Also on this day, in 1939, Fortune magazine published a survey-based article that concluded, "it appears practically impossible for [President Franklin D.] Roosevelt to be re-elected in 1940." Roosevelt ultimately defeated his Republican opponent, Wendell Willkie, with 54.7 percent of the popular vote and 449 electoral votes to Willkie's 82.
It was on a leap day 50 years ago, Feb. 29, 1960, that Playboy opened its first Playboy Club to the public, in the magazine's home city of Chicago. According to a recent press release commemorating the event, "Each club featured cocktail Bunnies, a camera Bunny, a checkroom Bunny, a cabaret Bunny, a gift shop Bunny, a bumper pool Bunny, a customer service
Bunny, and floor Bunnies."
"Take only the best—only the best." — Arthur Grissom, editor of the Smart Set magazine, speaking to his eventual successor, Charles Hanson Towne, on this deathbed. In his 1926 memoir "Adventures in Editing," Towne recalled that Grissom delivered the advice just "as he sank into unconsciousness."
... in 1948, Will Irwin, a journalist billed as, among other things, "the world's greatest reporter," died at age 74. Irwin served as an editor for Collier's Weekly, McClure's, and other major magazines of his day.
Also on this day, in 1990, Malcolm Forbes, flamboyant publisher and nominal editor in chief of Forbes magazine, died at age 70.
... in 1901, Rounsevelle Wildman, former editor of the Overland Monthly, died in the sinking of the steamship City of Rio de Janeiro off San Francisco. Wildman had more recently served as the U.S. counsel general to Hong Kong. Wildman's wife and two children were also reported as among the 122 victims of the disaster, which occurred when the ship hit a rock in dense fog.