Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Described by no less a figure than George Bernard Shaw as "the only genius to come out of the movie industry", his eventful life began in South London before he was spotted on a tour of America and given his big break. His 'tramp' is possibly the most iconic figure of the silent era. Exiled after falling foul of Senator McCarthy's anti-Communist witch hunts, he lived out his final days in Switzerland, where he died on Christmas Day in 1977, aged 88. Who was he?
2. Christmas Day, 2006 saw the death of the man dubbed "The Godfather of Soul" for his role in the birth of funk music. He first came to prominence when his band "The Famous Flames" took over as headliners on an R&B tour after Little Richard quit show business to become a preacher. He crossed over into mainstream chart success with hits in the 1960s such as "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag". Who was this man, the self-styled "hardest working man in show business"?
3. Of all the revolutions that swept through the Warsaw Pact countries in the second half of 1989, Romania's was the last and the bloodiest. The president refused to recognise the inexorable wave of change crossing Eastern Europe. When he was booed by a crowd gathering in University Square, he seemed bewildered and reacted by turning the army against the people. Within days, his grip on power had been loosened and he was arrested. He was rapidly tried and found guilty. Who was this old style leader who was executed along with his wife by firing squad on Christmas Day, 1989?
4. Born in Barcelona in 1893, this artist was one of the founders of Surrealism in art although he refused to become part of the movement. His work was dedicated to the principle of the "assassination of painting" across a variety of media including paintings, ceramics, bronze sculptures and murals. One of his best known works, the "World Trade Center Tapestry" was lost in the attacks of September 11th. Who was this artist, who died on Christmas Day, 1983?
5. A winner of four Open Championships at Prestwick in the 1860s and 1870s, his record may have become even more impressive but he passed away at the tender age of 24. The third of his triumphs saw him just pip his father, himself a four-time winner of the tournament, to the title. He died, appropriately, at the home of golf, St Andrews, on Christmas Day, 1875. Who was this golfing pioneer who was the first name etched on the famous "Claret Jug"?
6. A hard-working businessman, whose name is synonymous with the cylinder pin-tumble design of lock that he invented, his first designs were specifically created for banks. His innovations, such as the "Magic Infallible Door Lock", allowed his business to expand rapidly. He died in New York City on Christmas Day, 1868 after suffering a heart attack during a business trip to win the right to install his locks in one of the city's new skyscrapers. Who was this businessman, whose name can be found on the front doors of houses around the world?
7. Despite his on-screen persona being that of a curmudgeonly and acerbic sop, this actor and vaudevillian was a huge star in 1930s and 40s America due to his appearances as characters as diverse as Mr. Micawber and Egbert Sousč. His view on life was best summed up in a line from his 1941 film, "Never Give a Sucker an Even Break"; "I was in love with a beautiful blonde once, dear. She drove me to drink. That's the one thing I'm indebted to her for." Who was this comic actor, who died in 1946 on Christmas Day (a day he claimed to hate) and who supposedly wanted his epitaph to read, "on the whole, I'd rather be in Philadelphia"?
8. Once lauded as "the most exciting woman alive", her successful career took a huge knock when she criticised the Vietnam War at an official function at the White House in 1968. She excelled in several entertainment fields, as a dancer, singer and actor, including a stint as Catwoman in the TV series, "Batman". Which multi-talented entertainer, whose biggest musical hit, ironically, was "Santa Baby", died on Christmas Day in 2008?
9. Born in Germany in 1873, he was dubbed "The Father of Neuroscience" following his study of chemical and electrical impulses in the human body. His discovery of the chemical neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, led to the award of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1936. Forced to flee Germany in 1938, he arrived in the USA in 1941 and remained there until his death on Christmas Day, 1961. Who was this pioneering scientist?
10. "Little Ole Wine Drinker Me" may not have been his best known song, but it is the one that best represented his public persona. A member of the Rat Pack, he had continued success from the 1950s through to the 1970s as a singer, comedian and actor on TV and film. The death of his son in air crash in 1987 led to a gradual withdrawal from public life. He died on Christmas Day 1995 owing to complications from lung cancer. Who was this Las Vegas legend?
Source: Author Snowman
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