History for November 8th-14th

By Tom Sito | November 7, 2001

November 8, 1620 -Battle of White Mountain.- Austrian Catholic armies crush the Czech rebels and their leader Frederick of the Palatinate, who is nicknamed: "The Winter King" for his brief reign. Unfortunately the Thirty Years War was just beginning. Frederick’s son Prince Rupert traveled to England and got involved in the English Civil War. The rebels mostly came from the province of Bohemia and their wandering exile in the cities of Europe caused the word "Bohemian" to become synonymous with a rootless lifestyle.

November 9, 1923- THE MUNICH BEER HALL PUTSCH-Hitler’s attempt at a revolution styled to coincide with Napoleon’s anniversary of coming to power in 1799. It was easily put down by Munich authorities and Hitler spent a year under house arrest. But Hitler had a long and vindictive memory. Eleven years later in 1934 when he was purging his stormtroopers he remembered to have the Munich constable who arrested him shot.

November 10, 1975- S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald sinks in Lake Superior, occasioning a famous folksong by Gordon Lightfoot. 1982- The Vietnam Veterans Wall Monument opend to the public in Washington, D.C,

November 11, 1918- Invention of the Tommy Gun- Sitting on a New York wharf forgotten and ignored was the first shipment of Thompson submachine guns, built for a war just ended. John Thompson was an inventor who tried to solve the problem of close hand-to-hand trench warfare by inventing a light mobile machine gun that could be a "trench-broom" spewing 800 bullets a minute. Because it fired small pistol bullets it was called a "sub-machine gun". But the Great War was over and the Army wasn’t interested, and neither were most police departments. So in 1921 the Thompson submachine gun went on sale to the public as a "great home defense system", but the first buyers were gangsters and the IRA. They nicknamed them Choppers, Chicago Typewriters and Tommy Guns. Al Capone’s men invented the novelty of hiding one in a violin case. Old John Thompson was bitter that his creation was loved by violent hoodlums and made shocking incidents like the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre possible. He died in 1940, weeks before the US Army ordered millions of his Tommy Gun to fight World War Two.

November 12, 1923- a man shot his wife for smoking a cigarette in Clarksburg West Virginia . After World War One the psychologist nephew of Sigmund Freud, Edmund Bernayz left the office of war propaganda and went into the advertising business. He later bragged that it was he who created the campaign equating woman’s emancipation and voting rights with smoking cigarettes. He created ad campaigns calling cigarettes "Freedom Sticks".

November 13, 1914- Clothing designer Carez Crosby took two handkerchiefs and ribbon off some baby bonnets and invented the brassiere.

November 14, 1875- British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli and banker Sir Lionel Rothschild had lunch. Their brandy and Stilton was interrupted by an agent with the secret message that the Khedive of Egypt needed money and was willing to sell the unfinished Suez Canal zone to England. But Disraeli had to get the money on the spot. Disraeli knew Parliament was out of session and probably wouldn’t agree to the sum anyway. "Well, how much do you need?" Rothschild asked. Disraeli replied, "Four million Pounds Sterling" ( $44 million in modern money ). "No Problem," said Sir Lionel. The Suez canal was built and maintained by Britain until 1956.


  • Tom Sito

    A twenty six year veteran of animated film production, Tom Sito's screen credits include most of the respected feature-length animated films you can think of, including Who Framed Roger Rabbitt? Dinosaur, Antz, Shrek and Fantasia 2000.

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