Clickbait, 1954 style

Today’s Internet users are familiar with the concept of “clickbait”, which is a headline that attempts to attract your attention so that you will click on the link and read the associated article (and, in some cases, unintentionally download the associated malware).

While the Internet is relatively new – at least by the standards of this blog – the idea of an attention-getting headline is not. As an example, consider this wire-service article from the February 26 1954 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


I suspect that this headline caught your attention.

Susan Hayward (1917-1975) was a film star who was at her peak of popularity in the 1950s. Sadly, Ms. Hayward attempted suicide after her divorce from Mr. Barker became final later that year. She remarried three years later, and apparently that marriage was a happy one.

Even more sadly: Ms. Hayward died young of brain cancer, possibly because she appeared in the movie The Conqueror, which was filmed near an atomic test site.

Jess Barker (1912-2000) appeared in a number of movies, but had a less stellar career than his ex-wife.

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