Well hello. Fancy seeing me here!
I’m going to begin this post by saying sorry for being missing in the crafty action way. I’ve been making some special Christmas cards, but unfortunately the people they’re intended for sometimes pop along and read my blog, so of course that means that I can’t share pictures of the cards until they’ve been received by the lovely folks they’re meant for. But I will blog about some of the other cards I’ve made, as soon as I get a rootin’ tootin’ minute to load the photos off my phone. Promise. 🤗
Right ho ... let’s get into the Edumacation Department, shall we? Line up at the door … and file in one by one. Grab a seat and get your pens out and glasses on.
On this Day in History
1831 – In Great Britain, Michael Faraday read his first series of papers at the Royal Society in London on ‘Experimental Research into Electricity’.
1859 – Charles Darwin published his controversial and groundbreaking scientific work ‘The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection’.
1917 – Nine police officers and one civilian are killed when a bomb explodes at the Milwaukee, Wisconsin police headquarters building.
1932 – In Washington, D.C., the FBI Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory (better known as the FBI Crime Lab) officially opens.
1939 – Imperial Airways and British Airways merged to become BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation), which later merged with British European Airways and returned to one of the previous names, British Airways.
1947 – Red Scare: After the so-called Hollywood 10 refuse to co-operate with the House Un-American Activities Committee concerning allegations of Communist influence in the movie industry, the United States House of Representatives votes 346 to 17 to approve citations of contempt of Congress against them.
The Hollywood blacklist—more precisely the entertainment industry blacklist, into which it expanded—was the mid-twentieth-century list of screenwriters, actors, directors, musicians, and other U.S. entertainment professionals who were denied employment in the field because of their political beliefs or associations, real or suspected. Artists were barred from work on the basis of their alleged membership in or sympathy toward the American Communist Party, involvement in liberal or humanitarian political causes that enforcers of the blacklist associated with communism, and/or refusal to assist federal investigations into Communist Party activities; some were blacklisted merely because their names came up at the wrong place and time. Even during the period of its strictest enforcement, the late 1940s through the late 1950s, the blacklist was rarely made explicit and verifiable, but it caused direct damage to the careers of scores of American artists, often made betrayal of friendship (not to mention principle) the price for a livelihood, and promoted ideological censorship across the entire industry.
The first systematic Hollywood blacklist was instituted on November 25, 1947, the day after ten writers and directors were cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to give testimony to the House Committee on Un-American Activities. A group of studio executives, acting under the aegis of the Motion Picture Association of America, announced the firing of the artists—the so-called Hollywood Ten—in what has become known as the Waldorf Statement. On June 22, 1950, a pamphlet called Red Channels appeared, naming 151 entertainment industry professionals in the context of “Red Fascists and their sympathizers”; soon most of those named, along with a host of other artists, were barred from employment in much of the entertainment field. The blacklist was effectively broken in 1960 when Dalton Trumbo, an unrepentant member of the Hollywood Ten, was publicly acknowledged as the screenwriter of the films Spartacus and Exodus. A number of those blacklisted, however, were still barred from work in their professions for years afterward.
1962 – ‘ That Was the Week That Was‘ went out live from the BBC, introduced by a new presenter, David Frost, and with some material written by an equally unknown John Cleese.
1963 – Lee Harvey Oswald is assassinated by Jack Ruby in the basement of Dallas police department headquarters on live television. (There are two links for you to click on, one to take you to the BBC News on that day, and the other one will take you to the front page of The New York Times. Both links will open in a new tab for you).
The New York Times
1963 – Vietnam War: Newly sworn-in US President Lyndon B. Johnson confirms that the United States intends to continue supporting South Vietnam both militarily and economically.
1965 – Joseph Désiré Mobutu seizes power in the Congo and becomes President; he goes on to rule the country (which he renames Zaire in 1971) for over 30 years, until being overthrown by rebels in 1997.
Mobutu Sese Seko Nkuku Ngbendu wa Za Banga (October 14, 1930 – September 7, 1997), commonly known as Mobutu, or Mobutu Sese Seko, born Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, was the President of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) for 32 years (1965–1997) after deposing Joseph Kasavubu.
He formed a totalitarian regime in Zaire which attempted to purge the country of all colonial cultural influence and entered wars to challenge the rise of communism in other African countries.
His mismanagement of his country’s economy, and personal enrichment from its financial and natural resources, makes his name synonymous with kleptocracy in Africa.
(A kleptocracy (sometimes ‘cleptocracy’, occasionally ‘kleptarchy’) (root: klepto+kratein = rule by thieves) – is a term applied to a government that extends the personal wealth and political power of government officials and the ruling class (collectively, kleptocrats) at the expense of the population.)
1966 – New York City experiences the smoggiest day in the city’s history.
1969 – Apollo program: The Apollo 12 command module splashes down safely in the Pacific Ocean, ending the second manned mission to the Moon.
1971 – During a severe thunderstorm over Washington state, a hijacker calling himself Dan Cooper (AKA D.B. Cooper) parachutes from a Northwest Orient Airlines plane with $200,000 in ransom money – neither he nor the money have ever been found.
D. B. Cooper is the name attributed to a man who hijacked a Boeing 727 aircraft in the United States on November 24, 1971, received US$200,000 in ransom, and parachuted from the plane. He was not apprehended. The name he used to board the plane was Dan Cooper, but through a later press miscommunication, he became known as “D. B. Cooper”. Despite hundreds of leads through the years, no conclusive evidence has surfaced regarding Cooper’s true identity or whereabouts, and the bulk of the money has never been recovered. Several theories offer competing explanations of what happened after his famed jump, which the FBI believes he did not survive.
The nature of Cooper’s escape and the uncertainty of his fate continue to intrigue people. The Cooper case (code-named “Norjak” by the FBI) remains an unsolved mystery, and along with Malaysia Airlines Flight 653 is one of the world’s few unsolved cases of aircraft hijacking.
The Cooper case has baffled government and private investigators for decades, with countless leads turning into dead ends. As late as March 2008, the FBI thought it might have had a breakthrough when children unearthed a parachute within the bounds of Cooper’s probable jump site near the town of Amboy, Washington. Experts later determined that it did not belong to the hijacker.
Despite the case’s enduring lack of evidence, a few significant clues have arisen. In late 1978 a placard containing instructions on how to lower the aft stairs of a 727, later confirmed to be from the rear stairway of the plane from which Cooper jumped, was found just a few flying minutes north of Cooper’s projected drop zone. In February 1980, eight-year-old Brian Ingram found $5,880 in decaying $20 bills on the banks of the Columbia River.
In October 2007, the FBI claimed that it had obtained a partial DNA profile of Cooper from the tie he left on the hijacked plane. On December 31, 2007, the FBI revived the unclosed case by publishing never-before-seen composite sketches and fact sheets online in an attempt to trigger memories that could possibly identify Cooper. In a press release, the FBI reiterated that it does not believe Cooper survived the jump, but expressed an interest in obtaining his identity.
On Wednesday November 24th 1971, Thanksgiving Eve, a man walked up to the flight counter of Northwest Orient Airlines in Portland Oregon, and bought a ticket for the 30 minute, Flight 305 to Seattle – a 30 minute hop.
He was later described as wearing a dark raincoat, dark suit with skinny black tie, and carrying an attaché case. He had perky ears, thin lips, a wide forehead, receding hair. He sat in the last row of the plane, 18-C, lit a cigarette, and ordered a bourbon and soda. He had given his name as Dan Cooper.
Shortly after the flight set off with 36 passengers and six crew members, he passed Florence Schaffner cute 23 year old stewardess a note. Printed in felt tip pen, in capital letters, it read .. “I have a bomb in my briefcase. I want you to sit beside me,” it read. She did as he requested, then asked to see the bomb. She saw a tangle of wires, a battery, and six red sticks.
He told her what he wanted – $200,000 by 5:00 p.m. In cash. in a knapsack. Two back parachutes and two front parachutes. On landing, a fuel truck ready to refuel. No funny stuff or he added menacingly …”I’ll do the job.” She passed these instructions to the captain when she got back, the man was wearing dark sunglasses.
The plane landed at Seattle – Tacoma, re-fuelled and the passengers were disembarked as Dan Cooper had demanded.
Taking off, he informed the captain to head for “Mexico City,” with more specific flight instructions: Keep the plane under 10,000 feet, with wing flaps at fifteen degrees, which would put the plane’s speed under 200 knots. He strapped the loads of cash to himself and slipped on two chutes—one in front.
Four United States Air Force F-106 jet fighters tracked the airliner.
Retreating to the rear of the plane he lowered the flight steps and stepped out into the roar of the engines, the night and our over the Cascades.
In late 1978, a placard, which contained instructions on how to lower the aft stairs of a 727, believed to be from the rear stairway of the plane from which Cooper jumped, was found just a few flying minutes north of Cooper’s projected drop zone.
Aside from that placard and the later discovery in February 1980 by 14-year-old Brian Ingram, of US$5,800 by the Columbia River in Vancouver nothing concrete has been discovered about Dan Cooper (The jumper became known as D.B. Cooper after authorities questioned and then released a man named Daniel B. Cooper. That man was cleared, but the name stuck).
There have been books, TV shows, documentaries, and death-bed confessions even a film in 1981 The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper. Boeing also introduced a “Cooper” vane at the insistence of the FBI to prevent the rear steps being deployed in flight after several copycat attempts which all failed.
Nothing significant has surfaced.
On July 8, 2016, the FBI announced that it was suspending active investigation of the Cooper case, citing a need to focus its investigative resources and manpower on issues of higher and more urgent priority. Local field offices will continue to accept any legitimate physical evidence—related specifically to the parachutes or the ransom money—that may emerge in the future. The 60-volume case file compiled over the 45-year course of the investigation will be preserved for historical purposes at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.
1972 – One of only eight 1933 pennies minted in Great Britain, was auctioned at Sotheby’s for £7,000. (no it wasn’t mine, but I live in hope!)
1974 – Donald Johanson and Tom Gray discover the 40% complete Australopithecus afarensis skeleton, nicknamed “Lucy” after The Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia’s Afar Depression.
Australopithecus afarensis is an extinct hominid which lived between 3.9 and 2.9 million years ago. In common with the younger Australopithecus africanus, A. afarensis was slenderly built. From analysis it has been thought that A. afarensis was ancestral to both the genus Australopithecus and the genus Homo, which includes the modern human species, Homo sapiens.
1993 – In Liverpool, England, 11-year-olds Robert Thompson and Jon Venables are convicted of the murder of 2-year-old James Bulger.
James Patrick Bulger (16 March 1990 – 12 February 1993) was the victim of abduction and murder. His killers were two 10-year-old boys, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson. The murder took place in Merseyside, England.
The murder of a child by two other children caused public shock, outrage and grief, and particularly so around Merseyside.
James disappeared from the New Strand Shopping Centre, where he had been with his mother Denise, on 12 February 1993 and his mutilated body was found on a railway line at Bootle on 14 February. Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, then 10, were charged with James’s murder on 22 February 1993 and remanded in custody.
On 24 November 1993, the two boys, by then 11, were found guilty of murder at Preston Crown Court. The trial judge sentenced them to be detained at Her Majesty’s Pleasure, with a recommendation that they should be kept in custody for “very, very many years to come”. Shortly after the trial, Lord Taylor of Gosforth, the Lord Chief Justice, ordered that the two boys should serve a minimum of ten years, which would have made them eligible for release in February 2003 (they had been charged with James’s murder on 22 February 1993), when they would be 20.
The popular press felt the sentence was too lenient, and the editors of The Sun newspaper handed a petition bearing 300,000 signatures to Home Secretary Michael Howard, in a bid to increase the time spent by both boys in custody. This campaign was successful, and in 1995 Howard announced that the boys would be kept in custody for a minimum of 15 years, meaning that they would not be considered for release until February 2008, by which time they would be 25.
In 1997, the Court of Appeal ruled that Howard’s decision to set a 15-year tariff was unlawful, and the Home Secretary lost his power to set minimum terms for life-sentence prisoners under 18. The High Court and European Court of Human Rights have ruled that politicians can no longer decide how long a life sentence prisoner can remain behind bars.
Thompson and Venables were released on a life licence in June 2001, after serving eight years, when a parole hearing concluded that public safety would not be threatened by their rehabilitation. An injunction was imposed after the trial preventing the publication of details about the boys, for fear of reprisals. The injunction remained in force following their release, so their new identities and locations could not be published.
On 2 March 2010, the Ministry of Justice revealed that Jon Venables had been returned to prison for an unspecified violation of the terms of his licence of release. The Justice Secretary Jack Straw stated that Venables had been returned to prison because of “extremely serious allegations”, and stated that he was “unable to give further details of the reasons for Jon Venables’s return to custody, because it was not in the public interest to do so.” On 7 March, Venables was returned to prison on suspected child pornography charges.
On 23 November 2017, (yesterday) it was reported that Venables had again been recalled to prison for possession of child abuse imagery. The Ministry of Justice has declined to comment on the reports.
Born on this Day
1815 – Grace Darling, – an English lighthouse keeper’s daughter from the Longstone Lighthouse, who rowed out to rescue survivors of the Forfarshire off and became a national heroine. She died of consumption, aged 26. The Grace Darling memorial is within St. Aidan’s churchyard, Bamburgh, Northumberland.
1868 – Scott Joplin, Ragtime Composer (d. 1917)
1888 – Dale Carnegie, the author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People”
1941 – Donald “Duck” Dunn, American musician (Booker T. and the M.G.’s)
1942 – Billy Connolly, Scottish comedian
1946 – Ted Bundy, American serial killer (d. 1989)
1955 – Ian Botham, England test cricketer
1957 – Denise Crosby, American actress – perhaps best known for her portrayal of Security Chief Tasha Yar on the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
1962 – John Squire, British guitarist (The Stone Roses)
1978 – Katherine Heigl, American actress – best known for her roles in Roswell, Grey’s Anatomy, Knocked Up and 27 Dresses.
Died on this Day and Remembered here
1991 – Freddie Mercury, Zanzibar-born singer (Queen) (b. 1946)
1991 – Eric Carr, American drummer (KISS) (b. 1950)
🍒 🍒 🍒
Thought for the Day
One SONG can spark a moment; One FLOWER can wake the dream; One TREE can start a forest; One Bird can herald spring.
One SMILE begins a friendship; One HANDCLASP lifts the soul; One STAR can guide a ship at sea; One WORD can frame the goal.
One VOTE can change a nation; One SUNBEAM lights a room; One CANDLE wipes out darkness; One LAUGH will conquer gloom.
One STEP must start each journey; One WORD must start a prayer; One HOPE will raise our spirits; One TOUCH can show you care.
One VOICE can speak with wisdom; One HEART can know what is true; One LIFE can make a difference; And all these things are YOU.
🍒 🍒 🍒
And there we are. We’ve come to the end of another lessons in the history of Edumacation. I hope that some of the information stays there in your brain, and isn’t filtered out before you’ve come to the end of the sentence. Well? No … thought not.
May today bring you everything you may be hoping for, and may your weekend bring you joy, peace and love.
Wishing you a truly blessed rest of your day.