Here’s a few items you may not have known about
Did you know that the namesake of the sandwich was born on November 3, 1718? That was John Montague, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich. He also happened to be England’s First Lord of the Admiralty and the man after whom Captain Cook named the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii).
As it turned out, Montague was a playboy and a gambler, who ate the time-saving snack — he didn’t invent it, as meat between bread was already being consumed, but he did popularize it among the aristocracy — while he was preoccupied with gambling sessions. Sandwich frequently ate the food combination because the bread kept his fingers — and thus his playing cards — from getting greasy.
According to tradition, others began to order, “The same as Sandwich,” and the name caught on.
November 3, 1837 — American housewives were irate over the cost of living. Some things never change. A pound of butter cost as much as eight cents, a dozen eggs was six cents, beef was three cents a pound, pork was two cents per pound, coffee was 20 cents a pound, and sugar was a whopping 10 cents a pound.
November 4, 1862 — The Gatling gun, the first practical machine-gun, was patented. Some predicted that the gun was so powerful that it would prevent all future wars. Sure. Right.
November 5, 1895 — George Selden of Rochester, New York, was granted the first U.S. automobile patent. Although his patent covered every essential feature of the modern automobile, he received only $200,000 when he sold the rights three years later in 1899.
November 10, 1914 — The name Pollyanna suddenly became a household word after a book by that name was published a year earlier.
November 14, 1921 — Doctors Banting and Best announced the discovery of Insulin.
November 15, 1492 — About a month after landing in the New World, Columbus noted in his journal that the Indians used something called tobacco. It was the first recorded reference to that — cough — substance. I wonder if they had smoking and non-smoking sections on board the ship heading back to Spain?
November 16, 1928 — The Women’s Home Missionary Society cancelled a lecture by Maude Royden, an English preacher and Bible teacher, when it was discovered that she smoked cigarettes.
November 19, 1925 — High school students were reported to be using marijuana found growing wild in Kansas.
November 21, 1877 — Thomas Edison announced the invention of the phonograph.
November 22, 1917 — The NHL was organized.
November 26, 1908 — Police arrested five men for playing cards and checkers on Sunday. Shocking!
November 26, 1956 — At the Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia, Vyacheslav Ivanov of Russia had just won the gold medal in a rowing event. Standing on the dock to receive the gold, Vyacheslav was joyfully jumping up and down when he accidently dropped the medal into Lake Wendouree and it sank to the bottom of the lake. Despite numerous dives in search of the medal, he never recovered it. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) eventually gave him a replacement gold medal.
November 28, 1907 — It was cold, really cold, as the Mississippi football team (Ole Miss) took to the frozen field. Their coach, Frank Mason, was so concerned about the chill in the air, he laced the players' coffee on the side-lines with plenty of whiskey, thinking that this would keep his team warm. Well, they were certainly warm, but also sloshed. By the second half, the plastered Mississippi squad was staggering drunkenly around the field, fumbling their way to an embarrassing 15-0 loss to Mississippi A&M. That year, Ole Miss’s record was 0-6.
After the loss, the players blamed their coach. When asked if the team was going home that night, Mason was quoted as replying: “Yes, the team is going north at 11 o’clock. I’m going in another direction, and hope I never see them again!”
Also notable, down through the years, in the month of November:
• First U.S. Thanksgiving Day (1621).
• First circulating library (1731).
• First permanent theatre (1766).
• First savings bank (1816).
• First streetcar service in U.S. (1832).
• First postal money order system (1864).
• First U.S. patent for barbed wire (1867).
• Opening of the Suez Canal (1869).
• First cigar lighter (1871).
• First Canadian government designation of a Thanksgiving Day (1879).
• First auto race (1895).
• First electric vacuum cleaner (1901).
• First book of crossword puzzles (1924).
• First full-scale test of the hydrogen bomb (1952).