Birthdays: French explorer Sieur de LaSalle, George Elliot- pen name for Mary Anne Evans, Benjamin Britten, Charles DeGaulle, Andre Gide, Wiley Post, Billy Jean King, Boris Becker, Geraldine Page, John Nance "Cactus Jack" Garner, Hoagy Carmichael, Rodney Dangerfield, Robert Vaughn, Tom Conti, Mark Ruffalo, Victoria Paris- porn star of such classics like Bimbo Bowlers from Buffalo, Stevie Van Zandt is 67, Jamie Lee Curtis is 60, Terry Gilliam is 79, Scarlett Johanssen is 34
HAPPY U.S. THANKSGIVING!- Since the earliest recorded times societies have had harvest festivals to give thanks to the appropriate deities that they're not going to starve that winter. A letter written in 1621 by pilgrim Edward Winslow described how Pilgrim Gov. Bradford and Miles Standish invited Massacoit and his Wampanoag Indians to a feast to celebrate their first successful harvest. The custom of Thanksgiving was a New England custom for decades thereafter.
In 1789 George Washington had called for a thanksgiving celebration in late November to celebrate the new Constitution. But Pres. Thomas Jefferson thought Thanksgiving ” was the most ridiculous idea” he ever heard. He considered it a violation of the separation of church and state, as did Andy Jackson and Zachary Taylor. So the holiday didn’t really become an annual custom until the Civil War. Sarah Hale the editor of the Ladies Magazine, the Martha Stewart of her time, had been lobbying the US Government to make the New England tradition a national one.
In 1863 after the great union victory at Atlanta, President Lincoln issued a decree that the last Thursday of November be set aside as a feast of national Thanksgiving. As blue clad troops chowed down on their turkey and chicken dinners, the Confederates withheld their fire in honor of the new Yankee holiday.
1739- Georg Frederich Handel premiered the oratorio Ode to Saint Cecilia’s Day.
1880- Actress Lillian Russell made her debut on the New York Stage. Russell exemplified the sex appeal of the era- big figured, big bustle, tiny waist and big caboose.
1888- According to Edgar Rice Burroughs, this is the birthday of the boy who would become Tarzan.
1916- Author Jack London died at 40 in Glen Ellen California of kidney disease.
1928- Ravel’s Bolero Suite premiered in Paris.
1955- Shemp Howard, one of the Three Stooges, died of a heart attack while driving home with friends from a prizefight. No one noticed he was gone until they saw his lit cigar had fallen into his lap. He was 60. Born Samuel Horvitz, he got the name Shemp from his mother attempting to say his name Sam in her thick Yiddish accent.
1957- The Miles Davis Quintet debuted.
1963- Aldous Huxley died. The author of Brave New World had inoperable cancer so his wife kept him high on LSD,
1965- The musical The Man of La Mancha opened on Broadway. “ To Dream, the Impossible Dreaaammm…
1980- Screen goddess Mae West died at 87.
1985- Apple ended a long lawsuit with Microsoft and Hewlett Packard that allowed them to share the visual characteristics of the Macintosh displays in their Windows software.