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

A Skunk Seeks Love, A Really Long Game, and One Great Show

-- On Jan. 6, 1945: Pepe Le Pew made his debut performance in the Looney Toons cartoon Odor-able Kitty, directed by Chuck Jones. Pepe is a skunk looking for love who often tries to woo a black female cat that he mistakes for a fellow skunk; although, in several of the Pepe cartoons he ends up being the one who is romantically pursued. The Pepe cartoons had fantastically smelly titles like: Scent-imental Over You, Odor of the Day, Scentimental Romeo, Heaven Scent and Past Perfumance. The French skunk was voiced by Mel Blanc to sound like a cross between Maurice Chevalier and Charles Boyer. Though Pepe was unsuccessful in his search, he always remained optimistic in his ability to find love.

-- On Jan. 6, 1951: The longest NBA game took place between the Indianapolis Olympians' and the Rochester Royals. Going into the game, the Royals were having the better season with a record of 19-10 compared to the Olympians less impressive 15-16 record. After an astonishing six overtimes, the Olympians were able to defeat the Royals 75-73. Although they may have lost the game that day, the Royals ultimately went on to win their first NBA Championship that season.

-- On Jan. 10, 1952: The film The Greatest Show on Earth starring Betty Hutton, Cornel Wilde, Charlton Heston and Jimmy Stewart premiered in New York City. It was directed by the legendary Cecil B. DeMille. DeMille insisted that the actors learn how to perform the circus acts connected with their respective roles so both Hutton and Wilde, who played aerialists in the film, learned how to perform on the trapeze. The Greatest Show on Earth included the highly recognizable film star Jimmy Stewart in disguise as Buttons, a clown who never takes off his makeup and has a secret past. In addition to the Hollywood actors, the film also included real circus performers and animals from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. It won Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Story although the film's Best Picture status may be disputed by some who believe the honor should have gone to one of the other great films that year such as High Noon or The Quiet Man. Regardless, The Greatest Show on Earth proved to be a high-flying box-office hit.

-- Compiled by M. Moeller

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