Today's History Trivia for December 1
1952 Ex-GI Becomes Blonde Bombshell The New York Daily News runs a front page story with this headline about Christine Jorgensen. She had just underwent sex change surgery in Denmark. She became the first widely-known sex change recipient in the U.S. The headline made her an instant celebrity. Writings: Christine Jorgensen: A Personal Autobiography.
1913 Assembly Line Ford Introduces the assembly line to his automobile factory. This reduced the time to build a Model T from over 12 hours to 2½ hours. Improvements in his assembly line over the next year reduced this time to only 93 minutes.
1824 Jackson Wins the Election, But Loses the Presidency Andrew Jackson defeats John Quincy Adams (99 to 84 electoral votes) in the U.S. Presidential election. However, since this was not the necessary majority, the election was turned over to the House of Representatives as per the 12th Amendment. They eventually chose Adams making him President. This infuriated Jackson supporters since Jackson had won both the electoral vote and popular vote.
1992 Police rush a video store and draw weapons on an armed gunman. The gunman turned out to be a cardboard cutout of Denzel Washington.
1990 Eurotunnel The first stage of the tunnel under the English Channel connecting Britain to France is completed.
1989 The Vatican Pope John Paul II and Mikhail Gorbachev meet in Rome, signaling the end of 70 years of hostility between the Vatican and the USSR.
1969 Vietnam War - Draft The selective services conducts its first lottery to determine the order of call to military service in the Vietnam War. The first number drawn was for September 14, therefore assigning all registrants with that birthday a lottery number 1.
1961 Fidel Castro The Cuban leader announces that he is a Marxist-Leninist and had hidden this fact in order to seize power.
1942 World War II Nationwide gas rationing goes into effect as a result of the war.
1941 World War II Japanese Prime Minister Tojo Hideki sanctions war against United States, United Kingdom, and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. A week later they would attack Pearl Harbor and officially declare war against the U.S. and Great Britain.
1938 First black woman state legislator Crystal Byrd Fauset begins her term of office to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
1921 First helium-balloon flight The U.S. Navy tests a balloon filled with 181,000 cubic feet of helium in Hampton Roads, Virginia.
1919 First woman elected to the British Parliament American-born Viscountess Lady Astor takes her seat in the House of Commons.
1917 Boys Town Father Flanagan founds the Omaha, Nebraska home for troubled boys. He believed, "There is no such thing as a bad boy."
1913 First drive-up gas station Opens in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
1842 First U.S. naval officer executed for mutiny Midshipman Philip Spencer is hanged from the yardarm of the USS Somers for attempted mutiny. His father was Pres. Tyler's Secretary of War at the time.
Today's Birthdays for December 1
1935 Woody Allen (Allen Stewart Konigsberg), American Oscar-winning director, comedian, writer. Film: What's New Pussycat? (1965), Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (1972), Annie Hall (1977, winner of four Oscars, including Best Director and Best Original Screenplay), and Hannah and Her Sisters (1986, Oscar).
1761 Madame Tussaud d. 1850 (Marie Grosholtz), French wax sculptor. Her wax museum (founded 1835) is one of the major tourist attractions in London, and now has branches in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, Copenhagen and New York City. She was imprisoned for being a royalist during the French Revolution and sentenced to execution by guillotine. However, she was saved for her talents in wax and employed to make death masks of the victims of the guillotine, including Marie Antoinette, Marat, and Robespierre.
1958 Charlene Tilton American actress. TV: Dallas (Lucy Ewing).
1950 Richard Keith (Keith Thibodeaux), American actor. TV: I Love Lucy (Little Ricky).
1947 Elizabeth Baur American actress. TV: Ironside (Fran Belding).
1945 Bette Midler American Grammy-winning singer, actress. Film: The Rose (1979), Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986), Ruthless People (1986), and Outrageous Fortune (1987).
1944 John Paul Densmore American drummer, with the Doors. Music: Light My Fire (1967, #1) and L.A. Woman (1971).
1940 Richard Pryor d. 2005 American Emmy-Grammy winning comedian. Film: Lady Sings the Blues (1972), Blazing Saddles (1974, co-wrote), Silverstreak (1976), Stir Crazy (1980), Richard Pryor Live on Sunset Strip (1982), and Brewster's Millions (1985).
1939 Lee Trevino American golfer, 2-time U.S. Open winner (1968, 71), 2-time British Open winner (1971-72), 2-time PGA Championship winner (1974, 84), and winner of the U.S. Senior Open (1990).
1939 Dianne Lennon American singer, one of the Lennon Sisters. She and her sisters were a mainstay of The Lawrence Welk Show during the 50's and 60's.
1933 Lou Rawls d. 2006 American Grammy-winning blues singer, actor. Music: Love Is A Hurtin' Thing (1966, #1) and You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine (1976, #1). Also known for his phrase "Yeahhhh, buddy!"
1929 David Doyle d. 1997 American actor. TV: Charlie's Angels (1976-81, Bosley) and Rugrats (1991-97, voice of Grandpa Pickles).
1913 Mary Martin d. 1990 American Tony-Emmy-winning actress. Stage: Peter Pan (title role), South Pacific, and The Sound of Music. TV: Peter Pan (1956, Emmy). She is the real-life mother of Larry Hagman.
1898 Cyril Ritchard d. 1977 Australian actor. Stage: Peter Pan (1954, Captain Hook).
1886 Rex Todhunter Stout d. 1975 American author, creator of the detective Nero Wolfe (1934).
1844 Alexandra of Denmark d. 1925 Queen of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, wife of King Edward VII of England.
Deaths for December 1
2008 Paul Benedict b. 1938 American actor. He had acromegaly, which accounted for his over-sized nose and lower jaw. He was diagnosed by an endocrinologist who saw him in a play. Film: The Addams Family (1991, Judge Womack). TV: The Jeffersons (Harry Bentley), and Sesame Street (The Mad Painter).
1963 Jimmy Hatlo b. 1897 American cartoonist. Creator of They'll Do It Every Time (1929) and Little Iodine (1943).
1866 Sir George Everest b. 1790 British surveyor. For whom Mt. Everest is named.
1797 Oliver Wolcott b. 1726 American statesman, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and governor of Connecticut (1796-97).
1521 Leo X b. 1475 Italian religious leader, 217th Pope (1513-21). His granting of indulgences to the faithful who contributed to the Church led to the Reformation. He excommunicated Luther in 1521.
1135 Henry I b. 1068 King of England (1100-35).