Annette Funicello: From Mousketeer to Beach Blanket Bingo

Annette Funicello as she appeared as an original Mousketeer on the Mickey Mouse Club after being discovered by Walt Disney and would later star in movies with Frankie Avalon.

While looking at the birthdays next week saw where Joanie of Happy Days will be 50 next week and that Jeanie C. Riley of Harper Valley PTA fame will reach retirement age of 65 next week. Pam Dawber who portrayed Mindy on Mork and Mindy will be 60 next week.

The name that really jumped out at me though was Annette Funicello who will be 68 next week.

Annette was discovered by Walt Disney at a dance recital in Burbank, California and was chosen to be on the original Mousketeers on the Mickey Mouse Club which made its debut in 1955.

Annette Funicello singing her hit Tall Paul which topped out at No.7 on the record charts.

Annette and Frankie Avalon sing a medley of songs in this 1965 video.

Annette singing I’ll Never Change Him in Beach Blanket Bingo in 1965.

Annette announced in 1992 that she had multiple sclerosis. She had kept it a secret since 1985 but when some people think her inability to walk was caused by alcoholism she revealed her illness to the world.

In addition to combating her illness she lost her mother Virginia Funicello at the age 86 in 2007 and her father Joe Funicello at the age of 93 in 2009.

Her last featured movie appearance was Back to the Beach with Frankie Avalon in 1987. She did make a cameo appearance in Troop Beverly Hills in 1989 which was her last movie appearance.

Annette and Frankie Avalon appeared in a Full House episode in 1991.

Annette dancing on a Mickey Mouse Club episode demonstrating her ballet skills which caused her to be discovered by Walt Disney.

We may never see Annette again in a television show or on a movies due to her multiple sclerosis but we have memories in the videos and movies she left behind.

Happy 68th birthday Annette!!


Statue of Liberty Conceived in 1865, Dedicated in 1886


The Statue of Liberty was conceived in France in 1865 but wouldn't be completed till 1886 in New York harbor twenty one years later and has welcomed visitors to the United States for the last 124 years and was the first thing many immigrants moving to the United States saw.


The Statue of Liberty was first conceived at a dinner party in France in 1865. It would be ten years later in 1975 before the construction of the statue was begun.

Early fundraising attempts did not go well. Governor Grover Cleveland of New York who would later become the 22nd and 24th president of the United States vetoed a proposal granting $50,000 toward the construction of the Statue of Liberty. Ironically President  Grover Cleveland participated in the dedication on October 28, 1886 despite having have vetoed the bill raising money for the statue when governor of New York.

Joseph Pulitzer started a drive to raise $100,000 for the construction of the statue. Residents at a home for alcoholics in Brooklyn donated $15 and they were one of the larger contributors since 120,000 donors donated a total of $102,000.

Countless immigrants to the United States have been welcomed to our country and New York City as they enter the New York harbor. It is considered by some as the most iconic landmark signifying the freedom Americans have experienced with the Liberty Bell perhaps being first or second most significant landmark representing the freedom Americans cherish to others.

The torch was seldom illuminated during World War II due to wartime blackouts.

Due to structural problems the Statue of Liberty was restored from 1984 till it was rededicated by President Ronald Reagan in July of 1986. It is scheduled to be closed again in 2011 for construction of an emergency staircase to expedite evacuation of the landmark.


This photo shows Statue of Liberty standing while the Twin Towers are burning on September 11, 2001 after the terrorist attack.



The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 make Americans appreciate even more our freedom and the Statue of Liberty standing in New York harbor remind me of the immigrants who have moved to the United States to make a new life and have become citizens of the United States.

The Statue of Liberty has also welcomed many of our troops returning from war overseas and is a symbol of the liberty those soldiers from all the branches of the armed forces have fought for and in too many cases have fought and died for.

God bless America!!