Little Bits of History


Posted in History by patriciahysell on November 19, 2015
Prince Rainier III

Prince Rainier III

November 19, 1954: Télé Monte Carlo is launched. It is traditionally known as TMC and was begun as a Franco-Monégasque general entertainment TV station. It remains the oldest private channel in Europe. It was inaugurated by Prince Rainier III, Prince of Monaco. At the time, many European channels were begun with a major broadcast concerning the local royal family. This was no exception and one of the first major broadcasts was the marriage of the Prince to Grace Kelly in April 1956. Today, TMC  is owned by the French media holding company TF1 Group.

An agreement between Rainier III and François Mitterrand, the President of France, allowed coverage as far west as Montpellier, France which tripled the number of possible viewers to 3 million. In 1987, a French station, M6, carried a few hours of the television service which made for an even wider viewership. The channel was eventually carried by CanalSat and became available to all of France and the Indian Ocean area. TMC won a place on the French language digital terrestrial television scheme, a testament to its wide appeal. Previously, the station was owned by three entities with TF1 holding 40%, AB Group holding 40%, and the government of Monaco holding the remaining 20%. In 2010, TF1 bought out AB Group and now holds 80%.

TMC shows a variety of programming, both imports and locally produced. Local shows include such things as SUD, a show featuring what is going on in Monaco and Southern France and airs weekly. Another local show is Monacoscope which is a news magazine type program as is Notre région. TMC is also responsible for the small nation’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest. They also import programs such as Downton Abbey, The A-Team, Law & Order, Agatha Christie’s Marple, and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes among others.

Prince Rainier was born into the House of Grimaldi in 1923. He reigned as Prince of Monaco from 1949 until his death in 2005. While famous for his marriage to American actress Grace Kelly, he actually did much to help move Monaco forward. The traditional economic base for Monaco has been casino gambling. With Rainier’s help, the economic base has greatly increased and today, rather than the 95% it once claimed, gambling is only responsible for 3% of the annual national revenue today. Rainier was also a key player in the modernization of the country’s constitution. When he turned 21, his mother renounced her claim to the throne of Monaco, and Rainier became heir apparent. When his grandfather died, he took the throne. He left the throne to his only son when he died at the age of 81.

After vaudeville died, television was the box they put it in. – Larry Gelbart

You know the great thing about TV? If something important happens anywhere at all in the world, no matter what time of the day or night, you can always change the channel. – Jim Ignatowski

Violence and smut are of course everywhere on the airwaves. You cannot turn on your television without seeing them, although sometimes you have to hunt around. – Dave Barry

If you read a lot of books, you’re considered well-read. But if you watch a lot of TV, you’re not considered well-viewed. – Lily Tomlin

Also on this day: Synonymous with Failure – In 1959, the Ford Edsel line was discontinued.
Seven – In 1997, the McCaughey septuplets were born.
87 Years Later – In 1863, Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address.
Prestige – In 2002, the Prestige and her cargo sunk.
1000 – In 1969, Pele got his 1000th goal.


Posted in History by patriciahysell on November 19, 2014
Pelé gets 1000 goals

Pelé gets 1000 goals

November 19, 1969: Pelé scores his 1000th goal. Edson Arantes do Nascimento was born on October 21, 1940 in Três Corações, Brazil. Unless he was born on October 23, 1940. He is better known as Pelé. His father was also a footballer. He was named after Thomas Edison, but his parents intentionally left out the middle “i” even though it is sometimes added back in certain documents. His family nickname is Dico and he was given the name Pelé in school. He grew up in poverty and earned extra money by working as a servant. His father taught him to play soccer even though they couldn’t afford to buy a real soccer ball. He played with the Bauru Athletic Club juniors and they won three consecutive championships between 1954 and 1956.

His coach took him, then 15 years old, to Sao Paulo, to try out for their professional club, Santos FC. He said the teenager would be the greatest football player in the world. Pelé impressed them and he signed his professional contract in June 1956. He debuted on September 7, 1956 and helped the team to a 7-1 win, scoring his first goal during the game. Pelé was given a starting position for the 1957 season and at the age of 16 became the top scorer in the league. Ten months after signing his first contract, he was called up to the Brazil national team. From the beginning, he scored often and kept racking up the goals.

During the 1962 World Cup, several wealthy European clubs attempted to lure Pelé away. Real Madrid, Juventus, and Manchester United tried to sign him, but Brazil had declared him an “official national treasure” to prevent him from being transferred out of the country. His scoring slacked off, but he continued to put the ball into the net. On this day, while playing against Vasco da Gama, Pelé scored from a penalty kick at the Maracana Stadium. This was a highly anticipated event and is popularly called O Milesimo (The Thousandth). According to the player himself, his most beautiful goal was scored on August 2, 1959 but there was no video of the event.

Pelé was voted the World Player of the Century in 1999 and made the list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. He is the most successful league goal scorer in the world with 541 league goals. He played 1,363 games in which he scored 1,281 goals which landed him in the Guinness World Records. These numbers included unofficial friendlies and tour games. He was, for a time, the highest paid athlete in the world and is a national hero in Brazil. He won three FIFA World Cups – 1958, 1962, and 1970, the only player to do so. He retired from the game in 1977 and has been a worldwide ambassador for his beloved sport since that time.

I am constantly being asked about individuals. The only way to win is as a team. Football is not about one or two or three star players.

Enthusiasm is everything. It must be taut and vibrating like a guitar string.

If I pass away one day, I am happy because I tried to do my best. My sport allowed me to do so much because it’s the biggest sport in the world.

Wherever you go, there are three icons that everyone knows: Jesus Christ, Pelé and Coca-Cola. – all from Pelé

Also on this day: Synonymous with Failure – In 1959, the Ford Edsel line was discontinued.
Seven – In 1997, the McCaughey septuplets were born.
87 Years Later – In 1863, Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address.
Prestige – In 2002, the Prestige and her cargo sunk.

Tagged with: , ,


Posted in History by patriciahysell on November 19, 2013
McCaughey septuplets

McCaughey septuplets

November 19, 1997: Kenny, Alexis, Natalie, Kelsey, Nathan, Brandon, and Joel are born in Des Moines, Iowa. Kenny and Bobbi McCaughey (pronounced McCoy) and older sister, 22-month-old Mikayla, were inundated with babies born nine weeks early. Drs. Karen Drake and Paula Mahone tended to the high-risk pregnancy. The multiple births were the result of fertility treatments. The babies are the second instance of all seven babies being born alive and the first where all seven survived infancy. Two of the children have medical problems (cerebral palsy) associated with premature births.

The babies weighed between 2 pounds, 5 ounces and 3 pounds, 4 ounces for a total weight of 19 pounds, 14 ounces at birth. The McCaugheys received many generous gifts after the birth of the children. They were given a 5,500 square foot house, a van, and diapers for the first two years. They received nanny services and the state of Iowa has promised college educations to the children should they want to go to an Iowa state university. The surviving Dionne quintuplets, born on May 28, 1934, wrote to the parents warning of the dangers of rabid media attention along with congratulations to the family. By their tenth birthday, the McCaughey children were mostly out of the limelight.

Multiple births in humans is on the rise. The most common type of multiple births is twins or double births. Fraternal or dizygotic twins result from two eggs being fertilized. Identical or monozygotic twins have one egg fertilized that then splits to form two babies. When the split is incomplete, conjoined twins are the result. Since the advent of infertility treatments, the rates of multiple births have increased by 35% in Canada and 46% in the US. There were 136,000 multiple births in the US in 2003.

These high-risk pregnancies are leading to more babies being born with special needs due to premature birth and low birth weights. Singletons are born early 9.43% of the time while twins are early 50.74% and triplets are premature 91.03% of the time. Very pre-term numbers show the same pattern. Preemies are plagued by a number of problems due to low birth weight and organ immaturity. The most common problem is cerebral palsy, a condition more likely to develop in pre-term babies. But even more troubling is the rate of stillbirths which dramatically increase with multiple births.

“Well, come to our house, and tell me which four I shouldn’t have had!” – Bobbi McCaughey

“It sometimes happens, even in the best of families, that a baby is born. This is not necessarily cause for alarm. The important thing is to keep your wits about you and borrow some money. ” – Elinor Goulding Smith

“Families with babies and families without babies are sorry for each other.” – Ed Howe

“A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.” – Carl Sandburg

This article first appeared at in 2009. Editor’s update: Cerebral palsy (CP) is an umbrella term with scientists saying it is neither genetic nor a disease. It is a non-progressive and non-contagious motor condition causing physical disability in human development. It is found to be congenital or diagnosed at or soon after birth. The condition affects muscle tone, posture, and movement that is the result of a lesion of the immature brain. The motor loss is often accompanied by loss of sensation, depth perception, as well as other sight perception anomalies, and communication issues. There are some instances of decreased cognition and epilepsy is found in about one-third of all CP cases. There are several different subtypes and those are based usually on the degree of spasticity. There is no known cure but better treatment modalities available for premature birth have lessened the occurrence. Treatment is used to ameliorate the complications from the condition.

Also on this day: Synonymous with Failure – In 1959, the Ford Edsel line was discontinued.
87 Years Later – In 1863, Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address.
Prestige – In 2002, the Prestige and her cargo sunk.


Posted in History by patriciahysell on November 19, 2012

The Prestige sinks

November 19, 2002: The Prestige sinks. The ship was registered in the Bahamas but under Liberian ownership. The 797 foot long, single-hulled craft was built by Hitachi Shipbuilding and Engineering Co. and completed in 1976. The ship was hauling 77,000 metric tons of cargo. There were two different grades of heavy fuel oil aboard. One of the twelve tanks burst during a storm off Galicia, Spain. The Greek operated ship was in peril and the captain called for help from Spanish rescue workers. Rather than help, the captain was told he had to steer his ship away from the coast and head in a northwest direction.

Galicia is in the northwestern corner of Spain, north of Portugal. Sending the ship northwest, meant the ship would enter the Bay of Biscay and head toward France. The French government then forced the ship to head southward and into Portuguese waters. Portugal no more wanted the oil tanker in its waters than either Spain or France. Portugal sent navy vessels out to intercept the ship and not allow it into Portuguese waters. None of the three countries would permit the ailing ship to dock at their ports. The longer the ship was in distress, the greater that distress became. The storm waged on and finally a 40-foot section of the hull broke off and released a “substantial” amount of fuel into the waters.

At around 8 AM, the ship finally split in half. It sank during the afternoon hours and released millions of gallons of oil into the ea. It was reported that Prestige was 150 miles off the coast of Spain when it sunk. An earlier oil slick had already reached the coast. Greek Captain, Apostolos Mangouras, was arrested and charged with not cooperating with salvage crews and harming the environment. After the ship sunk, it continued to leak oil at the rate of about 125 tons per day, damaging the coastal region of Galicia.

Thousands were organized to help with the cleanup effort. Neither the local Galicia government nor the Spanish government helped with efforts. Even so, people were able to make a concerted effort and not only cleaned the oil spill damage, but were able to help with accumulated damage to the beaches along the coastal region. The year after the spill, there were more blue flags (a designation from the European Union for beaches meeting the highest standards) than there were the year before. Original estimates of leaked oil was 17,000 tons and it was hoped that the remained 60,000 would freeze and not leak. Rescue efforts in 2004 removed the remaining oil from the wreck and it was found that 20 million US gallons had eventually leaked from the ship.

We never know the worth of water till the well is dry. – Thomas Fuller

The earth we abuse and the living things we kill will, in the end, take their revenge; for in exploiting their presence we are diminishing our future. – Marya Mannes

Till now man has been up against Nature; from now on he will be up against his own nature. – Dennis Gabor

We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap. – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Also on this day:

Synonymous with Failure – In 1959, the Ford Edsel line was discontinued.
Seven – In 1997, the McCaughey septuplets were born.
87 Years Later – In 1863, Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address.

Tagged with: ,

87 Years Later

Posted in History by patriciahysell on November 19, 2011

Drawing of Lincoln giving his speech at Gettysburg

November 19, 1863: The Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania is dedicated. The Battle of Gettysburg was fought July 1-3, 1863 as part of the American Civil War. Union forces were led by George G. Meade while the Confederate forces were led by Robert E. Lee. Losses were staggering with over 45,000 casualties suffered. The Union lost 3,155 men with another 14,531 wounded and 5,369 captured or missing. The Confederacy lost 4,708 with another 12,693 wounded and 5,830 captured or missing.

The battle was a much needed Union victory and boost to morale. Lee retreated to Virginia with Meade’s forces half-heartedly following. Lee’s “invincible” army was in retreat. His inexperienced officers had not been used to his loose command style, contributing to the defeat. Meade also made some tactical mistakes, but proved he was a formidable new foe.

Gettysburg was forever changed. With over 7,500 dead soldiers and thousands of dead horses rotting in the summer sun, something drastic had to be done. It was suggested that soldiers be buried and their families billed. David Wills, a wealthy 32-year-old lawyer, recommended instead that the state fund a National Cemetery. Wills was authorized to purchase 17 acres paying $2,475.87 for the land. Wills invited Edward Everett, the nation’s most renown orator at the time, to give the keynote speech during September but Everett needed more time to write his speech. Therefore, the Cemetery would be dedicated on November 19.

President Lincoln, almost as an afterthought, was invited to speak as well. About 15,000 attended the ceremonies. During that time, several photographs were taken, only one of them survive with Lincoln in the photo.Everettgave a speech that lasted for two hours and contained 13,607 words.Lincolnfollowed, with his high-pitched voice and Kentucky accent. His speech lasted two minutes and contained 269 words. It is one of the most repeated speeches in US history. The President’s speech got mixed reviews at the time.

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

“Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.”

“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” – Abraham Lincoln, the Gettysburg Address

“Permit me also to express my great admiration of the thoughts expressed by you, with such eloquent simplicity & appropriateness, at the consecration of the cemetery. I should be glad, if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.” – from a letter to President Lincoln from Edward Everett

Also on this day:
Synonymous with Failure – In 1959, the Ford Edsel line was discontinued.
Seven – In 1997, the McCaughey septuplets were born.

Tagged with: ,

Synonymous with Failure

Posted in History by patriciahysell on November 20, 2010

November 19, 1959: The Ford Motor Company announces the cessation of production for the entire Edsel line of cars. Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motors Co. had a son named Edsel. Edsel died on May 26, 1943 from cancer. Edsel’s son, Henry II took over the presidency of the car manufacturing venture on September 21, 1945. On September 28, 1948 he instructed the Forward Product Planning Committee to come up with a line of mid-priced cars.

The Ford Edsel

At the time, GM had Chevy, Olds, Pontiac, Buick, and Cadillac while Chrysler had Plymouth, Dodge, DeSoto, Chrysler, and Imperial. Ford had only three divisions: Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln. As people could afford better cars, they fell through the pricing differentials offered by Ford. Big cars were impressive in 1948 but design was halted during the Korean War and by the time the Edsel line debuted in 1957 economy cars were making headway in the market.

There was a huge build-up prior to the launch of this new car. “E Day” was scheduled for September 4, 1957 when the 1958 model year cars were introduced. Only certain dealerships carried the new line. The car did not receive the hoped for accolades. There was a top rated TV special, The Edsel Show, that aired on October 13, 1957 but it could not overshadow the already mounting negative press.

The Edsel name is today synonymous with the term “failure.” What went wrong? There is no one answer but several factors contributed to the mess. The pricing was not much different from the Mercury line, the size of the car was wrong, the cars were poorly built and some even arrived at dealerships with lists of missing parts attached to the steering wheel. And the steering wheel was “wrong” because the gears were activated by buttons placed in the center where the horn “should” be. Of the almost 118,000 Edsels produced in the three years of production about 6,000 remain today and have their own cult following in the specialty car market.

“Failure after long perseverance is much grander than never to have a striving good enough to be called a failure.” – George Eliot

“Only those who do nothing … make no mistakes.” – Joseph Conrad

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Confucius

“One who fears failure limits his activities. Failure is only the opportunity more intelligently to being again.” – Henry Ford

Also on this day, in 1997 the McCaughey septuplets were born.

Tagged with: , ,