• On Nov. 16, 1849, a Russian court sentences author Fyodor Dostoevsky to death for alleged antigovernment activities. Instead, he received a last-minute reprieve and was sent to a Siberian labor camp, where he worked for four years. In 1866, Dostoevsky published “Crime and Punishment,” one of his most popular works.
• On Nov. 11, 1852, the Saturday Evening Gazette publishes “The Rival Painters: A Story of Rome,” by Louisa May Alcott, who would later write the beloved children’s book “Little Women” (1868).
• On Nov. 12, 1889, DeWitt Wallace, founder of Reader’s Digest, is born in St. Paul, Minn. The first issue, printed in his basement in February 1922, had an initial run of 1,500 copies. By the end of the 20th century, Reader’s Digest had the largest circulation of any publication in the world, with more than 17 million readers in dozens of countries and some 20 languages.
• On Nov. 13, 1949, Caryn Johnson, later known as Whoopi Goldberg, is born in New York City. She dropped out of high school during her freshman year, later citing a learning disability that teachers mistook for retardation. In 1985, she made her movie debut in “The Color Purple” and earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.
• On Nov. 10, 1969, “Sesame Street,” a pioneering TV show that would teach generations of young children the alphabet and how to count, makes its broadcast debut. “Sesame Street” went on to become the most widely viewed children’s program in the world.
• On Nov. 15, 1984, “Baby Fae,” a month-old infant who had received a baboon-heart transplant, dies in California. Baby Fae survived the dangerous Oct. 26 operation, but doctors were forced to increase dosages of an immuno-suppressive drug, which caused kidney failure, which ultimately caused heart failure.
• On Nov. 14, 1996, pop star Michael Jackson marries his second wife, Deborah Rowe. The couple had two sons, Prince and Paris, before divorcing in 1999. Jackson’s first wife was Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis.
(c) 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.