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Moments in Time

 

 

• On Nov. 12, 1799, Andrew Ellicott Douglass, an early American astronomer, witnesses the Leonids meteor shower from a ship off the Florida Keys. Douglass wrote in his journal that he “was in constant expectation of some of them falling on the vessel.” It is the first known record of a meteor shower in North America.

• On Nov. 16, 1901, on New York’s Coney Island, a low-slung car called the “ Torpedo Racer” breaks the world speed record for electric cars. Its builder and pilot, Andrew Riker, managed a speed of 57 mph.

• On Nov. 14, 1941, “Suspicion,” a thriller starring Cary Grant and directed by Alfred Hitchcock, makes its debut. They would later collaborate on “To Catch a Thief.”

• On Nov. 18, 1966, Sandy Koufax, 30, the ace pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, retires from baseball due to chronic arthritis in his pitching arm. “In those days there was no surgery,” he said much later. In 1971, Koufax became the youngest person ever elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

• On Nov. 13, 1974, Karen Silkwood is killed in a car accident in Oklahoma. She had complained to the Atomic Energy Commission about unsafe conditions at the Kerr-McGee plutonium plant where she worked was and was on her way to meet with a union representative and a reporter. The folder of information she had with her was never found.

• On Nov. 15, 1984, “Baby Fae,” a month-old infant who had received a baboonheart transplant 20 days earlier, dies in California. Three other humans had received animal-heart transplants, but none survived longer than 3 1/2 days.

• On Nov. 17, 1993, Annie Proulx wins the National Book Award for “The Shipping News,” her novel about an out-of-luck journalist and father. It later won the Pulitzer Prize.

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