Allan Haines Lockheed (1889)

Though Malcolm and Allan Loughead attended only elementary school, the mechanically gifted brothers built their first airplane in 1913. Malcolm soon left the industry, but Allan persisted. Though several of his aircraft companies failed, his name—with the spelling changed to Lockheed—would eventually be connected to one of the world’s largest aerospace manufacturers. Who once turned down a flight in Lockheed’s first plane by saying he would not fly in any plane “for all the money in California”? Discuss
Continue reading “Allan Haines Lockheed (1889)”

Janis Joplin (1943)

Joplin began singing folk rock in Texas bars after running away from home at the age of 17. In 1966, she moved to San Francisco and became lead vocalist of the rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company. The band catapulted Joplin to stardom. By the late 1960s, she was almost as well known for her unconventional lifestyle as for her gritty, memorable vocals. Before her death from a heroin overdose at 27, she released hit albums with two other bands beside Big Brother. What were they called? Discuss
Continue reading “Janis Joplin (1943)”

Joseph Bonanno, AKA Joe Bananas (1905)

Born in Sicily, Bonanno came to the US illegally in 1924. He settled in Brooklyn and became a bootlegger and mob enforcer. In 1931, he founded the Bonanno crime family, one of five families that dominated organized crime in New York City. He ruled the family for decades, and although his empire stretched across the country and involved gambling, loan sharking, and drug trafficking, he was never convicted of a serious crime. He died in Arizona at the age of 97. What was the “Banana Split”? Discuss
Continue reading “Joseph Bonanno, AKA Joe Bananas (1905)”

Anne Brontë (1820)

Though often overshadowed by her more famous sisters, Charlotte and Emily, Anne Brontë was a novelist and poet in her own right. She possessed a style distinct from the romanticism of her sisters, and her works—which include Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall—have been praised for their realism and moral force. Like her five older siblings, Anne died of tuberculosis at a fairly young age. After she died, who prevented her controversial second novel from being reprinted? Discuss
Continue reading “Anne Brontë (1820)”

Dian Fossey (1932)

Fossey was an occupational therapist when, on a trip to Africa in 1963, she met famed anthropologist Louis Leakey, who encouraged her to pursue her dream of studying gorillas. In 1966, she began living a solitary life in the mountains of central Africa, gradually gaining the acceptance of the gorillas she observed and building a vast body of knowledge about their habits, communication, and social structure. In 1985, she was found hacked to death in her Rwandan forest camp. Who murdered her?
Continue reading “Dian Fossey (1932)”