Chapter 7





Converse All-Stars

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Converse is an American shoe company that was started early in the 20th century and eventually became one of the biggest shoe companies in the US.

History

The Converse Rubber Shoe Company, as it was originally named, was founded in Malden, Massachusetts in 1908 by Marquis M. Converse. It specialized in the manufacturing of rubber shoes. The company grew exponentially and after only two years was producing more than 4000 shoes a day. However, the company really started to boom in 1917, when professional basketball player Charles H. "Chuck" Taylor was hired to promote their product. Converse started manufacturing the All Star shoes (seen below) and Taylor's signature was later added to the signature patch. These sport shoes later became the source of the majority of their profits. During WW II, the company reverted back to their original production of rubber shoes to supply the army. The All Stars surged back into mainstream culture in the 1950s, though the company lost some business to new competitors: Nike, Reebok and Adidas. In 2001, the Converse Shoe Company filed for bankruptcy and was later bought by Nike for $305 million.

The Shoe

Converse shoes come in all colors and styles, though the most popular is the Chuck Taylor All-Star. The shoe is made of canvas with a rubber sole. They come in various colors with many optional designs. The most popular colors include black, white and blue with the usual white laces and rubber toe. Each pair has the signature All-Star patch on the sides.


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Sources

-"Converse." Wikipedia. 9 Nov 2006 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Converse>.

-"Chuck Taylor All-stars." Wikipedia. 9 Nov 2006 http://[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Taylor_All-Stars|en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Taylor_All-Stars]].

-"Charlie's "CHUCK" Page." Charlie's Sneaker pages. 09 Oct 2006. 14 Nov 2006 <http://sneakers.pair.com/chucks.htm>.





Hush Puppies

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The Hush Puppies Brand is another type of shoe, with its headquarters located in Rockford Michigan. It is a division of Wolverine Worldwide.

Wolverine Worldwide was founded in 1883 by G. A. Krause. It started off making shoes made of tanned wolverine hide, hence the name "Wolverine Worldwide." The company did very well and continued production through the Great Depression. It wasn't until 1957 that Hush Puppies made their debut. They were a breakthrough in casual shoe fashion: a soft, suede casual shoe. The name Hush Puppies comes from a traditional Southern dish of the same name that farmers used to throw at their dogs to quiet them. G.A Krause had the idea that these shoes could "quiet your barking dogs," implying that the shoes could help with sore feet. Hush Puppies were an immediate success and have sold very well. The sales of Hush Puppies topped a billion dollars in 2005.
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Sources:

-"Hush Puppies." Wikipedia. 9 Nov 2006 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hush_Puppies>.

-"History." Wolverine Worldwide. Wolverine Worldwide, Inc.. 16 Nov 2006 <http://www.wolverineworldwide.com/main_history.asp>.

-"About Hush Puppies." Hush Puppies. Wolverine Worldwide. 16 Nov 2006 <http://www.hushpuppies.com/en-US/general/AboutUs.aspx>.__





Montreal 1976 (Olympics)

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The summer of 1976 welcomed the Games of the XXI Olympiad to the wonderful city of Montreal. In preparation for the games, the government of Quebec spent a fortune to create the Olympic Stadium, a stadium using the daring design of French architect Roger Taillibert. The building consisted of a large round stadium with a retractable roof. The roof was supposed to be retracted by cords in the overlooking tower. However, the roof was never functional. The projected cost for the stadium alone was C$250 million, though the final cost was more than C$1 billion. The Montreal Olympics ended up being the most expensive in history and Montrealers only finished paying off the debt in early 2006. The opening ceremony occurred on July 17th and was officially overseen by Queen Elizabeth II. The Olympic torch was transmitted “electronically” from Athens to Ottawa, meaning it was created via electronic pulse from the original flame. The flame was then run from Ottawa to Montreal. A couple of days following the start of the games, the flame went out and had to be relit with a backup flame. These Olympics ended up being a disaster, being boycotted by 22 African countries due to Apartheid policies in South Africa. The Tanzanian dictator at the time called the boycott as a result of the New Zealand team touring in South Africa. There was also a big drug problem, especially in the East German women's swimming team, who won 11 of the 13 events. This was not proved during the games, though following the fall of the Berlin Wall, files were released revealing that all of the swimmers were part of a government sponsored drug program. The Montreal Olympics introduced the women’s events in basketball, handball and rowing. It also was the last to be financed by government.
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Sources

-"Montreal 1976." Wikipedia. 9 Nov 2006 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreal_1976>.

-"Classic Olympic Venues - Montreal 1976." Inside the Games. Inside the Games. 15 Nov 2006 <http://www.insidethegames.com/venues/Montreal.htm>.

-Rosenburg, Jennifer. "1976-Montreal, Canada." The History of the Olympics. About.com. 15 Nov 2006 <http://history1900s.about.com/library/weekly/aa081000v.htm>.


Skippy the Bush Kangaroo

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Skippy the Bush Kangaroo was a popular television series produced between 1966 and 1968. It was shot in Australia and shown most notably in Canada and the US between 1969 and 1972. The show starred Ed Devereaux, Garry Pankhurst and Ken James as well as three different wallabies that played Skippy. The story followed Skippy and his owners, the Head Ranger and his son, on their adventures in Waratah National Park. One of the interesting plot elements is that the kid, named Sonny Hammond, can communicate with the kangaroo. Many remakes have been made of this show, though none of them were very popular.
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Sources

-"Skippy the Bush Kangaroo." Wikipedia. 9 Nov 2006 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skippy_the_bush_kangaroo>.

-"Skippy the Bush Kangaroo." Nostalgia Central. Nostalgia Central. 16 Nov 2006 <http://www.nostalgiacentral.com/tv/kids/skippy.htm>.

-"Skippy the bush Kangaroo." Everything2. 25 June 2001. 15 Nov 2006 <http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=62504>.



Wide World of Sports

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This section is covered in chapter 3. Please click on the link to be brought there.