This Week in History, November 10-16, 2014


This Week In History

by Dianne Hermann


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

~ Winston Churchill             

Week of November 10-16, 2014


November 10

1766 – The last Colonial governor of New Jersey, William Franklin, signs the charter of Queen’s College. It is later renamed Rutgers University.

1775 – Congress forms the U.S. Marine Corps. Major Samuel Nicholas is the first Commandant (1775-1783).

1891 – The first Woman’s Christian Temperance Union meeting is held in Boston.

A short documentary:

1891 – Granville T. Woods patents the electric railway. Known as the “Black Edison,” Woods receives close to 60 patents, 15 for inventions or improvements for electric railroads.

A brief bio:

1911 – Andrew Carnegie forms the Carnegie Corporation for scholarly and charitable works.

Short documentary:

1926 – Vincent Massey becomes the first Canadian minister to visit the U.S.

1954 – The Iwo Jima Memorial is dedicated in Arlington, Virginia.


1969 – “Sesame Street” premieres on PBS TV. The show is still on the air and is the longest running children’s show. Its creators include Muppets creators Jim Henson and Frank Oz.


1982 – The Cleveland Cavaliers lose their 24th consecutive basketball game, breaking an NBA record – until they set a new record by losing 26 consecutive games in 2011.

1982 – The Vietnam Veterans Memorial opens in Washington, DC. Chinese-American Ohio-born Maya Ying Lin’s design is chosen from more than 1,400 submissions.


1983 – The federal government shuts down (again).

1997 – The 1960s pop artist Peter Max pleads guilty to tax fraud and time served. Max is now 86 years old. Check it out!

November 11 – Thanks to our Veterans!

1750 – The F.H.C. Society, also known as the Flat Hat Club, is formed at Raleigh Tavern in Williamsburg, Virginia. It is the first college fraternity.

1865 – Mary Edward Walker, the first female Army surgeon, becomes the first woman to be awarded the Medal of Honor.


1918 – World War I ends at 11 AM with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. President Wilson proclaims November 11 a national holiday as Armistice Day in 1919. The holiday is renamed Veteran’s Day after WWII. In 1954 President Eisenhower makes the first Veterans Day proclamation.

Veteran’s Day:

1926 – U.S. Route 66 is established and when completed goes from Chicago to L.A., covering more than two thousand miles all the way. Get your kicks on Route 66.

1933 – The “Great Black Blizzard” is the first great dust storm in the Great Plains.

1939 – Kate Smith makes her first public performance of “God Bless America,” written by Russian-born immigrant Irving Berlin. Berlin wrote the song in 1918.



1959 – The first episode of “Rocky & His Friends” premiers on TV and airs until 1964. The “friends” include the moose Bullwinkle and Russian-like spies Boris and Natasha.


Rocky and his friends:

1965 – Heavyweight boxer Mohamed Ali (Cassius Clay) KOs Floyd Patterson in Las Vegas, Nevada.

1981 – Fernando Valenzuela is the first rookie pitcher ever to win baseball’s Cy Young Award.

1983 – President Reagan became the first U.S. President to address Japan’s legislature.

1987 – Judge Anthony M. Kennedy is nominated to the Supreme Court. Kennedy is 78 years old and still serves on the Court.


November 12

1910 – A man jumps into Hudson River from a burning balloon for the first movie stunt.

1920 – Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis is elected the first baseball commissioner.


1933 – The first Sunday football game is played in Philadelphia. It was previously illegal to play on Sunday.

1946 – A branch of the Exchange National Bank in Chicago, Illinois, opens the first multiple drive-up teller windows.

1954 – Ellis Island, the immigration station in New York Harbor, closes. It opens in 1892. Over 12 millions immigrants pass through Ellis Island.

Brief history:

1968 – The Supreme Court declares the Arkansas law banning teaching of evolution in public schools unconstitutional.

1969 – The U.S. army announces it is investigating Lt. William Calley for an alleged March 19th massacre of civilians in the Vietnamese village of My Lai. He is convicted on 22 counts of murder and sentenced to life in prison. President Nixon orders Calley transferred to house arrest in Fort Benning, Georgia, where he remains for 3 ½ years.

1975 – Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas retires after 36 years on the bench.

1981 – Double Eagle V completes the first balloon crossing of Pacific Ocean from Japan to California in 84 ½ hours. It sets a new distance record of 5,768 miles.


1984 – Space shuttle astronauts snare a satellite in the first space salvage operation.


November 13

1789 – Ben Franklin writes, “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.”

1875 – The National Bowling Association organized in New York City.

1909 – 259 miners die in a fire at St. Paul Mine at Cherry, Illinois.

1927 – The New York-New Jersey Holland Tunnel, the first twin-tube underwater auto tunnel, opens to traffic.



1942 – The minimum military draft age is lowered from 21 to 18.

1946 – The first artificial snow is produced from a natural cloud in Mount Greylock, Massachusetts. An airplane flies over Mount Greylock and seeds the clouds with super-cooled ice crystals.

1964 – Bob Pettit (St. Louis Hawks) becomes the first NBA player to score 20,000 points. Thirty-seven other players have since scored over 20,000 points.


1977 – The final Al Capp comic strip of “Li’l Abner” is printed. It premiered in 1934. Al Capp died in November 1979 at age 70.

1980 – The U.S. spacecraft Voyager I sends back the first close-up pictures of Saturn. 


November 14

1732 – Louis Timothee is hired in Philadelphia as the first professional librarian in the U.S.

1832 – The first horse-drawn streetcar (designed by John Stephenson) debuts in New York City. The fare is 12 cents to ride on 4th Avenue between Prince and 14th Streets.

1851 – “Moby Dick,” written by Herman Melville, is published. Melville died in 1891 at age 72.

Short documentary about Herman Melville:

1881 – Charles J. Guiteau goes on trial for the July 2nd assassination of President Garfield. Guiteau is convicted and then hanged on June 30, 1882.

1889 – New York World reporter Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cochrane) begins her attempt to surpass the fictitious journey of Jules Verne’s Phileas Fogg by traveling around world in less than 80 days She succeeded, finishing the trip in January in 72 days and 6 hours, setting a real world record.


Learn about this amazing reporter:

1910 – The first airplane flight launches from the deck of a ship, Norfolk, Virginia.

1965 – The U.S. government sends 90,000 soldiers to Vietnam.

1972 – Dow Jones closes above 1,000 for first time (1003.16).

1993 – Don Shula becomes the winningest coach in NFL history with his 325th victory with the Miami Dolphins in his 31-year career. He passes coach George Halas’ record of 324 wins during his 40-year career with the Chicago Bears. Shula is now 84 years old.


November 15

1763 – Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon begin surveying the Mason-Dixon Line between Pennsylvania and Maryland.

1881 – The American Federation of Labor (AFL) is founded in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (See Nov. 9, 1935)

1904 – King C. Gillette patents the Gillette razor blade.


1932 – The Walt Disney Art School is created to train his animators in preparation for full-length feature cartoons.

Learn how to draw cartoons:

1939 – The Social Security Administration approves the first unemployment check.

1939 – FDR lays the cornerstone of Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC. It is completed in 1943.


1957 – The U.S. sentences Soviet spy Rudolf Ivanovich Abel to 30 years in prison and fines him $3,000. He smuggled coded messages in hollow nickels.

1960 – Elgin Baylor of NBA’s LA Lakers scores a record 71 points against the New York Knicks. Wilt Chamberlain now holds the record for most points scored in a single game. The Philadelphia Warriors’ player scores 100 points in a March 1962 game, also against the Knicks.

1985 – A research assistant is injured when a package from the Unabomber addressed to a University of Michigan professor explodes. Ted Kaczynski mails bombs for 18 years, killing 3 and injuring 23 people. He is convicted in 1998 after pleading guilty. Kaczynski is sentenced to four life terms in prison.

1990 – Music producers confirm that singing duo Milli Vanilli didn’t sing on their album. Their Grammy Award is withdrawn when it is revealed the duo lip-synched their album.


Watch them lip sync:

1993 – Joe Buttafuoco is sentenced to 6 months for the statutory rape of Amy Fisher. Fisher shoots Joe’s wife in the face and severely injures her. Fisher is convicted and spends seven years in prison. The Buttafuoco’s get a divorce in 2003.


November 16

1676 – The first colonial prison is organized in Nantucket, Massachusetts.

1841 – Napoleon Guerin of New York patents life preservers made of cork.

1914 – The Federal Reserve System formally opens. The “Fed” is created by Congress during the Wilson administration as the central bank of the U.S. to influence monetary policy and regulate banks. The “Fed” has never been audited.

1933 – President Roosevelt establishes diplomatic relations with the USSR.

1963 – The touch-tone telephone is introduced.

1965 – Walt Disney launches Epcot Center (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow). Walt Disney dies the following year and Epcot opens in 1982.


1973 – President Nixon authorizes construction of the Alaskan pipeline.

1981 – Luke and Laura finally get married on the soap opera “General Hospital.”


2012 – “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2” grosses $500 million in 24 hours to become the biggest entertainment launch of all time.

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