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A tumblr about 1980s and 1990s history, and I use the term "history" very loosely.

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140. Surge banned in schools (1997)

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This is an article from my personal collection. I was really big on cutting articles out of the paper when I was a pre-teen. 

Surge was never banned from my school. They didn’t care what we drank as long as it wasn’t booze, you know? I remember when Surge came out right after Christmas, 1996 when I was 13. I drank a lot of it in 8th grade because it was new, but I never remember being “wired” from it. I think I had so much caffeine in my lifetime by then that it didn’t bother me. Just like today. I could drink Diet Coke and coffee before bed and still sleep.

Dad Stole It For Me!

My dad gave me this vending machine sticker right after Surge came out. If memory serves me correct, dad was at the firehouse where he volunteered at when the Coke guy came to refill the machine, and it gave it to him. 

I Know I Posted This Before

A little off topic, but this was my soda can collection when I was a teenager. I had it from when I was 11-17. This picture is from 1998. You can see Surge next to the wacky Cherry Coke can from the Surge era. Coke had some creative designers back then, I wonder what happened. That new Diet Coke can is atrocious. 

New Diet Coke Design

139. Marge Simpsons’ shoe size (1990)

I’m sitting here watching the Every Simpsons Marathon on the FXX channel, and the first season episode where Marge gets bowling lessons from Jacque is on. 

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Remember the scene where Marge is offended that the man at the bowling alley asks her for her shoe size? It was because Marge wore a size 13AAA shoe! I completely forgot about this, and I’ve seen this episode at least once a year for 24 years. 

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Thirteen double A!!! The closest I've got is a nine and a fifteen.

138. Robin Williams’ arms in “Hook” (1991)

I read somewhere years ago that Robin had to either get his arms waxed or shaved before filming HookI don’t even know the source, but I think it because he didn’t look like Peter Pan with that jungle on his arms. 

Related: 

Robin defuzzed back in January

Robin Williams Syndrome" (Urban Dictionary)

Popeye Is the Best Movie Robin Williams Ever Made (Vanity Fair) - For years I would watch Popeye every time it was on TV. 

137. “Young models ready for show” (August 10, 1992)

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Peterson, Craig. “Young Models Ready for Show.” The Press-Courier, August 10, 1992.

136. BURGESS v. CLAIROL, INC. (1986, 1991)

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(I don’t know if this is the Foot Fixer model in question. This is a photo I found online of “internet celebrity” Kailyn Wilcher using a Foot Fixer model.)

Who knew something that most people buy as a thoughtless Christmas Present on December 23rd could make a man lose his legs? 

In 1986, George Burgess purchased a Clairol Foot Fixer, an electronic foot bath massager. Naturally, he put his feet in the warm water for about 30 minutes. Oh, George was also a diabetic with poor foot circulation. I’m pre-diabetic, I’m scared to put my feet in any danger, like too tight shoes, or hot showers, because I’m afraid of losing my feet. That’s what happened to George, his feet blistered, and the blood vessels in his toes were burnt to such a degree that there was no hope in saving them. Eventually, George had his legs amputated from the knees down. 

A lawsuit ensued, with Burgess stating that the Foot Fixer heated water to 105 degrees, (which could maim people with poor circulation) instead of the proper 95 degrees, and that Clairol did not put warnings on the box or the instructions.  However, in 1991, George died. The lawsuit was amended to a wrongful death lawsuit—from the research I did, I never found a cause of George’s death though. Due to his death, with the lawsuit being amended to George’s estate as the plaintiff, the claim was put an end to. When he died, so did the lawsuit: 

Punitive damages are not available under Illinois’ Wrongful Death Act, nor does a punitive damage claim pass to the decedent’s estate under Illinois’ Survival Act, the U.S . District Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently held (George Burgess and
Cynthia Burgess v. Clairol Inc. . No. 87 C 8918, N.D. Ill.)

Sources:

1. “BURGESS v. CLAIROL, INC. | Leagle.com.” BURGESS v. CLAIROL, INC. | Leagle.com. http://www.leagle.com/decision/19912054776FSupp1278_11890.xml/BURGESS%20v.%20CLAIROL,%20INC. (accessed August 3, 2014).

2. Mealey’s Litigation Reports 6: 5-7. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/documentStore/u/r/g/urg22f00/Surg22f00.pdf (accessed August 3, 2014)

135. Lucky Vanous

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Oh man, did I find this Diet Coke commercial intolerable growing up. I think my mom even complained to me once about how dumb she thought those women in the commercial were. 

Lucky the Diet Coke Guy shirtless skeeved me out so much. Guys without their shirts on grossed me out when I was a kid. I’m sorry. I look at pictures of him now that I’m an adult, and I realize he’s alright looking. Eleven year old me however was like, “Ew gross!! Stop it!!” 

Lucky was everywhere for a brief time in 1994. 

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See. Everywhere. 

//edit//

I forgot that The Critic parodied Lucky too. ”Time for Marty to drink his Diet Coke!” 

131. Have We Become a Nation of Slobs? (Newsweek, February 20, 1995)

One of my birthday presents I bought myself was the entire bound edition of Newsweek from 1995 off eBay. I was taking the bound issues out of the diaper box they came in to air out because they had 19 years of book funk in them. I was casually flipping through each edition, and I landed on this and it cracked me up:

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mmm, Bill Clinton in those girly short shorts. 

Article: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)

Adler, Jerry. “Have We Become a Nation of Slobs?.” Newsweek, February 20, 1995.

130. My favorite Meshach Taylor scene from “Dave’s World”

Meshach Taylor died, and it absolutely breaks my heart that so many people we enjoyed watching on TV when we were kids are passing away faster than ever. 

While I watched Meshach on Designing Women with my mom when I was in elementary school, I loved him more on Dave’s World, which was Harry Anderson’s post Night Court sitcom in the mid 1990s. He played Shel, Dave Barry’s (Anderson) neighbor, and friend from high school, Shel. My mom and I watched Dave’s World every Friday night when it first debuted. It’s definitely up there with my favorite shows growing up. 

UNFORTUNATELY, my absolute favorite Shel scene isn’t on YouTube. So I have to explain it, which isn’t nearly as fun as watching the clip and laughing at it. I hope I remember all the details. 

Dave’s sons named one of their pets Kenny, after Dave’s friend. Shel complains that the kids never named a pet after him.

This is happening during the weekly poker match between Dave and friends, a fly flies past Dave, Dave slams it on the table and says, “aww, poor Shel!

See, I can’t explain it. All we have on the internet is the scene that goes with Harry’s title card in the opening credits. 

External Links:

Dave’s World DVDs (1,2,3)

129. The Monica Wrap-up (1998-1999)

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(Lumpy Space Princess as Monica Lewinsky, drawn by me, for sale in my etsy shop.) 

Monica’s Drama Teacher

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Shortly after the news broke about Monica Lewinsky, her former drama instructor, Andy J. Bleiler came out saying that Monica had an affair with him. The affair began after she graduated from high school in 1992, and Monica even moved the affair to Portland when she transferred colleges … because Bleiler and his WIFE followed her up there a while later.1 Lewinsky befriended Mrs. Bleiler and would send her items from her internship and work at the White House and Pentagon. Strangely, Monica would also send her used blazers and office attire along with typical touristy Washington DC things:

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Perhaps, the most strange thing Monica sent her was this:

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What.

I can’t find the reason why Monica sent this black nightgown to the wife of the man she was sleeping with.2 Monica also bragged to the couple about her sexual escapades in DC, but always referred to Bill Clinton as “The Creep”. Totally wacky. 

The affair ended in 1997 when his wife found out. I guess whenever Monica had vacation, she’d travel to Oregon and they’d do their thing? Or when she moved to DC it became a phone affair? Who knows. In early 1998, when the allegations broke out, the Bleilers sent everything Monica had ever sent them to Ken Starr’s Associates. 3  In 2013, Bleiler’s now-ex wife put the items up for auction—however the items didn’t even meet the reserve. 4 

In the 1999 Barbara Walters interview, Monica said that Mr. Bleiller was the first man to ever make her feel beautiful, that came into her life during a difficult period when she felt self conscious about her appearance, and made her feel “sensual” about herself. 

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Witnesses to Monica’s behavior

When the story first broke, reporters talked to anybody who even barely knew Monica:

  • Classmates from her high school in Beverly Hills (she grew up in the 90210!) said that she “had gone to a fat farm” and she tried too hard to be popular.
  • A mother of a boy she went “steady” with said that Monica was constantly over at their house, and eventually clinging to the boy’s brother after a breakup.
  • A real estate agent who was showing the house that Monica rented during college remembered her as cold, the house being a mess, and that she kept a container full of condoms next to her bed.
  • People who interned with her at the White House claimed that she would exaggerate her menial tasks such as opening mail at Leon Panetta’s office.
  • The witnesses at her internship also said that she always dressed in low cut tops and one time was even sent home to change by Deputy Chief of Staff Evelyn Liberman for wearing a low-cut white dress. That’s the dress I want to see! I want to see what was so scandalous about it. I mean, most clothes women wore to the office back then would be considered “dumpy” today…ha, I picture it looking something like this, even if I know it didn’t:

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(with the black mesh part being white)

  • Another strange behavior of Monica’s was that she brought George Stephanopoulos coffee and bagels on a regular basis, unrequested.
  • Her lawyer, William Ginsburg noticed that after the President’s State of the Union Address, which happened just a few days after the scandal broke, that Monica said that Clinton did a good job, and that Ginsburg believed that Monica still considered Clinton a friend. 5,6

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Monica & Revlon

Monica had an interview with Revlon in New York on December 30th, 1997. On January 9th, she accepted an informal job offer with the company. On January 21st, Revlon pulled their job offer, the day the scandal broke.7 The President’s friend and adviser, Vernon Jordan set Monica up with the job interview. 

From the Starr Report:

… Ms. Lewinsky interviewed with Allyn Seidman, senior vice president [of Revlon’s parent company]…and two individuals at Revlon. Ms. Lewinsky testified that the interviews went well and that Ms. Seidman called her back that day and “informally offered [her] a position, and [she] informally accepted.”

Ms. Lewinsky then called Mr. Jordan and relayed the good news. When shown records of a seven-minute call at 4:14 p.m., Mr. Jordan testified: “I have to assume that if she got the job and we have a seven-minute conversation and the day before I had talked to the chairman [Ronald Perelman], I have to assume the Jordan magic worked.”

According to Mr. Jordan, he believed that he notified Ms. Currie and the President as soon as he learned that Ms. Lewinsky had obtained an offer: “I am certain that at some point in time I told Betty Currie, ‘Mission accomplished.’” Mr. Jordan testified that he also told the President directly that “Monica Lewinsky’s going to work for Revlon,” and his response was, “Thank you very much.” 8

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Monica’s Mom’s Crazy Tenors Book (pg 36, february 2, 98 newsweek)

Monica’s mom, Marcia Lewis, tried any way possible to get attention. She once tried to get a gossip magazine started with her sister after she divorced Monca’s dad. In 1996, she came out with a bogus book about The Three Tenors, The Private Lives of the Three Tenors: Behind the Scenes With Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti and Jose Carreras.She only knew Domingo “casually”, but she wrote the book as though she knew the behind the scenes, juicy details about his life. Descriptions of the book hints that Lewis tried to hint in the book that she’s had flings with Domingo 9:

There is something starry-eyed about the book’s personal focus and adoring approach, especially in the passages about Domingo. A three-page fantasy scene about an encounter with Domingo was cut from the finished manuscript because it didn’t fit with the rest of the book, Schragis said.

But intimations about sex with a Domingo-like figure remain in the book.

In a chapter titled “Domingo as Don Juan,” Lewis described Domingo as an “hidalgo,” a true Spanish gentleman with a broad romantic streak.

She wrote that hidalgo is Domingo’s favorite Spanish word and then she went on to imagine what an affair with an hidalgo must be like for women lucky enough to have one:

He telephones before the concert, “whispering to protect his famous voice.” They meet late at night after the triumphant concert, his adrenalin still racing from the encores. Later, every message he leaves on her answering machine ends with the words, “For you, darling, a big kiss.” If she travels to New York to meet him, “he fills her suite at the Plaza Hotel with dozens of red roses,” she wrote.

"An hidalgo’s lovemaking would be passionate and romantic, with murmurs of adoration and love, and an expert knowledge of how to pleasure a woman," Lewis wrote. "Is Domingo an hidalgo? Millions of women the world over sincerely believe he is." 10

Monica’s Car Accident

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I noticed that Miss Monica caught the late 1990s SUV bug, back when if you turned your Ford Explorer slightly to the left, it would flip over on the interstate.

That’s what she did. Digging through her purse while driving. 11

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Monica’s Purses

Monica claimed that while she was under legal lockdown in Washington due to legal reasons she learned how to knit and sew. In late 1999 she debuted a purse collection, The Real Monica Inc. Mmm.hmm. 12 13

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There’s nothing special about those purses. I think If I had a sewing machine, even I could make one. The fabrics look like the reject fabrics that sit in the back of an old JoAnn’s.

1. Claiborne, William. “Lewinsky’s Former Teacher Discloses Affair.” The Washington Post, January 28, 1998.

2. Keneally, Meghan. “Lingerie, a personal note from Bill Clinton and White House M&Ms (but not THAT blue dress): One of Monica Lewinsky’s OTHER lovers auctions off a collection of the former intern’s private belongings.” Mail Online. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2347661/Monica-Lewinskys-lingerie-note-Bill-Clinton-auction-THAT-blue-dress.html (accessed June 8, 2014).

3. Hall, Landon. “Teacher admits to affair with White House intern.” The Hour, January 28, 1998.

4. The Washington Post. “Monica Lewinsky auction: Buyer interest fell short.” Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/reliable-source/wp/2013/07/01/monica-lewinsky-auction-what-happened/ (accessed June 8, 2014).

5. Isikoff, Michael, and Evan Thomas. “Clinton and the Intern.” Newsweek, February 2, 1998. 33.

6. Ratnesar, Romesh. “The Trouble with Monica.” Time, February 9, 1998. http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1998/02/02/time/1.ratnesar.html (accessed June 11, 2014).

7. Washington Post, “Time Line,” September 13, 1998. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/clinton/timeline.htm (accessed June 11, 2014).

8. ”An affair of state.” Time, September 21, 1998. http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/time/1998/09/14/affair.state.html (accessed June 11, 2014)

9. Isikoff, Michael, and Evan Thomas. “Clinton and the Intern.” Newsweek, February 2, 1998, 36.

10. Leen, Jeff. “Role Puts Spotlight on Lewinsk’ys Mother.” Washington Post, February 4, 1998. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/clinton/stories/lewis020498.htm (accessed June 16, 2014).

11. Breznican, Anthony. “Monica Lewinsky hurt in car crash.” The Daily Courier, August 2, 1999. (accessed June 19, 2014) 

12. Kedmey, Dan. “Now 40, Monica Lewinsky Guards Her Privacy.” Time, July 23, 2013. http://time.com/6143/now-40-monica-lewinsky-guards-her-privacy/ (accessed June 22, 2014)

13. Hoffman, Ashley. “Let’s All Remember That Time Monica Lewinsky Was a Handbag Designer.” Styleite Lets All Remember That Time Monica Lewinsky Was a Handbag Designer Comments. http://www.styleite.com/news/in-memorium-that-time-monica-lewinsky-was-a-handbag-designer/ (accessed June 23, 2014).

14. "Some Inspiration from The Real Monica." : Some Inspiration from The Real Monica. http://glh3o69.blogspot.com/2012/09/some-inspiration-from-real-monica.html (accessed June 23, 2014).

127. The O.J. wrap up (1994-1995)

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Next month will be 20 years since the infamous white Bronco chase was broadcasted the evening after the last day of elementary school. I remember it came on TV right before mom and I were going to go to bed that night. Vanity Fair's  Lili Anolik has written a thesis about how the O.J. Simpson Bronco Chase, and subsequent murder trial was America’s first modern reality show, and that O.J. essentially killed television as we knew it. I was 11 when the trial started (and 12 when it ended!), and surprisingly the very minor details of the chaos have stayed in my memory. It’s absolutely insane that these little ridiculous events sometimes overshadowed the fact that two people died, and that a woman was constantly at the hands of domestic abuse. 

Ito’s IBM

I actually do remember wondering why Judge Ito had a laptop at his desk during the trial, when I was a kid I thought that laptops were only for the rich.  I couldn’t watch the trial because I was obviously at school, but I thought that Ito typed on his laptop during the trial! Such a dumb kid I was. I remember that it was an IBM, and it was pretty easy to figure out it was an IBM … because it had a BIG HONKING IBM THINK PAD LOGO ON IT

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By late February of 1995, the IBM logo and the Sony logo on Ito’s monitor that could be seen whenever a witness was at the stand caused a stir, and the logos were reduced in size

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This is a long drawn out article about the technology used at the trial, and it also mentions that Ito’s laptop was $6,000. 

For measure, I have a 2007 black MacBook on my desk. It was about $1,000 back in 2008, refurbished. 

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Judge Ito forbidding the tasting of the rainbow in court 

With the O.J. Simpson case in turmoil, Judge Lance Ito is cracking down on candy and gum chewers. The judge yesterday said a hidden camera had caught six candy chompers in the courtroom audience and he threatened to bar them from the trial. He even played a video showing one TV reporter eating Skittles and later scolded her in his chambers. The judge, though, said she could return to court. Ito said his get-tough stance was inspired by TV viewers who called complaining about eating in the courtroom. He also banned note passing and looking side to side. “I’m finding the contortions of certain members of the audience distracting,” he snapped. 4

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Marcia’s Makeover

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Through an 11 year old’s eyes, Marcia Clark looked mean. She looked like the mean teacher everybody heard rumors about in elementary school. The teacher who had guide lines the floor of the classroom, and if you want out of the outline you’d get in trouble. The one who made you do “silent claps” in the classroom after a presentation. The one who wouldn’t give students the free rulers with the Presidents on it that the Encyclopedia company gave away. Yeah, that teacher. 

The press had a field day with Clark’s appearance. Crotchety old Mr. Blackwell took a swing at her appearance at the beginning of the trial:

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Law Consultant Robert Hirschorn theorized that Marcia changed her hairstyle to a straight bob stye to divert attention from one of her witnesses, Dennis Fung who was being grilled on the witness stand. 9  

Larry King accidentally walking in the courtroom

From the Vanity Fair article: 

A tongue-in-cheek quality, too, began to insinuate its way into the proceedings. Take, for example, the curious role of Larry King in the case. After the Bronco chase, King moved Larry King Live, the whole kit and caboodle pretty much, from D.C. to L.A. On any given night, he’d have as guests a member of the prosecution team and a member of the defense team, some journalist or other, always bending over backward to represent both sides. And he was as scrupulously bipartisan in his social life, dating Suzanne Childs, D.A. Garcetti’s director of communications, and Jo-Ellan Dimitrius, the defense team’s jury consultant, simultaneously. (If he ever got desperate for material, he could’ve just mic’d his sheets, filled a couple episodes with pillow talk.) When Nicole Brown Simpson: The Private Diary of a Life Interrupted was released mid-trial, Ito wrote to networks asking that they postpone their interviews with Faye Resnick. King obeyed, canceling Faye’s spot, and Ito, in thanks, told him to drop by sometime. So, during a midmorning break, King entered Ito’s chambers. Ito began musing about a domestic-violence issue he had yet to make a ruling on, revealing to his confused and surprised listener which way he was going to go. Finally, King suggested they wrap it up, since they’d been together for 40 minutes and the break was supposed to last only 15. King followed Ito through a door, which turned out to lead directly into the courtroom. Suddenly, to his shock, King found himself on-camera, a participant in the very trial he was covering. O.J. called out his name and stood to shake hands. “Thanks for being so fair,” Simpson said, pumping King’s fist up and down. Marcia Clark squealed, “I watch you all the time!” So you had both the accused and the lawyer prosecuting the accused acknowledging that they watched the talk-show host who was watching them. 1

Robert Shapiro’s fortune cookies: 

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O.J.’s mom in a 1-800-COLLECT commercial

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This was actually the first thing that happened in the timeline, a few months before the murders. We all remember those stupid 1-800-COLLECT commercials, I want to go more in depth with them later on, but I have to bring up this one now. 

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In the Spring of 1994, there was this absolutely ridiculous 1-800-COLLECT commercial with O.J.’s Mom, Eunice. What? I know, right. She was a good little actress though. However, I remember when I first heard about the murders, I thought, “oh, I bet they take that commercial off the air.” 

1. Anolik, Lili. “It All Began with O. J..” Vanity Fair, June, 2014. http://www.vanityfair.com/society/2014/06/oj-simpson-trial-reality-tv-pop-culture

2. Naparstek, Aaron. “The Chase.” Spin, April, 1995. http://books.google.com/books?id=495Bl1_hMr8C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=true 

3. Newsweek, April 17, 1995. 

4. Caruso, Michelle , and Jere Hester. “JUDGE ITO’S ON A CRUSADE FOR GUM CONTROL.”New York Daily News, June 8, 1995. http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/news/judge-ito-crusade-gum-control-article-1.678794

5. Saunders, Debra. “The farcical trial of the century.” Sarasota Herald-Tribune, June 19, 1995. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=OOYeAAAAIBAJ&sjid=xHwEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6878%2C5487241

6. Hayslett, Jerrianne. Anatomy of a Trial: Public Loss, Lessons Learned from The People vs. O.J. Simpson. University of Missouri Press, 2008. 53. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0826218229/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0826218229&linkCode=as2&tag=salintthe90sa-20&linkId=QUBNX6YSVO27FYKE

7. Dunne, Dominick. Justice: crimes, trials, and punishments. New York: Crown Publishers, 2001. 202. 

8. Goodman, Ellen. “Professional women face fashion jury.” The Daily Gazette, October 20, 1994.

9. Lythgoe, Dennis. “Fashion and the power of persuasion.”The Desert News, May 17, 1995.

10. Kanner, Bernice. “Long Distance Runaround.” New York Magazine, January 31, 1994, 10.

Eunice Simpson’s obituary from 2001