This Week in History, November 17-23 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 17-23, 2014

November 17

1800 – Congress holds its first session in the incomplete Capitol building Washington, DC. The building is completed in 1826.

1894 – TheDaily Racing Form” for Thoroughbred horse racing is founded. It is launched in Chicago and is the only U.S. newspaper dedicated to a single sport. It is published daily except for Christmas Day.

1927 – A tornado hits the Washington, DC area and is the most destructive tornado to hit DC. One person is killed and 49 are injured. About 150 homes are destroyed or damaged. The Navy Yard and Anacostia Naval Air Station are hardest hit, causing an estimated $1 million in damage.


1936 – Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy become an overnight success on radio. The Edgar Bergen/ Charlie McCarthy Show airs until 1956. Edgar Bergen died in 1978 at the age of 75.


1940 – The Green Bay Packers become the first NFL team to travel to a game by plane.

1967 – Surveyor 6 becomes the first man-made object to lift off the Moon.

1968 – NBC cuts to the movie “Heidi,” missing the Oakland Raider’s rally in the final two minutes of the football game. The Raiders score two touchdowns in 42 seconds to beat the New York Jets, 43-32 in the “Heidi Bowl.”

Watch the news broadcast and last minute of the game never seen on TV:

1993 – The U.S. House of Representatives approves the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

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


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.


1932 – “Flowers & Trees” by Walt Disney Studios receives the first Academy Award for a cartoon.

Watch it at:

1949 – Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers is named the National League’s MVP.


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

1991 – Muslim Shiites release Iranian hostages Terry Waite and Thomas Sutherland.


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 grants America “Most Favored Nation” status but leaves many issues from the Revolutionary War unresolved.

1805 – Lewis and Clark reach Pacific Ocean, becoming the first European Americans to cross the continent.

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.

1919 – The U.S. Senate rejects the Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations by a vote of 55-39.

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

1959 – Ford cancels production of the Edsel automobile.


1965 – Kellogg’s Pop Tarts pastries are created.

1979 – Future Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Chuck Berry is released from prison after serving a four-month sentence for income tax evasion.


1980 – CBS TV bans Calvin Klein’s jeans ad featuring 15-year-old Brooke Shields.

Watch the ad at:

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 also remains in office.


November 20

1789 – New Jersey becomes the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights.

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.

1947 – “Meet the Press” makes network TV debut on NBC. The news program is the longest running TV show and still airs weekly.


1959 – WABC fires Alan Freed over the “payola” scandal. Freed accepts 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 this year. They sell 75 hamburgers every second.



November 21

1871 – Emilio Onra is the first human cannonball.

1946 – Harry Truman becomes the first U.S. President to travel in a submerged submarine.

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.

Watch their performance at:


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

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

Watch it at:

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 the new Morse Code call for help. . . . – – – . . .

1950 In the lowest scoring NBA game, the Ft. Wayne Pistons beat the Minneapolis Lakers 19-18.

1963 – 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.

1899 – The first jukebox is installed in the Palais Royal Hotel in San Francisco.

1903 – Enrico Caruso makes his U.S. debut at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York in “Rigoletto”.

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 wins an Academy Award in 1957 for “The Three Faces of Eve.”


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


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