Photo Of The Day: Fidel Castro Plays Ping Pong While Shirtless

Fidel Castro Playing Ping Pong

In 1963, Fidel Castro plays a game of ping pong with one of the American students who traveled to Cuba without the permission of the State Department. This photo was taken by one of the Americans, John Salter of Greensboro, North Carolina, a former University of North Carolina student. Image Source: John Salter/Getty

Before Fidel Castro abandoned party leadership — five years ago today — the Cuban communist leader was known for, among other less innocuous things, playing a mean game of ping pong and in general being a stellar athlete.

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23 Stunning Photos Of The 1920s’ Sexiest Broadway Revue

When producer Florenz Ziegfeld put together a small group of showgirls for a lighthearted summer show in 1907, nobody could have imagined the giant Broadway hit and lavish revue it would become. Yet the Ziegfeld Follies ran until 1931 — and would jumpstart the careers of several successful future Hollywood actresses.

For those of us who missed the Follies in their heyday, there’s always Alfred Cheney Johnston’s iconic, wildly popular Ziegfeld follies photos. Though there were a startling number of performers in rotation over the years, Johnson’s stunning portraits of the Follies’ resident vixens capture the epitome of desirability — and in the 1920s, this meant something a little different than it does today:

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Adrienne Ames

Adrienne Ames, Ziegfeld girl, 1929. Ames made 30 films in the 1930s, and after that hosted a successful radio program until 1947 — the year she died from cancer. Image Source: Flickr

Alice Wilkie

Alice Wilkie performed in the Follies from 1924 to 1926. Image Source: Flickr

Anna Lee Petersen

Ziegfeld star Anna Lee Petersen. Image Source: Flickr

Barbara Stanwyck

Barbara Stanwyck, 1924. This future actress was a Ziegfeld girl between 1922 and 1926, and by 1944, the versatile performer was the highest paid woman in the U.S. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Caryl Bergman

Besides the Follies, Caryl Bergman also performed in four other Broadway shows from 1928 to 1932. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Claudia Dell

Claudia Dell, 1928. Dell was rumored to have been the model for the Columbia Pictures logo. Image Source: Flickr

Delores Costello

Delores Costello, Drew Barrymore's grandmother and "goddess of the silent screen", 1923. Image Source: Flickr

gloria swanson

Gloria Swanson, producer and actress best known for her role in "Sunset Boulevard." Image Source: Flickr

Hazel Forbes

Hazel Forbes, Miss Long Island and Miss United States, 1926. Forbes was also a millionaire: She inherited close to $3 million from her husband Paul O. Richmond after his death. Image Source: Flickr

Helen Hayes Brown

Helen Hayes (Brown), 1927. She was one of only 12 people who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony Award. Image Source: Flickr

Helen Lee Worthing

Helen Lee Worthing was also an actress in the 1920s, performing in "The Count of Luxembourg," "The Other Woman's Story," and "Watch Your Wife." Image Source: Library of Congress

Jean Ackerman

Jean Ackerman, above, was once called the "World's Most Beautiful Brunette." Image Source: Flickr

jean ackerman

Jean Ackerman, 1927. Image Source: Flickr

Kathleen Rose Delores

Kathleen Rose (known simply as Delores, not to be confused with Delores Costello) joined the Ziegfeld girls in 1917. Image Source: Flickr

Kay English

Kay English performed for the Ziegfeld Theatre between 1927 and 1931. Image Source: Flickr

Louise Brooks

Louise Brooks, the iconic actress who popularized the bob haircut and was the epitome of "flapper" style. Image Source: Flickr

Mary Pickford

Mary Pickford, who was also the co-founder of United Artists studios and one of the 36 founding members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Image Source: Library of Congress

Model Doll

Unknown model posing with doll. Image Source: Flickr

Muriel Finlay

Murial Finlay made her debut on stage at the age of twelve, appearing in a play she wrote herself. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Muriel Finlay White Gown

Muriel Finlay, 1928. Image Source: Flickr

Risque Portrait

An unknown Ziegfeld model. Image Source: Flickr

Susan Fleming

Susan Fleming, 1930s. Fleming went on to be the actress known as the "Girl with the Million Dollar Legs," though that title can’t be verified in this portrait. Image Source: Flickr

Virginia Biddle

Virginia Biddle, 1927. She was a showgirl and Folly performer until 1931, when she sustained burns on her feet and ankles in a yacht explosion. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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Photo Of The Day: The Unbelievable Devastation Of Perhaps America’s Deadliest Disaster Ever

San Francisco Earthquake 1906

Looking down Sacramento St. in the wake of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

At 5:12 a.m. on April 18, 1906, the destruction began.

An earthquake of a magnitude not seen in the continental United States since 1700 — and not since — began rocking the coast of Northern California. The shaking stretched for nearly 400 miles, from the area near the Oregon border to the farmland just south of the city that was hit worst: San Francisco.

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Death, Destruction, And Debt: 41 Photos Of Life In 1970s New York

Reeling from a decade of social turmoil, in the 1970s New York fell into a deep tailspin provoked by the flight of the middle class to the suburbs and a nationwide economic recession that hit New York’s industrial sector especially hard.

Combined with substantial cuts in law enforcement and citywide unemployment topping ten percent, crime and financial crisis became the dominant themes of the decade. In just five years from 1969 to 1974, the city lost over 500,000 manufacturing jobs, which resulted in over one million households being dependent on welfare by 1975. In almost the same span, rapes and burglaries tripled, car thefts and felony assaults doubled, and murders went from 681 to 1690 a year.

Depopulation and arson also had pronounced effects on the city: Abandoned blocks dotted the landscape, creating vast areas absent of urban cohesion and life itself. Today, we look at 41 poignant photos that capture a New York City on the brink of implosion:

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Ford To City

Throughout the 1970s, the city teetered on bankruptcy, which was avoided primarily by deep reductions in police, firemen, and teachers. In the above photograph, then Mayor Abe Beame holds a newspaper with the headline 'Ford To City: Drop Dead,' following President Ford's refusal to use federal funds to bail out the city. Image Source: National Archives and Records Administration

Oil Slick Statue Liberty 1973

An oil slick surrounds the Statue of Liberty in May 1973. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

World Trade Center

The grand feat of the decade was the completion of the World Trade Center complex. At the time of its 1973 completion, the Twin Towers were the tallest buildings in the world. Image Source: National Archives and Records Administration

Rubble East Harlem

While the towers grew, much of the city burned. Landlords who could no longer afford to maintain their buildings would occasionally burn them down to collect insurance money.

Here, children in East Harlem returning from school traverse rubble to reach their homes. Image Source: Camilo José Vergara Photographs

Arson In New York

Arson became a major problem in the 1970s in New York, rising from just 1 percent of fires in the 1960s to over 7 percent of fires in the 1970s. Image Source: The New York Times

New York On Fire

To prevent the city government from going into default, significant city-wide cuts were put into place -- one-fifth of all public workers were laid off in 1975 alone. With substantially fewer firefighters and police, many crimes and fires were simply not responded to. Image Source: National Archives and Records Administration

Playing Cards

A group plays cards in a burnt out cafe in the Bronx. Image Source: National Archives and Records Administration

Trash Can Fire Harlem

A child passes a blazing can in Harlem. Image Source: National Archives and Records Administration

Welcome To Fear City

In the summer of 1975, tourists were greeted with this ominous brochure at the airport. It featured nine survival tips for navigating the city, including not taking the subway and not walking in any part of the city after 6 PM. Image Source: The Guardian

Street Walkers

Prostitution became a city-wide problem in the 1970s, with over 2,400 arrests for the offense in 1976 alone. In the above photograph, negotiations take place on the Bowery. Image Source: Daily News

The Bowery

Before becoming famous for its bars and clubs, the Bowery was known for abandoned buildings and a substantial homeless population. Image Source: Daily News

Adult Store

New York City became the capital of adult stores with Times Square as its epicenter. As the Guardian wrote, "Times Square’s venerable old theatres and spectacular movie palaces were torn down for office buildings or allowed to slowly rot away, showing scratchy prints of cheesy second-run films or pornography, which any casual visitor might have thought was the city’s leading industry." Image Source: National Archives and Records Administration

Sidestreet

Dilapidated side streets like these were common in 1970s New York. Image Source: National Archives and Records Administration

House Of Paradise

People converse in front of the "House of Paradise" in Times Square. Image Source: Daily News

The Bronx

Once the borough of choice for the middle class, the Bronx bore the full brunt of 1970s white flight. Over the course of the decade, the Bronx lost over 30 percent of its population. Image Source: Camilo José Vergara Photographs

Bronx River 1970

The Bronx River became an open sewer for industry and humans alike. In fact, it wasn't until 2007 that towns in Westchester and the Bronx both agreed to stop dumping raw sewage into the waterway. Image Source: Camilo José Vergara Photographs

Fallen

Passersby look on at a gentleman passed out on the corner of 172nd Street in the Bronx. Image Source: Camilo José Vergara Photographs

Muggers Express

Transportation didn't fare much better than waterways. In the 1970s, the New York subway became jokingly referred to as "the muggers express." By 1979, over 250 felonies were committed every week on the transportation system, making it the most dangerous in the world. Image Source: Business Insider

Panhandler

An elderly woman plays the accordion for change on the subway. Image Source: Daily News

Subway Car 1973

A man sits among graffiti in a subway car. Image Source: The Atlantic

Waiting For The Subway

A woman waits for her train. Image Source: The Atlantic

Subway Cars

The exteriors of the subway system were covered in as much grime as the interiors. Image Source: National Archives and Records Administration

Avenue C

That's not to say that the entirety of 1970s New York is a portrait of misery. Above, boys enjoy the city's water from a fire hydrant on Avenue C in the Lower East Side. Image Source: Camilo José Vergara Photographs

Watching The Show

A group of school boys catches the late afternoon show in the Bronx. Image Source: Camilo José Vergara Photographs

Playing On A Car

A group of boys play on the hood of the car in the Bronx in the early 1970s. Image Source: Camilo José Vergara Photographs

Quilting Bee Central Park

A group participates in a Central Park quilting bee during the summer of 1973. Image Source: The Atlantic

Signs In East Harlem

People observe a number of signs in East Harlem. Image Source: Camilo José Vergara Photographs

Barbies

A group of girls share their Barbie collections on the stoop of a brownstone townhouse in Harlem. Image Source: Camilo José Vergara Photographs

Afros

Two young women pose in Harlem. Image Source: National Archives and Records Administration

Hanging In Lynch Park

Two teenage girls pose for a photograph in Lynch Park, South Williamsburg. Image Source: National Archives and Records Administration

Lynch Park

Elsewhere, a group of teenagers hang out in the South Williamsburg park in 1974. Image Source: The Atlantic

July 4th Bed Stuy 1974

People celebrate July 4th in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, 1974. Image Source: The Atlantic

Puerto Rican Wedding

A Puerto Rican wedding takes place. Image Source: Camilo José Vergara Photographs

Wedding Day

In Harlem, a couple gets married. Image Source: National Archives and Records Administration

Big Joe

A Bed Stuy resident simply known as "Big Joe" poses for photographer Camilo José Vergara. Image Source: Camilo José Vergara Photographs

East Harlem

A woman takes a breather in East Harlem. Image Source: Camilo José Vergara Photographs

Lower East Side

Lower East Side residents interact near their stoops. Image Source: Camilo José Vergara Photographs

Viva La Revolution Bushwick

An apartment above a pharmacist in Bushwick, Brooklyn, has a revolutionary theme. Image Source: Camilo José Vergara Photographs

Looters 1977 Blackout

In 1977, New York experienced a 25-hour citywide blackout that led to looting and arson. When all available police were ordered to duty, 40% of the off-duty force refused to show as a result of the escalating animosity between the police union and the city. Image Source: National Archives and Records Administration

Dumbo 1974

Now home to luxury loft apartments and media agencies, the Brooklyn neighborhood of DUMBO was largely uninhabited for most of the 1970s. Image Source: The Atlantic

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