Hoppy’s Black Shirt, Lucy’s Redness, and George’s Magic Hour

Hoppy’s Black Shirt, Lucy’s Redness, and George’s Magic Hour

Hoppy’s Black Shirt, Lucy’s Redness, and George’s Magic Hour

Here’s a little holiday quiz–all questions (and answers) drawn from my book, The End of Victory Culture. Think of this as the beginning of a secret cultural history in trivia of our political times:

1. What was the great commercial triumph of cowboy hero Hopalong Cassidy with his "spine-tingling episodes never before shown on TV!"? (Answer: Marketing his signature black shirt to one million children soon after World War II, at a time when black was still associated with mourning or Italian fascism.)

2. What did Desi Arnaz tell the studio audience of the top-rated TV comedy I Love Lucy in 1953, after Lucy was accused of being a communist by gossip columnist Walter Winchell? (Answer: "And now I want you to meet my favorite wife — my favorite redhead — in fact, that’s the only thing red about her, and even that’s not legitimate.")

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Here’s a little holiday quiz–all questions (and answers) drawn from my book, The End of Victory Culture. Think of this as the beginning of a secret cultural history in trivia of our political times:

1. What was the great commercial triumph of cowboy hero Hopalong Cassidy with his "spine-tingling episodes never before shown on TV!"? (Answer: Marketing his signature black shirt to one million children soon after World War II, at a time when black was still associated with mourning or Italian fascism.)

2. What did Desi Arnaz tell the studio audience of the top-rated TV comedy I Love Lucy in 1953, after Lucy was accused of being a communist by gossip columnist Walter Winchell? (Answer: "And now I want you to meet my favorite wife — my favorite redhead — in fact, that’s the only thing red about her, and even that’s not legitimate.")

3. When did the first interracial kiss make it onto television? (Answer: November 22, 1968, in outer space. Star Trek’s Captain Kirk had to turn his back to the camera to simulate placing that kiss on Lieutenant Uhuru.)

4. From what movie did junior officers at the Army Command and General Staff at Fort Leavenworth, responsible for planning some of the ground campaign in the first Gulf War, choose a nickname — and what was it? (Answer: Star Wars and it was "Jedi Knights.")

5. When, on May 1, 2003, George W. Bush made his carefully timed, late afternoon landing on, and strut across, the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, to announce that "major combat operations" had ended in Iraq against the backdrop of that infamous "Mission Accomplished" banner, what term did his advance men use for the photogenic moment chosen? (Answer: "Magic hour light.")

[Note: If you want to learn a little about the more serious side of The End of Victory Culture, just click here.]

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