It's definitely the best post of the month.
Some photos are very famous, some are rare.
But all of them are very interesting and each one has a very interesting story. Rockefeller gives Middle Finger
Today “Liberal Republican” is an oxymoron, but in the 70s and the 80s, they did exist, Nelson Rockefeller was their leader.
Elected four times as governor and one of America’s wealthiest politicians, Rockefeller resigned in 1973 to devote all of his time to a potential presidential run in 1976.
But when Vice President Spiro T. Agnew resigned in disgrace after pleading guilty to not paying taxes, Rockefeller called Nixon and asked for the vice presidency.
Nixon decided instead to appoint House Minority Leader and Michigan congressman Gerald Ford. After Nixon’s resignation Gerald Ford was sworn in as President.
Ford offered the Vice Presidency to Rockefeller. Knowing that he would not be the nominee for president in 1976, Rockefeller relaxed and enjoyed his duties as vice president.
This attitude was caught on camera, above in Binghamton, NY.; A heckler was shouting insults and Rockefeller leaned over the podium and gave him the finger.
The picture appeared in newspaper across the nation, the public opinion was divided: some criticizing it as a crude gesture, but others admitting that it was nice to see politician who wasn’t afraid to show just what he really meant.
Shortly after taking office both Mrs. Ford and Mrs. Rockefeller had been diagnosed with cancer and had to have mastectomies. It was major headline news and focused the nations attention on the dangers of breast cancer.
Then when California’s former two-term governor Ronald Reagan announced that he would be a candidate for the Republican nomination, Ford had to appease the conservatives, and replace Rockefeller was replaced on the ticket with Senator Robert Dole of Kansas.
It was a rally for Dole in Binghamton that Rockefeller hold up his middle finger with ’sneering, Satanic expression’. For him, not running for reelection again, the defiant middle finger was a kind of declaration of independence freeing him from the unspoken rule that politicians must always flatter the audience and ignore the hecklers.
He retired soon after; Rockefeller could have died with the respect, but it was reported that his fatal heart attack was induced by a more than the usual late night ‘office work’ with a young female associate.The Marlboro Man
He was the Most Influential Man Who Never Lived.
Though there were many Marlboro Man models over time until 1999 (factoid: but only three of them succumbed to lungs cancer), the original inspiration for the Philip Morris cigarette advertising campaign came through Life magazine photographs by Leonard McCombe from 1949.
Clarence Hailey Long (above) was a 39-year-old, 150-pound foreman at the JA ranch in the Texas panhandle, a place described as “320,000 acres of nothing much.”
Once a week, Long would ride into town for a store-bought shave and a milk shake. Maybe he’d take in a movie if a western was playing.
He was described as “as silent man, unassuming and shy, to the point of bashfulness [with a] face sunburned to the color of saddle leather [with cowpuncher's] wrinkles radiating from pale blue eyes.
” He wore “a ten-gallon Stetson hat, a bandanna around his neck, a bag of Bull Durhamtobacco with its yellow string dangling from his pocket, and blue denim, the fabric of the profession”. He said things like,
“If it weren’t for a good horse, a woman would be the sweetest thing in the world.” He rolled his own smokes.
When the cowboy’s face and story appeared in LIFE in 1949, advertising exec Leo Burnett had an inspiration.
Philip Morris, which had introduced Marlboro as a woman’s cigarette in 1924, was seeking a new image for the brand.
The image managed to transform a feminine campaign, with the slogan “Mild as May”, into one that was masculine in a matter of months.
The “Marlboro Cowboy” and “Marlboro Country” campaigns based on Long boosted Marlboro to the top of the worldwide cigarette market and Long to the top of the marriage market: Long’s Marlboro photographs led to marriage proposals from across the nation, all of which he rejected.
By the time the Marlboro Man went national in 1955, sales were at $5 billion, a 3,241% jump over the previous year.
Over the next decade, Burnett and Philip Morris experimented with other manly types — ball players, race car drivers and rugged guys with tattoos (often friends of the creative team, sporting fake tattoos); all worked, but the Marlboro Man worked the best. By the time the first article linking lung cancer to smoking appeared in Reader’s Digest in 1957, the Marlboro sales were at $20 billion.
Before the Marlboro Man, the brand’s U.S. share stood at less than 1%, but in 1972 (a year after the cigarette ads were banned from American televisions) it became the No. 1 tobacco brand in the world.