Time to set beaver traps before the swamps freeze to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Another interpretation suggests that the name Beaver Full Moon comes from the fact that the beavers are now active in their preparation for winter. It is sometimes also referred to as the Frosty Moon. (Really stop laughing.)
November 17, 1933 -
You're a brave man. Go and break through the lines. And remember, while you're out there risking your life and limb through shot and shell, we'll be in be in here thinking what a sucker you are.
Unbelievable, but, a box office flop (at the time), The Marx Brothers Duck Soup, opened on this date.
Shortly before this film premiered, the city of Fredonia, New York, complained about the use of its name with an additional "e". The Marx Brothers' response was, "Change the name of your town, it's hurting our picture."
November 17, 1942 -
Martin Scorsese, Academy Award-winning American film director, writer, producer, actor, film historian, former drug addict and asthmatic was born on this date.
Go watch a movie (any movie) in his honor. He won't mind.
November 17, 1951 -
Hey, put down that comedy relief! I'm the hero of this picture! Carry ME on your shoulders! Give me the cheers! Give me... Give me... Give me one dozen roses.
Another in the series of Daffy and Porky buddy flicks, Drip-Along Daffy, opened on this date.
November 17, 1978 -
The two-hour Star Wars Holiday Special aired for the first and only time on CBS on this date. (I must strongly warn readers not to attempt to watch the entire special in one seating - stronger men have been driven to drink and drugs for less.)
The special has never been released on video, but bootleg videos have been circulating for years. George Lucas remarked at an Australian convention that "if I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every bootlegged copy of that program and smash it." Mr. Lucas famously tried (and failed) to buy up all master copies to make sure it was never broadcast again.
Today in History:
November 17, 1558 -
Elizabeth I of England ascended to the throne, on this date.
She is best known for her imperfect application of the cosmetic sciences, a flaw that is strikingly evident in all her portraits but that courtiers were apparently reluctant to address the issue.
November 17, 1796 -
Empress Catherine the Great died of a stroke while sitting on the commode and not while astride her steed (or something like that) on this date.
So dammit, stop making those jokes.
November 17, 1869 -
The Suez Canal was opened in Egypt, linking the Mediterranean and the Red Seas on this date. The 100 mile canal eliminated a 4000-mile trip around Africa.
November 17, 1871 -
George Wood Wingate and William Conant Church established the National Rifle Association in New York on this date.
members (as of May 2013.)
To put that into a little perspective:
Nine million college students are members of a Greek organization
More than five million American are members of NORML
More than five million laborers are members of AFL-CIO
More than seven million people are members of Planned Parenthood
The American Sheep Industry has a membership of more than five million members
MoveOn.org has a membership list of more than eight million people
(Ask yourself if any of your representatives live in fear of being on the wrong side of these organizations?)
November 17, 1903 -
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin's stubbornness split his Russian Social Democratic Labor Party into two factions: the slim majority who sided with him, and the vast minority who opposed him, on this date.
The Russian terms for majority and minority are Bolshevik and Menshevik, respectively, and so these factions took their names. Later the Mensheviks became the majority party, meaning that the Mensheviks had become Bolsheviks and the Bolsheviks Mensheviks.
It was easy after that.
November 17, 1917 -
The world famous 77 year old French Sculptor Auguste Rodin froze to death in an unheated attic in Meudon, France on this date. He had applied to the government for quarters as warm as those wherein his statues were stored, but the government turned him down.
His case was so desperate that he asked to be permitted to have a room in the museum the Hotel Biron, formerly his own studio. The official in charge of the museum refused. Other officials and friends promised coal but never sent it, though his situation at Meudon, ill, and freezing to death, was apparently well known to all of them.
November 17, 1941-
U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Joseph C. Grew cabled the US State Department that he has heard that Japan has 'planned, in the event of trouble with the United States, to attempt a surprise mass attack at Pearl Harbor.' His warning is ignored by the Office of Naval Intelligence.
November 17, 1968 -
NBC preempts the final 1:05 from a very close Jets-Raiders NFL football game with the TV movie Heidi. Two touchdowns were scored during this missing time.
Sports fans everywhere applaud and understand the network's decision.
November 17, 1973 -
People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I am not a crook.
President Nixon spoke to more than 400 editors from the Associated Press at a gathering in Orlando, Florida, at Walt Disney World on this date. I guess that means Disney World isn't the happiest place on Earth for everybody.
And so it goes
There are 12 days until Thanksgiving and the start of Hanukkah.
There are 38 days until Christmas.