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In the Good Old Days Antiques Corner This Week in History
This Week in History

Bowling in the Sky, "Head 'Em Up," and Gotham City Crime Fighters

--On Jan. 7, 1964: Sylvia Wene and Dick Weber competed in a high-in-the-sky bowling game known as Operation AstroBowl. The two professional bowlers competed while flying aboard a Boeing 707 traveling from New York's Kennedy International Airport to Love Field in Dallas, Texas. The special cargo plane was outfitted with a single bowling lane in the hold. Sylvia won the game in a close contest of 146 to 144. Undoubtedly, turbulence created additional challenges for the two professional bowlers.

--On Jan. 9, 1959: The television Western Rawhide, starring Eric Fleming, premiered on CBS. In the show, Fleming played Gil Favor, a trail boss who led a cattle drive as it traveled during the late 1860s. During the show, the cowboy crew encountered many challenges, dangers and people in need of their help as they moved their cattle through the countryside. At the end of each episode, Favor would order the cattle drivers to "Head 'em up! Move 'em out!" and then the well-known "rollin', rollin', rollin'" theme song, Rawhide, would play through the end credits. The show also starred Clint Eastwood as Rowdy Yates, the cattle drive's second-in-command. When Fleming left the show, Eastwood's character was promoted to the cattle boss. Rawhide proved to be a big break for Eastwood in his early acting career. The series ended in 1965.

--On Jan. 12, 1966: Batman, starring Adam West as Batman/Bruce Wayne, premiered on ABC. Bruce Wayne's butler, Alfred Pennyworth (Alan Napier), helped him conceal his identity and that of his ward's, Robin/Dick Grayson (Burt Ward), as superheroes. Whenever Gotham City was in danger, Commissioner Gordon (Neil Hamilton) would call the bat-phone or flash the bat signal into the sky for help. Batman and Robin protected the city from memorable villains such as The Joker (Cesar Romero), The Penguin (Burgess Meredith), The Catwoman (Julie Newmar and, later, Eartha Kitt) and The Riddler (Frank Gorshin). In a later season of the series, Batman was also aided by crime fighter Batgirl/Barbara Gordon (Yvonne Craig). The show was known for its comedic approach to crime fighting, including fight scenes that were interrupted with written exclamations like "Bam!", "Pow!" and "Zap!". Although the show started out with a "bang," its popularity quickly faded and it ended in March of 1968.

-- Compiled by M. Moeller

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