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Archive for November, 2013

30 November
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Unsafe at Any Speed

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Unsafe at any Speed was a book written by Ralph Nader which was published on November 30, 1965.  The book accused car manufactures of producing unsafe vehicles.  For example, Nader said in the book that companies were unwilling to spend money on additional safety features.  Or cutting corners to make cars cheaper, but these cost savings resulted in unsafe cars.  One of the biggest examples was the Chevy Corvair also known as “The One-Car Accident”.  Nader devoted a whole chapter to it.  The first chapter in fact.  The book made the name Ralph Nader a household name.

Each chapter int he book was devoted to one topic on automobile safety.  The chapters were:

  • The Sporty Corvair
  • Disaster deferred
  • The second collision
  • The power to pollute
  • The engineers
  • The stylists
  • The traffic safety establishment
  • The coming struggle for safety

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28 November
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Ferdinand Magellan Reaches the Pacific Ocean

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Ferdinand Magellan was a Portuguese explorer who became known for having organized the expedition that first circumnavigation of the Earth.  On 28 November, the three remaining ships of Magellan’s fleet reached the pacific.  One of the ships was lost during a mutiny earlier in the journey.  Magellan was born in Portugal around 1480. By his mid-20s, he was sailing in large fleets and was committed in combat.  He is known as being the man who proved the the Earth was round back in a time when most people believed it was flat.  You have to remember back in the late-1400s and early 1500s people only knew what they could see and that was only as they could travel.  Seems like the dark ages, but it was just slightly better than that.  In 1505 he travelled all the way to India.  This is probably where he got the idea to travel to the west.

Strait of Magellan

Strait of Magellan

The route he later found is now named for him.  The trip was originally thought to be a very short one, but instead it took them 6 months to get to Guam.  At which point the sailers were starving and pretty upset.  He was killed by poison arrow in the Philippines on April 27, 1521.

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27 November
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Bruce Lee Born

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Bruce Lee with son Brandon in 1966

Bruce Lee with son Brandon in 1966

Bruce Lee was born in San Francisco on November 27, 1940 in the year of the Dragon.  He was raised in Hong Kong and started training in martial arts at the age of 13.  At 18 he returned to the United States and studied at the University of Washington in Seattle.  It was at the University of Washington that he met his future wife Linda Emery, a fellow student studying to become a teacher, whom he married in August 1964.  At this time he also began to teach martial arts.

The most famous of his movies are The Big Boss (1971), Fist of Fury (1972), Way of the Dragon (1972), Enter the Dragon (1973) and Game of Death (1973).  The last two he directed and wrote.

Bruce Lee died all too early at the age of 32 possibly from cerebral edema and/or an allergic reaction to Equaesic a painkiller.

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Bruce Lee's Fighting Method

Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method

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26 November
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Thanksgiving

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Originally Lincoln set the date of thanksgiving when he issued the Thanksgiving proclamation that declared it would be the last Thursday of November. In 1939 Franklin D Roosevelt announced that November 23 would be the new day for Thanksgiving. This was the next to last Thursday not the last as Lincoln had set up so many years ago. This did not go over well, but for two years FDR did it. Then finally on November 26, 1941, he admitted his mistake and signed a bill into law officially making the fourth Thursday in November the national holiday of Thanksgiving Day.

Listen to our history podcast on thanksgiving.

Lots More on Thanksgiving:

I don’t know why exactly but I have done lots of post on or around Thanksgiving for the past eight years  Here are some of the highlights:

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24 November
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DB Cooper

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DB Cooper

DB Cooper

DB Cooper is the name the media gave to the unknown man who boarded a Boeing 727 on November 24, 1971, extorted $200,000 then jump from the plane in mid flight. The event occurred around 2:00pm near Portland, Oregon. The flight took off from Portland International Airport. A man that identified himself as Dan Cooper purchased a one-way ticket to Seattle Washington on flight 305 of Northwest Orient Airlines. He was very calm, having a cigarette and drink while on the flight. The description flight crew and passengers give is of a caucasian man in his mid-forties about 6 feet tall. He wore a black suit and neatly pressed white shirt with a light black rain coat and loafers.

Cooper passed a note to a flight attendant who initially mistook it for his phone number. Cooper prompted her to read the note, which read that he had a bomb and she was to accompany him to his seat. She did as the note instructed. He explained his plan to her and she conveyed that to the pilots. They then landed the plane without telling the rest of the passengers the real reason. They got more gas, Cooper got his $200,000 and they took off again. They flew low and slow. Cooper told everyone to go up front in the plane and close the door. When the plane next landed Cooper was nowhere to be found. The case remains the only unsolved air piracy in American aviation history. No conclusive evidence has ever surfaced regarding Cooper’s true identity or whereabouts.

Watch the full video (45 minutes) of Brad Meltzer’s Decoded DB Cooper.

Also video from the Travel Channel:

Source:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D._B._Cooper

Books:

Movie:

There is also The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper (1981), but it doesn’t look like you can get this anymore at least not on DVD.

 

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23 November
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LIFE Magazine Publishes Under Time Inc. for First Time

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First cover of LIFE magazine from 1936.

First cover of LIFE magazine from 1936. Image Credit: 2NeatMagazines.com

So, LIFE magazine had been around well prior to November 23, 1936, but in a form we would not recognize today.  You see back in January of 1883, LIFE magazine officially started.  Back then it was a humor and general interest magazine.  In 1936 Henry Luce paid $92,000 for LIFE magazine. Becoming the third magazine for Time, Inc. after Time (1923) and Fortune (1930). The first issue featured a cover of Fort Peck Dam by Margaret Bourke-White, pictured above, for 10 cents.

The Story of LIFE Magazine Part 1

The Story of LIFE Magazine Part 2

The Story of LIFE Magazine Part 3

The Story of LIFE Magazine Part 4

How life helped shape science:

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22 November
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50th Anniversary of the JFK Assassination

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President John Fitzgerald Kennedy (aka “JFK”, “John Kennedy”, and “Jack Kennedy”) was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, at 12:30 pm Central Standard Time on Friday November 22, 1963, while on a political trip to Texas. He was shot once in the throat, once in the upper back, with the fatal shot hitting him in the head. He was the 35th President of the United States, serving from January 1961 until November 1963.  He was the 4th president to be killed.


There is a ton of information out there for the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination.  So we will just cover some of it.  I juste looked at the history channel’s website and I’m very disappointed to find that the FK specials will not be running the the prime time slot.  It will be on in prime time on H2, if you get that.  History channel will be running Pawn Stars instead, good grief!  You can watch all kinds of cool full length video on PBS right now, so no need to wait for it on history channel or PBS.

There is much, much more out there though like this article on Boing Boing that states:

59 percent of Americans now believe there was more to JFK’s death than a lone gunman.

Below is a great video all tweaked with computers to show the best view possible of the assassination.

And lastly here are some pictures that you have probably never seen. They were first published in LIFE magazine 11/14/2013.

Decide you want to dive into the huge amount of information about the JFK assassination? Here are some books to get you started.

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21 November
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Titanic’s Sister Ship the Britannic Sinks

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Britannic sinking

Britannic sinking

She was the third and largest Olympic-class ocean liner of the White Star Line. She was launched two years after Titanic’s disastrous failure in the cold North Atlantic Ocean. After the Titanic went down several design changes were made to the remaining Olympic-class liners. She was intended to be a transatlantic passenger liner. However, she was launched while the first world war was raging and was enlisted as a hospital ship in 1915. It was in that role that she met her demise. She hit an underwater mine in the Kea Channel off the Greek island of Kea on the morning of 21 November 1916, and sank with the loss of 30 lives.

There were 1,066 people on board, with 1,036 survivors taken from the water and lifeboats; roughly an hour later, at 9:07 AM, the ship sank. In spite of Britannic being the biggest ship lost during the First World War, her sinking was not as costly in terms of loss of human life as were the sinking of RMS Titanic and Cunard’s RMS Lusitania, or many ships lost during the First World War. – Wikipedia

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19 November
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150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address

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Today, November 19, marks the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. On this day, a Thursday, in 1863 President Lincoln delivered what many today call one of the most moving speeches of all time. This short speech, only 278 words, moved the nation that day and forever. You can listen to the Gettysburg address can be listened to here.

On June 1, 1865, Senator Charles Sumner commented on what is now considered the most famous speech by President Abraham Lincoln. In his eulogy on the slain president, he called it a “monumental act.” He said Lincoln was mistaken that “the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here.” Rather, the Bostonian remarked, “The world noted at once what he said, and will never cease to remember it. The battle itself was less important than the speech.” – abrahamlincolnonline.org

Lincoln was the second to speak that fateful day at Gettysburg. The first was famed orator Edward Everett who spoke for 2 hours. The next day he wrote to Lincoln:

“Permit me also to express my great admiration of the thoughts expressed by you, with such eloquent simplicity & appropriateness, at the consecration of the Cemetery. I should be glad, if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.” – Edward Everett

In just over two minutes, Lincoln reiterated the principles of human equality espoused by the Declaration of Independence and proclaimed the Civil War as a struggle for the preservation of the Union sundered by the secession crisis, with “a new birth of freedom,” that would bring true equality to all of its citizens. You can read Everett ‘s speech here.

There were 5 copies of the speech. Each is named for the person that Lincoln gave it to. Two went to his private secretaries, John Nicolay and John Hay. Both of them were written around the time of the speech. The three other copies were written after. Everett asked for a copy of the speech to include in a book he was creating, the proceeds would go to charity. George Bancroft also requested a copy to sell, but he never sold it, since it was deemed unfit for its intended purpose. Lincoln then wrote one last copy that was sent to Colonel Alexander Bliss. This copy is the only one that Lincoln signed and it is believe to be the last one he wrote.

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18 November
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History of Time Zones

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Time Zone Map

Time Zone Map

American railroads maintained many different time zones during the late 1800s. Each train station set its own clock so it was difficult to coordinate train schedules. Time calculation became a serious problem for people traveling by train (sometimes hundreds of miles in a day), according to the Library of Congress. Every city in the United States used a different time standard so there were more than 300 local sun times to choose from. Railroad managers tried to address the problem by establishing 100 railroad time zones, but this was only a partial solution to the problem.

Operators of the new railroad lines needed a new time plan that would offer a uniform train schedule for departures and arrivals. Four standard time zones for the continental United States were introduced on November 18, 1883. Britain, which already adopted its own standard time system for England, Scotland, and Wales, helped gather international consensus for global time zones in 1884. – http://www.timeanddate.com/time/time-zones-history.html

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