2017-11-29 / Columns

Moments in Time

• On Nov. 27, 1095, Pope Urban II calls on all Christians in Europe to war against Muslims in order to reclaim the Holy Land. Urban’s war cry caught fire, and all told, between 60,000 and 100,000 people responded to his call.

• On Dec. 2, 1777, Philadelphia housewife and nurse Lydia Darragh single-handedly saves the lives of Gen. George Washington and his Continental Army when she overhears the British planning a surprise attack. Darragh took notes, which she sewed into her coat before passing them onto American troops.

• On Nov. 30, 1886, the Folies Bergere in Paris introduces an elaborate revue featuring women in sensational costumes. Some revues featured as many as 40 sets, 1,000 costumes and an off-stage crew of 200. Per tradition, the show’s title always contains 13 letters and includes the word “Folie.”

• On Dec. 1, 1913, Henry Ford installs the first moving assembly line to mass produce an entire automobile, reducing the time it takes to build a car from more than 12 hours to 2 1/2 hours. Ford divided the Model T’s assembly into 84 discrete steps and trained each worker to do just one.

• On Nov. 28, 1925, the “Grand Ole Opry,” a popular showcase for Western music, begins broadcasting live from Nashville, Tennessee. The showcase was originally named “Barn Dance,” after a Chicago radio program.

• On Nov. 29, 1952, newly elected President Dwight D. Eisenhower goes to Korea to find the key to ending the Korean War. Although he remained mum about his plans, an armistice was signed eight months later.

• On Dec. 3, 1984, an explosion at a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, leads to the worst industrial accident in history. At least 2,000 people died and another 200,000 were injured when toxic gas enveloped the city.

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