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15 FACTS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT AMELIA EARHART

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Amelia Mary Earhart was an American aviation pioneer and author. Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Here are some facts that you probably didn’t know about her:

– Amelia was named Amelia Mary Earhart after her two grandmothers, Amelia Harres Otis and Mary Wells Earhart — a family tradition.

– Amelia received the nickname “Meelie” from her younger sister Muriel, because as a young child, Muriel couldn’t pronounce Amelia’s name correctly.

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TLBSPEDIA: BRIAN MAY

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Brian Harold May was born on July 19 1947, in Hampton, Middlesex, England, to parents Ruth and Harold May. An imaginative teen, May, with the help of his father, built his own homemade guitar, dubbed “The Red Special.” The guitar, which was made from makeshift materials including firewood and was played with a six-pence coin for a pick, would later figure prominently in May’s musical career. He would go on to play it on every Queen album and live show.

The young May received his education at the Hampton Grammar School (now the Hampton School). An exceptional student, after graduation in 1965, he enrolled in the astrophysics program at London Imperial College, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in science. He would finish most of his Ph.D. by 1974 and finally complete it nearly 40 years later in 2007.

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TLBSPEDIA: GEORGE A. ROMERO

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Legendary filmmaker George A. Romero was born on February 4 1940, in the Bronx, New York. He started out making commercials and short films before moving on to feature films. His iconic movies, including ‘Night of the Living Dead’ and ‘Day of the Dead’, he combines horror with social commentary and satire.

The son of a commercial artist, George Andrew Romero loved watching movies growing up. ‘The Tales of Hoffman’ (1951), a film adaptation of an opera, was an early influence. As a teen, he borrowed the film numerous times, using a projector to watch it at home. Romero once said that only one other person took this movie out as much as he did, and the fellow fan turned out to be Martin Scorsese.

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TLBSPEDIA: MARTIN LANDAU

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Veteran character actor Martin Landau was born on June 20 1928, in Brooklyn, New York. He first dreamed of becoming an artist. After graduating from Brooklyn’s James Madison High School, Landau studied at the Pratt Institute and the Art Students League.

Around the age of 17, Landau landed a job with the ‘New York Daily News’ as a cartoonist and illustrator. He made the switch to acting in his early twenties. As Landau explained to ‘Back Stage West’, “I was being groomed to be the next theater cartoonist. But when I looked around the office and saw guys 30 and 40 years my senior doing exactly what I was doing… I knew this wasn’t for me.”

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MUSIC TIP: JOHN COLTRANE

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Born September 23 1926 in Hamlet, North Carolina, John Coltrane was always surrounded by music. His father played several instruments sparking Coltrane’s study of E-flat horn and clarinet. While in high school, Coltrane’s musical influences shifted to the likes of Lester Young and Johnny Hodges prompting him to switch to alto saxophone. He continued his musical training in Philadelphia at Granoff Studios and the Ornstein School of Music. He was called to military service during WWII, where he performed in the U.S. Navy Band in Hawaii.

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TLBSPEDIA: VIVIEN LEIGH

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Famed actress Vivien Leigh was born Vivian Mary Hartley on November 5 1913, in Darjeeling, India, to an English stockbroker and his Irish wife. The family returned to England when Hartley was 6 years old. A year later, the precocious Hartley announced to classmate Maureen O’Sullivan that she “was going to be famous.” She was right, though her fame would eventually come under a different name.

As a teen, Vivian Hartley attended schools in England, France, Italy and Germany, becoming fluent in both French and Italian. She went on to study acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, but put her career temporarily on hold at age 19, when she married a lawyer named Leigh Holman and had his daughter. Replacing the “a” in her first name with the less commonly used “e,” Hartley used her husband’s name to craft a more glamorous stage name, Vivien Leigh.

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THE BEAUTIFUL MARC CHAGALL PAINTINGS

Marc Zakharovich Chagall was a Russian-French artist. An early modernist, he was associated with several major artistic styles and created works in virtually every artistic format, including painting, book illustrations, stained glass, stage sets, ceramic, tapestries and fine art prints. To celebrate the 130th anniversary of his birthday, here are some of his most beautiful and important artworks:

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I and The Village, 1911.

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TLBSPEDIA: VLADIMIR NABOKOV

 

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Vladimir Nabokov was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, on April 23 1899, one of Vladimir Dmitrievich Nabokov and Helene Rukavishnikov Nabokov’s five children. Nabokov’s parents were wealthy and encouraged him to develop his imagination. He studied languages, mathematics, puzzles, and games, including chess, soccer, and boxing. He was educated by private tutors and read English before he read Russian. He entered Prince Tenishev School in St. Petersburg at age eleven. Interested in butterflies his entire life, he became a recognized authority on the subject while still young. Nabokov began writing poems when he was thirteen years old and, as he described it, “the numb fury of verse making first came over me.” His first book of poetry was published in 1914.

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TLBSPEDIA: JAYNE MANSFIELD

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Jayne Mansfield was born Vera Jayne Palmer on April 19 1933, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Mansfield’s father Herbert was an attorney and musician while her mother Vera had previously worked as a schoolteacher. Mansfield endured a childhood tragedy at the age of 3 when her father passed away from a heart attack while driving with the family. Reflecting back on the tragedy, Mansfield later said, “Something went out of my life. … My earliest memories are the best. I always try to remember the good times when Daddy was alive.”

Mansfield’s mother returned to teaching to support herself and her daughter, and in 1939 she married a sales engineer named Harry Peers. The family moved to Dallas, Texas.

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