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Remembering the Johnstown Floods

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On this day in 1889, a small town in Pennsylvania endured an epic flood, killing more than 2200 people. When the South Fork Dam failed, Johnstown became the first major disaster relief effort where Clara Barton's new American Red Cross gave aid. The devastating Johnstown Floods have appeared many times throughout pop culture, including a 1946 episode of the Mighty Mouse cartoon. Here, more examples of how it impacted our culture.

"Johnstown, Pennsylvania"

Angela Easterling released included this song on her 2011 album.

"Highway Patrolman"

This Bruce Springsteen song refers to the flood: "Takin' turns dancin' with Maria as the band played 'Night of the Johnstown Flood'."

"Night of the Johnstown Flood"

A folk-punk take on the flood from Chicken Little.

"Mother Country"

John Stewart puts his folk spin on the flood. His lyrics include "Boys? Hell, they were men who stood knee deep in the Johnstown mud in the time of that terrible flood."

Mighty Mouse

In 1946, Mighty Mouse survived the flood in an episode.

A True History of the Johnstown Flood

In 2010, playwright Rebecca Hilman chronicled the flood in her provocative play.

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Happy Birthday, Alex Trebek!
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Today, everyone's favorite game show host turns 76 years old. Let's celebrate!

ON SESAME STREET

In 2006, Trebek played “Special of the Day” with Telly.

ON CARD SHARKS

In 1980, the tables were turned, and Trebek found himself the contestant on this episode of Card Sharks. The “tell me about yourself” portion of the program doesn’t go so smoothly, but he’s pretty good at the game itself.

THROWING PEOPLE IN THE POOL

In this sketch for the 40th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, Trebek throws a waiter in a pool. The takeaway is clear: Don’t phrase things in the form of a question when you’re talking to the Jeopardy! host.

TREBEK ON NASA

And how the agency’s work with other companies helps all of us, not just astronauts.

HOSTING WHEEL OF FORTUNE

Happy April Fool's Day 1997! (Pat Sajak hosted Jeopardy that night.)

ALEX, AUTOTUNED

MC TREBEK IN THE HIZZOUSE

That was the actual name of the category.

AND JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT COULDN'T GET ANY WEIRDER...

Behold “Sexiest Potpourri Ever.”

LAST BUT NOT LEAST...

You didn’t think we’d leave without posting one of these, did you?

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Covers of "Me and Bobby McGee"
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On this day in 1970, Janis Joplin died of a heroin overdose at the age of 27. The singer-songwriter was known as "The Queen of Psychedelic Soul." Here, we remember Joplin with covers of her only number-one hit, "Me and Bobby McGee." Joplin's version of the song, originally written by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster, topped the charts after her death, making the song the second posthumous number-one single in U.S. chart history.

Johnny Cash

Pink

Willie Nelson

Dolly Parton

James Last

Jerry Lee Lewis

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