This Week In History November 18 – November 24


by Dianne Hermann

“The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”
– Winston Churchill

Week of November 18-24, 2013

November 18

1820 – U.S. Navy Capt. Nathaniel B. Palmer of Connecticut, age 22, discovers Antarctica.


1852 – Sister Rose Philippine Duchesne dies in St. Charles, Missouri, at age 83. Born in France in 1769, Rose is sent to Missouri in 1818 and opens the first free school west of the Mississippi. She is canonized in 1988 by Pope John Paul II.


1871 – American suffragette Susan B. Anthony is arrested after voting on November 5th in Rochester, New York.

1883 – Standard time zones are formed by the railroads in U.S. and Canada.

1902 – Brooklyn toymaker Morris Michton names the stuffed bear after President Theodore Roosevelt. The “teddy” bear is nicknamed for the president following a hunting trip in 1902 with Mississippi Governor Andrew H. Longino. Teddy Roosevelt refuses to kill an old bear tied to a tree.


1978 – In Jonestown, Guyana (South America), 909 members of the Peoples Temple are murdered/commit suicide under the leadership of American cult leader Jim Jones.



November 19

1620 – The Mayflower reaches Cape Cod and explores the coast.

1794 – The Jay Treaty is signed with Great Britain. Named for Supreme Court Chief Justice John Jay, the treaty granted America “Most Favored Nation” status but left many issued from the Revolutionary War unresolved.

1861 – Julia Ward Howe pens The Battle Hymn of the Republic as a poem. It is first published in The Atlantic Monthly in February 1862. The music is from the song John Brown’s Body.

1863 – Abraham Lincoln delivers his famous “Four score and seven years ago…” address in Pennsylvania dedicating the Gettysburg battlefield. Lincoln is asked to deliver the “concluding remarks” at the dedication ceremony, following the lengthy principal address by Massachusetts Senator Edward Everett.


1950 – U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes the supreme commander of NATO in Europe. He is the U.S. president from 1952-1960.


1965 – Kellogg’s Pop Tarts pastries are created.

1985 – U.S. President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev meet for the first time.


1998 – The U. S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee begins impeachment hearings against President Bill Clinton for the Monica Lewinsky scandal. The House of Representatives impeaches Clinton on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice but he remains in office. President Andrew Johnson is the only other president to endure impeachments proceedings. The impeachment for “high crimes and misdemeanors” is not upheld and Johnson remains in office.


November 20

1866 – The first national convention of the veterans’ organization the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) is held.

1914 – The U.S. State Department starts requiring photographs on passports.

1959 – WABC fires Alan Freed over the “payola” scandal. Freed accepted gratuities and consultation fees from record companies and promoters. When ABC demands that Freed sign a prepared oath swearing he never received payments for promoting musical recordings on the air, Freed refuses and is fired.


1982 – Drew Barrymore hosts Saturday Night Live at age 7, making her the youngest host in SNL history. She has hosted SNL six times.


1984 – McDonald’s made its 50 billionth hamburger. They stopped updating their signs after 99 billion is sold in 1994. It is estimated that McDonald’s will sell their 300 billionth hamburger by the end of the year.


November 21

1871 – Emilio Onra is the first human cannonball.

1959 – Jack Benny (on violin) and Richard Nixon (on piano) play their famed duet during the President’s Ball at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

Jack Benny Playing Violin and Richard Nixon Playing Piano

1974 – Congress passes The Freedom of Information Act over President Ford’s veto.

1980 – It is revealed that Kristen Shepard (played by Mary Crosby) is the one who shot J.R. Ewing (played by Larry Hagman) on the TV show Dallas. Several alternate scenes were filmed to keep it secret.


1995 – The Dow Jones closes above 5,000 for first time.


November 22

1718 – British pirate Edward Teach (“Blackbeard”) is killed off the coast of North Carolina in battle with a boarding party led by Lieutenant Robert Maynard.

1906 – International Radio Telecommunications Company adopts “SOS” as new call for help. . . . – – – . . .


1963 – American President John F. Kennedy is assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, Texas.



1977 – The Packet Radio net, SATNET, and ARPANET are connected, sending a message from California to London and back via satellite to Virginia and then the University of Southern California in a demonstration of what would eventually become the Internet.

1995 – Toy Story is released as the first feature-length film completely created using computer-generated imagery.



November 23

1783 – Annapolis, Maryland, becomes the capital of the U.S. until June 1784.

1897 – Black inventor John Lee Love patents the pencil sharpener. He died in a train accident in 1931 at age 42.


1936 – The first issue of Life, a picture magazine created by Henry R. Luce, is published. A picture of Fort Peck Dam is on the cover.


1945 – Most U.S. wartime rationing of foods, including meat and butter, ends.


1960 – Hollywood dedicates its Walk of Fame at Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. Joanne Woodward receives the first star. She won an Academy Award in 1957 for The Three Faces of Eve.


1992 – The 10,000,000th cellular telephone is sold.


November 24

1835 – The Texas Rangers, a mounted police force, is authorized by the Texas Provisional Government. They are the oldest law enforcement body in North America.


1871 – The National Rifle Association is organized in New York City.

1874 – Joseph F. Glidden patents barbed wire.


1947 – The House on Un-American Activities Committee finds the “Hollywood 10” in contempt because of their refusal to reveal whether they were communists. Albert Maltz, Dalton Trumbo, John Howard Lawson, Samuel Ornitz, Ring Lardner, Jr., Lester Cole, Alvah Bessie, Herbert Biberman, Edward Dmytryk, and Robert Adrian Scott are charged with contempt of Congress.


1954 – Air Force One, the first U.S. Presidential airplane, is christened. The presidential call sign is established in 1953 after a commercial aircraft with the same call sign entered the same airspace as the presidential aircraft.

1963 – The first live murder is shown on TV when Jack Ruby shoots Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald in a police station.

1971 – Dan “DB” Cooper parachutes from a Northwest Airlines 727 with $200,000 he extorted from the airlines. His body and the money are never found.


2012 – The Korean music video parody Gangnam Style by Psy becomes the most watched youtube video, surpassing 800 million views.