• On Nov. 20, 1820, the American whaler Essex is attacked by an 80-ton sperm whale 2,000 miles from the western coast of South America. Herman Melville’s classic novel “Moby- Dick” (1851) was inspired in part by the story of the Essex.
• On Nov. 19, 1863, at the dedication of a military cemetery in Pennsylvania during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln delivers one of the most memorable speeches in American history, the 272-word Gettysburg Address.
• On Nov. 23, 1936, the first issue of the pictorial magazine Life is published. Publisher Henry Luce meant for the magazine to provide a way for the American people “to see life; to see the world; to eyewitness great events.”
• On Nov. 25, 1947, film industry executives announce that 10 directors, producers and actors who have refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee, and name others who allegedly belonged to the Communist Party, will be fired or suspended. The “Hollywood Ten” were also jailed and fined for contempt of Congress.
• On Nov. 22, 1955, record company RCA announces that it has purchased the recording contract for Elvis Presley from Sun Records for $35,000 – a record sum at the time. Presley received a $5,000 advance, which he used to buy a pink Cadillac for his mother.
• On Nov. 24, 1971, hijacker D.B. Cooper parachutes from a Northwest Orient Airlines 727 with $200,000 in ransom money in his possession. In 1980, an 8- year-old boy found nearly $5,880 of the money along the Columbia River, 5 miles from Vancouver, Washington. Cooper’s fate remains a mystery.
• On Nov. 21, 1980, 350 million people around the world tune in to television’s popular primetime drama “Dallas” to find out who shot J.R. Ewing. The new episode solved the mystery, identifying Kristin Shepard, J.R.’s sister in-law and his former mistress, as the culprit.
(c) 2007 King Features Synd., Inc.