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When Elvis Performed On an Aircraft Carrier

The USS Hancock was built in 1943 and was almost immediately put to work in the Pacific Theater of World War II. When Japanese foreign affairs minister Mamoru Shigemitsu formally surrendered on board the USS Missouri on September 2, 1945, the Hancock’s planes circled overhead.

A decade later, she bore witness to another, much different moment in history: one of Elvis Presley's first national TV appearances.

It was 1956—Elvis’s breakout year. By the second week in April, the 21-year-old had recorded several hit songs (including “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Blue Suede Shoes”), released his first album, and signed a film contract with Paramount Studios. He also made his national TV debut on January 28 on CBS’s Stage Show. He went on to guest five more times through February and March.

On April 3, he made his NBC debut on The Milton Berle Show, hosted by the man dubbed “Mr. Television.” That night, the show made the unorthodox move of broadcasting from the deck of a U.S. Navy ship docked in San Diego, with sailors and their dates as the show's audience. That ship was the Hancock, which had been decommissioned, renovated, and then recommissioned.

Berle hosted the show in an oversized admiral’s uniform. “This is the first time the Hancock is going to rock and roll while still anchored,” he punned while introducing Elvis. “Here is a young man who, in a few short months, has gained tremendous popularity in the music business.”

Elvis and his three-man backup band ripped through “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Blue Suede Shoes” and a snippet of “Shake Rattle & Roll.” (The website of his guitarist, Scotty Moore, has extensive documentation of the Hancock gig.) Berle also enlisted Elvis in a sketch. “Now, I got a little surprise for you,” the singer joked, “Here, for his very first public appearance, I’d like you to meet, my twin brother, Melvin Presley!” Berle appeared in a suit to match Elvis’s, playing a bumbling Southerner who misreads the name of the ship and takes credit for Elvis’s trademark dance moves.

Unbeknownst to Berle, Elvis’s actual twin brother died at birth, which always haunted him. However, he never objected during the planning of the bit, writes Wilborn Hampton in his biography Elvis Presley. “If Elvis felt any resentment over the skit, he never showed it.”

On June 5, Elvis returned to The Milton Berle Show to play his new single, “Hound Dog.” At Berle’s suggestion, he sang it without his guitar (“Let ’em see you, son,” Berle reportedly said), exposing 40 million viewers to an unimpeded look at Elvis's gyrating hips in a scandalizing performance.

As for the Hancock, she went back on duty. In 1962, she first appeared in the waters off Vietnam and dedicated the rest of her years to that war effort, before her final decommission and scrapping in 1976.

Banner images via vsbonvenutoep, YouTube.

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Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook
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There’s a Ghost Hiding in This Illustration—Can You Find It?
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook

A hidden image illustration by Gergely Dudás, a.k.a. Dudolf
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook

Gergely Dudás is at it again. The Hungarian illustrator, who is known to his fans as “Dudolf,” has spent the past several years delighting the internet with his hidden image illustrations, going back to the time he hid a single panda bear in a sea of snowmen in 2015. In the years since, he has played optical tricks with a variety of other figures, including sheep and Santa Claus and hearts and snails. For his latest brainteaser, which he posted to both his Facebook page and his blog, Dudolf is asking fans to find a pet ghost named Sheet in a field of white bunny rabbits.

As we’ve learned from his past creations, what makes this hidden image difficult to find is that it looks so similar to the objects surrounding it that our brains just sort of group it in as being “the same.” So you’d better concentrate.

If you’ve scanned the landscape again and again and can’t find Sheet to save your life, go ahead and click here to see where he’s hiding.

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The Most Searched Shows on Netflix in 2017, By State

Orange is the New Black is the new black, at least as far as Netflix viewers are concerned. The women-in-prison dramedy may have premiered in 2013, but it’s still got viewers hooked. Just as they did in 2017, HighSpeedInternet.com took a deep dive into Netflix analytics using Google Trends to find out which shows people in each state were searching Netflix for throughout the year. While there was a little bit of crossover between 2016 and 2017, new series like American Vandal and Mindhunter gave viewers a host of new content. But that didn’t stop Orange is the New Black from dominating the map; it was the most searched show in 15 states.

Coming in at a faraway second place was American Vandal, a new true crime satire that captured the attention of five states (Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin). Even more impressive is the fact that the series premiered in mid-September, meaning that it found a large and rabid audience in a very short amount of time.

Folks in Alaska, Colorado, and Oregon were all destined to be disappointed; Star Trek: Discovery was the most searched-for series in each of these states, but it’s not yet available on Netflix in America (you’ve got to get CBS All Access for that, folks). Fourteen states broke the mold a bit with shows that were unique to their state only; this included Big Mouth in Delaware, The Keepers in Maryland, The OA in Pennsylvania, GLOW in Rhode Island, and Black Mirror in Hawaii.

Check out the map above to see if your favorite Netflix binge-watch matches up with your neighbors'. For more detailed findings, visit HighSpeedInternet.com.

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