There are currently
135 General and Sports History Articles
Choose the column type BELOW
selections will appear BELOW
|| Did You Know?
|| October, 2008
Did You Know?
By Al Owens
Did you know that a U.S. Coast Guard ruling once changed the outcome of a movie
that was being filmed in Fayette County?
The movie Maria’s Lovers was being shot in Brownsville in the fall of 1983.
According to the Monessen Valley Independent, the final scene in the movie
called for a World War II plane to fly under two Brownsville bridges. The Coast
Guard stepped in and denied the flight. Instead, the plane flew up and down the
That film, by the way, featured a number of veteran and upcoming stars, who all
stayed at the Uniontown Holiday Inn. Oscar winner Keith Carradine, Oscar nominee
Robert Mitchum, John Goodman, John Savage and Nastassja Kinski were all members
of the cast.
In August of that year, they’d been welcomed to Brownsville by a crowd of 250
people. The Tyrone (Pennsylvania) Daily Herald reported that Mitchum was
philosophical about his enduring sex appeal. He said it was like “Campbell’s
Soup or Ivory Soap,” because middle-aged felt as comfortable with him as a brand
The film opened in January of 1985. But before it did, the Daily Herald reported
that $30 thousand dollars worth of props used in the movie were placed in
Did you know that a telephone operator at Uniontown Hospital once answered a
call that would haunt her for the rest of her life?
According to the Fayetteville (Arkansas) Daily Independent reported in its
December 9th, 1935 edition the operator answered a call about an automobile
accident that had resulted in the death of a man. When ambulance workers took
the body to the hospital, she discovered the victim had been her father.
Did you know that in July of 1965, a Uniontown woman confessed to killing two
children by locking them in a refrigerator?
The Long Beach (California) Press-Telegram carried the story in its July 21st
edition. Apparently the 38 year-old spinster had told police the deaths had
occurred by accident.
But after Fayette County investigators discovered it would have been nearly
impossible for the two boys to have closed the refrigerator’s door from the
inside, the woman gave her confession, saying, “I feel a little better now since
I got this off my chest.”
Did you know that a Fairchance woman once got a “pardon” from the governor of
Pennsylvania, after she’d been jailed for killing a bird? Governor Gifford
Pinchot ordered the release of the woman, after she’d been sentenced to serve 20
days in jail, because she’d killed a bird to feed her children during the Great
The Piqua (Ohio) Daily Call reported in its August 9th, 1932 edition that the
woman had claimed her husband had been out of work for seven weeks and she had
been desperate. She also claimed that she was from Italy and killing such birds
(flickers or yellow hammers) was a common practice there. Gov. Pinchot also paid
the woman’s fine.
Did you know that five men from Greece earned enough money shining shoes, to
build a million dollar hotel in Uniontown?
The Bridgeport (Connecticut) Telegram carried the story in its September 1st,
1921 edition. The Gregory brothers had been shining shoes in Uniontown since
they’d come from Greece 15 years before.
They’d saved up enough nickels and dimes to have been able to build a million
dollar hotel in Uniontown.
Did you know that a man, who’d only wanted to become the best barber in his
hometown, once brought his Grammy Award winning talents to Uniontown?
Pierino Ronald "Perry" Como, who opened his own barbershop shortly after he
graduated from his Canonsburg high school.
Perry Como was the featured singer on stage at the State Theater on August 27th,
He was the lead vocalist for the Ted Weems Orchestra. 17 years later, in 1958,
he’d win the Grammy for Best Vocal Performance of the Year, for his signature
tune – Catch a Falling Star.
That single recording, by the way, was the first ever to be considered a Gold
Did you know that a Fayette County teacher once defied a U.S. Supreme Court
ruling, and made national news because of it?
That really happened, and I’ll have the details next week.