On this day in 1786, the European state of Tuscany became the first state to abolish the death penalty. They were the first to stop executing criminals, or as they call it in Texas, “Having them put down”.
On this day in 1803, Spain gave up its claim to Louisiana and let France have it. Eventually, France gave up Louisiana to the United States and then, after Hurricane Katrina, the U.S also gave up on Louisiana.
On this day in 1924, the first photo facsimile was transmitted across the Atlantic by radio. Fax machines back then were bulky devices. You had to wrap the document you were sending around a drum in the fax machine, which made faxing photos of your bare butt impossible.
On this day in 1940, Lucille Ball got married to Desi Arnaz and they became Lucy and Ricky Ricardo on television. I must correct this myth about the two of them. They got divorced in 1960 because of Desi’s regular womanizing, so, in fact, it would have been Lucy who was always saying, “You got some esplainin’ to do!”
On this day in 1954, a woman named Liz Hodges from Alabama made history. She became the first woman to be hit by a meteorite. I bet this wasn’t her first thought, “Hey! I gotta call the Guinness Book of Records!”
On this day in 1971, the TV movie “Brian’s Song,” aired for first time in the U.S. I remember that night. I haven’t wept that much since I realized I didn’t own any Google shares.
On this day in 2004, longtime Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings finally lost. His total winnings, up to that night, were $2,520,700. So, television’s all time biggest game show winner finally got knocked off, and it served him right, the cocky know-it-all.
If your birthday is November 30th, you share it with author Lucy Maud Montgomery who was born on this day in 1874. Her greatest success was writing Anne of Green Gables, the fictional character who lived in Prince Edward Island. But, remember, if you visit the Green Gables House on PEI to see where Anne lived…she was a fictional character, folks! It’s like visiting the George W. Bush Library. He didn’t read, folks!