on this day 11/14 1960 – U.S. marshals and parents escorted four Black girls to two New Orleans schools. blackfacts.com


1832 – The first streetcar went into operation in New York City, NY. The vehicle was horse-drawn and had room for 30 people.

1851 – Herman Melville’s novel “Moby Dick” was first published in the U.S. 

1881 – Charles J. Guiteau’s trial began for the assassination of U.S. President Garfield. Guiteau was convicted and hanged the following year.

1889 – New York World reporter Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cochrane) began an attempt to surpass the fictitious journey of Jules Verne’s Phileas Fogg by traveling around the world in less than 80 days. Bly succeeded by finishing the journey the following January in 72 days, 6 hours and 11 minutes.

1922 – The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) began domestic radio service.

1935 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed the Philippine Islands a free commonwealth after its new constitution was approved. The Tydings-McDuffie Act planned for the Phillipines to be completely independent by July 4, 1946. 

1940 – During World War II, German war planes destroyed most of the English town of Coventry when about 500 Luftwaffe bombers attacked.

1950 – Lydia M. Holmes St. Augustine, Florida Patent No. 2,529,692 on November 14, 1950 are the plans for several easily assembled wooden pull toys including a bird, a truck and dog. blackfacts.com

1951 – The first telecast of a world lightweight title fight was seen coast to coast. Jimmy Carter beat Art Aragon in Los Angeles.

1956 – The USSR crushed the Hungarian uprising.

1960 – U.S. marshals and parents escorted four Black girls to two New Orleans schools. blackfacts.com

1968 – Yale University announced it was going co-educational.

1969 – Apollo 12 blasted off for the moon from Cape Kennedy, FL

1969 – During the Vietnam War, Major General Bruno Arthur Hochmuth, commander of the Third Marine Division, became the first general to be killed in Vietnam by enemy fire.

1972 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above the 1,000 (1,003.16) level for the first time.

1972 – Blue Ribbon Sports became Nike.

1973 – Britain’s Princess Anne married a commoner, Capt. Mark Phillips, in Westminster Abbey. They divorced in 1992, and Princess Anne re-married.

1979 – U.S. President Carter froze all Iranian assets in the United States and U.S. banks abroad in response to the taking of 63 American hostages at the U.S. embassy in Tehran, Iran.

1983 – The British government announced that U.S.-made cruise missiles had arrived at the Greenham Common air base amid protests.

1988 – Israeli President Chaim Herzog formally asked Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir to form a new government.

1989 – The U.S. Navy ordered an unprecedented 48-hour stand-down in the wake of a recent string of serious accidents. 

1990 – Simon and Schuster announced it had dropped plans to publish Bret Easton Ellis novel “American Psycho.”

1991 – After 13 years in exile Cambodian Prince Norodom Sihanouk returned to his homeland.

1994 – U.S. experts visited North Korea’s main nuclear complex for the first time under an accord that opened such sites to outside inspections.

1995 – The U.S. government instituted a partial shutdown, closing national parks and museums while most government offices operated with skeleton crews. 

2012 – The game Candy Crush Saga was released as a mobile app for iPhones.

On this Day … Moby Dick Published


On this day in 1851, Moby-Dick, a novel by Herman Melville about the voyage of the whaling ship Pequod, is published by Harper & Brothers in New York. Moby-Dick is now considered a great classic of American literature and contains one of the most famous opening lines in fiction: “Call me Ishmael.” Initially, though, the book about Captain Ahab and his quest for a giant white whale was a flop.

Herman Melville was born in New York City in 1819 and as a young man spent time in the merchant marines, the U.S. Navy and on a whaling ship in the South Seas. In 1846, he published his first novel, Typee, a romantic adventure based on his experiences in Polynesia. The book was a success and a sequel, Omoo, was published in 1847. Three more novels followed, with mixed critical and commercial results. Melville’s sixth book, Moby-Dick, was first published in October 1851 in London, in three volumes titled The Whale, and then in the U.S. a month later. Melville had promised his publisher an adventure story similar to his popular earlier works, but instead, Moby-Dick was a tragic epic, influenced in part by Melville’s friend and Pittsfield, Massachusetts, neighbor, Nathaniel Hawthorne, whose novels include The Scarlet Letter.

After Moby-Dick‘s disappointing reception, Melville continued to produce novels, short stories (Bartleby) and poetry, but writing wasn’t paying the bills so in 1865 he returned to New York to work as a customs inspector, a job he held for 20 years.

Melville died in 1891, largely forgotten by the literary world. By the 1920s, scholars had rediscovered his work, particularly Moby-Dick, which would eventually become a staple of high school reading lists across the United States. Billy Budd, Melville’s final novel, was published in 1924, 33 years after his death.

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