2017-11-08 / Columns

Moments in Time

• On Nov. 8, 1895, in his lab in Germany, physicist Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen becomes the first person to observe X-rays while testing whether cathode rays could pass through glass. Rontgen received numerous accolades for his work, including the first Nobel Prize in physics in 1901.

• On Nov. 9, 1938, German Nazis launch a campaign of terror against Jews in Germany and Austria. The violence was dubbed “Kristallnacht,” or “Night of Broken Glass,” for the countless smashed windows of 7,500 Jewish-owned establishments. Some 100 Jews died, and hundreds of synagogues and homes were damaged.

• On Nov. 7, 1944, Franklin Roosevelt is re-elected president of the United States for a record third time, defeating Thomas Dewey, the governor of New York, and becoming the only president in history to win a fourth term in office.

• On Nov. 10, 1964, Secretary of Defense Robert Mc- Namara says that the United States has no plans to send combat troops into Vietnam. By 1969, more than 500,000 American troops were in South Vietnam.

• On Nov. 6, 1977, the Toccoa Falls Dam in Georgia bursts, and the resulting flash flood kills 39 people. The day before, a volunteer fireman had inspected the 100-year-old Earthen dam above the falls and found everything in order.

• On Nov. 12, 1980, the U.S. planetary probe Voyager 1 edges within 77,000 miles of Saturn, sending back 30,000 images that show hundreds of rings encircling the planet. Voyager 1, now in interstellar space, contains a disk featuring natural and manmade sounds of Earth.

• On Nov. 11, 2000, a cable car taking skiers to a glacier in Austria catches fire as it passes through a mountain tunnel; 156 people die. Only 11 people survived the fire, which was caused by an illegal space heater in the driver’s cabin.

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