This Day in History – November 17 – Hijinx, Humor, and Insight

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NewsWhistle is pleased to feature Gary Jenneke’s “This Day In History” column.

You can read the original at Gary’s THIS DAY IN HISTORY blog — or scroll down to enjoy Gary’s unique look at life’s comings and goings.

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THIS DAY IN HISTORY… NOVEMBER 17

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1842 – George W. Latimer, an escaped slave, was captured in Boston.

Fifteen years before the Dred Scott decision, his escape, capture, imprisonment, and emancipation helped ignite the American abolition movement.

A newspaper, the Latimer Journal, was started to aid his case. Opponents of the newspaper stated that it “greatly excited and alarmed the credulous, vexed the irritable, inflamed the passionate, and exasperated those whose sympathies ran beyond their judgments.

Wow, that’s some language.

Incidentally, George Latimer’s son, Lewis, was one of the pioneer inventors who worked with Edison in the development of the light bulb.

So Latimer’s freedom eventually helped even the descendants of the Secessionists, even though many of them still prefer sitting around in the dark.

Side note, from 1976 to 1990 the mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota was named George Latimer. I believe he was of Lebanese descent rather than African-American, however.

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1973 – From XPatAthens.com: “Tanks crush Greek students’ uprising in Athens.

“The Athens Polytechnic uprising in 1973 was a massive demonstration of popular rejection of the Greek military junta that ruled from 1967-1974. The uprising began on November 14, 1973, escalated to an open anti-junta revolt and ended in bloodshed in the early morning of November 17 after a series of events starting with a tank crashing through the gates of the Polytechnic.  Greece was under the dictatorial rule of the military, a regime that abolished civil rights, dissolved political parties and exiled, imprisoned, and tortured politicians and citizens based on their political beliefs.” Opposition elements, including Socialists, incited political action against the junta. The U.S. took a clandestine interest in suppressing the Socialists and had a C.I.A. operative supporting the junta leaders.

There’s a good book entitled “The Devil’s Chessboard” if anybody wants to read about the CIA’s meddlesome support of dictatorships around the world.

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2015 – Charlie Sheen announces he is HIV-positive.

I was as shocked as everybody else.

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Birthdays:

1897 – Ed Baker. Actor in Keystone Kops.

1901 – Lee Strasberg. Actor and creator of what is known as “method” acting, which is by reacting to their own emotions and experiences actors strive for reality.

Decidedly two different schools of acting.

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1922 – Emile Noel.

International civil servant. Born in Constantinople, Noel was one of the founders of the European Union. Here are some descriptions of him taken from his obituaries in the London Independent and Times. “A grey eminence’s grey eminence, readers of fiction might have fancied that he looked intriguingly exotic. His dark eyes drooped at the corners, his smile was rueful, almost hangdog, as if admitting that while things might be worse they could be a great deal better.   He knew everyone; he knew everything; he said as little as possible. His tenacity matched his modesty. He was the master of the flexible minute in which subjunctives surfaced in nearly every sentence.”

A witness to two world wars, Noel was frustrated by British stubbornness in refusing to accept the fact that the age of the powerful nation state was over.

Given the Brexit vote many in England haven’t accepted that reality yet. I was drawn to his biography by the term “International Civil Servant.” That’s quite a handle and it appears he lived up to it.

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1944 – Gene Clark.

Songwriter and member of the rock group, the Byrds.

June, 1965, bus stop, downtown Los Angeles. My friend Darrold was picking me up in his 1956 Chevy and we were driving first to Minnesota to pick up a high school friend, Rick, and then on to Montreal where we hoped to sign aboard a freighter to work our way to Europe. I was twenty-one years old and full of myself. At least I had been in making the plans. Now I was getting scared. What the hell was I doing? A teenage kid sat down at the other end of the bench. He had a transistor radio and a song began playing. “Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me.” I had never heard it before and the poetry of the lyrics transfixed me. 

“Take me on a trip upon your magic swirling ship
All my senses have been stripped
And my hands can’t feel to grip

And my toes too numb to step
Wait only for my boot heels to be wanderin”

My fear disappeared and the world opened, beckoned me forward. By the time the song ended I was more than willing to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free. 

“What was that song?” I asked.

“Mr. Tambourine Man, the Byrds.”

I went on the trip and three months of adventure followed, the most memorable summer of my life.

Thanks, Bob. And the Byrds also, for introducing me to him.

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ABOUT GARY JENNEKE

At various junctures of his life, Gary has been an indifferent grade school student, poor high school student, good Navy radioman, one-time hippie, passable college student, inveterate traveler, dedicated writer, miscast accountant (except for one interesting stint at a Communist café), part-time screenwriting teacher, semi-proud veteran, unsuccessful retiree and new blogger.

You can reach him at gary@newswhistle.com.

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CREDITS

The above information was sourced from the following sites and newspapers.

Sources:

OnThisDay.com

XPatAthens.com

Wikipedia.org

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We’d also like to thank the following photographers and videographers for the use of their images:

* Lead-In Image (Photo) – bodrumsurf / Shutterstock.com – “Athens, Greece – November 17, 2017: Polytechnic School students carry a blood-stained Greek flag during 41st anniversary of a 1973 student uprising against the then military ruling junta.”

1973 athens anniversary - bodrumsurf - shutterstock - embed

* The Byrds, Hullabaloo, 1965 (video) – mcd220 / YouTube.com

* Outro (Man-In-Museum Cartoon) – SkyPics Studio / Shutterstock.com

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OTHER DAYS IN HISTORY …

December 2

December 3

December 5

December 8

December 9

December 11

December 12

December 13

* December 15

December 16

December 18

December 19

December 22

December 23

December 24

December 25

December 28

January 1

January 3

* January 4

January 6

January 7

January 8

January 11

January 12

January 14

January 15

January 17

January 19

January 22

January 23

January 24

January 28

January 29

February 1

February 2

February 3

February 5

February 9

February 10

February 12

February 14

February 15

February 20

February 21

February 22

February 25

February 28

February 29

March 2

March 4

March 6

March 9

March 11

March 12

March 14

March 15

March 17

March 19

March 21

March 22

March 23

March 27

March 28

March 29

April 2

April 3

April 4

April 6

April 9

April 11

April 13

April 16

April 18

April 21

* April 22

April 23

April 26

April 28

April 29

May 1

May 2

* May 3

May 5

May 6

May 9

May 10

May 11

* May 13

May 16

May 17

May 22

May 24

May 26

May 27

* May 28

May 29

May 31

June 1

June 3

June 4

June 8

June 10

June 11

June 13

June 16

June 17

June 18

June 21

June 22

June 24

June 27

June 28

June 29

July 2

July 3

July 4

July 9

July 10

July 13

July 14

July 15

July 19

July 20

July 23

July 24

July 25

July 29

July 30

July 31

August 2

* August 3

August 6

August 7

August 10

August 11

August 13

August 16

August 17

August 19

August 21

August 23

August 24

August 25

August 28

August 29

August 31

September 2

September 4

September 5

September 6

September 10

September 11

September 12

September 15

September 16

September 17

September 20

September 21

September 23

September 25

September 26

September 27

September 29

September 30

October 1

October 3

October 4

October 5

October 6

October 7

October 10

October 11

October 12

October 13

October 14

October 15

October 16

October 18

October 19

October 20

October 23

October 24

October 25

October 26

October 27

October 29

October 30

October 31

November 1

November 2

November 3

November 4

November 5

November 6

November 7

November 8

November 9

November 10

November 11

November 12

November 13

November 14

November 15

November 16

November 18

* November 19

November 20

November 23

November 24

November 26

November 28

November 29

November 30

* Stay tuned for more!

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