1849 – Author Edgar Allan Poe was found delirious in a gutter in Baltimore, Maryland under mysterious circumstances. He was taken to Washington Medical College, and was never seen in public again.
1862 – Confederates under General Earl Van Dorn attempted to recapture Corinth, a vital rail center in Mississippi. However, the following day, the Second Battle of Corinth ended in defeat for the Rebels. The Confederate defeat was devastating. The Union losses included 315 dead, 1,812 wounded, and 232 taken as prisoners, while the Confederate losses included 1,423 dead, 5,692 wounded, and 2,268 prisoners.
1863 – Expressing gratitude for a pivotal Union Army victory at Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln announced that the nation would celebrate an official Thanksgiving holiday on November 26, 1863.
The fourth Thursday of November remained the annual day of Thanksgiving from 1863 until 1939. Then, at the tail-end of the Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, hoping to boost the economy by providing shoppers and merchants a few extra days to conduct business between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, moved Thanksgiving to November’s third Thursday. In 1941, however, Roosevelt bowed to Congress’ insistence that the fourth Thursday of November be re-set permanently, without alteration, as the official Thanksgiving holiday.
1873 – The United States military hanged four Indians found guilty of murdering the Civil War hero, General Edward Canby, during the Modoc War in Oregon. Canby was the highest ranking military official – and the only general – ever killed by Indians.
1895 – The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane, was published in book form. The story of a young man’s experience of battle was the first American novel to portray the Civil War from the ordinary soldier’s point of view.
1917 – Six months after the United States declared war on Germany and began its participation in the First World War, the U.S. Congress passed the War Revenue Act, increasing income taxes to unprecedented levels in order to raise more money for the war effort.
A barrage of propaganda, designed to raise morale and get civilians involved in the war, became commonplace. As shown above, Americans were encouraged to keep gardens and eat more vegetables, thereby saving wheat, sugar products and meat for soldiers and starving civilians in Europe.
1932 – With the admission of Iraq into the League of Nations, Britain terminated its mandate over the Arab nation, making Iraq independent after 17 years of British rule and centuries of Ottoman rule.
1942 – German rocket scientist Wernher von Braun’s brainchild, the V-2 missile, was fired successfully from Peenemunde, as island off Germany’s Baltic coast. It traveled 118 miles. The first launches as part of an offensive did not occur until September 6, 1944 when two missiles were fired at Paris. On September 8, two more were fired at England, which would be followed by more than 1,100 more during the next six months. More than 2,700 Brits died because of the rocket attacks. The V-2 proved extraordinarily deadly in the war and was the precursor to the Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles of the postwar era.
1951 – Third baseman Bobby Thomson hit a one-out, three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to win the National League pennant for the New York Giants. Thomson’s homer wrapped up an amazing come-from-behind run for the Giants and knocked the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Giants’ hated inter-borough rivals, out of their spot in the World Series. The Giants went on to lose the Series to the Yankees, but Thomson’s miraculous homer – “the shot heard ’round the world” – remains one of the most memorable moments in sports history.
1955 – It was Bob Keeshan’s first day at work in what became a TV institution via CBS: Captain Kangaroo. The children’s television milestone featured Mr. Green Jeans, Bunny Rabbit, Grandfather Clock, Mr. Moose and other characters. It was the beginning of a 30-year run that thrilled millions of children every weekday morning.
1968 – At Camp Evans in South Vietnam, 11 miles north of Hue, 24 U.S. military personnel died when a U.S. Army CH-47 helicopter collided with an American C-7 Caribou transport aircraft.
1990 – Less than one year after the destruction of the Berlin Wall, East and West Germany came together on what is known as “Unity Day.” The reunification, originally scheduled to take place during the December parliamentary elections, occurred earlier because East Germany’s economy was in serious shape.
1995 – At the end of a sensational trial, former football star O.J. Simpson was acquitted of the brutal 1994 double murder of his estranged wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. In the epic 252-day trial, Simpson’s “dream team” of lawyers employed creative and controversial methods to convince jurors that Simpson’s guilt had not been proved “beyond a reasonable doubt,” thus surmounting what the prosecution called a “mountain of evidence” implicating him as the murderer.
A majority of African Americans believed Simpson to be innocent of the crime, while white America was confident of his guilt. However, the jury – made up of nine African Americans, two whites, and one Hispanic – was not so divided; they took just four hours of deliberation to reach the verdict of not guilty on both murder charges. An estimated 140 million Americans listened in on radio or watched on television as the verdict was delivered.
2004 – Actress Janet Leigh (Little Women, Angels In The Outfield, The Manchurian Candidate, Bye Bye Birdie, but best remembered for her performance in Psycho) died at the age of 77 after suffering a heart attack.
Compiled by Ray Lemire ©2014 RayLemire.com. All Rights Reserved.
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