November 26


1842: The University of Notre Dame was founded near South Bend, Indiana.

1863: President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed November 26 as a national Thanksgiving Day, to be celebrated annually on the final Thursday of November. (Since 1941, it has been on the fourth Thursday.)

1917: The National Hockey League was formed in Montreal, Quebec, with the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators, Quebec Bulldogs, and Toronto Arenas as its first teams.

1922: Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon became the first people to enter the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun in over 3,000 years. Toll of the Sea debuted as the first general release film to use two-two (red and green) Technicolor. Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

1942: The classic movie Casablanca premiered in Hollywood, Calif.

1945: Born this day: actor Daniel Davis (The Hunt for Red October, The Nanny); rock bass player John McVie (Fleetwood Mac); and rock guitarist Jim Mullen (Average White Band).

1970: In Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe (Caribbean Sea), 1½ inches of rain fell in one minute, the heaviest rainfall ever recorded.

1973: Born this day: actor Peter Facinelli (Twilight series); and actress Kristin Bauer van Straten (Seinfeld).

1998: Tony Blair became the first prime minister of the United Kingdom to address the Oireachtas (pr. UH-ruck-tuss), the parliament of Ireland.


November 27


1895:, Alfred Nobel (1833-1896) signed his last will and testament in Paris, setting aside his estate to establish the Nobel Prize after his death.

1901: The U.S. Army War College was established in Carlisle, Pa.

1924: The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was held in New York City.

1942: The French navy scuttled its ships and submarines at Toulon to keep them out of Nazi hands. Rock and roll guitarist Jimi Hendrix (died 1970) was born in Seattle.

1957: Born this day: U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy (took office 2013, daughter of President John F. Kennedy); screenwriter Callie Khouri (Thelma & Louise); movie sound designer Kevin O’Connell (holds the record for most Academy Award nominations without a win at 20); and author Michael A. Stackpole (Star Wars series, Battle Tech series).

1960: Born this day: Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (in office 2003-2011); and actor Michael Rispoli (The Sopranos).

1961: Born this day: actress Samantha Bond (Downton Abbey, “Miss Moneypenny” in Goldeye, The World is not Enough, Tomorrow Never Dies); and actor Steve Oedekerk (Ace


November 28

1520: Three ships under the command of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan became the first European ships to sail from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific, after navigating through a strait at the southern end of South America (now known as the Straits of Magellan).

1814: The Times in London was for the first time printed by automatic, steam powered presses built by the German inventors Friedrich Koenig and Andreas Friedrich Bauer, signaling the beginning of the availability of newspapers to a mass audience.

1859: American author Washington Irving (The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Rip Van Winkle) died in Baltimore at age 76.

1893: New Zealand became the first country to allow women to vote in a national election.

1895: The first American automobile race took place, from Chicago’s Jackson Park to Evanston, Ill., a distance of 54 miles. Frank Duryea (1869-1967) won in about 10 hours.

1896: Born this day: author and playwright Dawn Powell (Hello, Sister!, died 1965); and actress Lilia Skala (Lilies of the Field, Flashdance, died 1994)

1907: Scrap-metal dealer Louis B. Mayer (1884-1957) opened his first movie theater, in Haverhill, Mass.

1909: Russian pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) gave the debut performance in New York City of his Piano Concerto No. 3, considered one of the most technically challenging piano concertos in the standard classical repertoire.


November 29


1729: Natchez Indians massacred 138 French men, 35 French women, and 56 children, at Fort Rosalie, near the site of modern-day Natchez, Mississippi.

1777: The city of San Jose, Calif., was founded as Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe, becoming the first European civilian settlement in what was then known as Alta 1877: Thomas Edison (1847-1931) demonstrated his phonograph for the first time, in Menlo Park, N.J.

1902: The Pittsburgh Stars defeated the Philadelphia Athletics, 11-0, at the Pittsburgh Coliseum, to win the first championship associated with an American national professional football league.

1946: Born this day: rock musician Brian Cadd (The Flying Burrito Brothers); skier and actress Suzy Chaffee; and actor Nathan Jung (Kung Fu, Here Come the Brides, General Hospital).

1949: Born this day: wrestlers Jerry Lawler and Dutch Mantel; Canadian singer-songwriter Stan Rogers (“Northwest Passage,” died 1983); and actor Garry Shandling (It’s Garry Shandling’s Show).

1955: Born this day: actors C. David Johnson (The Man Who Saved Christmas); and Howie Mandel (Deal or No Deal, America’s Got Talent).

1963: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) established the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

1964: Born this day: actor Don Cheadle (Ocean’s Thirteen, Hotel Rwanda); and actor Tom Sizemore (Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down).

1976: Born this day: actress Anna Faris (Scary Movie, Lost in Translation); and actor Ehren McGhehey (Jackass movie series).


November 30


1835: American author Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) was born in Hannibal, Missouri.

1872: The first-ever international football match took place at Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow, between Scotland and England.

1929: Born this day: TV host and production magnate Dick Clark (founded Dick Clark Productions, died 2012); and Sesame Street co-creator Joan Ganz Cooney.

1934: The Class A3 Pacific 4472 Flying Scotsman locomotive of the London and North Eastern Railway became the first steam locomotive officially authenticated to reach 100 mph.

1940: Lucille Ball married Desi Arnaz in Greenwich, Conn.

1954: A fragment of a meteorite crashed through a roof in Oak Grove, Ala., at 2:46 p.m. and hit Ann Elizabeth Hodges (1920-1972), who was taking a nap on her sofa. It became the only documented case in the United States of an extraterrestrial object injuring someone.


1982: Michael Jackson’s second solo album, Thriller, with producer Quincy Jones, was released worldwide and became the biggest-selling album worldwide, and still is to this day.

1998: Exxon and Mobil  merged in a $73.7 billion deal, creating ExxonMobil, the world’s largest company.

2004: Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings (born 1970) of Salt Lake City, Utah, finally lost after 74 consecutive episodes, leaving him with $2,520,700, the biggest game show winnings in TV history.

December 1

1640: Portugal and Spain ended the 60-year Iberian Union and became separate countries again.

1824: In the U.S. presidential election, four candidates ran (Henry Clay, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, and William H. Crawford), but none received a majority of the total electoral college votes, the only such instance in U.S. history. The House of Representatives was given the task of deciding the winner in accordance with the 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. (Adams won.)

1834: Slavery was abolished in the Cape Colony (later South Africa).

1862: President Abraham Lincoln delivered his State of the Union Address, in which he reaffirmed the need to end slavery as ordered 10 weeks earlier in the Emancipation Proclamation.

1865: Shaw University, the first black university in the southern United States, was founded in Raleigh, N.C.

1885: Dr Pepper was first served at a drug store in Waco, Texas.

1913: Ford Motor Co. greatly increased its output of Model Ts by introducing the first moving assembly line.

1918: The Kingdom of Iceland became a sovereign state of the Danish kingdom. (It became the independent Republic of Iceland in 1944.)  Transylvania and the Kingdom of Romania united to form the Great Union. Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia united to form what would become Yugoslavia.

1923: Born this day: actor Dick Shawn (It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, The Year Without a Santa Claus, died 1987); and U.S. Navy Admiral and CIA Director Stansfield Turner (in office 1977-1981).

1969: The first military draft lottery in the United States since World War II was held to fill the ranks for the Vietnam War.

1970: Born this day: actress Golden Brooks (Hollywood Divas, CSI: Miami; Girlfriends); actress Julie Condra (The Wonder Years); ‘geek culture’ singer-songwriter Jonathan Coulton (“Code Monkeys”); and actress Sarah Silverman (Saturday Night Live, The Bedwetter, School of Rock).


December 2

1763: The first synagogue in what would become the United States opened in Newport, Rhode Island.

1775: The USS Alfred became the first ship to fly the Grand Union Flag (the precursor to the Stars and Stripes), hoisted by Capt. John Paul Jones (1747-1792).

1804: Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) crowned himself Emperor of France at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, to become the first French Emperor in 1,000 years.

1823: President James Monroe (1758-1831) proclaimed in a State of the Union message that America would be neutral in future European conflicts, and warned European powers not to interfere in the Americas.

1914: Born this day: actor Bill Erwin (Seinfeld; Planes, Trains and Automobiles; Home Alone, died 2010); and actor, playwright and composer Adolph Green (Singin’ in the Rain, The Band Wagon, On the Town, My Favorite Year, died 2002).

1924: Congress created the United States George Washington Bicentennial Commission

1927: After 19 years of producing only the Ford Model T, Ford Motor Company unveiled the Ford Model A as its new automobile.

1961: Cuban leader Fidel Castro declared in a nationally broadcast speech that he is a Marxist-Leninist and that Cuba is going to adopt communism.

1962: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (1903-2001), D-Mont., became the first American official to comment negatively on the progress of the Vietnam War, after visiting Vietnam at the request of President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963).

1968: Born this day: actresses Lucy Liu (Ally McBeal) and Rena Sofer (General Hospital), and rock musician Nate Mendel (Foo Fighters).