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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

November 25, 1971

Welcome to the Tuesday Timeline portion of the blog!  Can you believe that we are just a few days away from December?  I tell you, where did this month go?

Anyway, today in the blog, we're taking a look at what happened on November 25 throughout history, and believe me, there was a lot that happened on this date.  In fact, I bet that a year from now, there will be a footnote on the Ferguson, Missouri riots of 2014.  I tell you, I am watching the events unfold live as I type this, and it is just so sad to watch.   

Anyways, I had a hard time picking a topic for this week.  So, I decided to just close my eyes, scroll down the list of topics with my mouse, and pointed to one at random.  Hopefully, you like celebrity birthdates, because that's your only clue for now.

We're also going to look at other celebrity birthdays in a minute, but first, why don't we look at other historical events that took place on this date?

1487 - Elizabeth of York is crowned Queen of England

1667 - At least 80,000 people are killed in a devastating earthquake in Shemakha in the Caucasus

1759 - Beirut and Damascus are destroyed as an earthquake strikes, killing at least 30,000 people

1833 - A massive undersea earthquake rocks Sumatra, causing a devastating tsunami along the Indonesian coast

(Sheesh...what is it with all these November 25 quakes?!?)

1863 - During the American Civil War, Union forces led by General Ulysses S. Grant break the Siege of Chattanooga by routing Confederate troops led by General Braxton Bragg

1864 - The Confederate Army of Manhattan unsuccessfully try to torch the entire city of New York by setting a series of smaller fires throughout the city

1874 - The United States Greenback Party is established

1914 - Baseball player Joe DiMaggio (d. 1999) is born in Martinez, California

1926 - A series of tornadoes strikes Midwestern America on Thanksgiving Day, killing 76 people and injuring over 400

1947 - The "Hollywood Ten" are blacklisted by Hollywood movie studios during the "Red Scare"

1952 - The Battle of Triangle Hill ends after 42 days of combat during the Korean War

1960 - John F. Kennedy Jr. (d. 1999) is born in Washington D.C.

1975 - Suriname gains independence from the Netherlands

1981 - Actor/singer Jack Albertson passes away at the age of 74

1984 - Bob Geldof and a group of thirty-six musicians gather in a British recording studio to record "Do They Know It's Christmas" as Band-Aid to raise awareness for famine in Ethiopia

1992 - The Federal Assembly of Czechoslovakia votes to split the country into two independent nations (Czech Republic and Slovakia), which came into effect on New Years Day, 1993

1996 - A severe ice storm strikes the central United States, killing 26

1998 - Comedian Flip Wilson passes away in Malibu, California at age 64

1999 - The United Nations establishes the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

And, for celebrity birthdays, let us wish Noel Neill, Kathryn Crosby, Trisha Brown, Percy Sledge, Bev Bevan, Ben Stein, John Larroquette, Mark Frost, Bruno Tonioli, Amy Grant, Holly Cole, Cris Carter, Dougray Scott, Billy Burke, Jacqueline Hennessy, Jill Hennessy, Erick Sermon, Murray SawChuck, Donovan McNabb, Josh Mathews, Barbara Pierce Bush, Jenna Bush Hager, Joey Chestnut, Katie Cassidy, and Zack Shada a very happy birthday!

So, what date are we going to be taking a look at this week?

I think November 25, 1971 is a great date to go back to.  How about you?

So, as I already talked about earlier, this edition of the Tuesday Timeline will feature a woman who has basically been in front of the camera since she was a baby.  But don't let the child star stigma change your opinion on this lady...she is probably one of the most well adjusted child stars of her time.  Her biggest role lasted a total of eleven television seasons, and she portrayed what could be one of the stupidest characters to ever grace the small screen.  Well, okay, it was between her and Screech from "Saved By The Bell", but she was definitely up in the running.

But I can only imagine how much of a stretch it was playing that part, given that the actress who played her is anything but dumb.  In fact, she's done a lot more than play the role of ditzy blonde bombshell.  She's a wife, a mother, a breast cancer survivor and activist, and believe it or not, she was a founding member of The Pussycat Dolls! 

So, let's begin the story at the middle.  We'll begin at the part where she won her breakout role.

The year was 1987, and the FOX Network was practically brand new.  Now, those of you who watched FOX back in those days knew that it was the network that liked to push the censors buttons.  They attempted to do things that the other big three networks were afraid to touch.  So, when "Married...With Children" debuted in April of 1987, it certainly went against the traditional warm family sitcoms that were popular in the late 1980s.  With a miserable sexist shoe salesman, an Oprah Winfrey obsessed housewife who was sex-obsessed, a teenage boy who wanted to be a ladies man, but couldn't, and a ditzy blonde who thought she was smart, but really wasn't, it certainly didn't showcase traditional values very well.  And, yet, it lasted until mid-1997 and became one of FOX's most successful series. 

I think the reason why it was such a hit was because it was so unlike anything else that was on television.  And for those of us who weren't Tanners, Huxtables, Keatons, or Hogans, we could definitely relate to the realism and grit that this show featured in every episode.

Now, as far as favourite characters go on "Married...With Children", everyone had their favourite.  Mine was Kelly Bundy, the ditzy blonde.  I mean, sure, she was as dumb as a box of hair, but there was just something about the way that the actress played her that made her seem likeable.  You wanted to root for her.  You wanted her to succeed.  You wanted her to eventually get a clue.  And sometimes, she did get a clue and came up with some brilliant solutions to the Bundy family crises.  And that is to the credit of the actress who played her - just fifteen years old when she got the part.

That actress?  Christina Applegate, who turns 43 years old today!

Of course, "Married...With Children" made Applegate a huge star, and opened up a lot of doors for the actress in Hollywood.  But then again, she did have plenty of experience long before getting cast in the role of Kelly Bundy.  Would you believe that she had her first on-screen credit at the age of three months?  It's true!  She appeared on an episode of "Days of our Lives" with her mother Nancy Priddy, in February 1972!  From there, she filmed a couple of commercials and made a couple of appearances in two films - 1979's "Jaws of Satan" and 1981's "Beatlemania".  Two years later, she appeared in her first made-for-TV movie in 1983's "Grace Kelly", playing the role of the late Princess Grace as a child.  And before she landed the role of Kelly Bundy, she had guest appearances in "Family Ties", "Silver Spoons" and "Charles in Charge".

Interestingly enough, even though she was committed to "Married...With Children" for the entire eleven season run, she still had the greenlight to do other projects.  She made a guest appearance on the television series "21 Jump Street", and landed a major film role in the 1991 film "Don't Tell Mom, The Babysitter's Dead".  And after "Married...With Children" ended, she took on even more film roles.  "Mars Attacks!", "The Sweetest Thing", "Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel", "Alvin & The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked", and "Anchorman" and "Anchorman 2".  She also starred in several other television series such as "Jesse", "Samantha Who", and "Up All Night", but none of those series were as successful as the one that made her a star.

And here's a fact that shocked even me.  Christina Applegate helped found "The Pussycat Dolls"!  

Mind you, this was back when they were just a burlesque group and long before Nicole Scherzinger became the lead singer and they loosened all your buttons, made you wish your girlfriends were hot like them, and how when they wanted to grow up, they wanted to be famous, a star, and be in movies.  In all seriousness, when the burlesque group debuted in 1995 at The Viper Room, Christina Applegate was one of the performers!  I tell you, the things you learn from the Tuesday Timeline entry.

But in 2008, Christina had a serious health scare when it was confirmed that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 36.  Fortunately, the cancer had been detected early enough that it was not considered life-threatening, and Applegate had decided that she would undergo a double mastectomy as a precaution (even though the cancer had only been found in one breast).  By August of 2008, she was considered cancer-free, and she has since become an advocate for breast cancer awareness.  Her mother is also a breast cancer survivor.

And perhaps Christina Applegate's biggest success story?  Her role as a wife and mother.  After her first marriage ended in divorce, she married Martyn LeNoble, and she became the parent of a daughter in 2011.

Not a bad life for someone who played dumb on television, huh?

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