This Day in History
1519 – After landing on the Yucatan peninsula in April, Spaniard Hernan Cortés and his troops marched into the interior of Mexico to the Aztec capital and took the Aztec emperor Montezuma hostage. Going against the governor’s orders, he took 800 Spaniards on eleven ships, landing on what is now Vera Cruz on the east coast of Mexico., Marching to meet the Aztecs, he persuaded thousands of Indians to join his forces. He had horses, muskets, pistols, steel swords, and armor. The Indians
thought he was from God, or maybe he was God. His military triumphs led to 300 years of Spanish domination of Mexico and Central America. He brought horses to our continent (more on that when we write about Coronado) and his troops were the first to “invade” what is now the United States, actually exploring parts of what we now call New Mexico. In one village, after an uprising against their visit, he cut off the right foot of every male adult so they would not attach them again.
1638 – Anne Hutchinson was banished from Massachusetts. An important participant in the Antinomian Controversy that shook the infant Massachusetts Bay Colony from 1636 to 1638, her strong religious convictions were at odds with the established Puritan clergy in the Boston area. Her popularity and charisma helped create a theological schism that threatened to destroy the Puritans’ religious community in New England. She was eventually tried and convicted, then banished from the colony with many of her supporters.
1701 – William Penn presented his Charter of Privileges. Penn envisioned a colony that permitted religious freedom, the consent and participation of the governed, as well as other laws pertaining to property rights. The Charter of Privileges recognized the authority of the King and Parliament over the colony, while creating a local governing body that would propose and execute the laws. Penn clearly states the responsibilities the citizens have in selecting virtuous men to lead and govern what many would refer to as the “Holy Experiment.”
1731 – Benjamin Franklin opened the first US library. The first circulating library in America, the Library Company of Philadelphia, was founded by Benjamin Franklin and others.
1775 – Mail franking privilege allowing free use of the mail was granted to members of Congress and private soldiers in service. Regulations of January 9, 1776, provided that soldiers’ mail was to be franked by the officer in charge. On April 3, 1800, free franking of mail during her natural life was granted to Martha Washington.
1789 – Bourbon whiskey was first distilled from corn by Elijah Craig (1738-1808), Bourbon, Kentucky. He was a Baptist preacher in Virginia who became an educator and capitalist entrepreneur in the area of Virginia that later became the state of Kentucky. He built Kentucky’s first fulling mill (for cloth manufacturing), its first paper mill, its first ropewalk (for manufacturing rope from hemp), and the first lumber and gristmill at Georgetown.
1837 – The first college for women in the United States was founded as Mt. Holyoke Seminary in South Hadley, Massachusetts. While many colleges for women became coeducational institutions in the 1970’s and 1980s, Mt. Holyoke remains a women’s college.
1861 – The Trent Affair. The United States almost went to war over the capture of a British ship supposedly bringing supplies to the Confederacy. During the raid Union officials found Confederate officials on board.
1864 – Abraham Lincoln was re-elected president as the civil War was coming to a climax. Running against George McClellan, the battlefield commander Lincoln removed, Lincoln carried all but three states (Kentucky, New Jersey, and Delaware), and won 55 percent of the vote. He won 212 electoral votes to McClellan’s 21. Most significantly, a majority of the Union troops voted for their commander in chief, including a large percentage of McClellan’s old command, the Army of the Potomac.
1870 – The first storm warning was issued by the U.S. Signal Corps Weather Service
1883 – Birthday of painter Charles Demuth (1883-1935)
1884 – Samuel Sidney McClure established McClure’s Syndicate in New York City, the first newspaper syndicate.
1887 – Gas lighting brought many fires toward the end of this century. Though Boston had experienced several damaging fires, the worst one started on this Saturday evening in a dry-goods warehouse. Spreading rapidly in windy weather, it devastated several blocks of the business district, destroying nearly 800 buildings. Damage was estimated at more than $75 million. It was said that the fire caused a bright red glare in the sky that could be seen from nearly 100 miles away. The Boston fire came one year, one month and one day after the Great Chicago Fire of Oct 8, 1871.
1889 – Montana became the 41st state in the United States. Helena is the capital of Montana; the western meadowlark is the state bird and the bitterroot is the state flower. Of course, this has nothing to do with some of Montana’s bitter history, its most notorious event: The Battle of Little Big Horn (Custer’s Last Stand).
1889 – Birth of Oswald J. Smith (d. 1986), Canadian clergyman. Founder of the People’s Church of Toronto, Smith also authored a number of books and composed more than 1,200 hymns, including “The Song of the Soul Set Free.”
1900 – Birthday of Margaret Mitchell (d. 1949) at Atlanta. American novelist who won a Pulitzer Prize (1937) for her only book, “Gone with the Wind,” a romantic novel about the Civil War and Reconstruction. “Gone with the Wind,” sold about 10,000,000 copies and was translated into 30 languages. Mitchell died after being struck by an automobile Aug 16, 1949.
1900 – Theodore Dreiser’s first novel, “Sister Carrie,” a realistic book, was published by Doubleday & Company. Worried about the immorality of the book and suffering public pressure, the publisher pulled the book off the stands. Depressed, Dreiser was unable to write another novel for over a decade.
1904 – Theodore Roosevelt was reelected President of the United Sates. Charles W. Fairbanks was elected Vice President. The electoral vote was Roosevelt, 336; Alton B. Parker, Democratic candidate, 140. The popular vote was Roosevelt 7,628,834; Parker, 5,884, 401; Eugene V. Debs, Socialist candidate, 402,460; Dr. Silas C. Swallow, Prohibition Party, 259,257; Thomas E. Watson, People’s Party, 114,752. The Republicans carried Missouri for the first time since the Civil War in what was the biggest election victory since 1872. They maintained a 57-33 majority over the Democrats in the senate and picked up 43 seats in the House for a 250-136 majority.
1906 – Cameraman Fred A. Dobson began filming “The Skyscrapers of New York” atop an uncompleted skyscraper at Broadway and 12th Street, the first documentary of the changing of a metropolitan landscape due to the innovation of steel girders.
(lower half of: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/nov08.html)
1907 – Birthday of actress Katherine Hepburn (d. 2003), Hartford, CT. Academy Awards for “Morning Glory” (1932), “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” (1967), “The Lion in Winter” (1968) and “On Golden Pond” (1981). Nominated eight more times for her work in such movies as “The Philadelphia Story” (1940), and “The African Queen” (1951).
1910 – The Washington State Constitution was permanently amended to grant women the right to vote. In 1871, Susan B. Anthony and Abigail Scott Duniway led a crusade through the territories of Washington and Oregon and helped to form the Washington Woman Suffrage Association. Due to the group’s constant protesting and pushing, full voting rights were given to women in 1883 by a bill that passed through the Territorial Legislature. But in 1887, the Territorial Supreme Court overturned that law. Another was passed in 1888, but was also overturned. This happened because women voters were making sales of liquor more difficult with their votes, and the state’s liquor lobby had fought hard to remove their voting rights. In light of this opposition, some activists chose to emphasize the contributions of women workers to the community and finally, in 1910, succeeded. It would be ten years before the rest of the country’s women had that right.
1927 – Singer Chris Connor (d. 2009) birthday, Kansas City. MO. http://www.ddg.com/LIS/InfoDesignF96/Ismael/jazz/1950/Connor.html
1929 – Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) opens, New York City.
1932 – Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President of the United Sates in a Democratic landslide. John Nance Garner was elected Vice President. Roosevelt carried all by seven states with 472 electoral votes to 58 for Herbert Hoover. The popular vote was Roosevelt, 22,821,857; Hoover 15,761,841. Norman Thomas, Socialist, 881,9951; William Z Foster, Communist, 102,785; Verne L. Reynolds, Socialist Labor 33,276; William D. Upshaw, Prohibition, 81,869; Jacob S. Coxey, Farmer Labor, 7309. In congressional elections the Democrats gained 13 Senate seats for a 60-35 majority. In the House, the Democrats gained 90 seats for a 310-117 majority, with five seats going to minor parties.
1938 – The first African-American female state legislator was Crystal Bird Fauset of Philadelphia, PA, elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Her term of office began on December 1, 1938 and she was sworn in and assumed her seat on January 3, 1939. She later became Assistant Director for the Works Progress Administration in Pennsylvania and served as a race relations advisor to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia. She chaired of the Philadelphia Negro Woman’s Democratic League, was a member of the board of trustees of Cheyney State Teachers College, and was on the board of directors of the Small Business Opportunities Corporation of Philadelphia. She died on March 27, 1965
1939 – Frank Sinatra had his last recording session with the Harry James Band. “Every Day of My Life” and “Ciribiribin” were recorded. If you listen to these records today, you will not be able to identify Sinatra as he sounded more a “crooner” without the phrasing or rhythm in the 1950’s and forward.
1949 – Birthday of Bonnie Raitt, Burbank, CA. Singer, songwriter. Grammy award winner. Her mother was a pianist and her father is actor John Raitt
1950 – The first pilot of a jet fighter to win a dogfight in the Korean War was First Lieutenant Russell John Brown of Pasadena, CA, the pilot of an Air Force F-80, who destroyed a MiG-15 over Northern Korean in jet-versus-jet combat.
1951 – Yankees catcher and future Hall of Famer, Yogi Berra, won the first of his three MVP awards.
1952 – Maurice “Rocket” Richard of the Montreal Canadiens became the leading career goal scorer in the National Hockey League with his 325th career goal in a 6-4 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.
1953 – Residents of New York City suffered through ten days of smog resulting in 200 deaths.
1954 – Dave Brubeck makes “Mime” Magazine cover for “Take Five.” Louis Armstrong was the first jazz musician to make Time’s front page in 1947.
1954 – The American League approved transferring the baseball’s Philadelphia Athletics team to Kansas City, Missouri. Charles O. Finley of Chicago, Illinois would eventually tire of Kansas City and relocate the A’s to Oakland, California.
1955 – Top Hits
“Autumn Leaves” – Roger Williams
“Moments to Remember” – The Four Lads
“I Hear You Knocking” – Gale Storm
“That Do Make It Nice” – Eddy Arnold
1956 – Cecil B. DeMille’s cinema classic, “The Ten Commandments,” starring Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner, premiered in New York. It later won an Oscar for Best Special Effects, and received a Best Picture nomination.
1959 – Elgin Baylor, the Minneapolis Lakers’ “Big E”, scored 64 points to set a National Basketball Association scoring mark. The Lakers defeated Boston 136-115.
1960 – John Fitzgerald Kennedy was elected President of the United States. Sen. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, was the second youngest man ever to win the nation’s highest office and the first Roman Catholic. Sen. Lyndon Baines Johnson, Democrat from Texas, was elected Vice President. The electoral vote was Kennedy, 303, Nixon, 219, and Senator Harry F. Byrd, 15. Kennedy won 49.7% and Nixon 49.6% of the popular vote making the election one of the closest in U.S. history. In congressional elections, the Democrats took a 65-35 majority in the senate. In the House, they lost 20 seats but kept a majority of 263-174.
1961 – With only one Cy Young Award given for the two leagues, Whitey Ford, the AL leader in wins (25) and innings pitched (283), wins the honor ahead of Warren Spahn, who led the NL in wins (21) and ERA (3.02). In one of the closest votes in Award history, future Hall of Famers Ford and Spahn total nine and six points respectively.
1963 – Top Hits
“Sugar Shack” – Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs
“Deep Purple” – Nino Tempo & April Stevens
“Washington Square” – The Village Stompers
“Love’s Gonna Live Here” – Buck Owens
1963 – Dick Clark’s traveling Caravan of Stars opens its fall 1963 tour in Teaneck, New Jersey. The bill features Bobby Vee, Brian Hyland, the Ronettes, Little Eva and the Dovells among others.
1964 – Judy Garland and daughter, Liza Minnelli gave a joint appearance at the London Palladium. The program was shown on television in the United States, and was recorded on the LP, “Live at the London Palladium” that became a classic for Capitol Records.
1965 – The daytime soap opera, “Days of Our Lives,” starring MacDonald Carey as Dr. Tom Horton, premiered on television. This popular daytime serial, like many others, has gone through many changes throughout its run. It expanded from 30 minutes to an hour; it went to number one in the ratings and slipped to nine out of 12 in the 1980s; and it dropped or de-emphasized older characters, which angered its audience. The soap is set in Salem and centers around the Horton and Brady families. Notable cast members included Mary Frann, Joan Van Ark, Susan Oliver, Mike Farrell, Kristian Alfonso, Carry Marshall, John Aniston, Josh Taylor, Wayne Northrop, John DeLancie, Andrea Barber, Deidre Hall, Thaao Penghlis, Jason Bernard, Marilyn McCoo, Charles Shaughnessy, Peter Reckell, Francis Reid, Patsy Pease and Genie Francis.
1966 – The first African-American to be elected US Senator by popular vote was Edward William Brooke III (1919-2015), the attorney general of Massachusetts, who was elected by a popularity of 439,000 votes. A graduate of Howard University and Boston University Law School, the liberal Republican Brooke served in the Senate for twelve years, until he was defeated by Paul Tsongas in 1978. Brooke was instrumental in developing the legislation that would become the 1970 Housing and Urban Development Act.
1966 – Actor and future United States President Ronald Reagan was elected governor of California, beating incumbent Governor Pat Brown, former District Attorney of San Francisco. When he first heard Reagan was going to run against him, Brown was noted to say, “Hey, we got a shoo in as they are going to run an actor from Hollywood against me.”
1966 – The temperature in downtown San Francisco reached a November record of 86 degrees.
1966 – RUBIO, EURIPIDES, Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Army, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division, RVN. Place and date: Tay Ninh Province, Republic of Vietnam, 8 November 1966. Entered service at: Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico. Born: 1 March 1938, Ponce, Puerto Rico. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Capt. Rubio, Infantry, was serving as communications officer, 1st Battalion, when a numerically superior enemy force launched a massive attack against the battalion defense position. Intense enemy machinegun fire raked the area while mortar rounds and rifle grenades exploded within the perimeter. Leaving the relative safety of his post, Capt. Rubio received 2 serious wounds as he braved the withering fire to go to the area of most intense action where he distributed ammunition, re-established positions and rendered aid to the wounded. Disregarding the painful wounds, he unhesitatingly assumed command when a rifle company commander was medically evacuated. Capt. Rubio was wounded a third time as he selflessly exposed himself to the devastating enemy fire to move among his men to encourage them to fight with renewed effort. While aiding the evacuation of wounded personnel, he noted that a smoke grenade which was intended to mark the Viet Cong position for air strikes had fallen dangerously close to the friendly lines. Capt. Rubio ran to reposition the grenade but was immediately struck to his knees by enemy fire. Despite his several wounds, Capt. Rubio scooped up the grenade, ran through the deadly hail of fire to within 20 meters of the enemy position and hurled the already smoking grenade into the midst of the enemy before he fell for the final time. Using the repositioned grenade as a marker, friendly air strikes were directed to destroy the hostile positions. Capt. Rubio’s singularly heroic act turned the tide of battle, and his extraordinary leadership and valor were a magnificent inspiration to his men. His remarkable bravery and selfless concern for his men are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on Capt. Rubio and the U.S. Army.
1966 – Triple Crown winner Frank Robinson of the Baltimore Orioles is the unanimous choice as AL MVP. He became the first Major Leaguer to win the award in both leagues. Traded by the Reds in the previous off-season, Reds GM decided that Robinson was “an old 30” and traded him. In addition to the MVP and Triple Crown, Robinson was also World Series MVP as the O’s swept the Dodgers.
1967 – JOEL, LAWRENCE, Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Specialist Sixth Class (then Sp5c), U.S. Army, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade. Place and date: Republic of Vietnam, 8 November 1965, Entered service at: New York City, N.Y. G.O. No.: 15, 5 April 1967. Born: 22 February 1928, Winston-Salem, N.C. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. Sp6c. Joel demonstrated indomitable courage, determination, and professional skill when a numerically superior and well-concealed Viet Cong element launched a vicious attack which wounded or killed nearly every man in the lead squad of the company. After treating the men wounded by the initial burst of gunfire, he bravely moved forward to assist others who were wounded while proceeding to their objective. While moving from man to man, he was struck in the right leg by machine gun fire. Although painfully wounded his desire to aid his fellow soldiers transcended all personal feeling. He bandaged his own wound and self-administered morphine to deaden the pain enabling him to continue his dangerous undertaking. Through this period of time, he constantly shouted words of encouragement to all around him. Then, completely ignoring the warnings of others, and his pain, he continued his search for wounded, exposing himself to hostile fire; and, as bullets dug up the dirt around him, he held plasma bottles high while kneeling completely engrossed in his life saving mission. Then, after being struck a second time and with a bullet lodged in his thigh, he dragged himself over the battlefield and succeeded in treating 13 more men before his medical supplies ran out. Displaying resourcefulness, he saved the life of 1 man by placing a plastic bag over a severe chest wound to congeal the blood. As 1 of the platoons pursued the Viet Cong, an insurgent force in concealed positions opened fire on the platoon and wounded many more soldiers. With a new stock of medical supplies, Sp6c. Joel again shouted words of encouragement as he crawled through an intense hail of gunfire to the wounded men. After the 24 hour battle subsided and the Viet Cong dead numbered 410, snipers continued to harass the company. Throughout the long battle, Sp6c. Joel never lost sight of his mission as a medical aid man and continued to comfort and treat the wounded until his own evacuation was ordered. His meticulous attention to duty saved a large number of lives and his unselfish, daring example under most adverse conditions was an inspiration to all. Sp6c. Joel’s profound concern for his fellow soldiers, at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.
1969 – “Wedding Bell Blues” by 5th Dimension topped the charts and stayed there for 3 weeks.
1970 – Tom Dempsey of the New Orleans Saints set an NFL record by kicking a 63-yard field goal to give the Saints a 19-17 victory of the Detroit Lions.
1970 – Jim Morrison records the poetry that the other members of the Doors would set to music after his death and issue on the 1978 album, “An American Prayer.”
1971 – Top Hits
“Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves” – Cher
“Theme from Shaft” – Isaac Hayes
“Imagine” – John Lennon Plastic Ono Band
Here Comes Honey Again – Sonny James
1971 – Sly & the Family Stone have huge hits with “Family Affair” and “There’s a Riot Goin’ On.” The album’s title could well describe some of Sly’s concerts during this time. Much to his fans’ dismay, he’s a frequent no-show. Of eighty concerts booked in 1970, he canceled 26 and has ducked out of 12 of forty shows in ’71.
1973 – No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: “Keep on Truckin’ (Part 1),” Eddie Kendricks.
1973 – The first golfer to earn $100,000 in a contest was Miller Barber of Texas, who won in 144 strokes in the World Open at Pinehurst, NC, on November 8-17.
1974 – Lt. William Calley is paroled after serving about three years in “prison” (under house arrest in his apartment) for overseeing the murder of Vietnamese civilians (possibly as high as 500 or more) at My Lai
1978 – A bizarre NBA game happened during the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Nets, when an official assessed three technical fouls against Nets coach Kevin Loughery and player Bernard King The league office ruled that the official had acted in error and ordered the game replayed. It was on March 23, 1979, and Philadelphia won, 137-133. On February 7, however, the 76ers traded Ralph Simpson to New Jersey for Erick Money and Harvey Catchings. So these three wound up finishing the game on March 23rd as members of the team they had originally opposed.
1979 – Top Hits
“Pop Muzik” – M
“Heartache Tonight” – Eagles
“Dim All the Lights” – Donna Summer
“You Decorated My Life” – Kenny Rogers
1979 – The Grateful Dead’s “Shakedown Street” LP is released.
1983 – Dale Murphy (.302, 36, 121) joins Ernie Banks, Joe Morgan and Mike Schmidt as one of the players who has won the MVP award in consecutive years. The soft-spoken Braves’ outfielder receives 21 of the 24 votes cast.
1983 – No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: “All Night Long (All Night),” Lionel Richie. Richie sings the song at the closing ceremonies of the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
1986 – A new Utah record for wind was set when a wind gust of 124 mph was recorded on 11,000-foot Hidden Peak in the Snowbird area
1987 – Top Hits
“I Think We’re Alone Now” – Tiffany
“Causing a Commotion” – Madonna
“Mony Mony ‘Live’ ” – Billy Idol
“Am I Blue” – George Strait
1988 – George H. W. Bush was elected president of the United States, carrying 40 states. He defeated Governor Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts, the Democratic candidate. The electoral vote was Bush,
426, Dukakis 112. The popular vote was Bush, 47,917,341, Dukakis, 41,013,030. In congressional elections the Democrats gained one Senate seat for a 55-45 majority; in the House they gained 3 seats for a 260-175 majority.
1990 – The Gender Gap at the voting booth succeeded in electing Ann Richards as Texas Governor (with 61% of the women’s vote) and Barbara Roberts as Oregon Governor with 30% more of the women’s vote than her opponent got. Sharon Pratt Dixon was elected the first black woman as Mayor of Washington, D.C. Joan Finney who opposed abortion was elected governor of Kansas. Of 85 women who ran for statewide offices, 57 won… all with significant Gender Gap margins…
1991 – A new “The Carol Burnett Show” premieres on CBS-TV
Her first run on TV lasted from September 11, 1967 – March 29, 1978.
My good friend Warren Luening played lead trumpet for her TV show and toured with her. He said he enjoyed every minute as she was a wonderful person to work for and always thoughtful of those around her. What you saw on TV was the way she really was in life, he commented.
1991 – The first week of November ended in Iowa with the average temperature for the state of 18.3 degrees, a full 24.7 degrees below normal. Easily this was the coldest first week of November ever.
1993 – Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.11 was released. The operating system boasted improved support for NetWare and Windows NT, and slipped in numerous architectural changes to improve performance and stability (changes that later found their way into Windows 95).
1994 – Top Hits
“I’ll Make Love To You” – Boyz II Men
“All I Wanna Do” – Sheryl Crow
“Another Night” – Real McCoy
“Here Comes The Hotstepper” (From “Ready To Wear”) – Ini Kamoze
1999 – The House of Representatives passed a resolution calling for Shoeless Joe Jackson to be honored. The resolution stopped short of calling for his induction into the Hall of Fame. “It is worthy for this body to take a few minutes to stand up for fairness and right an old wrong,” said Rep. Jim DeMint, the author of the resolution who represents Jackson’s hometown of Greenville, SC. Jackson was eligible for the Hall of Fame until 1991 but was never voted in either by the writers or the Veterans Committee. In 1991, the Hall’s board adopted a resolution prohibiting players on the permanently banned list from consideration.
2004 – Receiving 27 of 28 first-place votes, Bobby Crosby (.239, 22, 64) wins the American League Rookie of the Year Award. The Oakland shortstop, who is the son of former big leaguer infielder Ed Crosby, joins Harry Byrd (1952), Jose Canseco (1986), Mark McGwire (1987), Walt Weiss (1988) and Ben Grieve (1998) as the sixth A’s freshman to be honored by BBWAA.
2014 – North Korea releases Americans Matthew Todd Miller and Kenneth Bae; Bae was imprisoned for two years after arrest for missionary actions, while Miller was detained in April for ‘hostile acts’ after tearing up his visa and requesting asylum.