Femmes Fatales Aug 3 2018
PURE NICHOLS
Where am I, how did I get here, and which way is it to the pool?


American actress-singer Barbara Nichols looks kind of woozy, possibly from inhaling hair bleaching chemicals, but that just adds to this photo's gonzo appeal. By gonzo we mean it looks like it was shot with a five-and-dime camera, and if so, it just goes to show Nichols adds substantial worth to anything. We don't have a date on this strange and seductive image, but figure around 1955.

Update: By sheer chance we were poking around and came across the below image identified as Danish actress Greta Thyssen. As hard as we try not to get snared by internet replication errors it can be difficult to avoid them. We now think this is Thyssen, same time period, still amazing.

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Hollywoodland Apr 24 2018
DOLLARS AND NICHOLS
She was a material girl living in a material world.


Above is a 1960 National Enquirer with Barbara Nichols on the cover, and editors claiming she said “men, money, and me” make a perfect triangle. Nichols was never a top star, mainly guest starring on dozens of television shows, but she was a staple in tabloids because she dated many rich and famous men but never married, which is why we suspect Enquirer editors came up with their cover quote. Some of her escorts included Jack Carter, Steve Cochran, Cesar Romero, and Elvis Presley. Nichols died in 1976 aged forty-seven due to liver dysfunction. It had initially been torn in an auto accident a decade earlier and gave her problem the rest of her life. We have a pair of nice femme fatale photos of her and you can see those here, and well as an awesome album sleeve here

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Musiquarium Mar 26 2014
BARBARA UBER ALLES
Barbara Nichols gets a leg up.

Berlin After Dark is an obscure record, but the sleeve caught our eye because the cover star boldly showing every millimeter of leg she possesses looked familiar. Turns out she’s American actress Barbara Nichols. She doesn’t sing on the record, but it was not uncommon during the period when this was released (1962) to use celebrity photos on record sleeves. Four years ago we put together a collection of sixty album covers featuring famous actresses (with the difference that they all actually sang on the records) and you can see those examples here. We also have two great promos of Barbara Nichols, once again showing a lot of leg, here.

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Femmes Fatales Apr 15 2013
MAJOR BARBARA
We thought we’d better share two photos so you could appreciate her fully.

These two eye-catching shots feature American actress Barbara Nichols, née Barbara Marie Nickerauer, who did the usual round of pin-up modeling and beauty contests before earning a running part in the Broadway musical Pal Joey. She later appeared in the film version along with Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak and other notables, and during her show business career became known for playing strippers. Pretty easy to see why. We have no date for these photos, but if we had to guess we’d say 1955 or 1956.

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Vintage Pulp | Politique Diabolique Feb 15 2012
THE TRUMAN SHOW
The National Police Gazette was not so wild about Harry.

The National Police Gazette presents readers with an interesting array of hat wearing Harry Trumans on this February 1952 cover, offering up the president in a fedora, pith helmet, fez, and more. Truman collected hats, but the Gazette’s real purpose here is to call Truman a flip-flopper. Of course, that term didn’t exist in 1952, at least not with regard to politicians, but Gazette journo Tris Coffin claims Truman changes his mind quite a bit, issuing “conflicting orders, one after the other, with a cheerful smile.” Coffin goes on to cite Truman reversing his stance on price controls on meat, anti-trust controls on oil companies, security commissions keeping tabs on American citizens, and more. All very interesting, but what really caught our eye was Truman’s response to questions about nuclear proliferation. He said the U.S. was the only country with atomic bombs, and he’d keep it that way. Of course, that proved impossible, and it remains impossible today, because nuclear weapons are the only true national security. Many IAEA officials expect the number of nuclear states to double within twenty years. In addition, they expect the rise of at least ten virtual nuclear states—i.e., countries that develop the technology to the point where they can make the bombs, if needed, more quickly than an invasion against them can be mounted. We’ve uploaded some Gazette pages below, including a nice pin-up of Barbara Nichols, and a poster of old time boxer Peter Jackson. And since this is the Gazette, editors remind readers for the umpteenth time that Hitler lives.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
October 16
1964—China Detonates Nuke
At the Lop Nur test site located between the Taklamakan and Kuruktag deserts, the People's Republic of China detonates its first nuclear weapon, codenamed 596 after the month of June 1959, which is when the program was initiated.
1996—Handgun Ban in the UK
In response to a mass shooting in Dunblane, Scotland that kills 16 children, the British Conservative government announces a law to ban all handguns, with the exception .22 caliber target pistols. When Labor takes power several months later, they extend the ban to all handguns.
October 15
1945—Laval Executed
Pierre Laval, who was the premier of Vichy, France, which had collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, is shot by a firing squad for treason. In subsequent years it emerges that Laval may have considered himself a patriot whose goal was to publicly submit to the Germans while doing everything possible behind the scenes to thwart them. In at least one respect he may have succeeded: fifty percent of French Jews survived the war, whereas in other territories about ninety percent perished.
1966—Black Panthers Form
In the U.S., in Oakland, California, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale form the Black Panther political party. The Panthers are active in American politics throughout the 1960s and 1970s, but eventually legal troubles combined with a schism over the direction of the party lead to its dissolution.
October 14
1962—Cuban Missile Crisis Begins
A U-2 spy plane flight over the island of Cuba produces photographs of Soviet nuclear missiles being installed. Though American missiles have been installed near Russia, the U.S. decides that no such weapons will be tolerated in Cuba. The resultant standoff brings the U.S. and the Soviet Union to the brink of war. The crisis finally ends with a secret deal in which the U.S. removes its missiles from Turkey in exchange for the Soviets removing the Cuban weapons.
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