Hollywood on the Potomac

Dish 'n Dine: Billy Martin

July 25, 2013

“My grandfather was a very stocky, good looking Irishman with blond hair and I was told at one point that when they were bringing a caravan of whiskey down from up north, there was a scene almost out of Elliott Ness, if you will. 

The convoy was stopped in the dark of night, a line of headlights went on, stopped the caravan, a voice told everybody to get out of the cars that were bringing the caravan down and had them all line up out front of the headlights. 

A voice did holler out at that time and said, “The stocky guy with the blond hair, you stand over to the side.”  With that, everybody else lost their life. They took these tommy guns and they shot everybody and confiscated and/or stole the whiskey but let my grandfather go. 

A lot of people asked why do you think or “Why was your grandfather spared?” I think it probably was because Sam Rayburn was one of his best friends and he was very good friends with Lyndon Johnson.

I think that just with his connections, to keep from getting any backlash, they let my grandfather go.” 

And so began Billy Martin’s Tavern, now celebrating 80 years.


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Points of Light

July 17, 2013

The 2013 Points of Light Gala is not until October 11th, but the White House got a head start on the upcoming festivities by hosting an award ceremony to celebrate the 5,000 th daily points of light.

President Bush was the first president in U.S. history to institute a daily presidential recognition program from the White House, conferring 1,020 Daily Point of Light Awards between 1990 and 1993 and he helped launch a nonprofit – Points of Light – that has become the largest organization in the world dedicated to volunteer service.

 


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TWA Flight 800!

July 16, 2013

Pierre Salinger was by all accounts an accomplished man: US Senator from California (albeit briefly), White House Press Secretary to Presidents JFK and Lyndon B. Johnson, ABC Correspondent and Bureau Chief.  So why was he considered a loose cannon in his later years?

“Poppy” and Pierre were a colorful couple.  They lived next to me on O Street in Georgetown before packing up and moving to France….the result of a bet he made that “If Bush wins, I’m going to leave the country and spend the rest of my life in France.” And so he did, making good on his promise.  No one believed that was the real reason though; he was, afterall, married to a French woman (Comtesse de Menthon), had lived in Europe as a TV correspondent and he loved his food and wine – a rather perfect transition we’d say.  His mother provided the French lineage – she was a French journalist.

Enter TWA Flight 800: In November of 1996 Salinger claimed that friendly fire from the United States Navy was the cause of the TWA Flight 800 crash.  On June 19, 2013, the producers of the documentary claimed to have proof that a missile caused the Paris-bound flight to crash. Six former investigators who took part in the film say there was a cover-up and wanted the case reopened. “There was a lack of coordination and willful denial of information,” said Hank Hughes, a senior accident investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board. “There were 755 witnesses. At no time was information provided by the witnesses shared by the FBI.”

Mark Greenberg, EPIX President & CEO and Jeff Sagansky, Executive Producer of TWA Flight 800 hosted an exclusive screening at The National Cable & Telecommunications Association with panelists Dr. Tom Stalcup – Co-producer, Hank Hughes – Former Senior Accident Investigator, NTSB; Bob Young – Former Chief Accident Investigator; Phyllis Torney – Eyewitness and moderated by Richard Valeriani – Former NBC Network Correspondent.

To mark the July 17th anniversary of the famous crash over Long Island, EPIX will present Kristina Borjesson’s documentary, TWA Flight 800 - detailing the inconclusive investigation – on EPIX Wednesday, July 17th.

Unfortunately, Pierre Salinger will miss it – he’s resting peacefully at Arlington National Cemetery.


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