1939 — Betty Grable stars in “Million Dollar Legs”

“Million Dollar Legs” was not a subtle film. Its poster showed only Grable (and her expensive lower appendages), and its 65 minute running time featured few scenes in which she wore anything other than hot pants. Grable appeared in the film with her husband, Jackie Coogan, but the experience was not a good one, and the two divorced later that year after the film flopped upon its July 14 release.

Grable actually announced her retirement from show business at that point, but was wooed back at a bigger studio and wound up becoming a greater star than ever before. Coogan went on to play Uncle Fester in “The Addams Family”.

Referenced in:
The Thanksgiving Song — Adam Sandler

1979 – The final episode of “Good Times” screens

“Good Times” was a distinctly Seventies show in many ways, but none moreso than its focus on African-American characters. Along with “The Jeffersons” and “Sanford and Son”, it was among the first shows to features a predominantly African-American cast, and after the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s had won new rights for African-Americans, shows like these helped to create a new normal for black and white audiences alike (however much they might have been guilty of tokenism, racism and sexism themselves, they were still improvements on most of the domestic comedies that had preceded them).

The final episode of “Good Times” was entitled “The End of the Rainbow”, and saw each of the major characters given a happy ending in terms of career and domestic arrangements. Since that time, it has been a perennial in syndication, and a steady seller when it was released on DVD

Referenced in:

The Thanksgiving Song — Adam Sandler

1991 – Mike Tyson rapes Desiree Washington

Mike Tyson’s career as a boxer was experiencing a brief setback in 1991. Injuries sustained during training had led him to pull out of a planned title challenge against Evander Holyfield, the Heavyweight Champion. We can’t know for sure what was in Tyson’s mind when he called Desiree Washington a little after 1:30 in the morning on July 19, and organised to come pick her up.

They were driven back to his hotel by Tyson’s chaffeur, and accounts vary as to what happened next. Washington claimed that Tyson raped her, Tyson claimed that they had consensual sex. The weight of evidence – and Tyson’s unlikable demeanour in the courtroom – led the jury to convict Tyson of the rape, and he served three years in prison for the crime.

Referenced in:

The Thanksgiving Song — Adam Sandler