani is a freelance writer and coffee addict living on the island of Guam. She’s also a scuba diver, a knitter, and an E.A. Poe aficionado who often gets segments of “The Raven” stuck in her head on repeat. Steffani blogs about life in Guam

Iconic People From Pop Culture Are Given A Psychedelic Makeover As Present-Day Hipsters


Iconic People From Pop Culture Are Given A Psychedelic Makeover As Present-Day Hipsters


People Sharing

Artist Fab Ciraolo imagines what pop culture icons would look like if they were hipsters today and it’s pretty spot-on.

See more of Ciraolo’s work over on his website and Facebook.





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Permanent outdoor recreation areas have been around at least as long as written history. Public areas are among the essential amenities any society develops, and their improvement is relatively cheap advertising for the local monarch (large statues make great decorations). But public resort areas with amusement facilities did not appear in Europe until the Renaissance. In England, they were called “pleasure gardens,” and they flourished from about 1550 to 1700. They first appeared in the form of resort grounds operated by inns and taverns. They quickly proved good for  business, and became more elaborate. Vauxhall Gardens opened in  London in 1661 covering 12 acres, and admission was free. Entertainment was provided: acrobatic acts, fireworks, music — Mozart performed there as an 8-year-old prodigy in 1764. Professional showmen saw the money-making potential of the concept, and began operating them for profit.

In early America, amusement parks began as picnic grounds. Some were built by local breweries (there’s much more profit when you can sell your beer directly, rather than through middlemen). These “beer gardens” offered the working man an inexpensive day’s relaxation for the family, including plenty of open space, concerts, sometimes bathing, and always beer and food. Attendance was promoted by streetcar companies and local railroad and excursion boat operators. Many parks were developed by trolley companies. They bought their electricity at a flat monthly rate — build amusement parks at the end of the line and you boosted weekend use at little added expense! Before long, hundreds of such parks were built all over the country.

Expositions, particularly the 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition, provided another model for American amusement parks. The Chicago event was the first to concentrate rides, shows and concessions in a separate “midway.” As discussed in a previous chapter, these expositions attracted teeming crowds with a multitude of lures: entertainment, education, recreation, and trade. Entrepreneurs soon learned that each attraction could boost its attendance by virtue of its proximity to every other popular feature, and that all of them together could turn profits that could never be realized by stand-alone attractions.

The story of amusement parks is largely the story of George C. Tilyou, a masterful entrepreneur whose vision created the amusement park in a form that remained unchanged until Disney created theme parks.

Coney Island

New York City had the money and the crowds: finances to build parks and a huge pool of working-class families looking for close and affordable relief from the grim realities of daily life. Coney Island, a five-mile stretch of beach at the entrance to New York Harbor where Brooklyn meets the sea, was already a popular seaside resort for the city and environs. A pleasant and largely undeveloped spot so close to a huge population in need of close and cheap recreation, it was destined to become home to a succession of wonderful parks.

The first attractions on Coney Island were racetracks built for wealthy vacationers in 1880. A collection of attractions suited to more moderate incomes followed. Amusement rides were popular. In 1884, Lamarcus Thompson built the first amusement railroad in the world, the “Switchback Railroad.” Its two wooden undulating tracks started ran down a 600-foot structure. It cost Thompson $1600 to build, but at 10¢ per ride, it took in $600-700 per day.

Young George Tilyou, owner of an array of single rides scattered around the island, saw the gigantic 250′ Ferris wheel at the 1893 Chicago exposition. Unable to buy it (it had already been sold), he had his own 125-foot version built. It was the most popular single attraction on Coney Island until Captain Paul Boyton came to town.

Hugely famous for daredevil swimming feats performed in an inflatable, rubberized suit of his own invention, Boyton had opened Chutes Park in Chicago the previous year to take advantage of the crowds visiting the World’s Columbian Exposition. On Coney Island, Boyton opened Sea Lion Park in 1895,enclosed by a fence and featuring a one-price admission that entitled the visitor to enjoy all the attractions, including the spectacular “Shoot-the-Chutes” (a water-flume ride) and the Captain’s own swimming exhibitions.

Once Tilyou understood the idea, he ran with it. He bought and improved an 1100-foot gravity-driven mechanical ride, the “Steeplechase Horses,” and opened Steeplechase Park on 15 ocean-front acres the next year. In 1902 he hired a huge illusion ride, Frederic Thompson’s “A Trip to the Moon,” that he had seen at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo. The next year, Thompson took the ride away to open competing Luna Park with Elmer Dundy.

Boyton’s early success, without significant competition (at first), made him reluctant to tamper with a successful and imperfectly-understood formula. With his “it ain’t broke so don’t fix it” attitude, he failed to add or improve attractions. However, Tilyou’s changing array of attractions at Steeplechase Park, each more spectacular than the last, followed the public taste for the new and different, a taste that turned quickly into a distinct preference, then a demand. What pleased the paying public one year was old-hat the next. Sea Lion Park, hopelessly out of date, fell out of favor and closed. Its 22 acres were purchased by Thompson and Dundy, who retained only the “Chute the Chutes” from Sea Lion and opened Luna Park on the site in 1903. 

Luna Park featured hundreds of thousands of electric lights (the technological sensation of the time), including nightly displays by huge searchlights mounted in its central tower, illuminating the dozens of other fanciful towers and minarets. The influence of the Chicago fair is reflected in the names of many of Luna’s attractions: “The Canals of Venice,” “Eskimo Village,” “A Trip to the North Pole.” There was a $1.95 one-price admission available, but most visitors opted to pay 10¢ for most attractions, 25¢ for the spectacular ones. Luna Park repaid its entire $700,000 cost in just six weeks.

The next season, Luna was rivaled by Dreamland, whose policy seemed to be to do everything twice as big as its competitors. Attractions included a copy of the “Shoot the Chutes,” “Fighting the Flames,” a show in which firefighters demonstrated rescues from a six-story blazing building (two stories higher than the one premiered by Luna, and later expanded to an entire burning city block). Dreamland affected a higher tone than its competitors, presenting attractions with cultural and even biblical themes. Dr. Martin Couney’s “Infant Incubator” displayed premature infants and the scientific wonders developed to help them live (of the 8,000 babies brought to Dr. Couney during his residence at Dreamland, 7500 survived).

 All three parks were built in the same style, white plaster fantasies similar to those already familiar to the public from the World’s Columbian Exposition.

See 1903 Edison film of Luna Park and Steeplechase Park


See a 1940 sound film of Coney Island

Samuel W. Gumpertz came to Dreamland to build “Lilliputia,” a midget city where he housed 300 midgets for the 1904 opening season. The background midi for this page is the sweet waltz “Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland,” written for that inaugural season. Gumpertz scoured the world for freaks, visiting Egypt, Asia and Africa five times each (including two trips to Africa’s unexplored center) and dozens of trips to Europe. Besides freaks, he imported exotic humans: Filipino blowgun shooters, Algerian horsemen, Somali warriors, “Wild Men from Borneo” who really were from Borneo and plate-lipped Ubangi women. Never as popular as its competitors, Dreamland burned to the ground in 1911. Gumpertz’s Dreamland Circus Sideshow prospered for years thereafter in another location. Its success brought copiers, like the World Circus Freak Show opened in 1922, followed by Hubert’s Museum, the Palace of Wonders Freak Show and more. All had fat ladies, seal boys, pinheads, electric girls, dog-faced boys and on and on. Gumpertz left Coney Island in 1929 to manage the Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Steeplechase, “The Funny Place,” was every bit as good as its nickname. With rides and attractions updated every year, the public could count on novelty, thrills, and the delight of seeing other people have fun. Involvement was the name of the game at Steeplechase. At every turn (beginning with the entrance) customers were tricked into pratfalls and comic indignities, then allowed to recover with a laugh as they viewed others suffering the same treatment. At the “Blowhole Theater,” you could watch as patrons exiting the Steeplechase ride passed a dwarf clown who would control air jets to blow men’s hats off and ladies’ dresses upward. The spills and the thrills were all designed to allow the odd moment of “I couldn’t help it” contact with one’s pretty date … a ride on the double-saddled Steeplechase Horses wasn’t safe without a firm hug, and a tumble on the Human Roulette Wheel often brought a flash of ankle and a friendly pile-up. Especially popular was the El Dorado carousel, restored from the Dreamland fire and restored to its full glory of 42 feet high and lit with 6000 lamps over three platforms in ascending tiers, each revolving at a different speed.

Built of wood and plaster, the grand old parks were like well-laid fires ready to burn. And burn they did, some repeatedly. Things were never quite the same after the beginning of the Great War (WWI). Faced with unprecedented horrors in real life, many patrons lost the taste for freaks, mock battles and burning blocks of buildings. Then the subway to the city opened, and paradoxically, it only hastened the decline in “business as usual.” It brought millions of people to the resort, but few of them had much money to spend. They crowded out the beaches, and their lower-class manners made former patrons, people with a little more couth and a little more money, uncomfortable. The people with enough money to go elsewhere went elsewhere and took their money with them. Attractions that had prospered when patronized by the middle class went bankrupt trying to lower prices and deliver the same services to the poor.  

The Depression finished the job for most of the parks. The 1939-40 World’s Fair stole away many paying customers. The sideshows were hit hard by a late 1930s ban on outside ballys. New York’s notoriously hard-on-business regulations had not helped businesses weakened by years of falling attendance and neglect, followed by a “clean up the decaying area” campaign that was just a thinly-disguised attempt to make way for profitable redevelopment. Steeplechase, the first to prosper, was the last to close. Tilyou’s grand vision, by then only a shadow of its former grandeur, wheezed to a halt in 1964, a victim of changing times and urban decay. Its few remaining buildings were quickly bulldozed by the land’s new owner before the city could declare it a historic landmark.

Today, the island is still home to beach and boardwalk, but there is nothing as spectacular as the early amusement parks. The New York Aquarium now stands on Dreamland’s site. Steeplechase’s famed 250-foot Parachute Tower is the sole standing reminder of the glorious past. Ironically, the forces that killed the freak shows support one as a curiosity: “Coney Island USA” operates “Sideshows by the Seashore”, partially funded by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Atlantic City


Atlantic City, New Jersey, was a seaside resort, the eastern terminus of a railroad which helped develop the resort. Its boardwalk dates from 1870. Starting in 1882, a series of piers were built out over the ocean, offering all types of entertainment for a single admission price. In 1898 the 2,000-foot Steel Pier was built, followed in 1902 by the Million Dollar Pier, from which  Houdini dove shackled into the ocean, and on which Teddy Roosevelt campaigned for his Bull Moose party. Top bands and entertainers attracted visitors. In the summer, famous acts like Steel Pier’s Diving Horse and a high-wire motorcycle act swelled attendance. H.J. Heinz was so taken with the sheer numbers of people coming to Atlantic City, people on whom advertising impressions could be made, that in 1898 he opened Heinz Pier. The pier’s unusual premise was peace and quiet, a place to get away from the crowds. There was a sun parlor with reclining chairs and writing desks, free food samples (Heinz products, of course), and a Heinz pickle pin as a parting gift. Coney Island impresario George Tilyou built a branch of his Steeplechase Park here in Atlantic City in 1908, calling it Steeplechase Pier, where the amusements included the Sugar Bowl Slide, the Mexican Hat Bowl, and Flying Chairs that swung riders out over the ocean. Like Coney Island, Atlantic City enjoyed a sparkling heyday and a long decline, until legalized gambling revitalized at least part of its tourist trade.

Other parks all over the country went through charming beginnings and fantastic developments. Some have prospered continuously, others flickered and died.

Starting in 1915, new diversions (motion pictures) and new mobility (the automobile) made their mark. Many parks closed, and the Depression that began in 1929 forced the closing of many others. 2000 parks had flourished in the U.S. in 1910, but by 1934 there were fewer than 500. The same economic changes that forced circuses to adapt or die caused the park business to decline throughout World War II. Some parks failed because they did not learn what George Tilyou had always understood, and Captain Paul Boyton did not: no matter what wonders you have created, the public demands something better every year. Other parks had no room to change — the automobile would bring a vast influx of customers from greater distances, but only if they could get there on good roads and only if they found room to park. The rising value of real estate demanded more intensely profitable use of every acre in developing areas, a factor that also hit drive-in movie theaters. The postwar prosperity and the “Baby Boom” injected a little new life into a moribund industry, helped by the introduction of children’s areas, “Kiddielands,” spearheaded by Kennywood near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 

Disneyland and after

In 1955, Walt Disney, already a wildly successful maker of family movies and television, marshalled his already-considerable resources: universal brand name recognition, an established stable of instantly recognizable characters, a weekly nationwide television audience, and a large parcel of unused land in Anaheim, California. He invented the “theme park,” though the term was not used then: Disneyland, an environment completely under control with every element approved by the family-friendly and trusted Disney, designed for the whole family. And it was designed to be more than just a local attraction; it was meant as a destination for vacationers nationwide.

Disney was always a canny businessman. He had no need to pay for advertising … his hour-long promotional “documentaries” on Disneyland’s opening aired as profitable program material!

Disneyland’s image, like the rest of the Disney image, was squeaky-clean. Everything was guaranteed to be safe, spotless, entertaining and profitable. All was made in the Disney image, owned and operated without middlemen. Gone were the carnival’s tawdry games, the questionable food stands, the itinerant performers. In their place were the very same hard-to-win games run by the company and staffed by earnest teenagers on summer break, and food stands run by the company. The shows were all family-friendly, with well-scrubbed college-age performers working for low wages on the premise that this experience would be good training for their future entertainment careers. The hot-to-trot girl shows remained only as a sanitized pastiche, as fresh-faced college girls performed hourly musical revues in Disney-studio costumes. The sole reminder of the ten-in-one talker was the scripted “hurry, hurry, hurry” of the youthful trained announcer twirling his fake mustache and calling everyone to his attraction — not a “Museum of Oddities” or a “Gallery of Freaks,” but a barbershop quartet or a banjo band. There were no more freaks … well, there was this really big mouse. Disneyland, and later Disney World in Orlando, Florida, still attract families on the strength of an image the rest of the Disney operation seems to have abandoned (that sound you hear is Walt spinning in his grave as the next episode of Disney-distributedEllen or one of its successors airs).

Several companies tried to copy Disneyland’s success, but none had Disney’s pre-sold combination of name recognition and (essentially free) nationwide advertising on the weekly Disney television show. In 1961, Six Flags Over Texas opened, followed by several other Six Flags parks across the nation, successfully establishing themselves as regional, not national, destination parks.

Walt Disney World, which opened in 1971, is still the largest theme park ever built. The park turned into a multi-attraction complex with the (self-styled) “visionary” EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) Center, recalling the corporate advertising of a world’s fair, in 1982. Subsequent additions to the complex include the world’s biggest water park, interconnecting but still self-contained getaways for grownups, and one more amazing innovation. Taking as a model Universal Studios Hollywood, where studio tours added a new profit center to an existing movie/tv production facility, Disney and MGM created Disney/MGM Studios, a combined theme-park/studio. It was a stroke of show business genius! Florida’s motion picture industry was already well known as the home of low-budget productions, drive-in movies and the like. Some producers, like Ivan Tors of Flipper fame, had made national entertainment careers based in Florida instead of Hollywood. The area had an established craft, technical and talent base, and was a right-to-work haven for producers looking to make shows on budgets uninflated by Hollywood and New York craft unions. The result: two big-money businesses for the price of one!Less than the price of one, if you figure in the development perks and tax breaks local governments often offer to those who bring thousands of jobs to any community. 

Parks of all sorts have felt one overwhelming pressure that affects all businesses and all traditions: the public’s easy boredom and demand for change. Some have successfully given the people what they want, others have not tried, or have tried and failed to find an innovation that intrigues the public.

“Things aren’t the way they used to be,” one old-timer has been heard to say; “and, you know what? They never were the way they used to be.”

If Steeplechase and Luna and Dreamland seem to us like wonders that should never have been allowed to fade, recall the plea on the marquee of a run-down pre-renewal Times Square porn theater: “It’s new until you’ve seen it.”

Large theme parks continue to innovate, with bigger (or at least different) shows, newer rides, wilder roller coasters, and ever-higher prices, even though some are operating on a scale not much bigger than the average former local park. Many older, smaller amusement parks, like Pennsylvania’s Kennywood, still find new and different ways to entertain, their charms only enhanced by their modest, comfortable size and careful preservation as reminders of bygone days.

History Section Index

1 – Early Fairs & Carnivals    2 – Expositions    3 – Freak Shows & Museums

4 – Circuses    4a – Circus Acts    4b – Clowns

5a – Wild West Shows    5b – Medicine Shows

6 – Carnivals    7 – Amusement & Theme Parks    8 – Vaudeville

Design a Roller CoasterTry your hand at designing your own roller coaster. You will be building a conceptual coaster using the physics concepts that are used to design real coasters. You won’t need to compute any formulas.

You will decide the following – the height of the first hill, the shape of the first hill, the exit path, the height of the second hill, and the loop.

When you’re done, your coaster will need to pass an inspection for both safety and fun.

Here we go!

First you need to determine theheight of the first hill. Start building your coaster by clicking on the “Begin” button.

Note: We’ll assume that your coaster is a single-car coaster running on a frictionless track. It has a mass of 800 kg (1760 lbs). The acceleration due to gravity is 32 ft/s/s. Back to Roller Coaster“Amusement Park Physics” is inspired by programs from The Mechanical Universe…and Beyond.


History of Amusement & Theme Parks

Amusement park is the more generic term for a collection of amusement rides and other entertainment attractions assembled for the purpose of entertaining a fairly large group of people. An amusement park is more elaborate than a simple city park or playground, as an amusement park is meant to cater to adults, teenagers, and small children.

An amusement park may be permanent or temporary, usually periodic, such as a few days or weeks per year. The temporary (often annual) amusement park with mobile rides etc. is called a funfair or carnival.

The original amusement parks were the historical precursors to the modern theme parks as well as the more traditional midway arcades and rides at county and state fairs (in the United States). Today, amusement parks have largely been replaced by theme parks, and the two terms are often used interchangeably.

For a remarkable example of a European park, dating from 1843 and still existing, see Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen. Even older is the Oktoberfest which is not only a beer festival but also provides a lot of amusement park features, dating back to 1810, when the first event was held in Munich, Germany.

History of American amusement parks

The first American amusement park, in the modern sense, was at the 1893 World Columbian Exposition, held in Chicago, Illinois. The 1893 World’s fair was the first to have a Ferris wheel and an arcade midway, as well as various concessions. This conglomeration of attractions was the template used for amusement parks for the next half-century, including those known as trolley parks.

In 1897, Steeplechase Park, the first of three significant amusement parks opened at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York. Often, it is Steeplechase Park that comes to mind when one generically thinks of the heyday of Coney Island. Steeplechase Park was a huge success and by the late 1910s, there were hundreds of amusement parks in operation around the world. The introduction of the world-famous Cyclone roller coaster at Steeplechase Park in 1927 marked the beginning of the roller coaster as one of the most popular attractions for amusement parks as well as the later modern theme parks of today.

During the peak of the “golden age” of amusement parks from roughly the turn of the 20th century through the late 1920s, Coney Island at one point had three distinct amusement parks: Steeplechase Park, Luna Park (opened in 1903), and Dreamland (opened in 1904). However, the Great Depression of the 1930s and World War II during the 1940s saw the decline of the amusement park industry. Furthermore, fire was a constant threat in those days, as much of the construction within the amusement parks of the era was wooden. In 1911, Dreamland was the first Coney Island amusement park to completely burn down; in 1944, Luna Park also burned to the ground.

By the 1950s, factors such as urban decay, crime, and even desegregation led to changing patterns in how people chose to spend their free time. Many of the older, traditional amusement parks had closed or burned to the ground. Many would be taken out by the wrecking ball to make way for suburban development. In 1964, Steeplechase Park, once the king of all amusement parks, closed down for the last time.

In 1955, Disneyland in Anaheim, California revived the amusement industry with its themed lands and matching attractions instead of using the older formula with traditional rides in one area and a midway, concessions, and sideshow attractions in another. The idea of theme parks caught on and, by the 1980s, became a billion dollar-a-year industry in the United States and around the world.



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BARFLY 1987 -my favorite movie about Charles Bukowski (my idol!)




Faye Dunaway Biography

Theater Actress, Television Actress, Film Actor/Film Actress(1941–)


Actress Faye Dunaway was born on January 14, 1941, in Bascom, Florida. She worked onstage before moving to the big screen and starring in the pioneering film Bonnie and Clyde, for which she received an Oscar nomination. She’s appeared in several iconic films throughout her career, including The Thomas Crown Affair and Chinatown. She won an Academy Award in 1976 for her role in Network.

Early Life

American actress Dorothy Faye Dunaway was born on January 14, 1941, in Bascom, Florida, to career Army officer John MacDowell Dunaway and homemaker Grace April Dunaway. After graduating from high school in 1958, Dunaway entered the University of Florida in Gainesville to pursue a career in education, but later transferred to Boston University’s School of Fine and Applied Arts.

Acting Career

After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1962, Dunaway declined further opportunities to study and, instead, accepted a role in the American National Theater and Academy’s production of A Man for All Seasons(1962). Three years later, she found off-Broadway success with a critically acclaimed role in William Alfred’s Hogan’s Goat, which led to her television debut in the 1965 series Seaway, as well as appearances in several small films.

In 1967, Dunaway landed the lead role of bank robber Bonnie Parker inBonnie and Clyde, launching her into Hollywood stardom. A year later, she starred alongside Steve McQueen as a determined investigator in The Thomas Crown Affair. She continued her career throughout the 1970s, with such films as Little Big Man (1970) and The Three Musketeers: The Queen’s Diamonds (1973).

As her career progressed, Dunaway took on more complex roles, including the troubled wife Evelyn Mulwray in Roman Polanski’s 1974 film Chinatown; a civilian who is abducted by a CIA researcher in Three Days of the Condor, a 1975 film directed by Sydney Pollack; and Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest (1981), based on the best-selling memoir by Christina Crawford. Dunaway won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1976, for her role as an intimidating television executive in Network, a film about a TV network that exploits an ex-employee for its own profit. In 1987, she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama for her performance in Barfly (1987), alongside Mickey Rourke.

The 1990s saw Dunaway perform in several films, including The Handmaid’s Tale (1991); Arizona Dreams (1993); The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1998); The Yards (1998), a crime-thriller; and The Rules of Attraction(2001), a dark comedy. One of Dunaway’s most acclaimed performances of the decade came in 1993, with her guest role as Laura Staton in the TV series Columbo; she won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her performance in the series in 1994.

Additionally, from 1966 to 1967, Dunaway starred as opera diva Maria Callas in the American tour of Terrence McNally’s Master Class. Since then, she has made several TV appearances, including on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation in 2006 and Grey’s Anatomy in 2009.

Personal Life

Dunaway has been married twice. She was married to Peter Wolf, lead singer of rock group The J. Geils Band, from 1974 to 1979; and to British photographer Terry O’Neill, from 1984 to 1987. She and O’Neill have one child, Liam O’Neill, who was born in 1980.