News of the Week: Dress Codes, Bob Ross Paintings, and the Time Capsules of the World’s Fair

In the news for the week ending September 29, 2023, are what not to wear, overdue Oscars, and a tribute to Alpha-Bits.

The Unisphere, symbol of the New York 1964-65 World's Fair in Flushing Meadow Park, New York (Shutterstock)

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I’ve Heard of Casual Friday But…

I rarely get into politics in this column but this isn’t really about politics. It’s about fashion.

There’s no longer going to be a dress code on the Senate floor. The new rule was prompted by Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman’s penchant for wearing shorts and a hoodie while at work.

I’ve never liked Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg wearing a hoodie all the time, but Fetterman makes Zuckerberg look like Cary Grant.

There are so many niceties going away these days, eaten away by people who don’t know or don’t care about traditions. Can we at least have men and women on the Senate floor wearing suits or dresses? If I can’t wear a tank top and sweatpants to a fancy restaurant, why should senators be able to wear them on the Senate floor?

As if people don’t dislike politicians enough.

How about they wear good clothes on the floor and they can dress more casually when working behind closed doors in their office? Is that a good compromise?

It’s not like we’re asking them to wear powdered wigs and corsets.

There are some who say that there are more important things to worry about in the world than what someone is wearing in the halls of government. But that’s a false choice. The people who represent us can wear nice clothes and chew gum at the same time.

Oh, you shouldn’t chew gum on the Senate floor either.

Update! By a unanimous vote, the rule has been reversed!

Dress Circle!

Two tickets from the night President Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theater have just sold for $262,500. The tickets say “Dress Circle!” on them and not the name of the play that was performed that night, Our American Cousin, have seat numbers written in pencil, and are clipped at the corner.

Do You Have $9.8 Million?

Then you can buy the painting created by Bob Ross on the first episode of his popular show The Joy of PaintingIt’s up for sale. It’s signed by Ross and comes with a letter written by him as well as a certificate of authenticity.

The current owner of the painting was a volunteer at the Virginia PBS station where that first episode was filmed. He paid less than $100 at an auction.

Uploaded to YouTube by Bob Ross

Hattie’s Come Home

Hattie McDaniel was the first Black person to win an Oscar, for her performance in 1939’s Gone with the Wind, but the Oscar vanished in the 1960s. The Academy will present her family with a replacement award this Sunday during a ceremony at Howard University.

Something I Learned This Week

Last week I told you how cereal sales have dropped considerably in the past couple of years. Now I find out that Alpha-Bits was discontinued? In 2021?

I understand why companies get rid of some of their products, but this was one of the very few cereals that was not only delicious but educational! Try spelling dirty words with Cheerios, see how far you get.

RIP Dianne Feinstein, David McCallum, Michael Gambon, Brooks Robinson, Katherine Anderson, Terry Kirkman, Rose Gregorio, Marvin Newman, and Burkey Belser

Dianne Feinstein was the longest-serving female member of the Senate. She was the mayor of San Francisco from 1978 to 1988. She died Thursday at the age of 90.

David McCallum starred in the classic ’60s spy show The Man from U.N.C.L.E.NCIS, and the British shows Colditz and Sapphire & Steel. He died Monday at the age of 90.

Michael Gambon played Dumbledore in six Harry Potter movies (taking over after Richard Harris died). Before that he was an acclaimed award-winning stage actor. He also played the lead role on the detective series Maigret, was the lead in the miniseries The Singing Detective, and portrayed Lyndon Johnson in the TV movie Path to War. He died this week at the age of 82.

Brooks Robinson was a Hall of Fame third baseman for the Baltimore Orioles for 23 years. He died this week at the age of 86.

Katherine Anderson was the co-founder of The Marvelettes, the female trio known for such songs as “Please Mr. Postman” and “Don’t Mess with Bill.” She died last week at the age of 79.

Terry Kirkman was the co-founder of the band The Association, known for such songs as “Cherish,” “Windy.” , and “Never My Love.” He died last weekend at the age of 83.

Rose Gregorio was nominated for a Tony for her work in The Shadow Box. She also appeared in films like The SwimmerThe Deep End of the OceanTrue Confessions, and The Eyes of Laura Mars, and she played Julianna Margulies mother on ER. She died last month at the age of 97.

Marvin Newman was an acclaimed photographer. He died earlier this month at the age of 95.

Burkey Belser was the graphic designer who created the nutrition facts label we see on packages. He died Monday at the age of 76.

This Week in History

Walter Lippmann Born (September 23, 1889)

Lippmann was the extremely influential journalist, media critic, and author who created the term “cold war” and the one who first used the word “stereotype” in the way we use it today.

Time Capsule Buried at World’s Fair (September 23, 1938)

It was buried by Westinghouse. It was the first of two time capsules they buried at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park (the other being at the 1964-65 World’s Fair), and both are scheduled to be opened in the year 6939. The Post will have full coverage when that happens.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Hart Schaffner & Marx (September 29, 1951)

Now that’s a sharp-looking suit.

October is National Cookie Month

I try not to repeat the same holidays every single year, but I make an exception for National Cookie Month.

Here’s a recipe for the original Nestlé Toll House Cookies (or is this the original recipe?). Here’s one for Pecan Sandies from The Pioneer Woman, and here’s one from Delish for Classic Butter CookiesTaste of Home has a recipe for Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies, while Food & Wine has Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles (it’s pumpkin spice season, if you haven’t heard).

And because it’s the Post I always include this recipe for Norman Rockwell’s Oatmeal Cookies.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Sarcastic Month Begins (October 1)

Oh, I bet this will be a great thing to celebrate.

Customer Service Week (October 2-6)

Celebrate by calling up a customer service rep at your favorite company!

“No, my computer is working fine, I just wanted to call you and tell you how much I appreciate you!”

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  1. The lack of dress codes accompanies a general lack of respect for self and others. Which accompanies lack of respect for laws and traditions. It’s a sad state of affairs.

  2. Our government should be dressed as pre-schoolers that would set off fire alarms if they could reach them. Zuckerberg and Cary Grant mentioned in the same sentence? That has to be a first. The NPR picture of the 1865 Ford’s Theater tickets will just have to do, for me anyway. Shouldn’t they be in a museum though, and not for sale?!

    The 1938 time capsule to be opened in 6939 absolutely is ridiculous. The Tulsa 1957 time capsule (with the buried ’57 Plymouth Belvedere*) was unearthed in 2007 as a rusted-out, water-logged horror. Great 1951 suit ad you picked out, Bob. I can believe the always sharp dresser Sinatra would have fallen in love with his ‘Pal Joey’ suit, but still less so than he was with himself. He’s The Chairman of the Board, what can I say?

    (*Just picture the almost identical ’58 Plymouth Fury from ‘Christine’ as an easy visual to the car when buried.)

  3. I was at the 1964 NY World’s Fair but wasn’t aware of any time capsules until now. Too bad they didn’t plant capsules that could be opened in 100 or 500 years. Hopefully New York won’t be under water in 5000 years!

  4. Bob, that is a great looking suit. A few years later, Frank Sinatra appears to have fallen so deeply in love with a suit which was made for him for “Pal Joey” that he had an unusually large number of photos taken of himself wearing it.

    Dress. You’re too young to remember when one just did not go into downtown in any significant American city on a Saturday morning without being dressed up, but I’m not. It lasted into the mid 60s. I continue to be shocked by the proliferation of tattoos, especially on women. Somehow, this is connected to the loss of appreciation for genuine music. Of course, these people just must show themselves off.


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