Sunday, November 13, 2011

Today in Pop Culture History

Upper (Literally)
13 November 1914: Mary Phelps-Jacob, a New York socialite, patented the first modern bra. The previous year, fashion-forward Mary had bought a sheer evening gown that exposed the whalebone corsets popular at the time. Two handkerchiefs and some pink ribbon solved the problem, and revolutionized women's clothing from the inside out. Pop culture took the bra and ran with it. Here are some notable updates on Ms. Phelps-Jacob's innovation.

13 November 1974: Karen Silkwood, union activist and nuclear power plant whistle-blower, died in a car accident on her way to meet a reporter. She claimed that the plant had shoddy safety standards and falsified inspection results, and that she herself had been contaminated maliciously. The circumstances of her death, though officially ruled an accident, remain controversial. Some believe that her car was rammed from behind with the intent to cause a fatal crash, and documents related to her accusations where she worked went missing. Pop culture connection: The 1983 film Silkwood starring Meryl Streep and Cher was nominated for multiple Academy Awards and won Cher a Golden Globe.

The film doesn't exactly endorse the "she fell asleep at the wheel" explanation.

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